Saturday, July 28, 2012

So when are you having (another) one?

We get asked this question pretty frequently. 

     When are you going to have another one?

     You make such cute babies, why not make another?

     Doesn't Baby need a little sister or brother?

     Don't you think it's time to start planning ahead?

     You're not getting any younger.

 These questions (modified) can apply to having a first child as well.

So far, my answer has been that Baby is enough of a handful.  Sure, we'd like more eventually but we're happy with what we have.  Why disrupt our current Nirvana?  We still have time.

But that's not the truth. (Yes,  I was lying.)  The truth is, we've been trying.

And nothing has been happening.  

Month after month after month.  

With Baby, we were fortunate to conceive right away, and all was well. 

Things haven't been that easy.  (We even downloaded an app!) 

I now have a new respect (?) admiration (?) concern (?)  sympathy (?) for people without kids, or with just one.  Asking those questions seems downright disrespectful.  Like you're implying something is wrong with people because they don't have a child.  Maybe something is wrong.  Maybe someone does think it's time for (another) one, but things aren't working out and it's too personal of an issue to discuss. Maybe it's none of your business and it's easier to make up a story than tell the truth. 

Now I think everyone is lying. 


Friday, July 27, 2012

Mini Starbucks Addict

February 2012

We have a mini Starbucks addict on our hands. Don't worry, I'm not really giving her Starbucks. 

I do, however, have my own Starbucks addiction.  White chocolate mochas, mmmm.   Baby knows where the Starbucks are.  She points them out as we drive past.  Can you tell I make frequent stops?

If we are early on a workday, then we will go through the drive through together.  I'll get a mocha and Baby will get a cup of ice water. 

She loves it and thinks it is the coolest thing whenever we get Starbucks together.

   

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Baby is Two!

February 2012

How is my Baby two years old already?  It's crazy to think about.  She's not really a baby anymore, more like a little girl with a goofy personality and a mind of her own.

For her two year old birthday we threw her a gymnastics party.  We rented out the gymnastics center where she had taken lessons, brought in some food, and invited all her closest friends. 

It was a blast.  I think the adults had more fun than the kids.  Everyone was able to jump on the giant trampoline, walk the balance beams, climb the obstacle course, jump into the giant foam pit (I think a few socks were lost in there), and altogether have the run of the place. 

We did a Minnie Mouse theme for her party, so the invitations were Minnie Mouse, the favors were Minnie Mouse, and all the decorations matched.  Husband had even found some trays at Target that were in the shape of Mouse heads that we put chips and dip in.  Her cake was made by a professional, and was a three tier pink and white masterpiece with mouse ears on the top. 

I'm contemplating doing the same thing next year.  It could be like Baby's annual gymnastics party...maybe? 

Baby also made out in terms of toys and clothes.  She got the cutest outfits and a little Minnie Mouse backpack.  We made her backpack her new diaper bag and it goes to daycare with her everyday. 

That's all I can remember from the party (that's what happens when you blog a few months behind).  Oh well.  I know people had a great time.  That's what matters. 


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Shopping Cart

 February 2012

Baby has always hated sitting in the front of the shopping cart.  We've learned it's easier not to force her, and instead we ask her where she would prefer to sit, either in front or in back.  Predictably, she chooses to hang out in the back of the cart for the duration of the trip.

For Baby's two year old birthday, her grandma gave her a play shopping cart.  It's a regular shopping cart, but scaled down to Baby's size and made out of that lovely hard plastic substance all child toys seem to come in nowadays.  It has a pink basket equipped with a front child seating section and a place behind it to put groceries.

Baby was very excited to get her shopping cart.  She wanted to push it around and put things in it.  I put her baby doll in the front seat and her plastic fruit in the cart section.  Baby pushed it around like that for a while, excited about taking her baby shopping.

The other morning I was getting ready to go to work and Baby was playing with her shopping cart.  After I hurriedly threw my hair up and put clothes on, I checked on Baby.  She was still playing with her shopping cart, but there was a bit of a change.  She had placed her baby doll in the cart section and all the plastic fruit in the front seat.

Apparently her baby doll had chosen to sit in the back of the cart for that trip.

Satisfied, Baby took her baby doll shopping up and down the hallway.  

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Keeping up with the Kardashians

January 2012

Sometimes I think I really need to start working with Baby a little more on her achievements.  Granted, I think she's pretty smart, but when I start hearing stories from other moms, I get a little nervous.


Like the story about the mom whose 18 month old was identifying the letter X outside the car window as they drove past a construction site.  She noticed that the equipment was crossed in the shape of an X from her point of view.

Um, letters?  They're useful for reading....Guess I'd better get on that one. 

Or Husband's coworker whose child (a month younger than Baby) is already potty trained.  That's a big one.  It would be fun to have a potty-trained Baby, but she doesn't tend to do things on our timetable. 

Or the child (three months younger than Baby) who has perfect pronunciation and can say all those hard-to-pronounce sounds like "k" and "r" and "g."  So far Baby just substitutes "d" in for every letter she can't pronounce.  When we don't understand her, she repeats herself like she is talking to a child.  Isn't it supposed to be the other way around here?

Hearing these stories starts to get my competitive juices flowing.  What can I do to make Baby smarter?  Faster?  Better than everyone else? 

Then I ask myself why.  Why?  She doesn't have to be.  She's already perfect.  

Monday, July 23, 2012

Tricks of the Trade

I'd like to share a few things I've learned in my few short years of being a mom.  Things that had never occurred to me before having a child out and about in public alone.  Hopefully something will be useful to you, or you might have even better ideas than myself.   

1.  Using the restroom in a public place.
This one always baffled me.  When out and about, alone with your child, how in the world do you pee?   Where do you put your child?  Well, I discovered the handicapped bathroom stall.  Wheel stroller and baby in, do your business, then roll on out of there.  Voila, problem solved.


2.  Opening a door.
I'm not kidding.  I know, there are automatic doors and that fancy handicapped button off to the side that I can push, but what about regular doors?  That don't open on their own?  When I push Baby in her stroller, I'm usually walking with someone else.  We get to a door and the other person automatically holds the door open for me to push Baby through.  When first faced with the dilemma of the door on my own,  I must have looked like a crazy person.  I tried reaching over the stroller, holding it open and pushing through.  Twisting and turning aside, I've found a few things actually work that make me look like a pro.  First of all, I can look around for a random stranger and give them a helpless, sad-eyed look.  This usually elicits a sympathetic smile and the door is magically held open. On a more practical note (and I seriously did get this advice from a mom friend of mine since I am so clueless), you turn the stroller around and walk backwards to push a door open.  Then, once you and stroller have successfully cleared the doorway, turn stroller around and proceed on to destination. Genius, I know.    

3.  Getting a child to sit in the cart at the grocery store.  Or Target.
For the longest time, my child refused to sit in the cart at the store.  She just wanted to be held.  If we tried to put her in the seat, she would start screaming bloody murder and grab and pull and kick and do anything she possibly could so that we would not stick her in the seat.  Even if we did manage to get her in there, she would slip her feet out of the openings and try to stand up.  We would be forced to walk around with a screaming child, holding her down, gritting our teeth as onlookers gave us evil glares that when translated said, "Just take your child out for goodness sake so we don't have to hear her scream."

I did carry her a bunch of times.  I attempted pushing the cart while carrying her.  That was awkward.  Pushing a cart full of groceries with one hand and holding a child with another means a lack of direction when steering.  Since I have a lack of direction to begin with, I would run into many things.

Then I discovered that I could pull the cart instead of push it.  Ta da, steering ability regained.  Baby was happy because she was held, and I wasn't running over random children whose parents actually put them down to walk.

Bribes also worked for a time.  Once Baby sat in the chair, I would give her a snack of some sort and she would be occupied for just long enough that I could get some shopping in.

Lately, I've discovered the art of being proactive.  Before we get to the store, I have a chat with Baby about what we are doing and where we are going.  Then I give her choices.  Does she want to sit in the back of the cart or the front of the cart? Since she hates sitting in the front seat of the cart, she always tells me the back.  I repeat this process probably a bazillion times up until we get into the store and get a cart.  I give her one last choice, then settle her in to whichever place she has insisted upon (the back, of course).  There she gets to play with all the groceries mommy throws in.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Ma-Ma to Mama to Mommy to Mom

I think Baby has been paying too much attention to the kids at daycare. 

When she first learned how to talk, I used to be Ma-Ma.  Then Baby blended it together a little better and I became Mama.

I love Mama.   I like to refer to myself as Mama when talking to Baby.  There's something so sweet and innocent when one is called Mama.  I'm looked at with such trust and vulnerability.   

Well, goodbye sweet and innocent. 

Now, if Baby isn't getting my attention, she acts like a teenager (hence the reference to daycare).  From the backseat of the car I hear, "Mommy, mommy, mooooommmmyyyyyy!  Mom!  Mommy!  Mom! Mom! Mommmm!" 

How old is she again? 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Booth vs High Chair

January 2012

I can't remember if I blogged on this or not, but Baby has refused to sit in her high chair for a while now.  She wants to sit like a big girl in a regular chair and not be strapped in somewhere.

I have a friend who said her daughter went through the same thing, but they just didn't give her any food until she was seated in her high chair, and that solved the rebellion.  Unfortunately, that strategy doesn't work for my child.  No food, no problem.  She'll starve herself rather than be forced to sit where she doesn't want to.  I decided it was a battle I didn't want to fight, so now Baby gets to sit in a regular chair.  Although really all she does is stand on it since she wouldn't be able to see over the table otherwise.  It works. 

When we go out to restaurants, we have the same issue.  Baby refuses to sit in a high chair.  She will scream and climb her way out of there.  Instead, we now ask for a booth wherever we go.  We trap her in the corner and she is free to sit, stand, sit, stand, sit, stand, sit, stand....til her heart's content. 

Maybe we gave in to easy, but it works for us. 


Monday, July 16, 2012

Fat Lips

January 2012

Baby has a strategy to keep Husband and I on our toes.  Whenever Husband watches her while I go off and do something (meet a friend, run an errand, etc.), she chokes.  Literally.  Then she will turn blue, Husband will freak out, turn her upside down and clear all airways.

With me, she gets hurt.   

Baby is now in this phase where she likes to climb everything.  She has no fear, either.  She climbs chairs, couches, the kitchen table (we've discouraged this one, don't worry), anything she can pull herself up on, she does.

One day Baby decided to climb up on the couch.  Then stand on the couch.  Then she fell off the couch, onto one of her toys.  She smacked herself right on the corner of it with her lip.  It swelled up so fast I didn't know what to do.  She cried for a little bit,but then she was fine.  I called a friend of mine for advice.  She said to just check for any loose teeth (none that I could tell) and put ice on it.

I tried to put ice on it, but she didn't want any of it.  I gave her an ice pop to suck on, which she was interested in for a whole half a second.  Then she went back to playing.  Luckily the swelling went down and all was fine. 

Fat lip number two happened outside.  We had found a neat toddler play structure not too long ago for the backyard so Baby would have something to climb out there.  It is about four and a half feet tall, two stories, with a slide going down from the second story.  It's pretty neat, although I had hoped Baby would have figured out by now how to climb it herself (she climbs everything else!).  Nope. She will go down the slide by herself, then run over to the ladder part and wait for help to get back up. One time she tried to get down the structure by going down the ladder instead of the slide.  She misjudged her hold and Bam!  Fat lip.

Fat lip number three happened outside the public library.  We had just gone to story time and she wanted to play on the metal statue out front.  It's a sculpture of an elderly woman reading to a few children.  All of them are seating in a row on a bench.  Baby lost her footing while walking around it and smacked her mouth into the corner of that metal bench.  We had lots of blood that day. 

Fat lip number four was as a result of Baby trying to climb again.  She was climbing one of our kitchen chairs, lost her balance, and smacked her face into the side of the wooden chair. 

Fat lip number five was outside when she was running around.  We have a flower garden outside our front window that she likes to help Mommy tend.  The flower garden is surrounded by concrete pavers.  She fell into the concrete flower garden, face first on the concrete, of course. 

I think I'm getting pretty good at having fat lips at this point in time.  The rule is to always have a popsicle handy. 

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Wheee!

January 2012

During my breaks, Baby and I like to go visit Husband for lunch at his work.  It's a little less than an hour drive, so I try to keep Baby occupied during the long car rides since she does not like to sit still for very long.  Usually she does well on the ride there, taking a nap or playing.  The rides home she usually screams and strains to get out. 

On this particular visit, I realized how much Baby is really starting to pay attention and understand the world around her. 

On the way there, we went around a sharp bend and I said, "Wheee!" to her. She said, "Wheee!"  back to me, and we continued on.

We picked up Husband, and I was telling him about our uneventful drive, how we went around the curves and said-- At this point, I looked at Baby and asked her, "What did we say?" expecting no answer.  Instead, she shouts out, "Wheee!" and giggles.

I was really surprised that she could understand what I was saying and replay it for her Daddy.  She's starting to grow up!   

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Mama Now

January 2012

For the past twenty-two months I have been waking up multiple times in the middle of the night to nurse Baby (Yep, still nursing her).  One night I looked at the clock every time I woke up, just so I could have an estimate of how often she was nursing.  Any guesses on how often?  Every TWO hours.  And people wonder why I am tired.  Not kidding, my child woke up every two hours wanting to nurse and be comforted.  I stopped looking at the clock after that one night.  It was too depressing.

Anyway, being a teacher, I get extended vacations (it's ok, you can be jealous).  This year my district decided to give us three weeks off for winter break.  Since Baby is almost two, and I was really wanting to start sleeping again, I made the big decision to start weaning her at night.  I would still nurse her before bed and in the morning, but no more in the middle of the night.

The first night was actually easier than I thought.  She woke up a bazillion times, and each time I
told her she would have to wait until morning.  She was ok with that (meaning no screaming) and went back to sleep.  I thought, "This is easier than I thought it was going to be."

Ha. 

The next nights she woke up a bazillion times and would scream each time I refused to nurse her.  Like huge, I'm-dying, screams.  I just held her and rocked her until she went back to sleep.  Husband says that's how she cries when I am not at home and he is with her.  It was awful.  She sobbed and cried so much she hyperventilated.  Thus, I started offering her water instead of me.  After screaming for extended periods of time, she started accepting the water.  I had found a replacement for me, I hoped.

Anyway, after a few weeks she still woke up practically every two hours, but was satisfied with water and would then go back to sleep.  Shortly thereafter she was sleeping longer stretches during the night, and I felt a little more energized during the days. 

She would still wake up around 4 AM, asking for "Mama," but I made her wait until at least 5:30 before she could have her morning "Mama."  I would check my phone and tell her it wasn't 5:30 yet.  This started a period of time where she would wake up in the middle of the night and yell at me that it was 5:30 and she could have "Mama."  I would tell her, "No, it's not time for Mama now." and she would cry and try to convince me that indeed it was 5:30.  "Mommy, it 5:30!  It 5:30!" 

She knew that I checked my phone when she woke up, to see if it was time, so then she started waking up and telling me to check my phone.  Thus, we went through a series of, "Mommy, check da pone!  Check da pone!  It 5:30!   Mama now!"   

It's really hard to convince her otherwise.  However, I stuck to it and didn't let her heart-wrenching cries break me down.

I know there is probably some other method out there where I didn't have to hear my child scream and sob like she was dying, but I don't think anything else would have worked for us.  I don't believe she needed it for the nutrition value and wasn't worried I was depriving her of nourishment.  I felt awful going through it, but once I started I couldn't stop, or it would only be that much worse when we tried again. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Yes, plee

January 2012

We've been emphasizing manners with Baby.  I want her to be polite and say please and thank you.  She seems to have caught on pretty well.  A little too well, actually.  Now, every time we ask a question, she will answer it and then say, pleee.

For example:

"Baby, are you cold?"

"Yes, plee."

"Would you like a blanket?"

"Yes, plee."

"Are you hungry?"

"Yes, plee."

"What would you like to eat?"

"Yes, plee."

"Where are we going today?"

"M's, plee."

"Did you spill your juice?"

"Yes, plee."

"Pick up your toys."

"Yes, plee."

 And so on. 

There were more that were cuter,  but I can't remember.    

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Auditory Learner

December 2011

I have decided Baby is an auditory learner.  She does a great job of listening to us and repeating things back to us.  If we ask her what animals make which sounds, she can name them all and make their respective sounds, no problem.  However, if we look at books and attempt to identify animals and their sounds from pictures, she has a much harder time. 

She can also listen to songs and sing along with them.  She absolutely loves listening to music on the radio.  

I'm wondering how this will affect her schooling.  I thing she will be able to memorize things very well, but we'll have a harder time with reading and comprehension, maybe? 

Only time will tell. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Christmas 2011


From December 2011 that I finally got around to finishing:  

Everything depends on Baby.  If she's tired and grumpy, then she clings to me and things don't go well.  If she's rested, fed, and happy, then she's able to play with everyone and entertain them and herself.

This year Baby was happy.  Christmas was fantastic.  I was able to prep lots of food in advance and not get overwhelmed.  Baby played with her new toys (I am seriously running out of places to put things.  I've reorganized numerous times and somehow the toys just keep taking over).

One of the toys Baby got was a Barbie four wheeler.  It's battery powered and all she has to do it press a button to make it go.  She first saw it and was really excited.  She knows how to do regular ride-on toys.  She got on it a and tried to push with her feet to make it go.  It was a little more difficult than she anticipated.

I forget who pressed the button, but once it was pressed Baby freaked out.  She jumped off as fast as she could and ran to me.  She wanted absolutely nothing to do with that machine.

For the next day or two Baby warily kept her distance. 

On December 27, Baby decided to conquer that thing.  She hesitantly sat on it and pressed the button.  ZOOM it went across the room, Baby laughing hysterically.  However, she had no idea how to steer it so she went straight into the wall and sat there looking confused.  I had her get off, turned the machine around, and she went right back on it to repeat the whole process of running into the opposite wall.

Now she's not afraid of it at all, but I hope she learns how to steer soon.  I'm not sure how much more pounding my walls and doors can take.