Today is the first week (and first day!) of Christa's ninth month. It is a bittersweet day for me because it is the one-year anniversary of my dad's death. Because Christa was born three months to the day he died, the 18th is always going to connect the two of them. I really feel being pregnant with her when he was dying and having her so shortly after I lost him has aided the grieving process. I can't get lost in sadness when I have this little ray of sunshine in my face all the time. There are so many characteristics Christa and her grandpa share, particularly in the eyebrows and her smile. Every so often she will throw me a look or arch her eyebrows at me and I think "there's my dad." It's quite a gift.
I got my monthly email from babycenter talking about separation anxiety and I don't really notice that with Christa so much but that could just be because we are together so often. Maria is the only one she doesn't mind being handed off to when I'm leaving or even if I'm in the room. If I'm holding her and someone tries to talk to her - mainly women - she will act all coy and shy, though, tucking her face into my chest. Her little personality is really shining through these days and she laughs at our little games and gets super pissed when she wants something and doesn't get it immediately. And let me just say this: Christa is in EVERYTHING. If her brother has it, she wants it. If something is within reaching distance, her octopus arms are reaching for it.
Those stubborn top teeth still haven't popped through the surface of her gums but I know that she is bothered by them. She isn't walking yet but she is very mobile and crawls with determination. She is pulling herself up to stand and I even see her lifting her little
legs as if she thinks she is going to climb onto a surface. We really
need to watch out now. I also think she's going through a growth spurt because I have noticed her 9-month clothes are already getting kind of snug. On top of that, her hunger is insatiable and she's taking many naps. On Sunday night she went to sleep at 6:30 pm and I was afraid of what ungodly hour she would awake on Monday morning. Imagine my surprise when she slept all the way to 5:30. Mind you, I kept waking up imagining she had died in her sleep. Typical.
"She's been out as long as she was in." - Husband remarking on the 40 week/9 month thing.
11/19/14 Edit: Christa met her new pediatrician this morning for her 9-month checkup. Her top teeth have broken through and she is in good health and looks great. She is in the 75th percentile pretty much across the board at 28" long, 44.5" head circumference and weighing 19.1 lbs (which is exactly how much I would lose from my body. Ha!).
On Friday night my super handsome 8-year old nephew spent the night. On Saturday morning at breakfast, he rocked this smooth milk 'stache. Casey worships the ground Ethan walks on to an almost disturbing level so he was on cloud 9 having 1 on 1 time.
On Saturday afternoon we went to a potluck so my super handsome son helped me back cookies after his haircut. We made a big mess and added way too much vanilla and maybe not enough egg or flour but they were still delicious hits.
On Sunday we had lunch with BFFs mom and dad at Toppers!
Husband started a new job recently but he still managed to get Veterans Day as a paid day off so I asked my work if it would be okay if I worked a short day so we could spend it together. He and I had talked about having lunch locally but I decided to surprise him and take him to Santa Barbara. I believe on the way there he said that because I wouldn't tell him where we were going, it was considered kidnapping so I told him if it was kidnapping I'd just tie him up and leave him somewhere rather than bring him home. Now if that's not a good old fashioned love story, I just don't know what is.
Since the decision to go up north was a last minute one, I decided to try my hand at yelp to discover a new place where neither of us had eaten before for lunch. I quickly plugged in the key words "lunch" and "Santa Barbara" and found a spot with five stars, plenty of positive reviews and pictures of patio seating so I jotted down the address. Bossman recommended a brewery that happened to be on the same street and there was another brewery in Ventura I had never been to that I figured we could hit on the way home. A plan was hatched and we were on our way! BOOM!
When we arrived at our first destination address, we found ourselves at Antioch University. Husband said "We're in a library." But? I saw the sign for Book Ends Cafe which is where the yelp sent me so we took the elevator up to the rooftop patio. This alleged cafe was the size of my cubicle at work and was basically just a counter. So yeah, we didn't eat there because this was supposed to be a date, not a lunch break. We decided to take the long and winding walk to Figueroa Mountain Brewery - what was to be our second destination - and eat there instead. Naturally, when we arrived we found they didn't have a kitchen but would bring in some "not what we were looking for" food if we wanted them to but nope. Time to improvise!
We took a mosey over to Enterprise Fish Company and ate there. The beer was cold, the chowder was thick, and the food was delicious and plentiful. Our poor waiter forgot to bring us some unneeded calamari that we ordered and insisted he buy us dessert to make up for his error but we were so stuffed we settled for him buying Husband a beer and we called it even. Afterward, we walked back over to Figueroa Mountain Brewery and each did a flight of four beers, all of them very tasty. Plus the atmosphere was nice and cozy and the staff was very friendly. If you can believe this, we walked out of that place for a mere $12. Holy smokes.
Since we can't go on a date without ending up running errands or
going to Target, we got on the road and headed back home in a timely
manner. Naturally, I found myself closing out our date spending twenty minutes
in the Target toilet. It reminded me of our first date when I ended it with a
migraine. I think the second date I closed out with diarrhea. Oh,
Husband. Thank you for loving me despite my faults. Naturally, our final
destination, Surf Brewery in Ventura, was closed. I guess that's what I get for making plans in haste, am I right?
Part of our walk from that silly cafe to the brewery
I do not know how I came to own The Weight of Water by Anita Shreve. I have to assume it came by way of a random yard sale purchase because the sheets and the cover were yellowed with age but it very well could have been given to me. The name sounded familiar and apparently it's because it was a movie over a decade ago starring Elizabeth Hurley and Sean Penn. Maybe the familiarity of the name is why I decided to grab this particular title off my shelf though I can't say I ever saw the film.
I hesitate to use the word "gripping" to describe a book but it seems to be a perfectly acceptable adjective to employ for this one. This book tells two tales sort of simultaneously; Shreve weaves in and out of thoughts and memories so often and unexpectedly that it was confusing at first. The first story is about Jean who is on a boat with her husband, daughter, brother-in-law and his girlfriend. They have set sail in a small boat to take Jean to photograph a former crime scene on the small island of Smuttynose, off the coast of Maine. The close quarters seem to brew feelings of jealousy and insecurity in Jean that parallel emotions found in the second story which is the historical account of the sole survivor of a double axe murder that took place in the late 19th century. Interestingly, the murder is based in fact but the survivor's account is fictional aside from the court testimonies. At the time this book was written, the OJ trial had just taken place so there is that double murder casting a shadow over the story as well.
Shreve uses language that had me checking the dictionary more than once. Her voice for Jean versus her voice for Maren, the survivor, was distinctly different but they were both just so lyrical. While the story of true crime appealed to me, I wasn't sure how I would respond to the themes of incest and jealousy and lust. I'm not really a big reader of romance novels, so to speak. However, I read this book over the course of a mere three days because I was pulled into these stories so strongly and was so very curious to see how things would turn out. Although Maren's ending was a bit predictable, I have to say I was stunned for poor Jean. This book was very well written and left me nearly breathless after many pages of exasperating suspense.
This is the fourth and last week of Christa's eighth month. I chose the series of photos above because it best represents what happens to her when she is tired. She is literally melting down and it is hilarious to be a part of. She squishes and rubs her face with her hands or whatever happens to be in her hands and ends up making the "pffffffffth" sound until she is literally on the verge of falling asleep where she sits. I then proceed to take her to her room where I wrap her in her soft pink blankie with the lamb on it, pop in a chupie, and she instantly nuzzles into my chest to pass out. It's adorable and I love it.
She is crawling crawling now. No more of that army-belly-scoot-crawl hybrid she was up to last week. She can now pull herself into an upright seated and/or standing position with ease. She can now stand for brief moments at a time unassisted. I find her climbing up the wall like Spiderman so I suppose walking will be in the near future. I can barely keep up with her now so I have no idea what we will do when that happens. For the most part, our home has been baby proof because of Casey and even dog proof because of Betty, but we still have our rookie moments like this weekend when we caught Christa chewing an electrical cord. Awesome. Good thing she only has those bottom two teeth still otherwise maybe we would have found a scorch mark where Christa once was on our carpet. No. Not really.
Her appetite is admirable and she eats basically anything we are eating so that makes life very easy for me for now. She is sleeping like a champ and I make sure not to take that for granted. When I check to see if she is awake now, I often find her sitting up in her crib playing with her little stuffed animals. When she wants me to pick her up, say after changing her diaper, she waves her hands and feet wildly and squeals with glee at the prospect of being in my arms. She's most ticklish under her chin and about her collarbones so I make sure to nibble her often when I blow on that little tummy of hers. She's just delightful, this daughter of mine.