Gross rainy, cold weather here today. Often it seems like a gloomy day makes Natalie extra sleepy, just like adults, but not today. She napped like usual, for the most part. The weather kept us inside today, though.
Instead of running an errand like we normally would try to do on a rainy day, we stayed in and I called my parents on Skype. My parents live two hours away from us and aren't big on driving up to visit. I've lived here for almost six years and they have been up four times I think, including our wedding and seeing Natalie this past fall. We try to go down visit about once a month; its not too difficult because we usually coordinate visits around holidays. However, only seeing their only grandchild once a month didn't seem fully acceptable to me. So, for Christmas, I gave them a web cam and told them about Skype, which I learned about from my brother-in-law. (He lives in Texas so we use Skype to talk to him sometimes, too, and to see his new baby as well).
Talking on Skype has been fun since the beginning. Natalie was about three months old when we started, so we would sit her in her Bumbo chair and line up the camera. Now she sits on her own and plays with her toys. My father really seems to get the biggest kick out of it, which is really the reason we got them the web cam. He likes to ask Natalie "Where's your noes?" and such things. He makes funny faces and plays peekaboo. He also likes to move in close and across the camera (like Conan O'Brien, he says). My mother more stands and watches Natalie and talks to her. This is very much how they are in person with Natalie. Meanwhile, Natalie doesn't really understand the whole thing. She will look at the computer, and she really looks when they say her name, but she is more interested in chew on her toys or trying to rake the computer keys. Natalie is on the cusp of learning to crawl. I'm wonder how Skype will work then because she will no doubt try to crawl on the key board or crawl off away from the camera.
Today, we Skyped from the kitchen. That's the great thing about having a lap top with a built in web cam and wireless internet; we can go anywhere. I had cut up squash for dinner and Natalie was playing on a quilt on the kitchen floor with some toys. Since she was still in such a good mood, we called right from the kitchen instead of the living room. Natalie chewed on her dragonfly / butterfly teether most of the call, but she also showed off how she "drinks" from a cup when I gave it to her. I tried to get her to smile so they could see her teeth, but she wouldn't open up and look at the camera. I got behind the lap top and made surprised faces at her, which is just about her favorite thing I do, but she only showed her bottom teeth. Her top teeth are by far cuter. I even tried taking off her socks dramatically, which is another favorite, but she had her toy in her mouth.
Another big hit with Natalie is playing peekaboo with a blanket with Daddy on the living room chair. I discovered a few days ago that Natalie has learned to pull a blanket forward off her head. So, Mike sits her in the corner of the chair and drapes a receiving blanket on her head, and Natalie yanks it off right away. We used to shout "Yea!" and clap, but now he yells, "Peekaboo." When Natalie and I play peekaboo, she doesn't seem to like this set up as much. In fact, I don't think its even the game she likes. I usually play with her over the side of the bed. So, I kneel down and open my mouth big, and she loves it! I don't even think she really likes the disappearing and reappearing. She gets so happy that she lunges forward, often ramming her head into the bed (or the chair if we're in the living room). Mike said today that maybe she does that because she is ducking down like I do. I had never thought of that! All I know is that seeing her topple over panting or laughing like that is priceless.
Other than staying in and not getting dressed, today was a normal day for Natalie and me. Natalie always gets dressed, today all in purple, I just didn't bother. I don't see a point in getting dressed when I'm not going anywhere. In the beginning, this had a lot to do with Natalie always spitting up on me. I wore the same hoodie for months. She's gotten over that for the most part now. I do worry that I might get to comfortable with this life style, which is one reason I like for us to go out. But, unlike even two years ago, I will go out without makeup. Yesterday I didn't even bother to get my hair in order; I just left my hood up. I partly blame this on my new hair cut that I haven't quite figured out how to manage, but, yeah, I don't bother to get myself ready when we go out. Well, maybe "don't bother" isn't the word for it. Its not worth it is more like it. For me to go through what I used to do to get ready for work, I need to leave Natalie unattended. I could use three steps of Proactive, pluck my eyebrows, use eye lotion, hand lotion, five different items of makeup, and style my hair. And I still do those things (minus the Proactive since I stopped using it when I got pregnant), when we go somewhere special, but is it worth it for an hour long trip to Walmart? Sometimes, when I do my now special routine, I think of all the preparations I used to do for one of Mike's weekend visits out to college. Back then, I had all the time in the world! I didn't have a baby, and I also didn't have a house or a stack of grading. I used to shave, pumice my feet, file and paint my nails, lotion all my skin, use those Biore noise strips. These days I'm lucky if I brush my teeth. Seriously. I'm a little scared about my dentist visit in a few weeks because I know that I've been a little lax. So, when I got my new hair cut and the girl doing it made a comment like "so you won't have to flat iron it," I'm thinking, flat iron? I didn't even brush my teeth before I came here! I know, this fact is extremely gross and maybe I have succeed in shaming myself into reform.
Hmm, so, what else made today notable. It was bath night. Natalie gets a bath on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. About half way through her bath last time, she started splashing. Tonight, she splashed the whole time. Big huge splashes with her hands. It was cute and funny, but I'm sure in a few months a soaking wet bathroom and clothes won't be as cute. She also getting better at grabbing her toys as they float away. I feel like I don't do well enough cleaning her. Mike's job in the bath is to make sure she doesn't fall over and hit her head or flop over and drown (or at least scare herself). The washing is my job. I also do 90% of the diapers. So, cleaning is my department. Natalie gets all sorts of red spots on her skin. Today she had some rashy looking splotches on her stomach during her bath. It can't be from a new food since she didn't have on today. Is it my tummy kisses? She also gets red lines in her neck folds. Natalie has big chubby cheeks and drools all day, so she is never dry in there. Now that she doesn't spit up, its much cleaner, but she still gets red. However, tonight she was all red in the crease of her crotch. Her latest trick is trying to flip over while having her diaper changed on top of clenching her legs or pulling them up to play with her feet. So, it is very hard to get in to all her creases to clean. Tonight, Desitine was our friend for her neck and her leg.
Not all my thoughts all day are taken up with baby girl. I spend a lot of time reading actually. Currently, I have several books going. I have two books on baby which I read each new chapter as Natalie hits to correct age. In Natalie's room for our morning nursing, I currently have Newbury Award winner Caddie Woodlawn. Thus far, it is reminding me of the Laura Ingals Wilder books, but I'm not enjoying it much. Out in the living room, I just started Frindle. This was on a top 100 children's book list I was following. So far, I'm finding the concept interesting and I'm wondering where it is going. I just finished Wicked the other night. That book was a long haul because it wasn't so great, but I was determined to finish it. Most of my reading is children's books these days. I read lots of picture books either looking for books for Natalie or to Natalie. I've also been reading a lot of children's chapter books. This was inspired by the top 100 I was following, but its also because when we go to the library for story time, we often don't make it out of the Children's Room. I am glad I am reading these so that I'll have a wider base when Natalie is reading. However, I've also been working on the adult popular books I've got stored up here at home. These are books I didn't have time for while teaching. When I was teaching, I mostly read YA books.
While writing a lot of this entry, I've been watching Justified with Mike. Its our new show to replace Nip / Tuck. I wasn't interested from the commercials, but Mike DVRed them. I've been sitting with him while watching and have been pulled in. I like how its different and often funny. Our other big shows are Lost and Smallville. We've been watching both of those from the beginning. I watch Project Runway when its on. We've been watching this year's Survivor, and are fans of Russell. Also this year, we've been watching House. I used to watch the rerun marathons all the time, but this is my first time following it weekly. On nights we don't watch a show, we often watch a Netflix a movie, but not so much recently because its basketball season. In the fall and winter, we spent a lot of time watching season 1 and 2 of Heros, but we just haven't gotten around to season 3.