Thursday, June 30, 2011

Hugs and Kisses

I'm not sure exactly how it happened, but we taught Baby how to give hugs.  If we tell her, "Go give so and so a hug," she will run over to them with her arms outstretched, then when she gets there she will turn her head and rest it on the person for a second or so.  It's the cutest thing and I love telling her to go give people hugs.  You can tell she likes the attention she gets, too. 

It's fun when we have a bunch of family over and we tell her to go give a specific aunt or uncle a hug.  She has to look around the room, find the person, then go to them.  Sometimes she goes to the wrong person, but we still cheer for her.  A hug is a hug.   

Husband has also been teaching Baby to give kisses.  You know, close your lips and give a little peck.  She's figured it out for the most part, although hers are a little slobbery with partially open lips.  We can ask her for a kiss, and she'll turn her head toward you and give you a big wet one on the lips. 

The other day, I picked Baby up for a reason I can't quite remember now.   She reached out her little arms and grabbed my face.  I wasn't sure what she was doing, but she pulled me down and planted me a wet one on my lips. 

How sweet is that?  My heart totally melted and of course I had to brag to Husband that Baby gave me a kiss without having been instructed. 

It's moments like these that make me proud to be a mom. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Attachment Parenting

I never heard of attachment parenting until I became a parent.   For those of you who are unaware, attachment parenting is a pretty recent term given to a style of parenting.  According to Dr. Sears, there are seven characteristics of attachment parenting.  You can view them at http://www.askdrsears.com/topics/attachment-parenting/what-ap-7-baby-bs .  Without even trying, I fit the profile perfectly.  Let's go through the seven characteristics: 
1)  Birth Bonding. 
I'm not sure exactly what this means, but Baby and I certainly bonded right after she was born.  She never left my side in the hospital, and Husband was always right there with us.

2)  Breastfeeding
This is one thing I completely advocate and made sure to research and prepare myself for.  So far we are sixteen months strong (I know, it's a long time!), with no plans to stop.  I want her to wean herself when she is ready, not when Mommy is ready.  Maybe by the time she reaches college...

3)  Babywearing

Hello Moby Wrap and Baby Bjorn.  Baby never wanted to be put down, so we wore her.  We still do, actually.  Gotta love having a small child. 

4)  Bedding close to baby
Yup.  We've done co-sleeping since she was born (remember, I'm lazy and don't want to walk to the next room to get her for her feeding).  Only recently have we moved her to sleeping in her crib in her own room. However, she's usually back in our bed around 2 AM.  I think since I'm on summer vacation now I'll be working more on getting her to stay all night in her own crib.  We'll see how this goes. 

5)  Belief in the language value of your baby's cry
Yup, I cannot stand to hear her cry.  It grates on my nerves, makes my  blood pressure rise and I end up snapping at Husband.  Therefore, I attend to her when she cries (hence the reason she ends up in our bed at 2AM). 

6)  Beware of baby trainers
Before I had Baby I completely thought we would adhere to a nice little schedule; eat every few hours, nap at certain times, sleep through the night (HA!), but little did I know that was a nice little fairy tale.  Since I can't stand to see my child upset (don't get me wrong, she has tantrums that I ignore), I couldn't go through the agony of trying to train her to conform to something that wasn't natural to her.  Thus, no baby training for us. 

7)  Balance
Having balance between when to say yes and when to say no to your baby.  Also making time for yourself and your Husband.  I think Husband and I have been pretty good at this.  We communicate really well and make sure we are on the same page in terms of parenting.  We might not always agree, but at least we know where the other stands. 

And there you have it, I practice attachment parenting. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Umbrella Stroller

I think my stroller collection is now complete.  Earlier I complained that I didn't have the right types of strollers for all occasions.  I started off with my travel system stroller, great for leisurely walks.  Then I added in my jogging stroller, which doesn't catch and lets me go fast.  The most recent addition is my little umbrella stroller.  Now I don't hit things when I walk around stores in the mall!

Baby likes it too, although there are no spaces for drinks or bags.  I suppose that is the point, though.  It's supposed to be small and compact. The other complaint that I have is that the handles are so low.  I have to bend a little to push it.  Husband has to bend a lot more.  I need to see if I can buy some handle extensions or something.  I'm sure they make those somewhere.  If not, patent here I come. 

Monday, June 20, 2011

Bathtime

Baby used to love bathtime.  She would stand eagerly at the side of the tub as we filled it with water.  We would line her toys up on the ledge so she could toss them in and laugh at the splash they made.  Husband and I looked forward to bathtime because it was a good bonding time (and the person not giving the bath was able to clean the kitchen!). 

Then something changed.

I have no idea what it was.

All of a sudden Baby did not like bathtime anymore.  We would start the bath and she would run the other direction.  We would toss her toys in the water like we used to and she wanted nothing to do with them.  We would dangle her toes in and she would start to cry and do the sign for all done (it's so hard to ignore that!). 

When we would ignore her, she would start screaming at the top of her lungs.  Whoever was giving her the bath would move as quickly as they possible could to wash her off and get her out of there.  It was no longer a fun thing to do with Baby and Husband and I would attempt to negotiate with each other whenever it was our turn to give her a bath.  

In order to ease her fears (I read that babies start to develop irrational fears around this age, or attempt to assert their independence.  In this case, I think Baby developed an irrational fear.  Seriously.  You should have heard the way she was screaming), I started taking baths with her.  She would let me hold her in the bathtub and wash her down without any crying.  If I tried to get out, however, she wanted out with me. 

I even convinced Husband to put his swimsuit on and sit in the tub with her for bathtime.  Needless to say, I became the primary bath giver. 

Fast forward a month and a half later and Baby is happy in the bath again.  I slowly transitioned my way out of the bathtub with her to sitting next to the tub again.  She still runs away at the mention of bathtime, but at least she isn't screaming her lungs out anymore.  Why that happened, I'll never know. 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Dirty and Mismatched

Recently I was going through family photos with my mother.  We were looking at old pictures of me and comparing them to my own Baby.  I saw a lot of similarities and a lot of differences.  

Some of our facial features and expressions are very similar.  Our hair is completely different.  Baby has light brown, gorgeous curls.  I had stick straight super blond hair.  I had more of a complacent look, while Baby is most certainly more mischievous.  You can see it in her eyes.   

One thing I noticed was how dirty I was in all the pictures.  Like, really dirty.  I was covered from head to toe in mud or sand or pudding, or something!  My face was splotched with some substance or other.  My hands and arms were caked with dark spots.  My clothes and diaper were spotted as well. 

I asked my mother why, and she said she thought I needed to explore and there was no harm in it.  This made me feel better about letting my own Baby get dirty.  Why does she need to be clean every second?  Why can't she feel the dirt between her fingertips and let it dribble down her shirt?  Why not? 

Another thing I noticed, especially when looking at childhood pictures of me was how silly my clothes were.  Or lack thereof ( I ran around in diapers a lot).  My mother said she never fought with us over our clothes, but let us have independence and dress ourselves.  It wasn't something that was worth a fight. 

I'm not sure how I feel about that one.  I'm sure at the time I felt liberated and independent.  Like I was a big girl. 

But my outfits were terrible! 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Sleep Like a Baby

It has been the best past few nights ever. 

For the first time in sixteen months, Baby slept through the night.  Yes, the FIRST time in SIXTEEN MONTHS! 

If you recall, I wrote a blog post about the definition of sleeping through the night.  My Baby does not like sleep.  She hates it with a passion and fights it until she can fight no more.  She wakes up every few hours or so and fights going back to sleep.  She will yell and scream at the top of her little lungs. 

Sad to say, I did try the cry it out method.  After a week of my child screaming for hours on end, I gave that method up and figured she would learn how to sleep in her own time. 

We try to put her down around 7:30 or 8 pm then get up around 6:30 or 7 am.   In between those hours, she wakes up at least three times.  Which means Mommy wakes up at least three times.  Or she hits Husband to wake up.  That's beside the point.  The point is, she doesn't sleep through the night.    

Sixteen months after her birth, she is starting to figure things out.  Take that, Mr.Ferber. 

The first night, she slept from 11 pm until 5:30 am. 

The second night from 8:30 pm until 6:00 am. 

I'm in heaven. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

It's a mad, mad, mad, mad world.

Hello! 

I know, you are surprised to see me.  Thought I fell of the face of the earth, didja?  Well, here's a few things that have happened in the past couple of months to get you updated. 

A couple of week's after Baby's one year appointment she got really sick.  We had gotten her one-year shots and she totally reacted to everything.  Her personality changed, she stopped doing her baby sign, and took up a new habit of screaming.  Daycare noticed a big change in her, I spoke to a doctor too many times to count, and lost a lot of sleep.  

I freaked out about autism and had to quit reading Google and blog posts or I was going to go insane. 

A month later she was back to her normal self, with just a few screaming bouts here and there. 

Then my grandfather passed away.

Then Husband went away for work and I was a single mom for a bit. 

Husband came home from work travel and brought with him strep throat. 

I was once again a single mom, this time to two babies. 

Husband is now all better, Baby thinks she is two, and I start my summer vacation at the end of this week. 

I love summer. 

The End. 

P.S.  More to come about Baby and her escapades soon, I promise!