24 June 2009

Riddle Me This:

Take a 2 month old baby girl swaddled in her Miracle Blanket and placed lovingly in her crib, add in a few grunts and groans, and multiply that by about 5 hours of sleep and what do you get? That same 2 month old baby girl still swaddled in her Miracle Blanket rotated 180 degrees in her crib.

She started out like this:





And ended up like this:



I seriously want to get a video camera installed in her room so I can do a time lapse of her during her nighttime sleep. And, yeah, you read that correctly - 5 hours of sleep. Starting the night before her 2 month birthday and lasting five days, Olivia slept for 8+ hours straight. I was REALLY starting to get used to it. But, for the last 3 nights, she's back to her old ways. Our unpredictable baby girl...

Speaking of mathematical equations, I am trying to figure out how to best pack up Olivia and all of her necessities, me and David and our belongings, the car seat and base, and 2 suitcases of show materials for our trip to DC/Baltimore tomorrow. Please say a little prayer for us (and the other passengers of the planes) that Olivia does well. My boobs may turn into hamburger meat before we get there because that just may be her pacifier for the ENTIRE. EIGHT. HOURS!






20 June 2009

What is This, Memory Lane? I Think I'll Take a Stroll...


In honor of Father's Day, I thought I would share a few of my favorite memories of a very special man I like to call Dad. I know, I know, there's a new father in our household, and maybe if he's lucky, he'll get a little blog tomorrow (or the next day...or sometime thereafter, but if you check out my archives, you can see that he gets blogged about quite a bit.) No, this day, I'm going to honor someone who has been a father for 35 years (sorry Ryan) and has gotten to be pretty darn good at it.

I've been thinking about writing this out for awhile now and was trying to figure out the best method. Do I blog chronologically? Do I go by theme? So, there isn't really going to be much method to my madness. (And, come on, I just had a baby, so don't expect Hemingway over here.)


There is one constant that always comes to mind when I think of my dad....our relationship with sports. From an early age, my dad had me involved in a variety of athletic activities. I can remember him taking me to swim lessons at the Mennen's pool on National Road in Columbus. He had me playing softball for Tom's Antennae out at County Stadium every Thursday night during the summers. He and I spent countless hours in our backyard playing pitch and catch. We had the whole backyard setup as a softball diamond and I remember always wondering if it really would have been a homerun when my swing would send one over our fence. I played basketball in elementary school because of my father's urging. I wasn't very good at it and by the time junior high rolled around, I was good enough to be the manager of the team that he coached. It was about that time that Dad started getting me involved in golf. Through high school, my dad was my personal coach and my biggest supporter. He carted me from one lesson to another and worked with me constantly to improve my game. I never had to work during the summers as long as I was out on the golf course practicing each day. (Rough life, I know.) Throughout my entire high school career, my parents only missed ONE of my meets because they were on vacation. (I came in 2nd at that summer tournament, but who's bragging?) To this day, you can ask my dad about any of my golf meets and there's a very high possibility that he can tell you who I played with, what I shot, and very probably, give you a play by play for each hole. After high school, I got a little burnt out on golf and sold my clubs. A few years later, I got the itch again and within a couple days of me telling my dad that, he had a new set of clubs for me. Even though I don't have the time these days to play, I will always love the game, and probably the biggest reason is because it reminds me of the times I spent with my dad.

Most kids when they are growing up go through a phase where they can't stand their parents or they are embarrassed by their mom and dad. I don't ever recall feeling that way. I was always proud to tell people who my parents were. My dad taught Industrial Technology at one of the middle schools in Columbus and coached several different sports at the junior high and high school. Everybody loves him. So, it was always with a sense of pride that I could say, "Yeah, I'm a Cooper...Jack's my dad." When I was in 7th grade, we worked the schedule so that I could have my dad as a teacher. Again, I think most kids might not want that. My dad and I agreed before class started that we wouldn't make an issue of me being his daughter...if someone asked, we'd be honest, but we weren't going to introduce it on the first day or anything. Well, my dad, not trying to show any favoritism or anything, asked ME to pass out some papers that first day of school. One of the male students said to me, "Thanks babe," to which I replied in my most feminist voice, "What did you just call me?" And, he repeated it again. So, I turned to "Mr. Cooper" and said, "DDAAAADDD!!! HE JUST CALLED ME BABE!" The whole class just stopped and stared in disbelief! But, I never really got any special treatment from him. (Did I, Matt Dingledy?) I loved riding to school with him in the mornings. I would sit at his desk and play teacher before school started and it was the highlight of my day to be able to write the announcements and schedule up on his chalkboard.

After college, I lived with my parents for a few years and taught at an elementary school in Columbus. Most people would HATE living with their parents at that age, but I LOVED it. I probably would have lived with them longer if they lived in a more "happening" city. And, no, I'm not ashamed to say that...my parents are pretty cool people to hang out with. But, when I made my move to Indianapolis, my dad gratefully helped me pack and helped me move. When I left one apartment for another, guess who came up to help me load and unload the truck? And, he did it again, and again....without complaining. On one of my last moves before coming out to California, I sprained my ankle by clumsily falling down the stairs. I didn't realize it was sprained until the following morning when I could only CRAWL. I called my dad who said, "Well, did you ice it, dummy?" Um, no I hadn't. My parents immediately left their house and came to pick me up in my apartment to take me to the doctor. Unfortunately, I lived on the 2nd floor and having the two of them on either side of me just wasn't working to get me down the stairs. So, what did my dad do? He used his super human strength to PICK ME UP and CARRY ME down the two flights of stairs and into the car. How he didn't break his back is beyond me. But, it is proof that he would do just about anything for me.

My dad is my go-to person when it comes to making things and fixing mistakes. Dad, can you make me a corn-hole set? Sure thing. How about a birthing stool? Sure would if I had the tools. Hey, can you clean my windows and window screens while you are out for a visit? I can and I did. Do you mind fixing our sprinkler system - we are watering dead plants!? Well, I just had outpatient surgery for my bladder stone, but no problem. There, I saved you $300 a month. Um, I need these pictures and shelves hung up in Olivia's room, do you mind? Where's the level, I'll have them done in no time.

My dad has so many wonderful qualities that make it easy for not only me, but other people to absolutely adore him. For starters, he wears his heart on his sleeve. Seriously, my dad has probably been crying since the title of this blog. He is a sap when it comes to his family and the people he cares about. My mom and I always get worked up whenever he has to give a speech about us or one of his golfers because he gets choked up really easily. He has also never met a stranger. My dad could make friends with just about anyone. I STILL have people from the wedding saying to me, "Your dad is so cool. We would love to hang out with him again." We don't know what might come out of his mouth during a conversation - care to hear details of the outpatient surgery? - but he'll be down to have a chat with just about anyone. And, while we are on the subject of talking, he's a pretty good listener too. When David needs to vent, he sometimes does it to my dad. He's really good at knowing when to keep his mouth shut and when to step in with some advice. (If only he was good at doing that with Mom...) It is so amazing to see the relationship that he and David have now. I love watching them together - talking, shooting guns, playing golf, harassing me! He treats David as a son, and I don't think there is much more that I could ask for. And, as I mentioned earlier, my dad would give you the shirt off his back if you asked him to. He is especially a softy when it comes to me. When my parents were here after Olivia was born, I had a hard time dealing with the fact that, yes, they were going to leave to go back home at some point. They decided that Wednesday morning, after 16 days of being here, would be the day for them to leave. Well, Tuesday night, I had a little breakdown and begged them to stay one more night. I got the infamous stare with the beady eyes from my father that told me he meant business as he sternly said to me, "One more night, but when we leave on Thursday I don't want to see any tears!" And, he didn't. Well, at least not from me.

Now that I am grown-up, (Come on, are we ever really "grown up"?) and I have a daughter of my own (I have a daughter!!!), it is SO amazing to see him with her. His face just lights up when he is around her or even sees pictures of her. The day she was born, I swear he filled his phone with pictures of her and had probably sent messages to half of Columbus. Even before she was born, Dad was broadcasting the news all across town.



When we were in San Diego over Memorial Day, I needed to get in the shower while Dave was at the hotel gym. I called my mom to see if she could come watch Olivia for a little bit, but she was in the middle of getting ready too. Without missing a beat, Dad was over in the room ready to hang out with her. While they were out here, he went with me to every one of her doctor's appointments and carried her car seat even though he was in an enormous amount of pain. There's one he can hold over her head when she's older!


I am so fortunate to have such a wonderful relationship with both of my parents. I am able to look back at my childhood and pick from a plethora of special moments with each of them. I am forever grateful for all of the things that my father has done for me and I know that no matter how old I get (or how I may be replaced by my children), I will always be Daddy's little girl.




19 June 2009

Only Slightly Less Impressive Than My Olivia Videos

Someday in the not so distant future (I hope), I will do a non-Olivia related blog about my love for the Dave Matthews Band (and more specifically, Dave Matthews himself). In the meantime, whet your appetite with this little ditty. (No, I didn't make the video.)



The real video is actually pretty cool as well. It's just as whackadoodle as Dave himself, and I read a quote somewhere that he did it one take. You can see the video by following this link.

Okay, I have edited this a couple times because Olivia is sleeping, Dave is watching a dvd called "Rome: Engineering and Empire" and I'm on a Dave Matthews kick. #40 is one of my favorite unreleased songs (okay when I say "one of", I mean one of about 15 favorite unreleased songs) and Long Black Veil is a song that my friend Tara and I were OBSESSED with in college. So, enjoy this video. And, if you still haven't had enough (I know I haven't), you can check out more videos on Hulu.



18 June 2009

Happy (Belated) Two Month Birthday, Olivia

Happy Birthday, Olivia! Unfortunately, her day came and went without balloons, cake or party hats, but she was showered with extra love and attention and lots of birthday wishes. I know I said this last month, but it's so crazy as to how much she has changed and how quickly time has passed. Each day, I marvel at how much older she looks and I wonder how it's possible for me to love her more than I already do.

Not that she wasn't a great baby when she is born, but she just gets better every day. She smiles more, is "talking" with us, is more alert when she is awake and is even sleeping better. For the past two nights she has slept for over 8 hours!

As a small celebration of her 2 months in existence, the following is a little montage of her life thus far. And, because I wanted a ton of Stevie Wonder's music at our wedding and I didn't get it...he is accompanying the montage.

16 June 2009

Picture Pages, Picture Pages, Lots of Fun with Picture Pages

I know I haven't blogged in a few days...life in the Michelson camp is as busy as ever. We went up to Palo Alto at the end of last week for an installation at Stanford and have spent the days since then working on plans for the upcoming installations/work trips. Oh yeah, that, and we've apparently been feeding our daughter fertilizer because she is growing like crazy. I look back at her newborn pictures and it's insane to see how much she has changed!

Dinner is on the stove and Olivia is waking up, so no more words, but here are some pictures of Olivia. (I know that's why you check the site anyway!)







08 June 2009

This Totally Makes Up For the Lack of Sleep

Yesterday morning when Olivia woke up , I went into the crib to get her and as soon as she saw me she gave me THE BIGGEST SMILE. I'm no dummy, this morning I grabbed the video camera before getting her. The smile took a little longer to show up, but it was there nonetheless.

(Please do your best to ignore my voice...just focus your attention on the pretty baby!)



My friend Cole had emailed me when Olivia was first born and was asking me how the middle of the night feedings were going. She went on to say that those were her favorites with her little boy Olin. I thought she was insane, but I now totally agree. I miss her so much when she is sleeping and it's such a joy to be the first one she sees when she wakes up.

And, this post is dedicated to my Aunt Patty who was sick of seeing the poop pictures from the last post, to my friend Amy Culley who got us the Miracle Blanket before we even knew that Olivia was a girl and has allowed me to get between 5 and 6 hours of uninterrupted sleep, and to my brother who got us the video camera! Thanks!

03 June 2009

A Little Something I Like to Call a Shit Storm

WARNING: THIS POST CONTAINS THE WORD SHIT AND TALES OF POOP. NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART!

Some of you may remember this post I did about cloth versus disposable diapers before my ever-pooping daughter was born. I got some comments about being insane, and I'm beginning to think those people might have been right. I decided that I wouldn't start doing the cloth diapers until Olivia was about 4 weeks old, and fortunately we were travelling around that time, so I waited until this week to start. We had purchased three Fuzzi Bunz diapers to try out (instead of purchasing a ton of them and then possibly realizing that it wasn't something we would want to continue). On Monday, I put Olivia in the first cloth diaper. Aside from the fact that her bum looks quite large in them, I thought she looked pretty stinkin' cute in it. And, lo and behold, my daughter peed in the diapers and, hey, it wasn't a difficult thing to clean up! In fact, I was pretty impressed with the diaper because it didn't feel wet inside. I started thinking, "You know, this probably feels much better on her skin than those nasty ol' disposables*." So, I decided to push my luck and put another cloth one on her. And, guess what? Same thing. Just a pee diaper...so so soooo easy to clean up!


I told you she looked cute in them!

I decided that her nighttime diaper should be a disposable because the last thing I wanted to be doing at 3 in the morning in dim lighting was figuring out where to store the poopy cloth diaper. And then the next morning, I realized we hadn't had a poopy diaper in a few changes, so better to keep the disposable ones going.

Cue David: Lunch time rolls around and he takes Olivia off my hands and decides to change her diaper. (Awwww, what a great dad.) He comes back and Olivia is not only in a different outfit, but she's sporting a new cloth diaper. Poor baby - Papa didn't realize that the cloth diapers were so much bigger than the disposables and he chose a supertight onesie for her to wear. (Why, oh why, you may ask did Olivia come back in a different outfit? Because, dear readers, she peed on her other one during the diaper change!)


Just a little bit tight!



So, a couple hours later, I'm breastfeeding Olivia when she decides to (in no uncertain terms) shit where she eats. (Ha, insert Ween song here.) I took her in to change her and saw that it was leaking all over her onesie. When I checked out the diaper, I realized that David hadn't put the snaps on correctly and that the ones that go around her legs hadn't been snapped at all. I quickly went in and told David that I needed to give him a tutorial on how to use the cloth diapers.

And, then today rolled around. Most of Olivia's poops occur in the afternoons, so I thought I was safe to put her in a cloth diaper this morning. Once again, we are hanging out and getting our feed on when I hear the sound of bubbles in chocolate milk coming from my dear daughter's diaper. I lift her up to see poop dripping down her leg and all over her socks. I then take a look at "My Brest Friend" pillow to see about 6 dollops of poop all over that. So, picture this, if you will - I'm lifting up Olivia with poop running down her sides, I have one boob protruding through my sexy nursing bra, and the nursing pillow is belted around my waist with poop covering it. And, the sad thing is, the visualization gets worse. I have to try and get Olivia's onesie (BLASTED ONESIES) off of her without getting poop all over her body. I wasn't completely successful, but fortunately it stayed off of her face and out of her hair.


Did I say 6 dollops of poop? I meant 12!

My thoughts, exactly, Olivia!!!


Now that's pretty shitty.


SO, what do I say about cloth versus disposables? Cloth diapers can take their eco-friendly inserts and suck it. (Do I really mean that? Yes, today I do. But, tomorrow is another day....hopefully a Shit Storm free day, at that.)

And, just so we don't end on a bad note...here's how cute she looked before that big mess.



*I'm sorry Disposable Diapers, I never should have called you old and nasty!

01 June 2009

This Is How We Roll

So for the last two weekends, the Michelson family has been road tripping down south and back up north to visit Olivia's grandparents. We had an incredible time in San Diego over Memorial Day weekend with my parents and brother and then again in Santa Rosa with Peter and Irma.

It is incredible at how different it is travelling with a baby! Our vehicles were loaded down with all the "necessities" for Olivia...the breastfeeding pump and bottles, two sets of diaper bags, blankets, changes of clothes, the jungle gym, the Snuggle Nest, the car seat, the stroller, the Ergo Baby Carrier...the list goes on! Once child #2 comes along, we are going to need a 12 passenger van! Not to mention, we have to make a couple extra stops along the way for feedings and diaper changes.

Today, I took Olivia to the grocery store on my own. The following picture shows just how different it is shopping with a baby! I know that most people put the car seat on top of the shopping cart, but I read somewhere that it's a safety hazard, so I put her in the cart itself. Funny how I was still able to fit $150 worth of groceries in there around her.



I wouldn't normally put a wine bottle directly next to our baby, but I took this picture on my cell phone for David to show him that I found this bottle of wine that Irma had ordered at dinner Friday night and was A-MAZ-ING!