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Some how I've blinked and 3 1/2 months have past. I've been busy, like insanely busy. Through word of mouth my design business is taking off. I used to have 1 main client, and now I have 4 all doing a good amount of business with me each month. Plus the smaller projects that come in. So my days are get up, eat breakfast, turn Fiona loose for an hour while I work, go to some type of play group or playdate, eat lunch, work a few hours while Fiona naps (thats right I said Fiona, naps and hours in the same sentence! She finally naps). Work some more while Fiona entertains herself (normally while trashing her room in the process), walk the dogs, do dinner, bath, bed, and then work a few more hours. Oi! If I'm lucky my day ends around 1am. Add to the mix that we are in the middle of short selling our house and buying a house in Austin, TX. So that means I'm also packing when I have free time. Like I said; insanely busy!

But I've also never been happier. I'm doing work that I enjoy. I like having my own clients and being able to manage my own schedule. Plus I'm with Fiona. We go to play groups, hang out, and I try to spend a few minutes with her whenever I get the chance. Sometimes she sits on my lap and plays on her laptop while I work on mine. She brings me books to read to her, and brings me toys.

I can't believe how much Fiona has grown in the last few months. At her 15 months appointment she was in the 96th percentile for height! And she talks and does things that just amazes me.
I've lost track of how many words she says, my guess is at least 60+. She seems to learn a new word every day and has even started stringing words together. Today's word that she learned was "backpack". On halloween she learned to say trick or treat (twick tweet) and thank you. Speaking of Halloween, how stinking cute was she???

She loves animals of all kinds and normally shrieks with glee when she see's them. She can say; dog, cat, fish, cow, pig, duck and goat. She is working on turtle and bird. I try to take her to zoo's, and farms so that she can see all the different animals.

She likes reading to herself, I will often find her in her room giggling over some book. And she pulls books into her crib, and we can sometimes hear her reading to herself (and by reading, I mean pointing at pictures and saying what things are. So we often hear "ball", "go go", or "hat", depending on what book she has)

She is also stubborn and independent. She doesn't like us to help her with things. She wants to push the stroller, carry the basket at the store and often gets really frustrated when she can't do something.

Its amazing watching her grow, but its going by so fast!

I mentioned above that we bought a house and are moving to Austin, TX. We've been talking about moving for years and it is finally happening. We found a great house, its HUGE, in a good neighborhood and close to good schools. Its in South Austin only 15 minutes from downtown. I'm really looking forward to the move. I however am really going to miss my friends. I finally met women at playgroups that I like and we hang out, and our kids are all close in age. I'm going to miss the things we have been doing for years. I'm going to miss my favorite restaurants, and favorite stores. I'm going to miss my book club. There are so many things I am going to miss. But I know that financially this is the best thing for our family. And I'm looking forward to meeting new people and making new friends. Luckily with mark's job being here still he will have to come out once a month. I'm sure we will tag along on some of those trips so that we can see everyone.

This weekend is Penelope's birthday, she would have been 3. I often get sad when I see Fiona play with little girls who are around that age. I wonder what their relationship would have been like. We will do what we have done every year for her birthday and head up to the summit (another thing I will miss).

I will attempt to update more, but it depends on my schedule. Right now I'm suppose to be working, but since its friday night no one is waiting for the file first thing in the morning.
15th-Jul-2010 01:15 pm - First Birthday
I can't believe that Fiona is 1 years old! I year ago Fiona made a rather dramatic entrance, and weighed in at 4lbs 14oz. A year later she is a walking, talking toddler.

Fiona took her first steps 10 days ago, and its been an adventure since! She still prefers to crawl but she does walk around a little bit. She also is talking a little bit, she says Mommy and Daddy plus doggy, shoe and tree (and yellow occasionally).

We had Fiona's birthday party last weekend. It was a fabulous celebration of Fiona, alot of her friends came as well as alot of people that have been there cheering Fiona on since the beginning. It was a great way to celebrate Fiona turning 1.

I'm looking forward to the next year, Fiona is becoming a little girl over the next year she will grow, walk, talk and experience so many things for the first time (this week alone she got to go to her first movie and on her first bike ride).
8th-Jul-2010 02:34 pm - Almost a year
Its hard to believe that last year at this time I was in the hospital with preterm labor. At that time I was facing spending a month sitting in the hospital to get to 36 weeks. Fiona had other plans and I was only there 10 days. The other night Mark and I were discussing how different everything was a year ago. For me I was physically uncomfortable with all the different drugs they were using to stop my labor, and I was bored sitting on my ass all day just waiting. For Mark it was incredibly stressful, his wife was in the hospital and there was a chance that Fiona could come early and there could be complications. And (I just learned this recently) that my doctor called Mark to discuss the possible complications...not just with Fiona but with me as well. My heart had a hard time on the first medication and it caused my blood pressure to dip and I passed out. My blood pressure remained too low so they had to switch me to magnesium. There are other drugs out available too stop preterm labor, but with my heart problems they weren't an option. My doctor prefers to prepare her patients for the worst, on one hand its scary, on the other I was very prepared and knew what the plan was when I started bleeding. So back to the phone call that Mark received, my doctor wanted Mark to be prepared so she wanted to discuss the possible complications. Fiona was at 32 weeks there was an excellent chance that she would be fine. I on the otherhand would be facing an emergency c-section and they had no way of knowing how my heart would react. She needed Mark to know that she would do everything she could to ensure that we were both fine but that if it came down to it she needed Mark to be prepared to make a choice; Fiona or Me. No wonder Mark was under so much stress, I had no idea about the phone call. Mark and I have briefly discussed child #3, but he said he wasn't ready. No wonder he isnt ready, he went through alot with the birth of Fiona.
14th-Jun-2010 04:22 pm(no subject)
What I have an 11 month old??? She is such a big girl! Sometimes I will see her sleeping in her crib or catch a glimpse of her in my rear view mirror and wonder where my baby went. She is becoming a little girl.

She is on the verge of walking. She will take a step and then drop to her knees or her butt and take off in a crawl. She points at EVERYTHING, and we occasionally get something that sounds like a word. She is pretty good at saying doggie and toy, every once in awhile she will say banana, and a few times she has said yellow. Mostly we get lots of pointing and gibberish.

I can't believe how much she has grown in the last month. It was hard being away from her for the 9 1/2 days that I worked WWDC, but it was also nice to have a break. Since I couldn't get Fiona to take formula, I had no reserves of milk in the freezer so my mom brought Fiona by everyday for me to feed her (she eats at 2pm and 8pm). I felt bad about having my mom bring her by everyday, but I loved having the chance to see her for 15 minutes. WWDC is long hours, between 10-14 hours a day so some nights we would get back after bedtime so the only time I got to spend with Fiona was the time I spent feeding her.

Party planning is in full swing, its hard to believe that in a month I'm going to have a 1 year old. I've waited a really long time for this!
8th-Jun-2010 08:49 am - Self soothing
For the last few weeks we have been going back and forth to doctors trying to figure out what was going on with Fiona. When we put her down she would constantly grab her tummy and cry. She would curl up and then straighten while grabbing her tummy. Her pediatrician was worried that she was having infantile spasms, which is basically baby epilepsy. It was kinda scary, but after reading about infantile spasms I was certain that was not what she was doing. We made an appointment with a pediatric neurologist and waited. It was going to be a month, but her pediatrician was concerned so he called the neurologist to see if we could get a sooner appointment. A week later we were able to be seen at 7:30 in the morning, before they normally open the office. Lucky for us Fiona woke up really early that day and was tired when we got to the dr office (which is when she does the tummy grab thing most). So she started curling up in Mark's arm and grabbing her tummy. The doctor watched her for a few minutes and then assured us that it was NOT infantile spasms. It is just a self soothing mechanism, that is often confused with infantile spams. He gave us some literature to read, and then said he would schedule a EEG just in case and because of Fiona's history. He was really impressed with how well Fiona is doing since she was a 32 weeker. He said she is advanced for her age, and was surprised that she was a preemie.

Her EEG is scheduled for the 19th, and it is not going to be a fun day. They want her tired for the appointment so the instructions are to put her to bed at 10pm, and then wake her up at 4am. And then they want us to keep her awake until her appointment at 1:30pm. Can we say tired, cranky baby?
31st-May-2010 11:20 pm - # 28 - Making Cheese
Lots has been going on lately. I've been busy with work, and poor Fiona has been having some issues. She keeps grabbing her tummy and curling up. We have no idea what is going on, and are working with her pediatrician to try to figure it out.

Amidst all the craziness a friend and I took a cheese class (# 28). So much fun! I'm hoping to make my own marscapone cheese to use as frosting for Fiona's first birthday cupcakes.

We took the class at Sur La Table, it was the first time I've taken a class there. The class structure is a little weird, its hands on, but not everybody gets to make something. I helped measure fore the marscapone, and rolled the mozzarella, and I made butter. I would have liked to have made more of the cheeses, but there is only 4 burners and 16 people in the class.

The instructor, Peter.

Making the mozzarella. Fresh mozzerella is sooooo good!

The butter I made!

The ricotta draining.

I would loved to have taken more photos. But one of the others students got all pissy that I had a large camera. She didn't care that other people had point and shoots, but for some reason my camera bothered her. I even tried staying on the opposite side of the room of her. But she complained and one of the assistants asked if I would mind putting my camera away. I was a little irritated but whatever.

I still had fun taking the class, and I was surprised how easy it was to make cheese. I look forward to making it in the future.
19th-May-2010 09:17 am - # 73
Since LA no longer has a tofu festival, and I haven't heard of any other tofu festivals, I am substituting tofu festival for tofu tasting and factory tour. So here is #73

My old room mate sent me a message a few weeks ago asking if I wanted to go tofu tasting... did I? What a silly question, of course I did! So last week we headed up to Hodo Tofu in Oakland for a Tofu Tasting and factory tour.

The tasting was pretty cool, I think there was 7 or 8 different tofu's to taste. Some were firm, or extra firm, some were marinated, and there was yuba the skin, plus fresh soy milk. They are available at farmers market and I would highly recommend the yuba and the tofu nuggets.

The factory tour part was kinda lame. They whipped back a curtain that covered a window and that was the tour. You couldn't see the whole process. The only thing you could easily see was how the yuba was made. The owner did come up to the window and wave at Fiona.
17th-May-2010 02:34 pm - 10 months
Fiona turned 10 months old on saturday, how did that happen? She is much more a little girl and less babyish. She wants so badly to be independent and will push things away that she doesn't want. She also drops food over the edge of her high chair when she is done with it... the dogs are thrilled!

She is still crawling all over the place and has discovered that she can climb things. She can crawl up stairs and climb on things at the playground. She also crawls over things instead of going around. Dog in the middle of the room? No problem she will just try to climb over the dog.

She loves to make noise, whether its seeing how loud she can talk or by banging things together. And she still likes to play with non toys. One of her favorite toys is a rubber spatula. The box of diapers that was delivered the other day is also a fun toy to bang on (even better if it is with her spatula).

She is still a terrible sleeper. She normally sleeps from 10ish until 2am and then is awake. And yes we put her down LONG before 10pm, she just fights going to sleep for a very long time. This week is dedicated to getting her to nap better. I have a bunch of work over the next few weeks and I NEED her to nap better.

Mark and I started planning Fiona's first birthday, I am sooo excited that we have a child turning 1! Its going to be rockstar themed, we even booked a band :) We are waiting to hear back from the band which day is better and then I can finish up the invites.

Okay, I can only ignore the crying for so long. I'm off to tell Fiona that it is okay and to try to get her to take a nap.
12th-May-2010 12:09 am - reflecting on Penelope
Tomorrow we are going to a funeral for a friend of ours baby.

The baby was born in early March at 30 weeks. They named him Apollo. He spent 8 weeks in the NICU before they sent him home. Since we are the parents of a preemie they often turned to Mark discuss progress or just for support (Mark is coworkers with the father). Everytime I visited Mark's work I would ask how Apollo was doing and eagerly listened to his progress. Then last week there was a problem, they rushed Apollo to the ER, but he didn't make it. Tomorrow we will support our friends as they bury their child.

We know how hard that is, to say goodbye long before you should have to. Thinking about the funeral tomorrow made me go back and read all the posts I've written about Penelope. I miss my daughter and I've been crying for the last half hour. I feel terrible that other people we know have to go through this.

Penelope and Apollo know that you are loved even though you aren't here!
11th-May-2010 11:00 pm - Mother's Day
Finally I got to celebrate Mother's Day with a living child. I got to snuggle her and spend the day be glad that I was her mother. Its also a bitter sweet day because its a reminder that only one of my daughters are here with me, but it makes me appreciate Fiona even more. Even when she is crying or refusing to sleep I still love her and am happy.

Mark and Fiona totally spoiled me. Fiona helped pick out cupcakes for me, and they got me a cheese class that I've been really wanting to take. Mark also got me a new lens for my camera. Plus we went to lunch and drove up to the summit so that I could be with both my girls. When I was in the hospital before Fiona was born I would joke that Fiona would owe me big time for being in labor with her for TEN days, I think this almost makes up for it :)

This is my 3rd mother's day, but this was by far my happiest.
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