Thursday, June 27, 2013

Becoming a Hermit

Baby and Baby2 contracted colds last week, so we stayed home and didn't venture out to all the normal kid places like we normally would.  I figured that's where the germs came from in the first place and I didn't want to expose them to more while their immune systems were working overdrive.

It got pretty comfortable staying home.  Remember how I always like being on a schedule?  This was a different kind of schedule.  Instead of rushing out the door to gymnastics, we hung out at home.  Instead of trying to make it to story time on time, we stayed home.  It was rather nice.

However, I am now having feelings of anxiety when it comes to taking the two of them places.  I'm afraid I'm going to look like a bad parent in public.  Someone will see my child screaming (Baby) or yelling at me (Baby), or running away from me (Baby), or just plain not listening (Baby).  Or a child will have a massive blowout all over me (Baby2) or start crying and can't be consoled (Baby2), or any number of things.  

Thus, I have conversations with myself:
Go to the grocery store?  Nah.  I can come up with something from what we have.

Go get gas in my car?  Nah.  Not gonna drive anywhere so why buy it?
Take Baby to storytime?  Nah.  I can read to her here.
Take Baby to gymnastics?  Nah.  She can climb all the furniture in the house and do somersaults in the living room.  She's good.
Return an item that was broken?  Nah.  I can attempt to fix it.
Shop for new curtains?  Nah.  That's what the internet is for.

Matter of fact, I can do everything online!  Who needs to leave the house? 

(Ok, I'm only half joking. I did get myself in gear and bring Baby to gymnastics.  It wasn't super stressful.  Baby2 barely cried, only spit up all over the floor once, and Baby didn't run away from me forever.  I survived.)  


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Puzzle Memory

We are finding out that Baby has an amazing memory.  She can remember things really well.  Things that I wouldn't think a three year old would be able to remember.  She recalls details of places we went, theme songs that go with different Disney princesses, people we went places with, etc. 

Once we show Baby something a few times, she remembers it pretty well.  For example, her puzzles.  Baby likes to do puzzles.  She has a couple of favorites.  One is your typical alphabet puzzle where the wooden letters fit into their slots.  Another is a puzzle of people in the neighborhood, like a firefighter, police officer, etc.  That's a cardboard one where the pieces fit together on a board.  It has 25 pieces.  Her other favorite is a Mickey Mouse puzzle that she got to color herself.  It's one of those felt drawings that helps you color in the lines.  It has Mickey and Donald and Daisy.  It doesn't have a backing; it's the most similar to an adult puzzle where there is no outline to put the pieces in.  You just fit all twelve (maybe sixteen?) pieces together.

Baby couldn't do the puzzles on her own initially.  Now she is a pro.  However, watching her I realized that she just memorized where the pieces went.  The alphabet one is easy because the letters either fit in their slots of not.  With the people in the neighborhood, she doesn't fit the pieces together at first, but looks at the pictures and puts them where she remembers they are supposed to go.  Same with the Mickey puzzle.  She knows Mickey's head goes in the top right, and Daisy in the top left.  Then their bodies, and the rest until it is done.  She demanded we do these puzzles over and over with her until she knew where everything went.  If we tell her to figure it out and try different pieces to see what fits, she gets very frustrated and acts out by throwing the pieces at us whining, "I can't doooo iiiitttt."

Another activity that she likes are the hidden pictures.  Objects are hidden in pictures and you have to find them.  She gets a kids magazine each month that has this activity in it.  She doesn't like to look for the items herself, but once you show her where the hidden objects are located, she remembers for future reference.  She can pull out any of her old magazines and tell you where all the objects are. 

She has great recall, but I'm not sure if I should be concerned that she won't try anything out for herself first.  Her personality is like this though, too.  She is very cautious and will watch other people for cues on how to act in certain environments.  She will follow the strong personalities and do what they do.  This is great if she chose to follow the good kids.  However, she much prefers to emulate the troublemakers. 

Hopefully she will become more confident in what she does.  In the meantime, she will watch someone else, then remember for herself. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Track and Field, Class 3

Baby earned her chocolate milk today. She ran right in to do the stretching, raced with the other kids, lined up at her cone, followed directions, and had fun.

Today I thought the class was a little less organized.  There was a lot of downtime while the coaches set things up or transitioned into the next activity.

Today was stretching, racing, throwing frisbees, hurdles, and the most fun was a parachute.  I wasn't sure how the parachute was a track and field item, but the kids had a blast running under it.

Baby had set her mind to earning her chocolate milk today, and she did just that.

 


Friday, June 21, 2013

Up Five Times

I am tired.

Today, I am tired.

Literally.  Not in the weary sense, but in the sense that I just want to take a nap (and I don't mean one where Baby and Baby2 play on the floor while I nap on the couch.  We know that's a pseudo nap.  No deep, restful sleep comes when you are continuously cracking an eyelid open to make sure everyone is still alive).

Last night Baby woke up at 2 AM because she wanted the light on in her room.  I turned it on for her.  Sometimes she will be fine with it off, but every so often she will go through a phase for a period of days where she wakes up and wants the light on.  I don't know if it's healthy.  Isn't it supposed to be dark when one is sleeping, otherwise your sleep cycles are off or something? She goes back to sleep with it on, so I'm not fighting it right now.

A short while later, I hear Baby crying out for me again, "Moommmmm!  Mmmmoooooommmm!"  I get up to see what she wants.  This time she needs to go potty (I was actually relieved that she yelled out for me on this one.  I was paranoid she was going to wet her bed because I had just changed her sheets).  Boy, did she have to pee!  I walked her back to bed, kept her light on, and went back to my room.

Not too long later (I hate looking at the clock because it only reminds me of how little sleep I am getting), she starts yelling for me again.  I get up to see what she wants this time.  Now she is worried about the spider she saw in her bed the night before and is scared to sleep in it.  I lay out a blanket and pillow on the floor for her and go back to bed.

I'm about to be asleep when she starts yelling again and comes into our room.  This time I jab Husband until he wakes up and goes to take care of her.  I'm not sure what she wanted this time, but he came back to bed and told me he laid in her bed with her until she fell asleep (with the light off).

She woke up a short time later and started yelling for him now.  He ended up going in, getting her, and putting her in bed with us (I was realllyyy hoping to avoid this, and I'm pretty sure that was her goal all along).  She falls asleep next to Husband and Baby2 and I are on the other side of him.  Then he wants to roll over, which wakes her up, and so then she crawls in between us so that the bed order is Husband, Baby, Baby2, and me.  I don't want her kicking or hitting Baby2 in her sleep so I switch spots with Baby2.

Then Baby2 wakes up and wants to nurse.

Then Husband's alarm goes off for him to get up and get ready to work, which wakes Baby up, which means my day has now begun.  I attempted a pseudo-nap during Baby2's morning nap, and I probably got a good solid 20 minutes of sleep in there.

I am tired.   


Thursday, June 20, 2013

There's a Spider in My Bed

Baby has a fear of bugs.  She especially hates spiders.  I'm pretty sure this fear came from Husband who screams whenever he sees one and then is creeped out for days.

I put Baby in quiet time the other day because she really needed it.  I killed quiet time a while ago, but lately it's been resurrected.  Like a zombie.  And I keep trying to feed Baby to it, but she's pretty sneaky, that one.

Maybe that was a bit morbid.  Let's start over.

I put Baby in quiet time the other day.  She needed it.  I gave her a few books to read, dolls to read to, and walked away.

About twenty minutes later I hear her scream.  Not the "Mooomm-I-Want-To-Get-Out-Of-Quiet-Time" Scream, but the "I'm-Scared-for-Real" Scream.  I ran in to see what was wrong, and she is standing next to her bed with a worried look on her face.  I ask her what was wrong and she said there was spider in her bed.  I asked her where it went, and she doesn't know.  I lift up all her pillows and blankets and bazillion stuffed animals and don't see any sign of a spider.  I ask her to show me how big it was, and she shows me that it was a tiny one, between her thumb and forefinger.  I tell her that she scared it away and she can go back in bed to quiet time, but she is not fooled by my explanations.  I cannot offer up a dead specimen to prove that it is really dead, so she won't get back into bed.  I really want quiet time to happen, so....

 I let her sleep in my bed instead. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Track and Field, Class 2

I'll start off by saying that Baby did not earn her chocolate milk.

It was a pretty good class, too.  Much better than the first one.  We were actually on the track this time, instead of the grass.

The students started with stretching, and Baby did ok there.  Then they did a relay on the track where they had to pass a ball back and forth.  It's so funny to see the kids try to figure out where the ball goes.  They lose interest after two seconds and start putting the cones on their heads.

Baby didn't do so well after that.  Halfway through she started doing the potty dance.  Husband took her to the restroom and she missed a few of the activities.  Then she didn't want to run the hurdles and wouldn't go unless Husband or myself was holding her hand.  She didn't want to stand at her cone and throw the frisbee.  During the race at the end, she crouched down to go, but when the other students took off, she ran toward me.

After class, we told her she didn't earn her chocolate milk and would have to try again next week.  I was expecting tears, a tantrum, pleading, or negotiating.  But she was actually ok with it and accepted the verdict in stride.    


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Pacifier

Before having children, I didn't think much about the pacifier.  It was just something babies sucked on for whatever reason.

Now that I have children, I've discovered that it's a somewhat controversial issue.  There are those who are all for it, those who are completely against it, recommendations on what age to start it, what age to stop it, and on and on.

To me, breastfeeding my children has been at the top of this list of something I wanted to accomplish, and so I did/do whatever I can to make that possible.  I read about nipple confusion and decided I wouldn't offer a pacifier to my babies until breastfeeding was established so that they didn't get confused and forget how to suck.  I was so mad when Baby was born and the nurse had stuck a pacifier in her mouth the day after she was born when she took her to her hearing test.  I needn't have worried, though.  Baby was anti-pacifier and pro-mommy for the rest of her babyhood.  I tried giving her a pacifier weeks later, but she would have nothing to do with it.  It was mommy all the way to meet all her sucking needs.  Thus, I had a baby stuck to me for practically two and half years.

Looking back, I'm glad we never had to break Baby from a pacifier.  I didn't have to worry about her getting crooked teeth because of it, or tooth decay, or weaning her from it when she got older.  Nope, the only thing she was attached to was me.  The way to calm her down?  Me.  The way to put her to sleep?  Me.      

Enter Baby2.  She had a harder time with breastfeeding.  My milk came in way too fast for her, causing her to choke and sputter and gasp for air.  She quickly learned that latching on to mommy meant she had to be awake and prepared.  Falling asleep on me was not an option for her.  She tried, but she got mouthfuls of milk that would choke her, and then would spit up because she swallowed too much for her little tummy.  Thus, we started giving her the pacifier whenever she still wanted to suck.  She didn't take to it like a pro, but I can say that she tolerates it and uses it when she needs it.  She doesn't have it in her mouth twenty-four/seven, but will take it when she wants to fall asleep or calm down. 

I'm not sure how I feel about it.  Maybe betrayed, that I can't meet all my baby's needs.  I know, it's silly.  I've been replaced by a piece of plastic.  On the other hand, I feel freed.  I can put the baby down and give her the pacifier and she is content.  She's not stuck to me all the time.  Maybe this is more "normal?"       

Now I am not looking forward to when the time comes to take away the pacifier from Baby2.  Who knows when that will be?  Already I try not to offer it unless I feel she really needs it.  I cringe when people see the pacifier and automatically think it needs to go in Baby2's mouth.  Having the pacifier is a new world for me. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

Track and Field, Class 1

Baby has a ton of energy and loves to run.  When we go out on a walk, I will let her run ahead to a predetermined object.  If we are on our way somewhere, she will look at me and ask, "Where I run, Mommy?"  I'll tell her, "To the bench," or "To the corner."  Then she will run ahead and stop at the spot that I named.

When I saw a track and field class for Baby's age group over summer, I was very excited.  Something she could do and have fun with at the same time.  I signed her up.

Baby had her first class last Tuesday evening.  I think I had more fun than she did.  It is the cutest thing to watch a bunch of three and four year olds try to run and follow directions. 

Before class, I had a pep talk with Baby.  I told her that if she followed directions and did the activities, then she would get a chocolate milk.  I'm not ashamed to say I bribed my child.  I needed to do something, otherwise she wouldn't have let go of me.  Chocolate milk is her kryptonite.    

The coaches were great.  I think they may have been high school or young college students.  They were well prepared and very patient.  They made each child a name tag so they could address them personally.  When class started, they brought all the children in to form a circle and do some stretching (one of the coaches said, "Form a circle!" and the kids just stared at him.  I don't think they quite knew what that meant). 

Next they lined the runners up to do hurdles.  They had made hurdles using those foam pool noodles and short orange cones.  The children were supposed to jump over three hurdles, then come back by jumping over hula hoops laid on the ground.  Unfortunately it was really windy and the hurdles kept blowing over.  When Baby's turn came, she started off without waiting for the coach to tell her it was her turn.  Then she knocked over a couple of hurdles (most of the kids did), and got a hula hoop stuck around her waist.  Poor thing.  She was really embarrassed and when it was her turn to go again, she didn't want to.  I had to remind her of the chocolate milk to get her out there again.     

Next was a relay with tennis balls.  Now that was fun to watch. They placed children along designated cones and told them when they got the ball they had to run and give it to the next person.  The kids were so cute, running in all different directions.  Baby and a friend of hers who was also in the class decided they would put the cones on their heads while they waited.

After that the coaches lined up all the kids to do the javelin and shot put throws.  The javelin was made out of a pool noodle, and the shot put was a tennis ball.  The coaches counted to three and all the kids threw their item as far as it could go.  Then they retrieved their item and started again.  Baby did a nice job at throwing, although her footing was off.  One of the coaches tried to show her how to step with her opposite foot when she threw, but she didn't understand.  She kept stepping with the same foot and getting wider in her stance.  A grandparent who was watching asked me if he could help her understand, and I gave my permission.  Eventually she got it.  It was interesting to see her coordination, though.

Finally was a quick race between the kids across the field, and a group huddle.   I was one of those parents who took a ton of pictures and videos.  I loved watching it.

And Baby got her chocolate milk, so I think she was happy too.      


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Tilted Head

Baby2 has been gaining great head control (That's the compliment I received from a stranger the other day, anyway).  She likes to look around with her big blue eyes open wide, her giant cheeks gaining her many remarks, and her mouth hanging open with a little drool sliding out. 

I had her sitting up on my lap the other day, facing the world, when I noticed her little head was tilted to one side.  It stayed that way even as she looked around, so that she was seeing the world from an angle. 

Hypochondriac that I am, I consulted Dr. Google on what this phenomenon might be (in other words, I opened Google and typed in, "my baby has a tilted head.").  Well, Dr. Google has plenty to say on the matter.  Apparently it is a condition called torticollis.  The baby's neck muscles are stronger on one side than the other, so the head appears tilted.  This could be caused by how the baby was formed in the uterus, or it could be a sign of another syndrome having to do with bones being fused together.  Baby2 was pretty crowded in my uterus, so in my non-expert opinion, I went with that one. 

I began to recall the ways Baby2 had been holding her head, the directions in which she'd been looking.  Whenever I held her, she only looked to her left.  When I lay her on her tummy, she only looked to her left.  When she was placed in her swing, she moved her head so that it was at a weird angle. 

In my research, I discovered that in order to help Baby2 straighten out, I had to get her to stretch her neck muscles and look the other direction.  Thus, I instructed Husband that we had to make sure she turned her head both left and right whenever we were doing something; changing her diaper, playing with her, holding her, laying her down, etc. If my techniques didn't work, then I would consult an actual doctor. 

Fast forward a few weeks and she's not tilted anymore.  Hence the "She has great head control" comment. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Mama

They always tell you to expect some changes from the first child when you have the second one.  Baby has been no exception to this rule.  Although I do think she has been more creative in her changes than I had anticipated. 

One morning, Baby woke up and decided she was going to call me "Mama" again.  And she did, all day long, and into the next day.  Then I think she forgot that she was doing that intentionally, so now I'm back to "Mommy" or "Mom." 

Perhaps she wanted to remind me that she is still my baby, too.  Or she wanted me to pay attention to her a little more (I'm still working on balancing out two.  How does the Dugger mom give attention to all nineteen children?).  Maybe Baby thought she was being cute.   

Whatever the reason, it was weird.  


Friday, June 7, 2013

Spit Up Where?

I can't recall if I mentioned before that Baby2 spits up through her nose.  Seriously, she does.  Remember how she is the opposite of Baby and is a very "messy" child, what with her spitting up everywhere?  And drooling.  Let's not forget her new habit of drooling.

Well, Baby2 will sometimes spit up through her nose.  It's like when you are drinking a beverage and someone tells a hilarious story that you laugh so hard your beverage comes out through your nose.  It's like that. 

I spoke with the ENT doctor about it, and he attributes it to Baby2's immature respiratory system.  Eventually it will figure out how to work and she won't do that anymore.  In the meantime, I prop her up after eating, lay her on her tummy all the time, and hardly ever lay her flat on her back. 

The other day we had been driving home from somewhere and so I brought Baby2 into the house still in her carseat.  I set her down and she immediately starts spitting up through her mouth and nose simultaneously.  She's still strapped in, so I frantically try to unbuckle her and pull her out so I can get her cleared up.  She turned red and started convulsing a bit, trying to breathe but being unable to due to spit up in all her airways.  I got her out of her seat and sat her up, patting her back and trying to calm her and me down.  I grabbed the booger sucker and stuck that up her nose to help get the spit up out and clear her airways (that's what Dr. Google says to do.  I've never had to grab it before, but this time was intense.)

The episode really scared me.  It's terrifying to see your child unable to breathe and to feel so helpless.

Here's to hoping she outgrows this stage very quickly.  I don't like it. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

My Vegetable Garden

I'm really trying to get into the domestic thing as a stay at home mom.  What better way to be domestic than to grow my own food?  In my fantasy, I see Baby and Baby2 helping Mommy lovingly tend her garden, digging out weeds and showering the plants with the gentle spray of the garden hose.  We wear cute little garden gloves and big floppy hats to protect our hands and our skin.  Mommy inspects the plants while Baby and Baby2 watch and learn with rapt adoration.  We harvest them and make beautiful salads that we post on Instagram for everyone to ooh and aah over. Oh, and don't forget the sappy background music.   

Yeah, yeah.  I can dream.

So I wanted a vegetable garden.  I had never had a vegetable garden before (unless you count one lonely tomato plant that produced maybe two tomatoes in its life span).  This time I was serious.  Right after Baby2 was born Husband took some time off from work to help out.  Thus, I figured it was the perfect time to start a vegetable garden (translate to: Husband is around to do manual labor).

I consulted Gardener Google for the easiest vegetables to grow.  Since this was my first time, I wanted to keep things simple.  Then I narrowed it down to items my family would actually eat.  I made a list and sent Husband (and his mom who was visiting at the time) to the store while I stayed home to recover from giving birth.  

They came back with starter plants of zucchini (this had not been on my list), tomatoes, strawberries, cucumber, and watermelon (also not on my list).  They had seeds to grow radishes, carrots, and lettuce.

Husband built me a raised garden bed (which I made him move because I changed my mind as to where it should go.  What a great guy to put up with me!), and Baby "helped" me plant everything in the soil.  She was super excited to use a trowel (oh, I forgot to mention I had bought her a cute princess gardening set with trowel, rake, and gloves).  However, I had to reign her in because she wanted to grab everything from me and do it herself.

Then I waited.

I had a few strawberries start to ripen, but then they disappeared.  After surveying any friend who might know why, I came to the conclusion that the local black birds have been stealing them.  I found a screen to put over the strawberry plant, but so far no more strawberries have grown.

It was very exciting to watch the plants that I had started from seeds start to poke through the surface.  Then they just seemed to take off and grow bigger and bigger every day.  Baby had fun checking on the vegetables with me each day and wanted to water them for me.  I let her hold the hose to water them, but she didn't understand that she didn't have to pummel the plants with the water.  I'm still trying to teach her to be gentle, but her three year old self thinks she knows best.

My lettuce plants were starting to grow at a nice pace when slowly they started disappearing.  A plant would pretty much disappear over night.  It was devastating to come out in the morning and see a few sorry looking chewed off pieces of green barely poking through the soil where before had been a luscious mass of leaves.  For the longest time I couldn't figure out what was making my lettuce disappear.  And quickly, too!  My lettuce sprouts were practically vanishing right before my eyes.  I did find one caterpillar on a leaf, so I'm going to attribute it to caterpillars.  I'm in suburbia, so no rabbits or other small animals are around to munch away.  I got some diatomaceious earth and sprinkled it all around, and also some SLUGGO (to get the slugs that were eating the leaves off my watermelons).  I think it worked for a bit.

The first crop I was able to pick were radishes.  The leaves were starting to look pretty large, and so I Googled how one would know when they were ready to be harvested (Really, they are underground.  How do you know if you can't see them?  Like potatoes!  How do you know when they are ready to be unearthed?).  Google said to feel in the dirt to see if you could feel actual radishes just below the surface.  Out of all the plants I had growing, I found two ripe radishes.  Apparently I planted the rest of them incorrectly and they didn't grow into the nice round radishes they were supposed to.  Instead they were more like measly radish sticks.  The ones that had turned a nice red I ate, and the others I discarded.

My tomato plant has started to grow more and more every day, but so far I only have two tomatoes in the green stage.  One might say, "Yay, two tomatoes!"  But then one would look at my parent's tomato bush, planted around the same time as mine, and notice over thirty tomatoes making their debut.  Then one might say, "Boo, two tomatoes!"

It's all about perspective. 

My zucchini and cucumber are taking off.  They have these gorgeous yellow blooms that I'm hoping will turn into the actual vegetable sometime soon.  Although I did notice that my zucchini is getting its heads chopped off, like I noticed on the strawberries.  I'm hoping the diatomaceous earth will rectify that situation.

My carrots are starting to grow taller, but not tall enough for me to notice anything orange underneath all that green.  I'm hoping I didn't mess up on those like I did the radishes.  My watermelon is starting to grow a tiny tiny bit at a time.  Hopefully that will take off soon.  Perhaps I'll have watermelon by Thanksgiving, at the rate it's growing. 

Overall, I'm pretty proud of my garden.  It wasn't as hard to start up as I thought it would be (thanks, Husband!), and I'm actually growing something.  I'm slowly moving into this domestication thing.