Archive for 09-12 Months

We Now Return to Your Regularly Scheduled Cuteness

When I first started blogging, I focused on the political, then shifted to the personal for a number of reasons. Now that I am a mother, I find myself increasingly interested in the political in the broader sense of the word (rather than the which of the various identical candidates is going to win the next election sort of way). After all, now that I have an heir, her inheritance becomes of central importance.

I find myself thinking a lot about what sort of world I want to leave my child (and hopefully children).

So, you may occasionally have to endure, skim, or skip (your choice!) my rants and raves about supporting breastfeeding or the value of motherhood to society or what have you…but for now, back to your regularly scheduled cuteness.

Baby Diva

Baby Diva With Loco Loki

Baby Diva is High Maintenance

Ahhh…doesn’t that feel good? But, ack, what happened to my tiny baby??? Someone’s been sneaking in at night and turning her into a toddler! We’re not quite there, yet, but my goodness, look at her!

What’s new?

The Diva has started to stand on her own and in typical Diva fashion wants no assistance in achieving this new milestone. She is having tons and tons of fun and very proud of her new achievements all by herself thank you very much. (Yup, Granny’s curse is coming true)

Speaking of Granny, my mom taught the little bean to raise her foot when you say “Piggies” (for “This little piggy…”). Now if you even mention the word “piggies” or “piggy” in any context, the kid will crawl over and lift her foot expectantly.

Oh, and lots and lots of kisses! I cannot tell you how exciting it is to be covered in drooly baby kisses.

Baby Diva also likes to kiss the kittens in her story books.

She’ll also kiss me if she accidentally hurts me or if I tell her I love her, which is exciting because she is clearly connecting the word love and the act of kissing with affection!

Thursday is the big ONE! We are celebrating her birthday on Saturday with a lot of family and friends and I am so excited to see everyone.

Where’s the Kitten?

If you check out Mamanista, you know that I’ve been trying to introduce Baby Diva to other languages, specifically Spanish and Russian.

One of her favorite new books is Where’s the Kitten? (English/Russian bilingual edition). I’ve been reading it in Russian and Captain Dad reads it in English. When I ask “Gye Zhe Kotyonok?” she squeals and points to the kitten. At first she found it easier to find the kitten when it was standing solo. After a little while, though, she had no trouble finding the kitten in a box of toys (which cuddly creature IS the kitten) and in a bag of groceries (he’s hiding…but THERE’S the kitten!).

Then we tried a different book, that refers to the feline as a “cat.” “Where’s the kitten?” No problem. She points right to it. How about the horse? Simple, mommy. Wow.

Whenever we stump her (please point to the sheep), she squeals we delight as we identify the correct animal or object for her.

So we’ve been trying a few other items. A couple of days ago she went and fetched “The Pirate Ship” and “The Ball” from a big box of toys.

ETA: Oh, I forgot my favorite part. We asked her to point to “Daddy’s ring,” even though we had not really used the word “ring” with her before. She looked puzzled so I hinted that “it is gold and shiny.” And just like that, she pointed right to it!

This is probably completely normal, and I understand that they comprehend a fairly large vocabulary at this point, but color me impressed.

Future Fromager?

Babies are not supposed to have dairy before a year…and Baby Diva is still about three weeks shy of that milestone.

However, today she had a little first taste of cheese.

We were in a fabulous local cheese shop and reminiscing about our favorite neighborhood cheese store back when we were living in the Murray Hill section of Manhattan.

Captain Dad and I sampled and purchased a yummy goat cheese (and as an aside, if you are in the area, you have to check out the fantastic goat cheese produced at this goat farm).

Then, the sweet lady behind the counter asked if Baby Diva were old enough to sample a mild, but flavorful pasteurized cow’s milk cheese from Holland. I decided to give it a try.

That’s right, Baby Diva’s first taste of non-mama dairy was Vlaskaas, a Dutch cheese from a specialty shop.

No Kraft singles for my girl.

Don’t Hold Your Applause

Today we did our bedtime routine, I nursed Baby Diva, and put her down to sleep. I came downstairs and heard the dreaded sounds of fussing an crying. So, I went up to comfort her but she just wanted to play.

I called Captain Dad in for a consult. We tried to pretend we were asleep but Baby Diva just kept shoving her pacifier down my shirt (what would make mommy even cooler? if she had a paci there, too…three is so much better than two!). Eventually I couldn’t stifle the giggles any longer so we just gave in and decided to try again after some quiet play.

Baby Diva, as she so often does, had other plans.

She chose this exact moment to start clapping for the very first time.

Because I don’t want her to be stuck clapping alone like that guy in that teen movie spoof, I clapped too. So did Captain Dad.

Ecstatic at how quickly she trained us to clap on command, Baby Diva continued her performance for about 15 minutes. Since she was showing no sign of flagging, we brought her back downstairs, listened to some calm classical music.

Once she started rubbing her eyes, we brought her back up and re-did the bedtime routine. This time she collapsed, without protest.

Goodnight little one.


Whole Heartedly

We just got back from Baby Diva’s cardiology appointment. I always feel a little down, even though I am continually amazed and grateful that the operation was developed to heal her heart and we live in a country where such technology is widely available.

She fills me with such joy every single day!

Before Baby Diva’s operation, her condition was always on my mind. Now, I may not think about it until I am changing her top and her scar flashes me a reminder.

Her appointments, however, force me to confront it again. I am reminded that she still has no pulmonary valve and will most likely eventually need one. At this appointment, we had a different member of the team. Her regularly cardiologist is just an incredibly optimistic man. While I appreciate his skill and his amazing bedside manner, I sometimes feel blindsided when I encounter the “realists.” The ones that feel compelled to mention that “there’s always a risk, even if it is 1%.”

At this appointment, we learned that she has a small hole in her heart–left intentionally and one that is present in 5% of “normal” heart healthy adults. We also got good news–there has been no further narrowing in her arteries and all signs point to a favorable outcome.

However, I also learned that the “indicators” they use do not correspond as well as they would like to the outcomes they are trying to predict. What this essentially means is that even kids who are “looking good” can experience problems the medical field is not yet able to explain.

Also on my mind is the thousands of kids the world over who do not have access to top surgeons, or even clean, well-stocked hospitals or regular check-ups.

Baby Diva’s defect, Tetralogy of Fallot, is a certain killer if left untreated…only a handful will make it beyond age 2, with most dying in the first year of life. but the surgery has a 95% success rate and most total repairs give their recipients a chance at a long, normal life.

One operation is often all it takes to bring a baby’s chance from near zero to near one hundred percent. Amazing.

Baby Diva’s regular cardiologist has his own charity and works with a number of non-profits, as well as the US military, to identify candidates for surgery in other countries and bring them back to the US for operations. Thank the Lord for people like him!

More research is needed, though, both for Tetralogy of Fallot and other congenital heart defects and the techniques and medicine that can bring hope to families.

More research so we better understand the causes of these defects, know the optimal age for repair, and so repairs can be less intrusive, safer, and more effective.


I just had to get that all out.

Last night I made a Squidoo lens about Congenital Heart Defects, and I will add any money made from the lens to my yearly donation to the American Heart Association. When we get settled I plan on looking into how else I can help raise money for heart-related research.

I was also thinking in the car ride home that I would like to start a blogroll for anyone who writes (even if it is just a small part of your blog) about a their own or a loved one’s heart defect. Blogs were so helpful for me when we were getting ready for Baby Diva’s operation.

If anyone out there who is interested sees this, let me know if you are interested. Just e-mail me your link (mamaluxe at gmail dot com) or leave your e-mail and link in the comments and I will get back to you.

And…we…have…lift off!

My baby makes the cutest little wake-up noises. I hear her cooing and babbling from within the co-sleeper as the sleep fades from my eyes.

This morning, I glanced over to the co-sleeper. We recently put the rail up so she doesn’t wiggle out when she is napping alone. Oh look, her tiny little hand is grasping the rail! Isn’t that adorable?

Oh, my. She’s sitting up. Doesn’t she look proud of herself?

Of course, it was just a matter of time. For a long time, she has been getting on her hands and knees and onto the ground from a sitting position. And she has been lifting into crawling position from a completely flat start as well. So, it is no surprise that she put two and two together.

By now I am familiar with the patterns of emotions that follow. Pride that my little baby is growing up. Bittersweet sadness that another stage of her infancy has passed. And closely following on the heels of joy and nostalgia is anxiety…dread, fear.

Baby Diva gave a repeat performance of her new trick right before her morning nap and she’s been pulling herself up a few inches on a regular basis for a while. She can also balance on her feet if we support her.

I don’t want her sitting up, pulling up, and toppling over! So, with just a few weeks left in this house, I am going to have to re-think her sleeping arrangements…an issue I was hoping would wait until we moved.

All of a sudden, I have to adjust to something new in my parenting, with new safety measures and new vivid terrors.

Yes, I am aware that thousands, no millions of other parents have made it through all of these stages just perfectly fine.

Of course, I know that this is a normal step in her development.

Absolutely, I want her to spread her wings and fly (though, preferably, not over the edge of her bed). I cannot, will not, and do not wish to hold her back from growing, experimenting, and learning.

Doesn’t matter. I’m scared anyway.

I know that the stakes will only increase as the years pass. Sure, it would be horrible for her to lean out of the co-sleeper, but the fix is easy: we will just move her somewhere safer for her to sleep. In the stages that follow, the solutions will be neither so simple nor so obvious.

Okay, now I’m terrified.

Happy, Birthday, Baby Diva!

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Today I am Nine Months’ Old!!!

I am just starting to really crawl. Crawling is for chumps, anyway. Mark my words…three, four, five months from now, all the cool babies in my age group will be walking anyway. Walking is the wave of the future.

I’m making serious efforts in that direction, pulling up, standing while balancing on furniture, my parents, the cats…well, I would if they would stay still.

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If I need to get somewhere in the immediate future, there is always momorail. Although mommy has been grumbling something about me reaching the momorail weight limit soon–I’m about 21 pounds.

I have SIX TEETH! I eat whatever they give me–tofu, chicken, turkey, avocado, squash, carrots, sweet potato, green beans, blueberries, apples, bananas, oatmeal, pears…you name it, I’ll eat it!

Mommy says I have a great sense of humor. I make all sorts of jokes, like putting the paci in mommy’s mouth and then laughing. I love to wave at people and I’m learning sign language. I like to play peekaboo and turn off the light switches.

I say “Dada,” mostly to Daddy, but sometimes also to mom, the cats, the couch…I also say “I Love You.” Mom still can’t get over it and doesn’t think you’ll believe it…but I hear the words so often, it makes sense! I bet my next word is “cute.”

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