Sunday, January 30, 2011

Baby Sign Class Number 2

Baby Sign this week was bedtime signs. 

We learned moon, stars, sleep, love, book, bear, and light.  The light one is neat because we can play with light switches and then make the sign for light whenever we turn the lights on.  Baby really likes playing with the light switches.  Plus, she can point to the lamp when the lights come on.  I think it's cool she realizes that's where the light is.  She's not too keen on doing the sign, though.

We've done book before.  She definitely knows what a book is.  We can tell her to go get a book and she will pick one.  Her favorite book is one that has slide outs.  It has a riddle on it about the type of animal that lives in a specific place, then you slide out the answer.  Baby is very good at sliding out the answers.  She usually picks that book as her book to "read."  We can get alllmmmmost all the way through that one. 

We also like to read "Goodnight Moon" to her.  I can now ask her to point to the red balloon and she can do it.  She knows that's what we will ask and she usually points to it when it appears on a page.  I think I should start working with pointing to something else now.  Not sure what, though.  I need to figure out what appears on more than one page.    

Baby has been doing a very good job of communicating what she wants by pointing.  If she wants something that we have, she will point to it.  If she wants her juice at dinner time, she will point to it.  If she wants what we have, she will point to it.  So far it's been a pretty good way of telling us what she wants. 

On the other hand, she is also very clear about communicating what she does not want.  She pushes it aside, or screams.  Nice and loud, too.  I was hoping Baby sign would help us avoid the screaming.  Gotta work on that, I suppose. 

On a different note, Baby can point to a baby (a live one, not a baby doll) and say "ba-y."

We might skip the whole signing thing and just go right to talking.          

Friday, January 28, 2011

Sleep Tight, Don't let the Bedbugs Bite

Baby woke up the other morning with three little pink dots on her face.  They didn't seem to bother her, but they didn't look very pretty.

They could have been pimples (baby acne strikes again?).  Or some type of sweat bumps from sleeping and sweating on that side of her face (she is a little oven when she sleeps!).

The other, scarier possibility is that they could be bites from a spider or some bug crawling on her face in the middle of the night.  Ugh, I shudder just to think about it  My poor Baby!   

I told husband, and he calmly suggested bedbugs.

Say what??

You remember the bedbug epidemic not too long ago, right?  They had to close down a few stores to help prevent the spread of them.  Apparently these things are spread pretty easily and extremely hard to get rid of.
Husband, who works at a hotel, is apparently skilled in the art of bedbug identification.  He explained to me where he got the idea.  He says that every time a hotel guest reports that they were bitten by something,  the hotel employees ask how many bumps there are.  Three in a row could signal a bedbug bite.  Baby had three in a row... 

I started freaking out at this point.  No way do I want bedbugs.  Where would they have come from?  Daycare must be to blame (cuz we working parents can totally blame daycare for everything that happens to our children- bug bites, bruises, bad manners, you name it, I've got my scapegoat ready). 

I went on a bedbug hunting rampage after that (by "I," I mean Husband did while I squeamishly looked on in apprehension).  We tore apart baby's crib, looking in every nook and cranny.  I washed all of the bedding in super hot wash and then dried it on high multiple times.  Needless to say, we didn't find anything.  But boy did Husband have fun shouting out that he found something and making me squeal and jump a mile high.      

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Batteries

My goal has been to nurse for a whole year.  I am soooo close.  Like really close, and I don't see Baby stopping anytime soon.  I don't mind nursing at all.  In fact, I really like it because I feel close to Baby and it makes me feel like I am doing what I am supposed to as a mom.  It's really easy and I know she's getting the right nutrients. 

The problem is with pumping.  I am so done.  I have been pumping milk every day at work two to three times each day.  I've gotten on a pretty good schedule so that I do it during my prep period and during my lunch. 

Sometimes I have Saturday trainings, too.  Like just recently.  I have worked it out with the administrators that I have a private office to use and can disappear to it at any time with no negative consequences for not being in the training the whole time.  I've done this numerous times since Baby was born. 

Well, at my last training I had forgotten my power cord to my pump.  This was no big deal because I carry backup batteries just in case I don't have an outlet or the electricity goes out or something.

I put my batteries in and the pump didn't work (yes, I've used batteries in it before and it's been fine.).  I think the batteries were too old, or dead.  I took them out and rearranged them to see if that would work (it usually works with the TV remote), but it didn't happen.  I spent ten minutes assembling and reassembling my pump to try to get it to work.  I contemplated calling Husband to bring me more batteries.

Instead, I made a huge mess by attempting to manually express.  Luckily I had a receiving blanket that I carry with me that helps me think of Baby.  I was able to get a little bit of milk out manually to relieve the pressure, and used the blanket to clean up the mess I had made.  That day I only expressed a couple ounces (it takes a LOT longer to express milk manually), and I only did it once.

I was fed up with it and am looking forward to the year mark that I have set as my goal.  Once that year mark comes I am going to decrease pumping until I don't need to do it at all during the work day.  It's a huge hassle and really takes a lot of valuable time.  Right now I know it's the right thing for me and Baby, but boy will it be nice when I am done. 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Baby Sign Class Number 1

I figured I better blog about the first baby sign class before I go to the second one.  It's better to do it now before I get it jumbled up with the second one in my head, then sit down to write and can't differentiate between the two. 

Baby Sign Class Number 1:

Husband and I were the youngest parents with the oldest child.  That surprised me, although looking back on it I shouldn't have been.  The sign class is in a nearby college town.  It is a highly desirable place to live that is way out of our price range (believe me, we tried to find a house to buy there- unless we wanted to live in a one bedroom shack, it wasn't happening).  It is full of ambitious college students or well-to-do professionals who have somehow found a job that makes a lot of money.  Thus, they worked on their careers for a while before having babies.  This explains why the parents were all older.  The babies were all younger because the parents are all those crazy overachievers and want their kids to be the same way (yes, this is my opinion).   

Baby was the oldest baby at eleven months.  The youngest was five months and the class average was about eight months.  The teacher was a high energy lady who has been doing this for years and was part of original studies about baby sign. 

Husband and I took the cheap route, so we didn't purchase the supplies that came along with the class.  Thus, we don't have the board books, DVDs, video library, flip chart, etc. that can be used along with the baby sign.  Instead, we have our memories from class and photocopied handouts. 

But I think I'm getting ahead of myself. 

We found the place okay and joined the circle of parents on the carpet.  There were a bunch of toys spread out that the teacher said the babies could play with.  Baby sat in my lap for a while and didn't venture out at first. 

Everyone went around the room and introduced themselves, along with describing their experiences with sign. All we knew was the sign for "more", and apparently I had been teaching Baby to do "all done" incorrectly.  Oops. 

Then the teacher talked about all the benefits of Baby sign (feel free to Google them) and her experiences.  All positive, it seems.

Then we started into the singing and signing.  She taught us Eat, Drink, Bib, Milk, Nurse, All Done, Please, Cereal, More, Hungry.  That's all I can remember off the top of my head.  She had a giant bear puppet that she used to help keep the babies attention and we all sang songs and clapped  and modeled the signs for our babies.

A little ways into the class Baby decided she felt comfortable and started going for the toys.  The teacher had mentioned that it was okay for the babies to play with the toys, so I didn't hold Baby back.  She had fun exploring them, but didn't really pay any attention to the signing.  When I pulled her back into my lap she got right back up again.  She also kept snatching toys away from the other kids and I had to keep taking them from her and giving them back.

The last fifteen minutes of class Baby decided she was done.  She kept trying to escape from the circle and head to the diaper bags and carseats.  I tried holding her, holding her while standing, Husband tried, but she just kept squirming and screeching.  We held out as long as we could through the good bye song, and as soon as the class was done we hit the road.

On the way home Husband and I tried to remember the signs we had learned.  We are a little divided over one of them, so we'll see how it's really done when we go to class number two tomorrow. 

This week we've been trying to do the signs with Baby, and her daycare has too (we taught M the signs as well).  So far she has  ignored us.  Hopefully she'll catch on and tomorrow perhaps pay a little bit more attention.  One thing she did catch though, was a cold.  I'm pretty sure she caught it from the baby next to us with the runny nose.  Baby kept stealing what she was chewing on, then putting it in her mouth.  The two of them swapped spit quite a few times.  Baby has since passed on the cold to her mommy.  Yay, me. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Walking and Falling

We are so excited Baby is walking!  It is so neat to see her tiny little self wander around, holding her arms up for balance.  She's just so tiny.  It's amazing that something so small can do so much.

I kept pushing and hoping Baby would walk.  I wanted her to be one of the first (yes, I may be a little competitive) so I could brag (I'm being honest, here!). 

I know a lot of people said to not push it, that I would regret it when she started walking.  Honestly, I really like it.  I mean, I can set her down somewhere and not worry that she is getting her hands dirty.  Or her knees.  She can have a little more freedom rather than being carried or pushed everywhere.  Not too long ago I took her to the mall and she had a blast walking around a few of the stores with me.  Granted, our pace was slower than a snail's and we may have clogged up a few aisle ways, but people can go around.  Hello, my baby is walking!

I feel a tiny bit disappointed that the big milestones are starting to pass.  First there was rolling over, then crawling.  Last was walking.  There is nothing left in this specific series.  At least I don't think so.  She could be a mutant and sprout wings and fly or something.  Somehow I find that highly unlikely.  That part is rather sad to see pass.  However, now I get to look forward to talking (and/or signing since we have our class on Sunday!).

One of the downsides of walking is falling.  Before, Baby was already on her hands and knees.  She couldn't really fall down, so to speak.  There wasn't very far to go.  If she happened to trip over a hand she would just do a little nosedive forward and scoop herself back up.  Walking opens up a whole new world of accident possibilities.

To begin with, Baby doesn't look down when she walks.  She looks straight ahead or up at one of us.  This means that she doesn't look where she is stepping.  Which in turn leads to her tripping, mostly over her toys.  The past couple of nights she has taken some pretty nasty falls.

The first time Baby fell she tripped over a toy she had been playing with.  She was coming toward me and didn't look where she was stepping.  She tripped and banged her head on the corner edge of the couch.  I thought for sure she gave herself a black eye.  She was not a happy camper.  I wasn't quite sure what to do, so I made an ice pack and attempted to put it on her face.  She just kept grabbing it and shoving it away.  A short while later she was back to playing so I didn't push the ice.  Luckily she did not in fact have a black eye.

The next night Baby tripped again.  She was heading toward Husband when she tripped over his foot.  She smacked straight into the edge of the end table.  And she did it hard.  Right between the eyes.  I comforted her and made another ice pack. She calmed down and played with the pack.

Again, she did not have a bruise the next day.  I don't know how the child does it, but now I am overly paranoid.  Every time she walks somewhere I want to scoop anything out of her way to make sure she doesn't trip.  I tense up, waiting to grab her should she go off balance.  I hover.  I really don't want her to seriously injure herself.   However, on the other hand, I refuse to pad everything down in the room.


How in the world do you put an ice pack on a baby? 


 

Friday, January 14, 2011

Unexpected Visit

This week I had an unexpected family member come visit.  I haven't seen this family member since before Baby was born.  She showed up without warning, which was really annoying to begin with.   

I have such issues when she visits.  I get mad at the little things.  I get irritated.  I am tired and cranky and sick of having her around.  She is no fun at all, I don't care if she is useful.  When she has come in the past I have had to cancel plans and beg forgiveness from friends for not being available.  Luckily, they understand.

Many times I self-medicate to try and dull the issues I have when she comes to visit.  I'm not a normal pill popper by any means (hello, I pushed a baby out without any medicinal assistance!), but she pushes me over the edge.

Husband knows that he better be willing to help out whenever she visits.  He's pretty good about trying to keep me happy.  Just this week he made a full course dinner for all of us (I know, I was impressed too!.  And it wasn't mac and cheese, for those wondering).

I pray that Baby won't have the same reaction to this family member.  That hopefully she will be able to handle things in a different way.  Maybe she will inherit her father's tolerance.

I had been trying to postpone her visit in every way possible.  I was making myself very busy.  I was nursing Baby on demand, around the clock (yes, even in the middle of the night a few times) to make myself unavailable to entertain her.

I had even bragged to my sister that I hadn't had to endure this one unlikable family member for quite some time.  She had seen her recently, but our paths hadn't crossed in over 20 months.  I was okay with my sister being jealous.  In fact, I was okay with everyone being jealous.

But alas, Aunt Flow has returned.     

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Mommy and Baby Class

Last week I went to a Mommy and Baby Music and Art Class.  I've been twice before to this same place.  The first time was so fabulous that I had to go back and bring a few friends and their daughters.  However, the second time was terrible and I felt really bad for hyping it up so much.

Today was actually really good.  Since I'm not a member (hello, I work full time and only go when on vacation), I had to arrive early to ensure a spot. Good thing I did because it was full.

Baby and I hung out in the baby play section before the class started.  She didn't really want to play on the soft cushion stuff, but she loved picking up all the toys and handing it to me (her new thing is to hold items out to show people.  Sometimes she will give it away, other times she will screech when people think she is actually handing it to them and try to take it.).

The class was great.  The teacher really knew what she was doing.  We started off with a "Hello" song to say hi to all of the babies.  Then went through a few others with hand movements and what not.  She brought out fancy scarves for the babies to wave and play with, then ribbon hoop things that the babies could easily hold and wave around.  She also had these neat snowflake cut outs that she lightly tossed out for "snow."  We also danced around in circles.

I thought Baby would do great.  She has in the past.  This time she was silly.  She didn't want to sit in my lap like all the other babies.  She wanted to stand by me instead.  She didn't want me to move her hands to the movements.  Instead she shook my hand away.  When the other babies were singing with their mommies, she kept trying to walk around and climb on the other mommies.  I had to keep grabbing her off of them.  Then she tried to stand in the middle of the circle and dance (she does this new thing where she shakes her booty.  We call it dancing.  It is the cutest thing and she knows it brings her attention.  Probably why she was doing it in class).

She didn't know what to do with the scarves, but loved the snowflakes.  So much so that she started snatching from the other children.  Luckily the teacher moved on quickly and Baby was able to play more with the snowflakes while the other babies started the art project. 

The art project was just coloring.  I had never put crayons near Baby before, so I was interested to see what she would do.  Well, I shouldn't have been surprised that she tried to eat them all.  What did impress me was that she would take a crayon out, then put it back in the container.  Maybe this skill will transfer over to her toys.  Maybe she will start putting her toys away!  Wishful thinking, I know.

We are starting a Baby sign class next week.  I'm looking forward to it and hoping Baby will be able to pick up on the signs.  She's started screaming lately when she doesn't like something, so hopefully this will be a better way for her to express herself.  However, if the Baby Music Class is any indication, she might just stand in the middle of the room the whole time and shake her booty.    

 

Monday, January 3, 2011

When did that happen?

I envy those organized people who always seem to be on top of things.  They document every important event in their lives via scrapbooks, cool websites, or slide shows.  They keep track of specific details and are able to look up family history in no time.

I am not one of those organized people.  I am so not on top of things.  I do not keep track of specific details and couldn't even begin to categorize those.

Case in point, Baby is now walking.  Yes, she's walking and Husband and I are super excited! You might ask, when did that happen?   Honestly, I have no idea!  Seriously.

This whole Baby milestone thing is not as easy as it seems.  I mean, what is considered walking to begin with?  One step?  Five steps?  Running up and down the hallway?  What in the world do I write in her baby book?  I know there's a spot for when Baby took her first steps, but even those are hard to define.  Is is when Husband was holding her hands, she let go and stumbled forward then down?  Or when she is hurling herself from the couch to the end table?  She took a few alternating steps in there while reaching out to grasp the table.

Then there are her teeth.  When did Baby get her first teeth?  What even counts as getting her first teeth?  Is it when they start to poke through?  When they are halfway through?  How do I know when they are all the way through?  Pinpointing specifics is rather difficult here.

I was looking at a friend's website for her son and she has done an awesome job on it.  She lists out monthly items, such as what he is eating, his height and weight, his favorite toys, milestones he has made that month (including pictures and videos, of course!).  She also has a calendar of dates for when he did specific things, such as wave bye-bye or eat at a specific restaurant for the first time.  It's a great idea and I think would really help family who aren't around be able to feel more involved in Baby's life.

So I started a website for Baby.  Complete with pictures, calendar, and videos.  Want to know the last time I updated it?  July.

This brings flash backs of my wedding album.  It took me three years after the wedding to actually go through the pictures I had and begin to put them in some semblance of order.  I had great ideas to scrapbook them.  I would add on all the fun little wedding stickers and backgrounds and it would turn out wonderful.  Something that I could show my children's children.

Here's what really happened.  I did about three pages then got bored.  I asked a good friend of mine to help so she could give me motivation.  Eventually, I just gave up and gave her all my supplies where she completed my gorgeous wedding scrapbook (yes, it is something to show my children's children).

What's the moral of this story?  I need to find someone to do a website for Baby when even I don't quite know facts of details?

I think I'll just stick to drooling over other parent's websites and scrapbooks while I write my blog and hope Baby never asks when she got her first tooth or took her first steps.  Who knows, maybe she will get a creative streak and decide to make her own scrapbooks/websites some years from now.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Anxiety

I have never felt as much anxiety in my life as I do now.  Having a baby means taking on tons of extra responsibilities and actually worrying about circumstances beyond my control (and I'm used to being in control!).   


When I was pregnant, I was worried about what was going on inside of me.  Was the baby okay?  Were there any defects?  Was she going to come out with all ten fingers and toes?  How would I even know if the umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck?  I thought my anxiety would get better once she was out and I could see her. 

Boy, was I wrong. 

When she was a newborn we had to worry about SIDS (and this is shoved in every new mom's face, let me tell you.  It's in every parenting book, newsletter, magazine, you name it.  I don't think I'd ever heard of SIDS before I had a baby).  This one really affected Husband, too.  We made sure she was put to sleep on her back.  She didn't have anything in her crib that could suffocate her.  We checked on her every ten minutes to make sure she was still breathing.

When she was started to become mobile we baby proofed what we could so we didn't have to worry about her finding cleaning supplies or electrocuting herself.  We moved the coffee table out of the living room so she wouldn't bump her head against it.  We made sure her toys were appropriate and not too old.

Now that Baby is walking (yup, we made it to walking!), we worry about her falling over and hurting herself.  We have hardwood floors, so it's even scarier to watch her plop down.  She's gotten pretty good about not hitting her head, though.  We also worry about her finding something she shouldn't and eating it.  Or getting scratched/bitten by the cats.

I also have seriously irrational worries that have been plaguing me.  I know they sound silly, but they've been in the back of my mind.      

What if Baby is bitten by a spider (maybe a black widow!) in the middle of the night?  How would I know?

I'm paranoid when driving.  I think I might get hit and Baby will be crushed or stuck hanging upside down in her carseat (I know, that one's extreme). 

What if an earthquake happens and she's stuck under something?

What is she swallows something and I don't notice?

How do I really know she doesn't have some type of disability?  With the rise of autism, when do I know if Baby is showing any signs?

And on and on.

This job of motherhood is pretty worrisome.  I know there are things out of my control and I need to just do that best I can and let God take care of whatever is going to happen.  In the meantime, I wouldn't be a mom if I didn't worry, right?   

Saturday, January 1, 2011

SeeFood

Do you like seefood?  Not seafood.  Seefood. 

Lately, Husband has been asking Baby this at the dinner table.  Then he opens up his mouth with a glob of half masticated food in it and says "aaahhh" right at Baby.  She loves it. 

I hate it and give him an evil glare.  He thinks he's funny.  Baby thinks he's funny. 

So far she hasn't copied him.  But it could be any day now.  We've recently mastered Bye-Bye (it's really cute!  She jerks her little arm up and down and grins like crazy).  I do not want her mastering seefood. 

How embarrassing will it be when we go out to restaurant and Baby starts opening her mouth with food in it to show everyone?  The waiters will think I have a child with terrible table manners.  Friends and family will not invite us over to eat because my daughter could be a bad influence on their children.  I could be labeled as the mother who teaches her child bad manners. 

Oh dear.  I must put a stop to this.