Reflections on a Year: All the things

I recently came up with this really neat, little idea of writing one thing about Ruby for every year she’s been alive. Instead, I wrote 58. Because that’s the number of things I came up with.

  1. At 12 1/2 months she weighed 19 lbs 4 oz (39th percentile).
  2. She was 29 1/4 inches (45th percentile).
  3. Her head circumference was 46.3 cm (81st percentile). The NP we saw noted that this was due to her large brain.
  4. She has very petite feet. She’s wearing size 3 shoes (because that’s what we have), and they’re too big by a significant amount.
  5. She’s still known for being, “So expressive!”
  6. She really hams it up for her reflection.
  7. She’s perfected her stink eye and will occasionally give it on request. 
  8. Sometimes she’ll add an eye roll to the stink eye. Which is HILARIOUS. Wonder where she gets that look…
  9. She never smiles at the receptionists in my therapist’s office. She’s actually known as “the baby that never smiles.”
  10. She smiles plenty outside of therapy reception.
  11. She has really taken to waving “bye bye,” and to a lesser extent “hi.”
  12. She’s fairly outgoing. She’ll walk right up to strangers, especially babies and children. And stare at them.
  13. She’s pretty independent in group settings like story time at the library, open gym and play dates. She would rather explore than sit with mom.
  14. She’s not that independent at home.
  15. She cries pretty much every time I go to the bathroom when it’s just the two of us.
  16. She points at EVERYTHING. She’s ALWAYS POINTING. With that cute little pointer finger of hers.
  17. It seems as if she understands quite a few words now. Dog, cat, pink bear, pink hippo, head, hair, stink eye, (regular) eyes, boobie, ball, book, light, more, adventure (i.e. going somewhere). I’m sure there’s more I’m forgetting.


    Here’s Ruby pointing out where the teeny, tiny dog is. Hint: It’s on the book binding.

  18. Like train. She knows train. Whenever we say train we follow up with a, “Chug-a-chug-a, choo choo!” And she dances along by… I’m not sure how to describe the move. Jason tells me it’s, “What you do when you’re cruising down the street in your ’64, hitting the switches.” She knows this relationship so well now that she’ll bust out this move at the sight of a train (picture).
  19. She also understands things. Like we put socks and shoes on before we “go on an adventure.” Or that we should always head towards the door after we put on socks and shoes.
  20. She does not understand Mom and Dad. For example, if we ask her, “Where’s your Daddy?” She’ll point at Jason. And then we’ll say, “Where’s Mommy?” And she’ll point at Jason.
  21. She LOVES animals. Particularly dogs and cats. When she sees a live one she says, “Dee dee dee dee!!” in a really high pitched voice.
  22. She’s not saying any words. I’m freaking out about this.
  23. Sometimes, when we ask her what sound a cow makes, she’ll say, “MMMMMM.”
  24. She doesn’t give kisses… but sometimes she’ll put her open mouth on my face.
  25. Her breath usually stinks.
  26. She still only has her bottom two teeth.
  27. She eats A LOT.
  28. She also throws a lot of food on the floor.
  29. She always wants her bowl and spoon, but she doesn’t know how to use them AT ALL. Sometimes I let her try, and I always regret it.
  30. She really likes meat, cheese and black beans.
  31. She’s figured out how to drink out of a sippy cup, but hasn’t mastered a straw.
  32. She also has this cup. She loves it. She spills water all over herself, gets really surprised and kicks like crazy when she uses it.
  33. She likes to sit on my lap and pick cereal out of my bowl while I eat breakfast. If we spill any milk she tries to pick it up with a pincer and put it back in the bowl.
  34. It’s really obvious now when she wants to nurse. She’ll pull on my shirt, put her mouth on my boob or lead me over to the chair I always nurse her in.
  35. She took her first steps on 1/10/13 and is now a rather proficient walker.
  36. Grandma describes her walking and playing as “tooling around.” I guess that makes her a “tooler.” Maybe it goes baby-tooler-toddler. She’s too young to be a toddler.
  37. She loves screens. Just like every other baby. And adult.
  38. She has a little, pink, toy cellphone. It doesn’t have buttons or batteries. Just a piece of plastic with a sticker on it. And she loves it! She carries it around and presses the sticker with that cute little pointer finger of hers.
  39. She likes playing with the remote controls and video game controllers. She knows (a little bit accidentally) how to turn the XBOX and the PlayStation on with the controllers.
  40. We play music a lot and she dances. This basically means she bends and straightens her knees. Occasionally she’ll swing her arms or bob and tilt her head.
  41. She likes to watch the washing machine and dryer while they’re running.
  42. She likes watching us brush our teeth.
  43. She enjoys things like taking all her books off the shelves or putting her toys in a box and then taking them out again.
  44. She likes flipping through the pages of her books without necessarily looking at them.
  45. She also likes looking at the pages, while seated with a book in her lap. It looks like she’s reading and it’s adorable.
  46. She likes pointing out the same thing on each page of a book. For example, the RIDICULOUSLY small mouse in Good Night Moon. She’ll point out where it is on every page. (Side note – It’s surprising how many of these books have one thing like that that shows up on every page.)
  47. She really likes playing on our bed. She likes bouncing on my stomach or falling back onto the pillows.
  48. Sometimes she’ll walk up behind me and pat my back. I’ll try and sneak a peek at her and she tries to hide behind me. She thinks that’s really funny.
  49. She thinks my hat falling off my head is really funny too.
  50. She likes going outside and picking up these spiky, seedpods that I find disgusting and are EVERYWHERE.
  51. She likes to swing.
  52. Actually, she just likes getting out of the house.
  53. She’s moderately attached to her little pink bear. The bear’s face is pretty funky because she’s always smooshing her face up in it and chewing on it’s nose.
  54. She also has a big, pink hippo she likes to dive head first
  55. She’s still taking two naps a day. They rarely last longer than a half hour in the crib. They’re usually closer to an hour on the boob or in the car (moving or parked in the garage).
  56. She’s scratching the tantrum surface. Sometimes she bangs her head on the wall or the floor when she’s mad.
  57. A friend of mine recently described her 16 month old as a “gentle soul.” And I can totally see it. I like to describe Ruby as “a little firecracker.”
  58. Just like her mama!

This is the third Reflection on a Year. You can read the first two here and here.



Just so you know, this post is going to be the antithesis of “good writing.”

Okay, you’ve been warned.

I need some advice on several completely unrelated topics:

1) Blog recommendations. A good childhood friend of mine is going through a difficult time… on many fronts. I am doing my best to support her and love her through it all. Although I can relate to her feelings, I can’t relate to her particular situation.

The blogging/social media circuit has been an incredible shoulder for me to lean on throughout my rendezvous with PPD and life in general. I just know there has to be a community out there that I can introduce her to. One that will make her feel less alone.

So I am looking for blogs (or Tweeters etc.) written by those recovering from drug and/or alcohol addiction.

2) Running app recommendations. I would like an app that tracks planned and actual runs. Something really simple is perfectly fine. I’d like to be able to see that I’m supposed to run, say, 2 miles on 3/1. And then that I actually ran zero… err, I mean 10 miles.

So probably something calendar-ish. It probably doesn’t even need to be a running app. I’m mostly interested in something like this for scheduling purposes. So I can look at my calendar and say, “Sure! My calendar’s wide open next Thursday! …Except for that 50* mile run I need to do! Phew! Good thing I installed that new app my bloggy friends told me about.”

3) Parenting advice. I’m having patience issues in two areas. The issue is that I have none. ZERO patience. And infinity amounts of guilt about my lack of patience.

First issue – Ruby throws a fit just about every time I try and change her diaper or clothes lately. Mostly what gets me is the kicking. Especially the kicking of me. In my boob. But I’m not really a fan of the rolling over, sitting up, knocking the white noise machine off the table either. How do I make this stop? (Besides trying to keep her entertained in a smiley way. Because, like I said, zero patience.)

Second issue – Throwing food on the floor. Aaaaahhh!!! Tips? Especially for the times she looks me right in the eye, slowly extends her arm and RELEASES.

4) Input on my hair. I’m getting bored. I need a new style. And I want something BOLD. I died my hair the bright red color seen here the morning of my wedding. (My hair stylist nearly had a nervous breakdown over that, by the way.) Well, I would like a hairSTYLE along those lines. Links to pics would be AWESOME. Anything short-short to medium length. And I am (you may want to have a seat Outlaw Mama) open to bangs.

5) Diaper bag recommendations. Just as soon as I decide to spend the money, I would like a diaper bag that looks like a real purse. It should be large and fabulous. Mostly I don’t want the exterior fabric looking too “wipeable.” You know what I mean.

Help please! Ready? GO!!!

*Of course I don’t have 50 mile runs on my training schedule. That’s ridiculous. I just needed a number that sounded big enough to fill up my entire day. Otherwise, you might think I should have just went ahead and made those plans I was considering. See?

Unhappy new year

“YES!! I CAN HEAR YOU!! WHY CAN’T YOU HEAR ME???” I yelled this into the phone. Loudly. And, yes of course, I started to cry. I didn’t understand how this was happening. I had used the land line. The phone we have only for emergencies. You know, so we don’t have to worry about cell phone reception.

“Ms. Ratherthecouch, can you hear me? I’m going to hang up now and try calling you back.” This wasn’t happening. The phone number on file was my husband’s cell and HE WAS AT WORK.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. The new year didn’t start with a call to the pediatric advice nurse. I was actually calling about myself when I phoned Kaiser at 7:30 am on January 1, 2013. And since it was a holiday, I got to wait for nearly an hour and a half in the pharmacy with a fever and a baby (BECAUSE JASON WAS AT WORK) for my breast infection medication.

Now let’s talk numbers:

1/10/13 – My last day on antibiotics.

1/11/13 – The first day we skipped a play date because Ruby’s cold was too bad.

1/13/13 – The day JASON moved into his office AT WORK.

1/15/13 – The day I first came down with the flu. Embarrassing things went down on this day. Things I am too ashamed to write about. But if you’ve been reading this blog for awhile (and are familiar with my biggest challenge during a long run) you just might be able to figure it out. Fortunately, Jason was at home and awake for half of the day.

1/16/13 – The day Ruby’s fever spiked to 102 F.

1/17/13 – The day we (and by “we” I mean me, because JASON WAS AT WORK) found out Ruby had an ear infection.

1/18/13 – The day my inability to absorb nutrients caught up to me. The day my milk supply started to drop off, along with Ruby’s wet diapers. The day I got another plugged duct.

1/19/13 – And, just in time, I finally got over the flu.

1/20/13 – The day the old hip injury flared up. SOMEHOW. Even though I hadn’t even been running, this was the worst flare I’ve had since I pulled the muscle in 2007. I could barely walk. I couldn’t roll over in bed or pick up Ruby. I couldn’t pick up Ruby, and JASON WAS AT WORK.

1/22/13 – Ruby’s 6th day (of the prescribed 10) on antibiotics…

It was about 10:30 at night. I had just laid down in bed and opened my book. I was going to read a few pages before going to sleep. I couldn’t have read more than three words before I heard Ruby throwing up over the monitor.

So I got up. I did it. I went through the motions. I cleaned the floor and changed the sheets with a baby on my hip (the good hip) BECAUSE JASON WAS AT WORK. I rinsed out all our soiled clothes and threw them in the wash. Ruby and I sat down in our diaper and bra, respectively, and called the advice nurse.

I used the land line. The one we have just for emergencies. So we don’t have to worry about cell phone reception. And for a little while it worked. It wasn’t until after Ruby started throwing up again, this time down my bra, that we lost the connection.

And there we were. The advice nurse repeating, “Ms. Ratherthecouch? Ms. Ratherthecouch, can you hear me?” Ruby periodically taking a break from crying to eat a vomit chunk. And me. Screaming into the phone.

Friends, I thought this was the low. It wasn’t. More screaming went down this Saturday, 1/26/13. Only this time it was directed at Ruby.

But, again, I’m getting ahead of myself. Ruby threw up two more times after I got off the phone with the advice nurse Tuesday night. Then she threw up Wednesday night, and Thursday night. Multiple times. And all the while, JASON WAS AT WORK.

But then Friday came along and Jason was finally at home. So when Ruby threw up again Friday night it was okay, because I had help. Except for then the help started throwing up. AND THEN I STARTED THROWING UP.

So by the time Saturday morning came along, I was spent. I had the flu for the second time in less than two weeks. When I went to change Ruby’s diaper I found three things: diarrhea and two remaining wipes. OH MY GOD!!! WE WERE OUT OF WIPES! And Ruby would NOT. STOP. KICKING. So I yelled at her. I told her to stop. As if she were capable of following directions.

She didn’t cry, but I did. And we’re all still sick.