Friday, December 5, 2008

Best Trip To Grocery Store EVER!!

I wish I had pictures... And video...

Hank had more fun at Safeway today than I think I have ever seen him have in his 12.5 month-long life. It was hysterical. Ordinarily I wear Hank in a carrier when we are grocery shopping, but today I put him in the little seat in the cart and he just thought it was the best thing since sliced bread. He cracked up all the way through the store, down every aisle. Everything we saw, everyone we passed, was a brand new reason to laugh and laugh and laugh. Which of course made me laugh and laugh and laugh, because Hank's laugh is absolutely infectious. I am sure people could hear us several aisles over. Hank's insane laughter also made this the most pleasant trip to Safeway ever because everyone we passed cracked up too. Hank left a wake of giggles and laughter all throughout Safeway.

It was the best trip to the grocery store, ever.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Oh my god!

Hank just expanded his vocabulary!! He was standing at my feet with his hands in the air and I said, 'up up?' and he said, 'up!', plain as day.

Hank's had a lot of other memorable moments in the last few days, some funny, others not so much.

In the 'funny' department, Hank got his hands on a big cup of wine a few nights ago. He had the cup by both hands and took a big swig, spilling much of it on the floor, but holding fast to the cup. I got the cup out of his hands, but he kept slipping and sliding in the puddle. It was so cute and funny.

In the 'not-so-funny' department we've got two entries.

1. Hank had a bad cold last week. Over the weekend he started to have a fever. Late saturday night it creeped up to 104.3 so we decided to make a trip to the emergency room. Several hours, many rectal temperature readings, tylenol suppositories, a chest x-ray, and a giant shot of antibiotics later, poor little Hank was diagnosed with pneumonia. :( Pneumonia! We were so sad for our little man! Thankfully the antibiotics seem to be doing the trick. The fever is long gone now and Hank is pretty muchback to his self, but he's got nine more days of antibiotics to go. I'm terrified of him ever getting sick again.

2. Hank destroyed his first piece of furniture today. I turned my back for a second (actually it was to start typing this post!), and I heard a huge crash. There was a flash of light, and then everything went dark. Hank had pulled a tall floor lamp over. When it hit the floor the glass shade and the GIANT glass CFL light bulb shattered all around him. He was so stunned that he just sat there, thank goodness. There was so much glass. He could have been so badly injured. I swooped in to grab him out of the mess before the initial stun wore off and deposited him in his room with the gate closed so I could clean everything up. When I think about it there are so many ways that could have been truly terrible. Fortunately it ended up just being a broken lamp. Thankfully there was no trip to the emergency room. That would have been two in three days!


Thanksgiving has come and gone over here. It was an exceptionally busy and somewhat exhausting week. Henry's family came in from NY and we spent a lot of time doing things like running a 5k in GoldenGate Park and visiting some local museums. And of course we made sure Hank had lots of good Grandma and Grandpa time. They went for lots of walks and played a ton. And of course we cooked a huge thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings. I was pretty wrecked by the end of the cooking that I wasn't even believing that any of it was going to taste good, but I was wrong -- it was all quite good. The next day we made the mistake of trying to visit the new Academy of Sciences. Although we made it inside, I say we 'tried' to see it because holy crap the entire city of San Francisco was inside that freakin' building!! It was awful!! We are still trying to recover from the shellshock of trying to visit the Academy. I'm still trying to figure out to whom I can address a letter with all my complaints. Thank goodness there were no emergencies while we were there, because no way in hell would everyone in that building have been able to get out alive. And don't get me started on all the good parts of the of Academy that had disappeared.... My mom described it as the Metreon of Aquariums... She's right! I'll give it another chance someday, but I'll have to recover from this visit first.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Party Like it's 1999

Hank enjoying his party, originally uploaded by hjw3001.

So Hank's first birthday has come and gone. We had a party in Tilden park on Saturday and it was a blast. Hank was so, so happy and so many of the people who have been such an indispensable support to us through this past year were there -- many of them with their own babies. We celebrated with an eight foot long submarine sandwich, a lemon cake, and cupcakes in mint chocolate and spice. I was proud to have baked them all myself. We also had balloons, which were of endless fascination for Hank, bubbles, and small cups of snackies for all the little ones -- Teddy Puffs, Banana Crunchies, Cheddar Bunnies -- all of Hank's favorites! It was a really great day.


The past several days I've been recalling last year at this time -- how terrifying those first few days and weeks were, how strange and disorienting the nights were. I remember in those first few weeks Discovery Channel was showing a reality show about climbing Mount Everest, and I was obsessed with Mount Everest. I would sit in the green comfy chair in the dark, rocking and nursing Hank, burping him, singing him back to sleep, all the while watching episodes of the Mount Everest show. I remember waking to the sounds of Hank crying for milk or for a change and having to fight through a wave of anxiety as I stumbled down the short hallway to get everything prepared for the baby. I remember Henry and I would sleep in shifts -- one of us up with Hank while the other slept, and then we'd switch off around three in the morning. I remember lots of wonderful friends and family coming by with food and to help, and the gratitude I felt (still feel). I remember a cloud of sleeplessness and pain as I recovered physically from pregnancy and childbirth, and a sense that if we could just keep one step ahead, everything would be fine. I remember crying in the shower because I was just so worn out and didn't believe it would ever get any better. I remember worrying that Hank could be broken so easily -- that if bent the wrong way his tiny fingers might just snap off.

But I also remember the nightsweats easing off, and the anxiety lifting, and the terror subsiding. I remember that little by little we began to trust ourselves and to trust that Hank wasn't going to break or disappear, and as we started to believe that, we started to really enjoy being parents and being a family.

Thank goodness, or we may have had to send him back to the baby farm! (just kidding -- you are stuck with us, Hank! Stuck!)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday!

Dear Beautiful Boy --

For a few hours today is still your birthday and I just want to quickly tell you how proud we are of all you've accomplished this year.  You've already learned and discovered so much in 12 short months.  I am so excited to see what the next year (years!) bring.  

Your Mama

Wanderings and Peregrinations

We have been so very busy the last several weeks! I managed to report on Hank's first presidential election, but haven't had a chance to get back here and catch up on other things we've been up to. The best events have been our trip to Half Moon Bay and the Nolan Bunch to search for pumpkins and roam a giant corn maze, and our trip to NY where Hank had his first Halloween, cheered for Uncle Mike as he ran the NY Marathon, and sampled his first birthday cake at the early-birthday party thrown by my mother- and father-in-law.
The pumpkin hunt was terrific. Hank was looking very autumnal in overalls, a fair-isle inspired sweater, and a floppy pumpkin hat. The weather at the coast was fall at its best -- foggy and chilly, just right for pumpkin-ing. We found a fantastic pumpkin patch/event with the biggest corn maze I have ever seen, and a pumpkin patch that meandered through a corn field. It was perfect! Hank LOOOVED the pumpkins. We put him down on the ground and let him stumble around and pick out his own. The whole thing was a delight.
NY was a quick and busy trip, but a lot of fun was had. We dressed Hank up on Friday night for Halloween and took him around the neighborhood to visit several neighbors and friends. Unfortunately Hank fell asleep within moments of leaving the house, but it was still fun to push our little Yoda through the streets. The next day most of Henry's extended family came to the house for an early-birthday party for Hank. He was a trooper -- charming the pants off everyone. I was excited that my friend Kate and her baby M were able to come up from NJ, as Hank and M have been betrothed since birth (and they need to take advantage of every opportunity they get to hang out before the inevitable wedding). Then the next day was the marathon. Mike did great! We zipped all over town to meet up with him at spots he'd told us to be. He really planned it out perfectly -- sticking pretty much exactly to the schedule he had planned. We barely made it to a couple of spots, ourselves! And again, Hank was a trooper. It was a good trip.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Election Day, originally uploaded by allthingssara.

Polls close in CA in 2 minutes. Obama currently has 220 electoral votes. If CA goes to Obama, which it undoubtedly will, Obama will win -- CA will have decided an election!!

MSNBC just projected OBAMA the WINNER!!!!!!


A Very Big Day

We've been pretty busy over the last few weeks, and I want to report on all our comings and goings, but before the moment escapes me I wanted to record some thoughts about today's presidential election.  So.  Some random thoughts.  


The polls are still open all over this great country, so one might say it is still anyone's game.  A huge part of me is incredibly nervous about the results that will start coming in this evening, but an equally huge part of me is bursting with pride, excitement, and patriotism after casting my vote for Barack Obama today.  This is the fifth presidential election I have had the privilege of voting in.  My first was Bill Clinton's first campaign.  At the risk of jinxing everything, Obama's campaign has brought out the same feelings of hope and excitement as that campaign did, so many years ago.  I had to vote absentee back then, because I was in college and not home in California for election day.  I remember wishing I could have been at a polling place to cast my vote, and I remember watching the returns with an excitement I could not contain.  I remember calling my mother from the house phone downstairs in Wilder House to share the excitement, and having her tell me happily how lucky I was that in my first presidential election, I got to vote for a winner.  

I deeply hope that today a whole slew of first time voters, voters energized and excited by Obama, are getting to vote for a winner.  Nothing could be better.  


Just like on Super Tuesday, this morning Henry and I packed Hank up in the stroller and made our way to the local poll.  Reports from around the country of incredibly long lines and extraordinary voter turn-out had us motivated to get there in the morning, hoping to avoid after-work crowds.  We didn't have much of a wait, but there were certainly more people present than we have seen at previous elections in the same place.  In front of us in line there was an African American woman and her son, who was maybe 12 years old.  He was bursting with excitement.  They had brought a special pen with them to sign the voter rolls -- the mother was going to let her son sign for her, and then they were going to put the pen away, only to be used for special signatures in the future.  The boy was so enthusiastic and so happy to be involved in the process.  He was beaming.  It was a lovely thing to see -- after so many years of discontent and apathy, to see a young person so excited about the democratic process, hopefully his thirst for the political process will last until he is eligible to vote himself.  


I believe that Barack Obama has energized young people in a way that I have never witnessed.  I can only hope that the new wave of voters will embrace the right -- the privilege -- to vote, and that voter apathy can become a thing of the past.  Many many years ago I saw a photograph of a long line of people, snaking across a field, of people waiting to vote in a nation's first election in many many years.  I don't remember the nation, but I remember the photo and the knowledge that it captured the essence of voting -- giving the populace a voice.  I always think of this photo, and of people who have fought so hard for the opportunity to vote, when I hear of low voter turn out in this country, and I feel disappointed in Americans when they don't understand the gift we have in the right to vote.   


I really, really hope that Proposition 8 fails in California.  I am saddened that it is even on the ballot as it will constitutionalize discrimination and homophobia -- two things that are unacceptable to me.  A constitution should never be used to strip a person of individual rights -- it should be used to expand individual rights.  


Obviously political opinions differ, but I think no-one can disagree that this has been an incredible election and an incredible campaign.  I see so much more excitement, interest, and optimism than I have ever seen before and I hope it can last.   The entire world is watching this election and hoping for change in America, I just hope we can give it to them. 


More thoughts to come as the returns come in. 

Friday, October 17, 2008

Do Trick or Treaters come any cuter?

Getting ready for Halloween, originally uploaded by hjw3001.

Me thinks the answer is 'no', but - yes - I am biased...

Here I am with a semi-monthly update on our favorite baby boy!  Lots of developments, so I'l start a list.

Motor Skills

Holy moly, this kid can MOVE!!  He is constantly walking these days.  He is so very busy that, fortunately for us, at the end of the day he is exhausted.  He has been so beautifully happy since he started to walk that he's just a joy to watch.  We've had several evenings in the last few weeks where, between dinner and bed time, Hank just cracks himself up walking in circles around the living room, and falling down over and over and over again.  He laughs the entire time, laughs and walks and falls and laughs until he is just delirious and stumbling around like a drunken sailor.  And of course this cracks up up.  I've got video...  Check the flickr in a couple of days.   The boy is a riot these days.

New Things He's Learned

In addition to all the moving and grooving, Hank has some actual words he says now.  And even cooler, he actually seems to know how to use them properly!  He's like a Real Boy, now!  He's been using 'mama' and 'dada' for quite some time, but in the last week he's started to say 'nononononono' (usually when trying to get out of a diaper change), 'ca!' (when a cat walks by), and 'bah bye!' (when some one is leaving or, very often, when he sees I'm on the phone and about to wrap it up -- as I say 'talk to you later', and hang up, Hank says 'bah bye!').   The 'bah bye' thing has actually been evolving a bit.  He also knows 'hi', but usually says it in conjunction with 'bah bye' -- so it is 'hibahbye!'  He's waving when he says it, but he's still not quite sure which to use for arriving and which to use for leaving.  But hey, it is a great start!  And so, so funny.  'Hibahbye!!'

He's also gotten the idea of peek-a-boo down pat, and he's applied it in other contexts.  Several times in the last few days I've caught him playing hide and seek with me.  He'll see me coming and hide, and then wait for me to find him.  It is adorable!  We LOVE to play this game.  

From the 'Things I Never Thought I'd Say' Department

In the last week I've found myself saying 'is that cantaloup in my shoe?' (we eat at the coffee table, and our shoes are often under the coffee table during meals, and Hank has been eating -- and dropping -- a LOT of cantaloup), and 'get your foot out of my pants!' (uttered while I was sitting on the floor and Hank tried to use my butt as a step to climb on to the couch).

Awesome Daddy Time for Hank

I can't remember if I posted anything about having surgery, but I had my surgery and it went really well.  As a side-effect Henry has gotten to spend a lot more time doing Hank-stuff because I've been restricted from lifting Hank.  So daycare drop-offs and pick-ups, getting him up in the morning, getting him to bed at night, handling any mid-night wake ups (thankfully there haven't been many - Hank's too tired from all his walking!) have all become Henry's responsibility.  They've grown such a lovely bond in the last few weeks -- when I realized that Hank was reaching for Henry the other day I actually felt a little sad and wistful!  But I've quickly banished that thought, because I am so happy to see my two best guys totally adoring each other.  It is just lovely.  

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Too Much Time On My Hands

Mommy needs a drink!!!!

well, maybe not if she's still on codeine (see below!)

So, if I thought I had too much time on my hands last time I posted to the blog, I had no idea. NOW I've really got too much time on my hands because I've been laid off from my job! Not enough clients to keep me on board. It has been about a week, so the initial shock and ego-bruise has worn off, but wow did that experience take the wind out of my sails. I don't want to write too much about the experience, but suffice it to say in the end this will have been a blessing rather than a curse. I was hoping to ride my last job through a second pregnancy, and I'm sad to be forced to give up the flexibility I had at that firm, but it has been clear to me for quite a long time that I had reached the end of my road there and it is time to move on. I'm always going to be glad that I stayed there for as long as I did because I think I finally found a practice area that interests me for the long term. But like I said I'm not going to write much more about that -- I'm just going to get organized to move on and find something to do that I can truly sink my teeth into and fully enjoy. (a side note -- it has only been a week since I lost my job, but one thing I've already gleaned from the experience is that I do want to have a fulfilling career outside the home -- this probably seems obvious to some, but it hasn't been obvious to me since Hank was born. I've been pretty confused, actually, about my professional role versus my personal role and this experience has helped me gain some clarity).

Big Sur

We took Hank on his first trip to Big Sur two weekends ago -- it was so fun to explore with him! We took him all over the coast -- down south to Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park (where Henry asked me to marry him lo those many years ago), north to Andrew Molera State Beach (where we hiked a couple of miles through coastal forest and chapparel to a windswept beach), to drinks and dinner at Nepenthe (where Hank handled the fine dining experience like a pro!), to lounging on the lawn at the Big Sur River Inn (where Hank waded in a river for the first time and devoured an entire banana without any help from either one of us). It was truly a lovely trip.


In other news, I had surgery last week to remove my gallbladder. I've been pretty sore, but I'm recovering smoothly. Today I feel like I felt worse than the day before, but tonight I'm feeling pretty good again. I can't do a whole lot for Hank yet and I won't be able to lift him for a few more weeks, but we are doing really well even with the changes in our routines. Henry has been a total champ, as have been my parents, and my moms' group friends have been an incredible support -- they've been bringing meals and will be helping out with Hank. We are truly blessed in the friends and family department.


Hank is walking! We've seen him go up to five steps before falling, and he's turned into a total pro at walking with assistance -- up until today we would walk behind him while holding both his hands above his head, but tonight he refused all but one finger's worth of assistance. We cannot believe it -- he's like a Real Boy now.

With each day that passes now I look at him and the teeny baby he once was seems further and further away, and I can't believe that there was a time that he wasn't even part of our lives. He's such a full-fledged little kid now -- with opinions and desires and undying curiosity. Everyday he's learning something new and testing his limits and boundaries in new ways. Obviously we encourage all of this heartilly, but I admit a little part of me misses those cuddly baby days when he would sleep for hours on my chest. But I wouldn't trade the Hank of Today with anything, because I know that tomorrow he'll be different yet again.

Ahhhhh, baby love.

Friday, September 19, 2008

I'm just a posting fool!

Do I have too much time on my hands, or just some extra energy? Not sure, but figure I may as well keep the blog up to date when I can, so here goes another post!

Hank had three cool 'firsts' this week. I already wrote about the haircut. Second, there was his first rock concert! We took him with us on Thursday night to see the Counting Crows play in Concord. We got lawn seats so it wouldn't be too loud, and Hank was able to crawl around and enjoy himself. It was really fun.

But the coolest 'first' this week was Hank's first steps! I wouldn't go as far as to say he's walking yet, but he will take a couple of steps without holding on to anything, or touching anything. It is really cool! The first time he did it I was sitting on the floor in the living room. He was pulling up on the glider, pushing it back and forth. He then pivoted towards me, raised his arms into the air, and then took two steps towards me, and -- plop!-- landed on his bottom. I was so delighted! Hank was grinning and giggling, like he knew he had done something really important. I swooped him up in my arms and gave him tons of kisses and an airplane ride to celebrate. Hooray for steps!

Overall, Hank has just been so much fun to be around these days. I can hardly get enough of him, I just want to snuggle him up and play and play. He's mostly been sleeping through the night again, but a couple of nights ago he needed me to sleep on his floor with him again, and I admit, I'd kind of missed it.

Love, love, love being a mama.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


I LOVE HAIRCUTS!!, originally uploaded by allthingssara.

So I posted something a few days ago about Hank needing a haircut. This time we decided we would not be doing it ourselves in the bath tub with the dull, safety scissors. Instead we took him to a Kids' barbershop. It was great! Henry sat in the barber's chair and held Hank. The hairdresser (!) wrapped Hank up in a smock, gave him a toy, and turned on a kiddie video, and then snip snip snip gave him a most excellent haircut! (this picture is from partway through the cut -- not quite finished). Hank was an excellent client -- he didn't cry at all or squirm too much, and the woman who cut his hair, well, let's just say I've never seen anyone move so fast with a pair of scissors and still have a pretty decent* haircut come as a result...

* I say pretty decent because she left it good and floppy like we'd asked, cut it very evenly, but poor Hank still wound up looking a little bit like one of the Three Stooges, which was my biggest fear. Sigh...

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Another Day Is Done

After a loooooooong couple of days, the details of which I don't really care to remember so I won't be chronicling them here, Henry ditched his Ruby-on-Rails programming meeting and we went for a family walk at sun down. It was so relaxing. Now we are home, the lights are down low, I'm having some dinner, and Henry is getting Hank down to bed. I can hear him singing softly to Hank 'home home on the range' and it is melting my heart.

I work with a lot of people whose families are in sheer turmoil, whose children are being pulled in so many directions it must make their heads spin. Some days are harder than others and on those days I try to take stock of the good in my life. Today I found myself drifting in my mind to My Happy Place, and there were Henry and Hank waiting for me. I was so delighted to see them both at the end of my day.

Today I am grateful to have a lot of love in my life.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Pointy hair

Pointy hair, originally uploaded by hjw3001.

Clearly it was getting to be time for a haircut....

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Rant ahead.

Dear Disaffected Hillary Voters....

....who are now planning to vote for McCain because of Sarah Palin:

Yes, you.

This is an open letter to you.

WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH YOU PEOPLE?? You are registered democrats! Many of you call yourselves feminists!! You stand for ideals and issues and positions on which she (not to mention McCain) stands on the complete opposite side!! Didn't you hear Hillary ask you at the DNC to THINK (yes, operative word here is THINK) why you had supported Hillary? Was is because she was Hillary and had a certain platform that you believed in? Or was it simply because she was a woman and that was what appealed to you and won your vote? Do you really think that she is interchangeable with Hillary? If it was because of the platform, you need to vote Obama. If it was because she is a woman, then that is some mixed up idea of feminism, because this is clearly the wrong woman to be voting for.

Put your brains back on, people.

edited to add a link to an Opinion piece from the LA Times that says what I've got on my mind so much more eloquently:,0,7541303.story

a quote from the above that sums up my disappointment:

"This isn't the first time a boss has picked an unqualified woman just because she agrees with him and opposes everything most other women want and need. Feminism has never been about getting a job for one woman. It's about making life more fair for women everywhere. It's not about a piece of the existing pie; there are too many of us for that. It's about baking a new pie.

"Selecting Sarah Palin, who was touted all summer by Rush Limbaugh, is no way to attract most women, including die-hard Clinton supporters. Palin shares nothing but a chromosome with Clinton. Her down-home, divisive and deceptive speech did nothing to cosmeticize a Republican convention that has more than twice as many male delegates as female, a presidential candidate who is owned and operated by the right wing and a platform that opposes pretty much everything Clinton's candidacy stood for -- and that Barack Obama's still does. To vote in protest for McCain/Palin would be like saying, "Somebody stole my shoes, so I'll amputate my legs."

I will take the last sentence of the quote above and take it one step farther -- in my mind, a woman who calls herself a feminist who actually votes for that ticket, is like a deer signing up to join the NRA. There are better ways to get women in the white house, and there are better candidates out there for women and for feminists, even if they are men.

Thank you, Gloria Steinem, for your eloquence and perspective! I am always happy we share an alma mater.

Dear Hank...

... GET TIRED AND GO TO SLEEP!!! It is 9 pm. It is way past bed time. In fact, it is pretty much my bed time. Yet you are still putt putting around your room, in jammies, in the dark, chit chatting like bed time is a foreign concept. Oh good. You just whimpered. I swear you were rubbing your eyes an hour ago... Oh thank goodness, you are rubbing your eyes again. Perhaps you will sleep soon.


PS: if we could avoid the late night/early morning slumber party tonight, that would be delightful. Smooches. Go to bed.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The month in photos...

I think this is my favorite photo of Hank from the last month. He looks happy like this almost all the time. We are so lucky. He laughs a lot, talks a lot, claps his hands all the time, is starting to wave hello and goodbye, and says 'Mama!' and 'Dada!' He can sign 'milk' and we are working on 'book', 'cat', 'more', and 'food'. He's very communicative and makes no qualms about telling us what he wants or what is on his mind.

Of course he's also become very mommy-centric this month, and he's started to exhibit some serious separation anxiety. So very often he does more than his fair share of screaming and crying (this is usually when he says 'mama, mama, mama, mama!!!!' over and over again). Actually, the first time he did this at a day care drop off, I was so surprised that he was upset that I was leaving that I stopped and looked at him and he crawled over to me, babbling and crying and tried to climb up my legs. I had to pry him off in order to leave. :( it was sad! The only way to temper this when we are at home (because he does it when he is on one side of his gate and I am on the other) has been to take a stab at babyproofing the living room. I'm sure it could be made safer, but for the time being it is ok. He loves to cruise around in here, and we got a long tunnel that he loves to go through. One of the best games these days is for me to go to one end, wait for him to start crawling towards me, and then I zip over to the other end so that when he gets to where he thinks I am waiting he finds that he has to turn around and come find me again. It must be a little infuriating for him, but it is funny as hell for us! Mean mommy....

Oh and all that sleep training I wrote about a month ago has gone out the window... between a cold that won't go away, the teething that never seems to end, and being on the brink of learning to walk, this kid just won't sleep these days. Life is far too exciting. Which means 4:30 am seems like a perfectly good and reasonable time to get up in the morning, which means we;ve had to spend a lot of wee hours trying to sleep on his floor while he putters around his room around us, and sometimes curls up next to us to nap.

The diaper pail, while perhaps not so hygenic, is a great place to hang out and pick up chicks... 'Hey, baby!'

I try not to get too political here on the blog, but I love this picture of my moms' group with all the babies dressed in their Obama onesies. I wish the quality were a little better, and that some people hadn't been cut out, but it is a pretty good picture of Hank and all his baby friends.

'What should I play with first???' Decisions, decisions...

This is a photo of Hank and Riley mere moments before Hank's first cat scratch. Poor baby! We felt terrible! But he bounced back quickly and just adores the cats. The cats are not so crazy about Hank. Hank is quick, though, and he chases them all over the living room. They can barely get out of his way.

Felt Rabbit

Felt Rabbit, originally uploaded by allthingssara.

I've been busy trying to make a cohesive look for my Etsy shop, RabbitPatch. This little guy isn't for sale yet, but he's become my little mascot -- he's all over my shop and I had business cards made up with him on them, too. He's made of felt, hand sewn, and stuffed with polyfill and bells. He's pretty cute!

Recently added to the shop is some stationary -- thank you notes and some blank notes as well. I've got more to list where those came from, if only I can find the time!

I've also been experimenting with bath and body products -- it was so fun! I made a few jars of body butter and some bath salts. They need some tweaking, but they are pretty good as is. I probably won't be trying to sell these, but I'm having a good time messing around with them.

Pinecrest Lake

Pinecrest Lake Trip, originally uploaded by allthingssara.

A few weeks ago we went to Pinecrest Lake with Melissa, Emmett, Tommy, and the twins. The Nolan family did the unthinkable -- camped for eight nights with a six year old and two three month olds! I am still in awe. We took the easy way out and stayed in a small cabin with a slanted floor and a sloping bed. But at least we had plumbing!

It was so nice to go to Pinecrest. Henry and I had ended up there for an afternoon by accident a couple of years ago, but other than that I really hadn't spent any time there since we used to go to the Lair of the Bear so many years ago. We loved being at the lake. Hank was a trooper -- went swimming with us and loved hanign out in his play tent on the beach. Also, he is officially Tommy's biggest fan. It was very cute watching Tommy crack up Hank for three days straight.

I think my favorite moment was when Henry and I were out in the lake with Hank in his little floaty boat and Hank just drifted off for a nap in him floaty boat as we floated him along the beach. It was irresistably cute.

Monday, August 18, 2008

First Sale!


I've sold something on Etsy! An order came in this afternoon for a sign for a little girl named Maisie. I can't wait to get Hank to bed tonight so I can get cranking on it.

I haven't been working much on my shop -- in that I have hardly been doing any promotion, so I am psyched to finally get a sale. It gives me more incentive to execute some of the ideas that have been floating around in my head; mainly several marketing things I've been thinking about but haven't done. I also need to take photographs of everything I've made in the last couple of weeks (Blankies!! Blocks!! Stuffed animals!!) and write some new listings. Very fun.

I've also been working on a recipe for baby lotion and baby powder. I learned how to make body butter a couple of weeks ago and got really fired up about bath products. I had no idea how simple it is to make safe, natural bath products. Since Hank was born I've been trying to get the pthalates out of our home, which is what inspired me to try making a couple of things myself. I was surprised by how interesting I've found the learning process.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Nine in, Nine out

Hank turned nine months old today! From here on out, he will be on the outside longer than he was on the inside. Nine in, nine out.

I've been giving a lot of thought to this concept of 'nine in, nine out' -- the idea that it takes nine months on the inside to create the baby, and nine months of 'extrogestation' on the outside to finish the baby off. I think nine in, nine out should also include the idea that it takes that second nine month period for the mom to feel like herself again and for the parents to really adjust to their new roles.

As far as I'm concerned, there was a moment about a week ago when I felt like I had finally really recovered from pregnancy. I realized that I finally feel like myself, physically; have the energy I used to have; and have a mental and emotional clarity that seemed to have been fogged over for quite a long time, between the stress of pregnancy and the sleep deprivation of motherhood. I feel like I don't need to panic or stress out or over analyze every thing that Hank is doing anymore -- instead I feel like whatever is going to happen, is whatever is going to happen, and we can handle things as they come. The constant changeability of parenthood seems to be less of a challenge to me now -- rather it just is our new normal, and the fact that the status quo around here constantly changes is, in and of itself, a consistency that I am finally comfortable with.

(well, I'm comfortable with it for now!)

As for the baby, well, in some ways it feels as though he really is fully cooked, now that he's been out for nine months, that he can stop being 'a baby' and start becoming a boy, a man. He seems in so many ways not a baby any longer, but a tiny human. And while I can look at him and recognize that he is the same baby that he was, he's almost unrecognizable at the same time. In the last couple of weeks he's clearly begun to express opinions, preferences, dislikes. He waves and asks for milk with sign language. He speaks to us in distinct syllables that reflect what he's feeling. 'Muh muh muh muh', when he's sad or anxious. 'Deh, deh, deet, deet, dah', when he's happy. 'Ba ba ba ba ba', when content and engrossed in something. 'Bwuh, bwuh, bwuh, bwuh', when he's crying. When he stands at his gate, or at his toy shelves, he sometimes shoots me a look as if to say 'uh, mom, you wanna give me some space, please?'. I'll often notice things have gotten too quite and I'll come in to find him sitting in front of his toy basket, removing each toy carefully, methodically inspecting each one, and setting them each aside.

We've been watching a lot of the Olympic coverage, and I've found myself surprised to be looking at these athletes, especially the males, and thinking of them as Someone's Son, and watching the parents in the stands looking on, and finding that I can sort of imagine how proud they must be of their kids. We feel such pride for Hank's tiny accomplishments like learning to 'clap hands!', that I get weak in the knees thinking how proud I am going to be of him at his bigger accomplishments in life, whatever they may be. Sky's the limit, kid. Right?


Some neighbors are going to come home tonight to find their cars have been totalled by some local punks who were driving (what we can only begin to guess was) a stolen car. This afternoon we heard a huge car crash. Henry dashed outside to take a look and by the time we got halfway down the block to where the crash had taken place, half the neighborhood was out trying to figure out what was going on. Several people said they saw three guys running up the street, away from the car, obviously trying to make a break for it. They had been driving their car up the street from the Lake, blew through the stop sign at our intersection, hit a bump in the road and spun out, doing a 180, and taking out a couple of cars parked on the street. One of them, and SUV, was somehow pushed up on to the sidewalk and partway into the yard of the house that we think is owned by the local catholic parish. Its back hatch had flown open and the front end was completely demolished. The stolen car looked like it had been totalled. The airbags went off and the back window was blown out. It was a total mess.

The cops came and sealed off our block because someone said that they saw the kids run off to the next street over, that one had a gun, and they were hiding in the bushes in front of another house. (This was my cue to take Hank back inside). Helicopters circled for a good hour.

Henry just went out to try to get some pictures, and said that the owner of the SUV was there, trying to clean up his stuff, and the cops were still out, and they said that they hadn't been able to find the car thieves.

Ahh, the excitement... when are we moving to the suburbs, again?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Baby Jail

Baby Jail, originally uploaded by hjw3001.

Hank was subject to a couple of new experiences over the weekend. First, we finally managed to purchase and install a proper baby gate! Hank has been none-too-happy about the gate. He hangs on to it, and whines, 'let me ooouut, let me ouuut, let me oooouut!', bangs toys against it, and generally does not appreciate being kept inside his nursery. The grass is always greener, kiddo!

Second, we went swimming! My little puppy is now also my little guppy. He's so super cute. He was kind of puzzled by swimming, but I can tell he's going to take to it. We just need to go a couple more times.

Nap time

Nap time, originally uploaded by hjw3001.

ahhhhh... snoozin' with my boy.

Hank about to get a trim

Hank about to get a trim, originally uploaded by hjw3001.

An obligatory baby in a bathtub photo. This was right before Hank's fateful haircut a few weeks ago.

Hank reading "The No Cry Sleep Solution" and ignoring it

Ah... sleep training... some days it seems to be working, others, not so much. We have managed to teach Hank to fall asleep without sucking on a bottle, and that is a big improvement. It means he's better able to return to sleep without our help in the middle of the night. But he's rarely all that hapy about being placed in his crib for bedtime before he's asleep, and most nights we have to endure up to an hour of whining and fussing and flat out refusal to sleep. Why fight it? Sleep is awesome!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Security Breach

Ok, well, not really... but sort of? Even though Hank has been crawling and creeping and cruising for two months we haven't gated off his 'room' yet, because the task of locating a long enough gate with a pass-through for us, that can be installed on a diagonal has just been too difficult to surmount. Instead we've used two large rubbermaid tubs of clothing to block the passageway. This has been working pretty well for the time being. Hank likes to pull up on the tubs, and practice standing, and roll things along the tops of the boxes, but lately he's been noticing that the tubs are keeping him in, and he's been wanting to bust out.

Fast forward to yesterday evening. I'm in the kitchen, which adjoins Hank's 'room' doing dishes before getting dinner together. Hank is in his room, banging on the tops of the tubs and talking. I hear a 'thud', a very common sound, so I just call out my reassurances and don't go check on Hank. Then things get pretty quiet and I think, 'that's odd...' I turn around and Hank is sitting on the floor in the center of the kitchen, looking up at me, grinning like an idiot, so very pleased with himself. I was so shocked to see him in our death-trap of a kitchen that I think I shrieked and immediately scooped him up and deposited him back in his room!

I was sure that he had managed to push the tubs away, and get out that way, but no... He had climbed right over them.

We are in serious trouble.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


So I've taken the plunge and I've opened a shop on where I'm hoping to sell things that I make for kids. So far I've listed custom signs for babies' rooms (like the name sign I made for Hank a few weeks ago) and one stuffed animal. I'm planning to add more softies, a toy I'm calling a spider (which will essentially be several ribbons anchored by a small felt rattle in the center -- great for tactile exploration), and whatever else comes to mind. There's a link to my shop on the right hand side of the page, here. Just scroll down a bit to find it, if you want to check out the shop!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Monthly Round Up!

I think I've hit a new record -- nearly a month without a post! Well, I've got some downtime this morning, plus today is Hank's 8th Month-iversary (8 months old at 1:49pm!) so there is no time like the present for a post. Right?

There have been so many things going on. Hopefully I can make a concise enough post that covers what Hank's been up to, lo these many weeks....


Hank is moving around like a maniac. He crawls -- LOVES to crawl! And he pulls up on everything, whether it is nailed down or not. He often gets up on his feet, stands all the way up, and then lets go of whatever was holding him up, and sometimes manages to stay standing for a few seconds before plopping on his behind. For several days when he was learning how to pull up he would fall over like a log and land on his head -- that sucked! I am much happier now that he has learned to land on him bottom (who would have thought that was something a person must learn? We're constantly amazed at everything Hank has to learn...).

My favorite part of Hank's new mobility is that he will crawl over to me on purpose and climb up into my lap for a quick snuggle. Melt! How much do I love this baby?

In the eating department, there is nothing this kid will not turn away, and he's getting more adventurous with each meal (or maybe his parents are just getting more adventurous with each meal? that is the more likely explanation.). In the last 48 hours Hank has sampled his first Indian, Mexican, and Thai foods, downed a huge dill pickle, enjoyed some grilled onions and fresh mozzerella, and a scrambled egg. He loves sitting in a high chair, and meals (in restaurants, especially) are highlights of his days. He loves to take the spoon away from us and shove it in his mouth himself, and his pincer grip skills are getting better by the day allowing us to give him more finger foods to experiment with. For the most part he only eats food that I made for him or that we are eating ourselves, and pretty much never gets any 'baby' food anymore. It is really amazing to watch!

Sleep has really been quite a mess the last several weeks. He was such a great sleeper at first, that we've been surprised. We decided to try crying-it-out, but that has just been so very sad to participate in. Some nights it seems to be working, in that bedtime takes less time, or he doesn't wake up for a feeding at 4 am, but the crying, the crying... it is heartbreaking to listen to. And to go in to his room to check on him, and to see him standing in his crib with his arms flung over the rail, howling and wailing and nearly asleep at the same time, and NOT BEING ABLE TO PICK HIM UP OR COMFORT HIM? It has really been horrible. We've been doing this for a week, now, and most nights I wind up in tears, too. Tonight we are going to start comforting him again, and hopefully undo some of the stress we've put him through. Poor baby -- he has no idea what's going on. We need sleep, but we need to find it a different way.

Other Happenings

  • Starting Daycare
Hank started going to daycare two days a week about four weeks ago. He took to it like a fish to water. I'm glad we didn't have to start daycare for him until he was seven months old. I really think that he was truly ready to start when we did, ready to play with other kids and be in a different environment during the day. His daycare provider is very sweet and really good at managing a bunch of tiny kids at once. Hank has clearly been happy there -- every day when I come to pick him up he's in the middle of something he doesn't want to stop doing. On the first day he was in a pile of little tiny boys, and they were all rolling around on top of each other, like a pile of puppies. He was having a ball.

Of course, even though he's having fun while he's there, it is still very hard for me to walk away every morning and go to work. I just miss him, so! Fortunately the daycare is very close to my office. I haven't needed to visit in the middle of the day, yet, but I am glad that if I ever need to do so it will be easy to do.

  • Haircut
Ok, Ok, so the grandmas will probably be happy to hear that we finally broke down and cut Hank's beautiful, beautiful, crazy hair last night. Sniff! Henry and I gave Hank a bath, and then Henry held onto Hank while I hacked off a few too-long locks with some extraordinarily dull safety scissors. I think I managed to salvage his rooster tail, but the sideburns are gone, and his bangs no longer touch the tip of his nose, rather they cut a crooked line across his forehead. Clearly I will not be going into business as a baby-hair dresser any time soon.... Hopefully it grows quickly. (and that people will stop asking me how old 'she' is).

Out and About

We've had some fun outings in the last couple of weeks. We've been the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco to take in the Chilhuly retrospective. The exhibit got panned in the Chronicle, but I loved it. Their reviewer doesn't seem to think this is art, but I think he is so incredibly wrong. No accounting for taste, I guess? Hank enjoyed the exhibit from a mei tai carrier on my back, and managed not to get close enough to anything to break it. (yikes)

This past weekend we somehow decided it would be a good idea to take a baby to the Crucible's Fire Arts Festival, a huge outdoor, late night, extravaganza of fire art. It was extremely loud and very crowded, yet somehow Hank slept through the entire thing. We saw some incredibly things, including giant tesla coils, and a fire tornado (made by aiming several huge shop fans at a flamethrower). We saw as much as we could, but we were all feeling pretty tired, and also pretty stressed about how Hank was handling the experience, so we packed it in early and went home to get the smell of butane and propane out of our systems.

I think that is it for now!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Hank with G'ma and G'pa Wagner

One more quick post to thank Henry and Maureen again for coming out for such a long chunk of time to hang out with Hank while my parents were away. We can't tell you how much we appreciated all this! And for Uncle Mike to come, too, was just the icing on the cake. Hank had a ball with you guys. Come back, come often!

Happy Hank!

Happy Hank!, originally uploaded by allthingssara.

Well, I've done it again -- I've let over two weeks slide by without an update to Hank's adoring fans... whoops! Where does the time go??

Thought I'd post a picture of Hank's lovely, gummy, smiley face, because I'm pretty sure that it is going to look a lot different soon. The teething drama that began when he was three and a half months old kicked it up a notch a few days ago and I swear I felt a corner of a tooth poking out from his top, center gums (I think it was the top, left tooth). We were trying to get him down to bed, and I was PMSing, and I just started bawling, squeezing Hank, not believing how fast time has been going by, just overcome with love for him, and a strong, strong wish to pause it all so we can just enjoy him just the way he is for a little bit longer.

I think the last time I posted I noted that he is just hitting developmental milestones like crazy, and that hasn't stopped. He's learning and discovering new skills left and right. It is constantly blowing all our minds. He mastered crawling, so now he's working on sitting and on picking toys out of his toybox himself. He eats everything he's offered, and likes it all. He reaches for me when he wants something from me, he recognizes the sound of my voice over the phone. He sits in his high chair at the table with us -- happy as a clam. Watching him discover his sense of self-determination is completely awesome. When we go to movies at the Cerrito for Baby Brigade he sits on the couch with us, like a little boy -- he hangs out and watches the movie (until he remembers he's a baby and wants to climb us/be held/have a baba/conk out for a nappy-nap). Both Henry and I look at him now and can really picture what he's going to be like as a toddler, and as a little boy, and it is almost too exciting to think that we created -- we MADE -- this funny, smart, teeny weeny person.

Last week the grandmas were lobbying hard for Hank to have his first hair cut. Ok, so, whatever, he kind of looks like a little hippie, and some people have started to mistake him for a girl, but whatever... We almost caved to the pressure, but when I realized that Henry didn't want Hank's hair to be cut yet, either, we put our collective foot down. No haircut. Not yet. That crazy hair is way too cute.

Now that Hank's a little more self sufficient I've been getting crafty again, and it has been so fun. One of my projects got noticed on Flickr and a crafty blogger linked to it. That was so rad! I couldn't figure out why so many people had looked at this one picture, and where all the comments were coming from, then I figured out that the picture had been linked on a blog as something the blogger had seen and really liked. I was really flattered, and it gave me the incentive I've been needing for a while to start the process of opening an etsy shop to sell different things I make. I know, I know... in all my spare time, right? Well, I figure it will give me some incentive to make time for myself to do creative things, which I've really been needing to do. I'm also really excited about the prospects. I have no idea if it will be a success or a bust, but it should be fun, no matter what, and in any event I might learn a thing or two, which is never a bad thing.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Best Outfit Ever

IMG_9748, originally uploaded by hjw3001.

I knew eventually SOMEthing would happen that would make me post to the blog again! Not that things haven't been interesting lately -- because lordy they have been, but they have also been extraordinarily exhausting. So much so that I can barely respond to an email, let alone post to the blog. Hank is a veritable Font of Development these days, and we are still really lacking in the Sleeping All Night Department. But when Henry emailed this picture to me just now of Hank all ready to leave for a trip to the zoo with Henry, his parents, and his brother, I said -- now there's something that needs to be shared with the masses.

In other news, Hank has been sitting in highchairs and crawling! His babble now includes the syllable 'da', which he repeats over and over again. Henry likes to say to Hank, 'Hank! Who's your favorite parent?' and then wait for Hank to respond, 'Da! Da!' Last night I swear he added 'ma' to the repertoire as well.

My parents went out of town about a week ago, and Henry's family flew in to pick up where they left off -- so sweet that they would come so far just to let us delay daycare another couple of weeks. We've had a devil of a time finding daycare, but I think we've finally found a good spot for Hank. And conveniently it is a few blocks from my office.

Anyway, that is it for now...

Thursday, May 15, 2008

102 degrees...

.... in Oakland... 'nuff said. Hot mama, hot baby, hot daddy, hot cats..... dreamed last night of freak snowstorm -- everyone was deliriously happy.... Now we are just delirious, but it is from the heat.


Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Six Month-iversary

Dear Little Hank --

In exactly twenty minutes you will be exactly six months old. Where has the time gone, little puppy? It has really been flying by, probably because we've been having so much fun. These days you are working so very hard to crawl. This had you really frustrated for a couple of weeks, but then you realized that you could simply roll from place to place to get to wherever you wanted to go. I've seen you do this now to get to certain toys, to tip over your wagon (and spill all the toys it holds onto the floor), to get closer to your bottle, and to just get from one place to another. You always looks so proud and happy with yourself when you manage to snag whatever it is you've been trying to reach. You have recently become a big fan of toys on wheels.

You sit up in your little red seat pretty well, now, and eat tons of different fruits and vegetables. A few days ago I gave you a sippy cup of water for the first time. I wasn't sure what you would think of that, but you seemed to really enjoy it -- you grab the cup and instinctively know it is something to drink from. I had heard stories of babies choking on water or refusing it all together, but not you -- you seem to be slurping quite a bit of it up these days, and you grin while you do it. You barely need my help.

You are such a smiley, vocal baby these days. You constantly make happy, high pitched shrieks. Each time you start on a "conversation" I find myself wishing I had a tape recorder running, because your "vocabulary" is constantly changing, and I hate to think that someday I won't remember all your wonderful baby sounds.

Your daddy and I love you so, so, very much, Hank. We don't know where we would be without you, and can't imagine life without you. In six more months you'll be a whole year old! I marvel that we've gotten this far, and am delighted that things just keep getting better.

Lots and Lots of Love and Smooches,

Friday, May 9, 2008

Worth the Wait

Worth the Wait, originally uploaded by allthingssara.

My birthday present from Henry finally arrived! All the way from Hawaii! She's totally kitschy and wonderful and her hips even sway back and forth. I love her. Thank you, Henry! You are the Wag to my Mond. XOXOXOX

There are so many nice things on my mind tonight. Hank just continues to open up -- everyday he is more and more vocal, and constantly pushing his boundaries, working on new skills. It is so exciting to be a part of it all. He's been working so hard at crawling, but he can't quite get there yet. Soon, soon! He can get his behind up in the air, and can get into the cat-cow position from yoga. It is just a matter of time. He has figured out that he can roll from Point A to Point B, but at the same time I can tell by looking at him that he knows there's a better way to get there.

We are just really having a good time. We had about a week and a half there where none of us were sleeping well, and that made for a stressed out little family. But we did some sleep training with Hank -- just some 'check and console' type stuff, and that really seemed to make the difference. Of course, now that I've put that thought down in writing it will probably all go straight to hell again, but I'm going to stay positive! But we're all feeling pretty good again, I think.

So many nice things on my mind tonight...

  • We had a group hug this morning, with Hank in the middle in a baby carrier. Henry kissed Hank on the head and said, 'Hank, will you be the meat in our family sandwich?' Totally sweet and cute, but of course begged the question -- if Hank were a sandwich meat, which kind would he be? Turkey? Olive loaf? Roast beef?
  • Hank had his first visit to Fairyland today. We went with my friend Molly and her three little boys, and my friend Carol and her little baby boy. It was so fun to go back to Fairlyland for the first time since I was a kid! Hank was too young for it, but I felt like a kid in a candy store. Pretty much nothing about the place had changed, and every time I turned my head I was seeing something else that took me right down memory lane. It was totally, totally rad.
  • Another first today, Hank had his first encounter with a bug! I was changing his diaper in his stroller (which makes an excellent changing table, by the way -- if anyone is vacillating between getting a stroller that reclines over one that doesn't, get the one that reclines, if nothing else so that you can use it as a changing table when none other is available). We were under a tree and a caterpillar fell out of the tree and was ooching its way towards Hank in the stroller. I put the caterpillar on my finger and showed it to Hank, who was completely mesmerized by it. Awesome!
  • Solid foods continue to be a hit. This afternoon when Hank was getting his butternut squash, between each bite he would stick his tongue out as far as it goes and grin like an idiot.
  • Hank is all about the raspberries these days. He blows raspberries constantly.
  • Hank's got his first pair of actual shoes! They are so little and the first time he wore them he seemed to really like them. All I could think was 'wow, now you look like a Real Boy!' I got them so that when he uses the walker at my parents' house he doesn't rip up his socks or toes. He cruises all over the house and backyard in that thing, and has actually walked up to me in it, on purpose. We are going to be in so much trouble...
  • When I went to feed Hank in the middle of the night last night, by the time I got to him he had stopped crying. I thought, 'great, he found his pacifier!' Nope, he had found his tiny stuffed elephant and was contentedly sucking on the elephant's trunk. It was super cute.

I guess that is it for the moment. Hank is snoozing and Henry is off to train club so I've got the place to myself. Sweet!