Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year Resolutions

Do any of you out there actually make New Year's Resolutions?   I sometimes think about it, but I'm not too serious. 

One year, in fifth grade, I made a New Year's Resolution to make my bed every single day.  That included pulling the comforter up and laying out my well-worn (Precious Moments that my aunt made for my sister but I stole when I was two because she was a baby and didn't need it and I liked it and my parents didn't stop me) baby blanket on top.   

And I did it (for the year, that is).

I proved to myself that I could keep a resolution, and haven't made another one since.  I'm a pretty committed/determined/purposeful/crazy? person.  When I say I'll do something, I try really really hard to make it happen.  I don't like to say things that I won't follow through on, and hate it when others do.

So this year, is it time to make another resolution?  To be an example for Baby?  To commit myself to something for another year?

What should it be?  I could vow to work on my blog every day (I've been going through spurts, as you know).  I could vow to read to my child every day (I'm pretty good at this one, but sometimes we just get so caught up that we might miss a day here and there).  I could lose the rest of this baby weight that somehow doesn't seem to be disappearing (I'm sure the Reese's I've been eating nonstop since Christmas really help that).  I could, I could, I could.

Or...I could not.  Right now I'm just going to focus on being the best mommy and wife I can be for my Husband and daughter.  Not just this year, but for every year.  I'll try to document what I can and maybe one day print it all out for Baby to read.             

Thank you to all of you who actually read my blog.  I love how blogspot now has a stats section where I can see how many people are actually reading.  I am seriously hooked on checking out my readership.  Thanks for boosting my self esteem. 

Anyway, Happy New Year and I'll see you in 2011!     

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Recap

Christmas is over and done with.  Thank goodness.  I really really really dislike this holiday (not the reason behind the holiday, but the commercialized part of it that I am never able to avoid).  I hate present shopping with a passion and it totally stresses me out.  I second guess what to get people until the last minute where I beg Husband to help me out because he is the BEST at getting presents for people.  He can just see something and be all, "Oh, this would be perfect for so and so."  And he's RIGHT.   I can't do that.  Uh uh. 

I also hate decorating.  I mean, once it's done it looks pretty, but dragging everything out and choosing what to do each year drives me crazy.  Then I can never get it to look right, so I just throw something together and then wish I had spent more time on it.  Not to mention, everything goes right back into a box and has to be packed back up when the holiday is over.  (Or I could just leave it up...I succeeded in having a pine wreath hanging on my door for practically a whole year this past year.  I would have left it up too, only my mother came over one day and replaced it for me.  I happened to enjoy my Christmas smell in July, thank you very much.)

Then there's the stress of the day itself. 

This year I thought I had made it pretty simple.  The menu had been divided between family who were coming, I was prepared with games, Baby's outfit was all picked out.  I had cleaned the house beforehand so that the day of would just take a little prep and be done with.

Well, I ended up sleeping in (Husband watched Baby and let me take my time getting up- it was amazing!).  Then it left me behind schedule.  Totally my fault, I know, but so worth it.

I set about getting things together before company arrived.  We had strategically coordinated who came over when so that the present giving wouldn't be weird.  That way people wouldn't feel awkward if they didn't get others gifts because they are only related through my marriage and see each other once a year.  It would just be silly.  Well, that didn't work out.  The family who was supposed to come early came late.  The family that was supposed to come late came early.  Thus, everyone arrived at the same time, which was really rather awkward and we sat around staring at each other until Husband timidly suggested opening gifts.

It really wasn't as awkward as I expected it to be.  Baby received a ton.  I was not surprised.  Opening gifts was a long process and in the end everyone sat staring at me as I helped Baby open present after present (really, they could have been staring at the TV behind me where some type of sports game was playing).  She was definitely overwhelmed and was not in the best mood.  It was not what I had expected from her.  I thought she would be basking in the attention and and flitting from person to person and gift to gift, but instead she clung to me like her life depended on it and became preoccupied with trying to shove wrapping paper down her throat while I attempted to snatch it from her.  Then she would scream when I took it away and wouldn't let her eat it.   

She remained this way throughout the cooking.  I could not put her down without her crying, and she refused to let anyone else hold her.  Husband played games with the guests and I was left to cook and comfort Baby.  Not my idea of fun when I felt pressure to perform in front of all our guests.

Thankfully, my mother and sister in law stepped up to take over the kitchen tasks.  I felt really bad about that, though.  I mean, I had invited them over.  They had already made their items ahead of time and shouldn't have had to make mine.  I helped as best I could, but Baby was just not having it.  It's rather hard to peel potatoes and take a ham out of the oven when a child is stuck to you.  Thus, ham juices ended up everywhere and the fire alarm went off. 

Yes, the fire alarm went off.  

We don't have one of those standard battery operated fire alarms, either.  Oh no.  Ours is hard-wired to the electrical in the house.  No pulling it down and taking out the batteries to make it stop.  Nope.  It's not one of those beeping things either.  This is a hard core, screech as loud as it possibly can, make everyone within five miles deaf fire alarm. 

I had to open up the house and air it out before the thing would shut down.  All the while, Husband sat playing games at the table.  I was so mad at him.  (Note- after the fact I confronted him and he sincerely apologized.  He was so engrossed in the game he didn't even notice that I needed help.  He said next time to just ask.  I guess we were both to blame there.  I could have just asked instead of expecting him to see me and run to my rescue.  Live and learn, I guess).

Things picked up after that.  Sister in law finished the dinner and we all ate.  It was really quite good and we had lots of leftovers.  Dinner was only an hour late.

We played board games after dinner, ate dessert, and ended up having a lot of laughs and a good time.  Baby was much happier after she ate and had her bath, and once she went to bed I didn't have to worry about keeping her happy in front of the guests.

Next year, I'm doing absolutely everything in advance and microwaving each dish right before dinner.  That's classy, right?    

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas 2010

I'm actually typing this on Christmas Eve, but it will go up tomorrow. 

I'm really not sure what to expect for Christmas Day, especially since it is Baby's first Christmas.

In my head, we are going to wake up (NOT early if I can help it.  We'll wake up whenever Baby decides.  Lately that's been around eight.  Growing up, little Husband and his brothers and sister would set alarms for four or five in the morning.  Can we say crazy?  Then everyone was cranky for the rest of the day.  No thank you.  As a child, my siblings and I weren't allowed to bug our parents until at least ten in the morning.  I know that may sound seriously late to some of you, but my family are not morning people.  Boy was it a shock when I married Husband!).  Then we will meander into the living room to watch something Christmas-y on TV (I'm really hoping for a parade- I love those!) while we exchange our own gifts between Husband, Baby and I.

We will then get ready for the day and do last minute cleaning before family comes over whereas Husband will be more than happy to help and Baby will entertain herself quietly (Ha!).

My family is coming first and we will do gift exchanges with them.  We will begin dinner, Husband's family will soon join us, and while dinner is cooking (ham, potatoes, carrots, salad, etc.)  we will entertain ourselves with rowdy games of Scrabble and watch Baby amaze everyone with her walking prowess (in all actuality, I'm sure there will be a sports game on the background and people will sit around attempting to make small talk.  Or everyone will be texting all their other friends on their fancy new phones.  Or chatting on their laptops.  Plus, Baby will most likely be cranky because she will have missed her nap due to so much excitement.  But that's looking on the downside and this is how I want it to be.  Moving on now).

After board games we will eat a wonderful dinner (on time!  Thanksgiving was four hours late.  Oops), hang out, chat, eat dessert, remember the real reason for Christmas (presents, right?  Totally kidding.  Jesus!).  Then everyone will help clean up and go home feeling full, refreshed, and in no way disappointed with any of their presents.

The End.

(I'll let you know how it actually goes in a few days!)   

Friday, December 24, 2010

Tormenting the Cat

We have two cats.  Tiger is the eldest at six years old. He is the most lovable cat you will ever meet.  He runs up to strangers and begs for their attention.  He is also very jealous of Baby and wants to be wherever she is (and he's not allowed into her room AT ALL.  He stands at the door and meows, or tries to sneak in).

He's not a typical cat.  We call him our house dog because of the way he acts.  He comes when called, he greets us at the door when we get home, he wants our attention, etc.  He even likes water.  No joke.  When we go to take a shower, he will try to jump in and get all wet.  We used to let him, but then he tracked water everywhere so now we lock him out.  When he was younger, I potty trained him.  Literally.  You know, like the cat from Meet the Fockers that used the toilet?  That was Tiger.  I never did figure out how to teach him to flush, though.  Anyway, we ended up moving and the toilet wasn't quite the same, so we let him regress.  However, it's a fact that I am still very proud of and brag about to this day (can't you tell?).

Our second cat is Buttercup.  She is a skittish little sweetheart, about four years old.  She will only come up to you for attention if she knows you really well.  Even then, you must be nice and calm.  We call her the perfect cat because she is the typical cat, but isn't in our way, doesn't get jealous, and is very good about not using anything but her littr box and her scratching post.

Baby loves the cats.  LOVES them.

When she spots one of them, her face will light up and she will yell out, "Dah!"  She will then proceed to chase them.

Buttercup is smart and runs away.  Tiger, on the other hand, stays and takes it.  Why?  I have no idea.

We take Baby's hand and tell her "soft" while showing her how to pet him.  She will then proceed to grab his fur and yank as hard as she can.  Tiger will meow at her and she will do it again.

Lately, Baby figured out how to keep her hand open and not yank.  Now she hits.  With an open palm.  Over and over, while giggling hysterically.  Tiger, again, goes meow.

Tiger has started to get a bit more bold (and I don't blame him), and now leans in to give her hand a little nip whenever she grabs his fur.  I don't really have a problem with this.  I mean, Baby needs to learn not to tear his fur out.  Tiger isn't hurting her with his little nips.  Hopefully she figures out he doesn't like it.

Husband, on the other hand, disagrees.  He doesn't think Tiger should be able to touch Baby in any way, even if she is hurting him.  He's not smart enough to run away, so he deserves it.

Now, whenever Baby grabs Tiger's fur in her chubby little fingers, Tiger leans in, Husband yells NO at him while I tell Baby No and Soft.

Then Husband and I debate about who we should be telling no to.

Hopefully Baby learns soon enough how to pet the cats before Tiger goes bald.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Machete Parent

I saw an episode of Supernanny not too long ago where parents were letting their child play with a dull machete.  Yes, a machete.  While watching, Husband and I were appalled.  Who lets their kids play with machetes?  (We don't own one, so it wouldn't be an issue with us, of course.) 

The show got me thinking, though.  Am I going to be the parent who gives in to the child?  Or am I going to be firm and lovingly show authority.  Or am I going to be a combination of those?  

We've finally come to the point where we seem to be saying no to Baby quite a lot.  She's in the adventurous stage where she wants to get into everything. 

I think I've done a pretty fair job of babyproofing, but there are some things that I just can't fix.  Plus, I've read a lot that kids need to learn boundaries early on (does Baby count as a kid?). 

The cat food is the first tantalizing temptation.  It lies there in a little bowl, the same size as her Gerber Puffs, but with multiple colors calling her name.  She knows she is not supposed to touch it (I think that was the first time we told her no).  Each time she crawls around the floor she will look longingly at it, and scoot a little closer.  Eventually, though she tries to resist, she starts to reach out. 

Immediately Husband or I will say,"no."  Depending on her mood, she may back off.  Other times she will sit there and stare at it.  Or if she's feeling rambunctious, she will reach out and grab it.  We will take it out of her hand (or her mouth if she was quick), tell her no, and put her somewhere else.  She will promptly crawl back to it as fast as her little hands and knees will take her.

About this point I just pick up the food dishes and stick them on the counter top.  Situation over. 


Baby also has a fascination with electrical outlets.  These I don't have the luxury of moving.  We have the plugs in them, but Baby still likes to go over to them and try to play with them.  Not something we encourage.  We tell her no, distract her, and depending on her mood she will perhaps stop.  Or perhaps she will look at us like we are crazy and go right back to trying to eat the outlet plug or pry the little plastic piece out (she's pretty sneaky).  Usually a fit ensues.

Baby is much better at listening to Husband than listening to me.  He will tell her no (more like he yells NO at her), and she will sit there with her little bottom lip quivering.  She will glance at me, to see my reaction, and I will give her a stern face as well.  Then she will get sad and crawl over to me to pick her up.

When Husband isn't home, it's up to me to tell her no.  I do, but she doesn't seem to listen.

For example, when she torments the cat (who is so dumb he refuses to run away and instead lets his fur get ripped out), I will tell her no.  She will do it again.  I tell her no again.  I try to be stern and make my face seem serious (I learned this from Supernanny).  Sometimes I will have to physically move her away.  Then she might cry.  Here is where I am lost.  Do I pick her up and comfort her?  Do I let her cry?  For how long?  Five seconds?  A minute?

Maybe I need to find a good discipline book to help answer these questions.

I never thought I would have to deal with this issue.  As a teacher, I tell my students the rules up front.  When they break them, they receive a consequence.  Sometimes the consequence is a phone call home where I tell the parents what happened and they give a consequence. 

I am Baby's parent.  Aren't I supposed to know what to do?

But I don't.

Maybe it's a phase and we'll be able to communicate a little better when she's a little older.

Can babies do time-out?

In the meantime, I'm going to try not to be the machete parent.  Really.         

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Santa Claus

Tis' the season for mall Santas and helper elves.  The Christmas cards have been made and sent (and are very cute, I must say.  I am very proud of those!).  The tree is up (yes, on the table), and presents have begun to make their way underneath.  The question now is, where is Baby's picture with Santa?

Honestly, I'm not sure how I feel about Baby getting a picture with Santa.

We passed a mall Santa just this past weekend.  Santa was taking a break, but I got a chance to peek at the prices.  Hello, money maker!  Wanna make a load of cash this holiday season?  Dress up as Santa and take pictures with kids on your lap.  Guaranteed to make a fortune, I promise.  Anyway, the prices were ridiculous and they wouldn't let you take pictures with your own camera.  We moved on.

But what if the prices were cheaper?  Would I plop an unsuspecting Baby on the lap of some guy dressed in red?  Who has already had dozens of other germ-infested children in that same location, breathing their spittle onto his beard?  (I wonder if mall Santas get really sick after Christmas)  I mean, think of the germs!  Baby already gets sick plenty of times on her own.  I don't think I'm too overprotective, but I am pretty diligent at keeping her away from other sickos, yet she still manages to pick up the germs.  I don't know if I'd want her exposed to all that on Santa's lap.

Okay, so what if Santa was in a antibacterial suit, and I could take my own pictures?  Would I then place Baby on the knee of an older gentleman?  It's kind of weird when you think about it.  Handing Baby off to a stranger that she doesn't know.  I don't hand her off to friends and family until I know she is comfortable with them.  Why would I change my rules to have her sit on someone else's lap? 

I know some people enjoy and laugh over the pictures of the crying kids on Santa's lap. I don't think I can handle that.  The poor child!  If Baby looked at me with pitiful eyes and burst into tears on Santa's lap, I might burst into tears too.

I think the Santa pictures will just have to wait until she is asking to go sit on Santa's lap.  Until then, we can watch all the other parents kids make their own memories.  

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Croup is Poop

Baby has been sick for a week.  It has not been fun.  Well, maybe just a little.  It's been fun staying home with her,  but not fun seeing my poor, sick child. 

It started Monday afternoon.  I picked her up from daycare and thought that she may have a little bit of a fever. I read something in one of my baby books about how moms have a sixth sense for fevers in their children, so I didn't bother grabbing the thermometer, but decided to take my word for it.

Monday night she woke up a bunch of times.

Tuesday morning I needed solid proof that she had a fever, so I grabbed the special thermometer that is just for her and took her temperature.  Yes, I put the vaseline on it and put it in her...well... you know.  What?  that's the only accurate way to take a baby's temperature!  Anyway, she had a fever.  (See, moms do know!)  I called in sick last minute on Tuesday to stay home with Baby.

All day, Baby was a totally different baby.  I thought maybe she was teething and that was causing the fever.  I know, all the doctors say teething shouldn't cause a fever, but talk to any mom and she'll tell you differently.  Plus, Baby kept drooling and putting her fingers to her mouth.

She had zero energy, though.  All day long I held her and she cuddled with me.  She cuddled with me!  My Baby, who refuses to sit still for a second, sat on my lap with her head on my shoulder.  She fell asleep a few times that way, she woke up and sat there on my lap.  She was miserable, though.  Poor thing.

That night she started to cough a  little bit, and we could hear her start to make this deep, throaty sound when she was breathing.  I looked in one of my baby books and determined that she had most of the symptoms for croup, but wasn't really doing the coughing thing.  Husband made me call the advice nurse to see what we could do (yes, I was just going to wait it out, but Husband was pretty worried. I mean, she wasn't really coughing.  Maybe my diagnosis was right?  After much "You call if you're so worried,"  "No, you call, you were home with her,"  Husband dialed and then I talked).  Once the advice nurse was on the line, Baby did start coughing more.  The nurse heard her and identified the croup right away just from hearing her (yay, mom diagnosis was right!).  We got an appointment for the next morning.  In the meantime we were supposed to make sure she didn't get too upset so that she didn't produce more mucus to clog her airways.  (Yes, we were supposed to spoil our baby!)   

All night Husband and I camped out in the living room with a sick and tired-but-too-sick-to-fall-asleep Baby. Previously we had sat in the bathroom with the shower going so Baby could breathe in the steam.  It was supposed to help her breathe better.  We were told to keep her head elevated and not lay her flat.  How is one supposed to put her to sleep then?  We were at a loss with what to do with her.  We thought about putting her in her carseat, but she wouldn't fall asleep in it.  She's used to going to bed in her crib.  We decided to just take turns holding and rocking her in the living room.  We turned the tube on and got comfortable.  Husband fell asleep on the couch and I was literally up until 4:30 in the morning holding and rocking baby.  I attempted to fall asleep with her a few times, but she woke herself up every fifteen minutes or so because she didn't feel well.  At 4:30 I woke up Husband and made him take over.  I took a short nap on the couch but had a hard time sleeping because Baby kept waking up.  Around seven I called it quits.

Wednesday morning we took Baby in for her appointment at 9:15.  As it turns out, the advice nurse had given us incorrect information.  We tried to check in, and they told us our appointment wasn't until the next day.  I was like, seriously?  I asked if there was anything available that day, and they said they didn't take walk-ins.  I tried to explain that we were not walk-ins.  We were just told wrong information.  She said we could go ask a nurse.  We walked over to the pediatrics section and found a wonderful nurse.  She took one look at Baby (who was super pale and lethargic) and said she would check with the doctors.  Thankfully, a doctor was able to see us right away.  

We got Baby naked and weighed her.  My poor little ten month old is only sixteen pounds.  She just sat through the exam, but then started crying when he took some wax out of her ears.  She didn't have any ear infections, though.  Just the croup, which the doctor said is caused by a virus.  Sometimes it can be worse, and have something to do with her throat, but he checked her throat and it wasn't the advanced thing.

He wrote us a prescription for some steroid thing which would open up her airway, and said that Tylenol would be good for her fever.

I tool Baby outside to breathe the cool air and Husband went to wait for her prescription.  Poor Baby fell asleep on my lap.  We had a few people comment on how cute she was, and one woman was appalled that she didn't have shoes on.  I wasn't sure what to say, so I just kind of gave her a look and said Baby wasn't feeling well.  She doesn't walk around yet, why would she need shoes?  (I did buy  her a little pair not too long ago, though.  In anticipation of when she is walking).

We took Baby home and Husband and I took turns holding Baby and sleeping.  We were all zombies.  Baby was doing much worse though.  We could hear her breathing in and out and trying to suck in air.  We spent lots of time in the bathroom letting the hot water run itself out.  Our water bill this month is going to be so high.  She also had a hard time eating and nursing.  She really wanted to nurse, but each time she tried it hurt her, so she would start to cry.  It was so sad.  The thing that usually gave her comfort was causing her pain. 

That afternoon the drugs must have kicked in.  She started to be a little more active, which made both of us feel better.

Wednesday night she slept in bed with me and I kept her propped up in my arms while I was propped up on pillows.  I think her fever finally ended around here, too.   

Thursday I went to work and Husband stayed home with her.  She was worse in the morning, but better in the afternoon.  However, she had lost her voice.  It was so sad to see her cry, because nothing came out.  She just wrinkled up her little face, but no sound came out.   

Thursday night she woke up in the middle of the night with a coughing fit.  We sat in the bathroom in the steam again and I decided not to go in to work on Friday. 

Friday was much better, although she was doing more coughing.  Her energy was starting to return.  My  mother came over to help distract Baby while I worked from home for a little bit.  I had to turn in all my grades by that afternoon.  Luckily Baby was in a good mood and I was able to do that.

Saturday she was coughing and cranky and clingy.  She had major coughing fits in the middle of the night that caused her to throw up.  Lots of steam for us.  I think my skin is getting very well moisturized.   

Sunday was the same.

Monday she was much better, but still no voice, coughing, and clingy.

Who knows what Tuesday will bring.   



Monday, December 20, 2010

Stuffed Animals

I'm a minimalist.  In many many aspects of my life.  This may or may not be a good thing.

When going on a trip, I plan ahead to determine the least amount of items I will need.  When working, I try to figure out the most efficient way of grading/planning where I won't have to take any work home but the students will still be learning.  In cooking, I attempt shortcuts to make things go quicker (who says water has to be boiling before you put noodles in?).  In choosing items for decorating my house, I go with the less is more policy.  I abhore clutter.  It just drives me crazy.  I would rather throw things away then keep them on memory shelves.  Tiny knick knacks are not for me.  Sentimental keepsake items?  Not a fan.

Husband, on the other hand, is the exact opposite.  He likes to keep things.  He likes to collect things.  He likes to let things pile up until you have to make paths to get from one end of a room to the other.  Boy am I thankful he has his own office space for all of the above.

I have no idea what Baby is going to be like.  I can tell you, though, she is already a collector.  A collector of stuffed animals, that is.  Baby has one relative in particular who loves to get her stuffed animals.  She got one the day she met this relative at three weeks old.  She got one just because.  She got two more during a recent visit.  She just got two more this past week, one of which says "Baby's First Christmas."

These stuffed animals aren't small, either.  Actually, they are about the same size as her.  All of them.

What in the world am I supposed to do with them?  Where do I put them?  How do I kindly tell people that Baby doesn't need any more stuffed animals?

I know in thinking ahead that they will be very useful for when she throws tea parties and puts on little plays.  They will be great friends that she can confide her secrets to.

But if this trend continues, Baby is going to have over sixty stuffed animals by the time she turns five.

A bit more than minimal, I must say.   

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Grabby McGrabberson

Baby discovered she has hands.  With this newfound knowledge comes much responsibility.  On my end, not hers. 

Now I go to walk through an aisle in a store and Baby reaches her little hands out as far as they will go to try to grab everything she can see. 

It was cute for the first five minutes.  Now I get to wrangle in a squirming, determined child who strains with all her might for the shiny item on the shelf. 

Time to pay more attention to what goes in the cart.  Don't want any more board book episodes! 

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Things I Never Knew I Loved

This is the counterpart to my Things I Never Needed post.  There are a few things that were lifesavers that I would totally recommend to other moms, and some things that I never got but pined (and am still pining) for.

The first item that comes to mind is a video monitor.  I so so so so want one of those.  When I was registering, I thought, why would I need to see the baby?  I can just hear her through a regular monitor.   Well, that was before crazy worry all the time mommy existed (seriously, I have never worried so much in my life!).  Now, every little noise I hear and I want to peek in her room and check on her.  Baby is a very light sleeper, so when that happens, she usually wakes up and I regret every going in there.  However, there has been occasion when she has an arm sticking out of the crib slat, or is lying facedown and I freak out and think she isn't breathing.  It's times like those I want a video monitor.

Another item I originally didn't want was the baby Bumbo.  Remember the little chair that we used as a Highchair forever?  Well, I was offered one before Baby was born and didn't quite know what it was so I turned it out down.  After Baby came, she tried one out at a friend's house and it was really cool.  So much so that we took it home with us and used it like every day.  It became our high chair so she could sit at the kitchen table with us.  We would put her in it and stick it on the center island when we were cooking so she could watch us (note:  I do NOT recommend doing this.  It is highly dangerous.  Your child could fall and crack his or her skull open.  The Bumbo is only supposed to be used on the floor).  Right now we have it sitting on the floor and Baby likes to put things in the seat part, then take them out again.  It's the seat that keeps in giving.

The baby swing was another huge favorite.  Without it, my child would have learned to sleep on her own would never have slept.  That thing could rock her dreams for hours.  Even now, if daycare needs her to take a nap, M will plop her in there and asleep she will go.  She still hasn't outgrown it, although she has to be getting pretty close (score one for being in the tenth percentile).

I am also a huge fan of the Baby Bjorn.  I used the Moby Wrap a ton when Baby was nursing (hooray for walking around the mall with a baby stuck to me and no one the wiser- except those other moms who know what really goes on underneath all that fabric), but Husband refused to put it on.  That's where the Baby Bjorn came in.  It was easy for him to put on, not too girly, and he and I could switch it back and forth between us really easily to take turns holding Baby when we went out places.  The downside to it is that it doesn't convert to a backpack type carrier where Baby can be carried on our backs.  It is only able to be used for front facing.

That's all I can think of at the moment.  What items did you love/wish you'd had?     

Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas Tree Update

Husband has been asking me for days to go get our Christmas tree.  We finally found the time this past weekend. 

I had tried to convince him that we didn't need one, but he wouldn't go for it.  However, before we were about to leave, he looked at me seriously.

Husband:  Babe, I have an idea and you may not like it.

Me (secretly hoping he's going to cave in and not get a tree):  What is it?

Husband:  What if we get a smaller tree and put it on the corner table?

Me: What makes you ask that?

Husband:  I just think it would be easier than getting a big tree on the ground.  That way we won't have to worry about Baby knocking it over or eating the pine needles.

Me (inwardly jumping up and down with joy):  ok, sounds cool.

Note:  I had suggested this idea to Husband as a compromise to my no-tree Christmas idea.  I think it finally sunk in.  Funny how that works.  

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Baby or Puppy?

Sometimes I think I am training an animal.  I know Baby is not a puppy, but I've noticed some similarities.    

I am teaching my child to recognize simple words, like ball, outside, come, etc.  This is the same thing one would teach to a puppy.

I have to keep a constant eye on her to make sure she doesn't eat everything in sight.

She whines when she doesn't get her way.

When Husband goes outside to take out the trash she will follow him to the door.

She gets very excited when Husband or I come home from being gone.

She crawls around with her toys in her mouth (I do believe Husband taught her how to do this one).

We have to clean up her accidents.

She likes to curl up in bed with us.

She chases after and torments the cats.

She likes to play keep away with her toys.

She likes to move her toys and hide them in random places, like under blankets or the couch.  

She gets very excited when we get out her treats (the little Gerber Puffs).

Both are extremely cute and adorable.

Random people stop us when we go out walking so they can take a look at her (No joke- older people are especially prone to this behavior). 

Can you think of any more similarities?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Blog Thief

I originally started my blog to document my pregnancy and take my mind off the awful, overwhelming, all consuming nausea (seriously, I sometimes have flashbacks).  I thought it would be a good place to inform other random people about what a pregnancy was like. 

I wasn't thinking too far ahead when I began, and never imagined I would start blogging about life with Baby.  Thus, the url is still bethispregnant.  If I has been thinking ahead, I would have been more creative. 

Blogging has opened up a whole new world.  I started to find other blogs from other mommies.  Then more.  And more.  It's amazing how many other mommy bloggers are out there (and daddy bloggers, too!), and how many mommies have connected and shared stories.  I started subscribing to other blogs to read about other mommies and their families.  These ladies are really great writers, and have some hilarious stories to share.

In my spare time I try to think of blogs that I am going to write.  What would be interesting to people?  What can I share that happened in my life that's of note?

Then I log on and read another mommy blog and realize that they've already written about a topic I wanted to write about.  Or I've written on something someone else has already done. 

I don't want to steal anyone else's ideas, and I also don't want people to think I'm copying them.  But at the same time I think I am gong to continue what I had originally planned.  If I happen to write on the same topic as someone else, so be it.  Hopefully you all will continue to read. 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Surrogate Mom

Today I found out that an acquaintance of mine is going to be a surrogate mom.  Actually, that's not true.  She IS a surrogate mom.  She was surgically implanted with a few fertilized eggs from another couple.  You know, she's of those people you read about who carries a baby for another couple who can't for whatever reason have a baby on their own.  I've never met one (that I know of) in real life before.    

She is currently a few weeks along and was talking about the possibility of having triplets and going on bedrest.  She told me about testing her HCG levels and that they have been increasing exponentially.  Granted, she won't find out for a few weeks longer if there even is more than one in there, but the possibility is there.

It's something that's hard for me to wrap my head around.  She already has two kids of her own, both elementary school age.  I'm not exactly sure why she decided to do it.  Maybe for the money?  To give someone else the joy of a child?

I wonder what her Husband thinks.  I think mine would be a little turned off by the fact that I was carrying someone else's child.

Not to mention the fact that you are going through pregnancy again (she was one of THOSE who loved it), and then labor or a C-Section at the end.  Only to give the babies to their predetermined parents.

I just don't know if I could do that.  Could you?   

Monday, December 13, 2010

I've Been Bitten

It finally happened.  Baby was bound to figure out how to use those two teeth of hers sooner or later.  I was really hoping for later.  Well, to be honest I was really hoping for never. 

I thought that since we'd come this far, she was just going to skip the whole biting mommy while nursing phase.  I was going to be one of those moms that people hate when they compare children and I say my baby never bit me.  You know, like the moms who say they loved being pregnant.  Or that labor was a breeze.  Or their baby slept through the night from the day they came home for the hospital.  One of THOSE moms.  Apparently it wasn't meant to be.  I don't know what I was thinking.  None of the other aforementioned items was true for me.  Why did I think this one would be?

On with the story.

It happened late one night.  I was nursing Baby like normal and thinking happy Mommy thoughts.  Suddenly, out of nowhere, I felt a sharp, shooting pain. I looked down in surprise at Baby and she grinned wickedly up at me.  I told her no and flicked her cheek, hoping to dissuade her.  She didn't seemed phased and went right back to nursing.

A few moments later, I felt an even sharper pain and Baby was staring up at me with big, blue eyes.  I told her no, and flicked her cheek.  She refused to let go and I was in PAIN.  I pinched her cheek this time.  Still, she held on.  I pinched harder and she let go and started to wail. 

I was done nursing for the night and Baby went to bed.  I still had throbbing pain.  Being bitten hurts! 

The next morning Baby had red marks where I had pinched her cheek.  I dropped her off at daycare and she still had prominent red marks on her cheek.  I felt obligated to explain to daycare what had caused them and hoped they didn't report me. 

Thankfully, by the end of the day the red marks were gone.  I nursed her again and she hasn't bitten me quite as hard since.  We're still working on it though and I've become slightly paranoid every time I nurse hoping she doesn't bite me again. 

Score one for bottle feeding.  


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Cliff Diving

Baby has no fear of heights.  None.  We can hold her up high and she giggles hysterically.  Then we swoop her down and around the room while she squeals.  It's a blast! 

So what's the problem? 

Well, Baby has so much trust in Husband and myself that she knows we will always be there to catch her.  She plunges herself head first off of the couch or bed, and Husband and I are right there gently lowering her down.  It's like she is diving off a cliff,  if you compare her size to the height of the furniture. 

How in the world do I teach her not to throw herself off of things if she has not fear?  I don't want her to have to find out the hard way, but what are the alternatives?  

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Tree

Is it so terrible that I really don't want to get a Christmas tree this year? 

I have absolutely nothing against Christmas Trees.  In fact, I love them.  I love the smell, setting up ornaments, arranging decorations, arguing with Husband over where he can put his Star Trek ornaments, figuring out the tree-topper for the year (we keep forgetting to get a tree topper, so each year we design something new). 

We were going to get our tree this past weekend, but it started pouring, so we opted not to.  After thinking about it, I am leaning towards no.  I know, bah humbug.  But think about it.

We have Baby this year.  Baby who is exploring, touching, tasting, tearing, (you get the idea-she gets into everything).  I'm fine with putting ornaments up high so she can't get them.  Not putting presents under the tree so she won't rip them.  However, we haven't come up with a way to stop her from getting to the actual tree itself.  Not to mention lights and cords.   

Normally we are watching Baby at practically every moment, but she is a stubborn little thing and we are constantly telling her no or redirecting.  We've done a pretty good job of baby proofing our main rooms.  Thus, Baby is free to explore and we really don't have to worry.  If we throw in a tree, I can just imagine this exhausting job of telling her no.  Moving her away.  Giving her something else to play with.  Intercepting her before she can knock the tree over.  Calming her after she wails because we tell her no.  Peeling pine needles out of her little hands....etc. 

It doesn't help that I am going to be super busy come January (working full time, taking on an after school program, taking a college course, doing occasional Saturday workshops, taking care of a house, not to mention being a mom and wife), that I want my vacation coming up to be as stress free as possible. 

I may be over thinking this and perhaps Baby will ignore the tree altogether.  I know Husband really wants one (he's big into traditions and all that- I am so not the sentimental one in this relationship) and isn't too keen on my no-tree idea. 

But who says we have to put Baby's First Christmas ornaments on an actual tree?  Can't I just hang them on the wall somewhere?   

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Healthy Eating

Since being given the go-ahead to give Baby practically anything to eat, I've had major dilemmas over what to actually feed her.  I now have to think about preparing some type of food for her other than milk.  Technically, according to most of the baby books, Baby gets most of her nutrients from her milk, and not so much from actual food.  But we're coming up on the end of the timeline where the actual food is starting to count.

I was feeding Baby the little baby food jars, but she isn't really too big of a fan.  Plus, I decided that since she could eat anything, that I would give her what I was eating (that's what the food processor is for).  The problem is that I don't have the best eating habits.  When I would sometimes come home and have peanut butter for dinner (yes, seriously.  I have a peanut butter addiction.  I eat it out of the jar by the spoonful.), I can't really give that to Baby as her dinner.  The same goes for a bowl of ice cream, or a bag of chips (wow, writing this makes me think I may have a problem).  

I've been successful at pastas, and Baby loves my spaghetti and lasagna and fettuccine. I made a batch of carrots that are soft and I can heat up for her at any time.  But that only lasts for a few days.  I think I'm mostly at a loss when it comes to meats.  Husband and I are big meat eaters, and not so big fruit and veggie eaters.  We're more of the meat and starch type.  Totally healthy, I know.

Now I am starting to think more about my eating habits and realizing I need to hit up the produce department a little more often.  I'm hoping to teach Baby lifelong healthy habits and perhaps make myself and Husband a little healthier along the way.     

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Things I Never Needed

Before I had Baby, I had no idea what to put on my baby registry.  I had no clue what I needed, and enlisted the help of friends (along with Google, of course) to figure out what I should get.   

I've started mentally going through the items I never needed or used, and thought I would let the public know as well.

The first item that was an absolute waste (keep in mind this is my own opinion and I do apologize if you bought it for me, I mean, how could you know?) was the baby bathtub.  Somebody is making good money off of those.  I tried Baby in it twice and she hated it with a passion.  Someone had told me about using the sink, lined with a towel, so I tried that.  She loved it!  Goodbye, waste of space and money.   I gave away the bathtub and never looked back.  Baby had baths in the sink for the first seven months of her life and just recently moved to the bathtub. 

The next items are along the same lines.  Those are the hooded baby towels.  I originally had thought those would be wonderful, not to mention oh so cute.  Who doesn't want a towel with a hood?  Well, after attempting to use them, I changed my mind.  For one thing, they are so thin and don't keep Baby warm.  They don't absorb very much water and are just tricky to maneuver.  I like using regular, thicker, warmer bath towels better.  They dry her off just as well, and as for the hood part that's missing, all one has to do is fold the towel over a bit.  I have a few of those hooded towels just hanging out in my bathroom now.  I've been using them as hand towels.

On a different note are the bottle gift sets.  What was I thinking when I registered for those?  Oh, I know.  I thought my baby would be a great bottle drinker and uses whatever Mommy put in front of her.  Ha!  My child somehow inherited an independent/stubborn streak.  As most of you loyal followers know, Baby would rather starve herself than drink out of a bottle.  Now my recommendation is for people to purchase individual bottles so that the baby can figure out which one he or she likes.  Not bottle sets that won't be used.

Lastly, pacifiers.  Baby received a ton of them (seriously, like at least fifteen).  We tried one after another, but to no avail.  She was just not a pacifier baby.  I ended up giving most of them away, although we found a few not to long ago and now Baby will chew on them.  Good teethers, perhaps?

I'm sure others of you out there have your own items you thought you had to have, but then never used.  Feel free to share!  


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Sense of Direction

If you read my post about going on a walk and getting lost (you can see it here), you know that I worry about Baby inheriting my terrible sense of direction. 

So far I am on the fence.  As she gets more bold, she has memorized the layout of our home.  She knows where she can crawl, and can make her way down our long hallway with purpose.  However, I still worry. 

Baby's crib is pushed up against the wall, and you can see it right when you open the door to her room.  When Baby wakes up in her crib, she will stand and cry at the railing, facing the door and waiting for us to come get her.  Twice now (once by Husband and once by me), we have found Baby facing the wrong way in her crib.  It is the saddest thing to see.  There she is, standing up and holding on to the railing, crying her little eyes out...facing the wall.