2010 - Baby Steps in High Heels

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The only one?

10:30 AM 4
The only one?
[Warning: I'm talking about poop today. And some other stuff.]

Baby is my first and only child, which I suppose still allows me the title of “new” mom. As I’m trudging along in this game of life and motherhood, I do my best to learn, research, and make informed decisions about the many elements that make up Baby’s life.

However, there are some things that, for no apparent reason, I have just always assumed were normal. It never occurred to me that she might be the only one that does that (whatever that may be).

The other day, my mom commented that my daughter is the only baby she’s ever known that poops in the middle of the night. Is that true?! Is that not normal?! She almost always wakes herself up with a dirty diaper around 5 or 6 a.m.

Then, she has at least one, sometimes two, more dirty diapers by the time breakfast is over. Is she the only one?!

There are some other things too. I just always assumed that every one-ish-year-old baby fights things like getting dressed and wearing shoes. It’s a struggle. Every. Day. But maybe it’s not supposed to be like this. Is she the only one?! Or do your kids also fight tooth and nail when you try to put a pair of pants on them? Even when it’s freezing and you know they must be cold??

And the table food thing. I see tons of first birthday smash cake pictures or plates/faces full of spaghetti … but not my child. She will only eat either pureed foods that we feed to her, food that she sees come directly off of my plate, or hard/dry/crunchy things that she can pick up with her hands (like cereal). Is she the only one?! Or is this normal?

I suppose the more relevant question is really … what can I do about these things? Especially the poop!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Reflection

3:01 PM 5
Reflection
The past year has been a year of many firsts for me. Although I became a new mother toward the end of 2009, it probably wasn’t until well into 2010 that I began to make my way out of the post-crappy-pregnancy, post-crappy-c-section, post-what-the-heck-do-I-do-now haze that was the month of December last year.

Amongst the firsts that I’ve experienced …

-I survived the crushing guilt and sadness of the ‘now I must go back to work and leave my child in the care of others’ when my maternity leave came to an end. Truth be told, this is one I continue to ‘survive’ on a pretty regular basis.

-I made peace with the fact that my body simply would not produce enough milk to nurse my child. And, in the end, I even made peace with how disgusting I thought formula was. I remember thinking that it stunk to high heaven … now I barely notice.

-When the time came, I taught Baby how to eat from a spoon! It was pretty awesome to be the one to teach her how to do something that she had never before experienced. To watch just a little bit of progress every time was really cool. Now I barely think about what a feat it was.

-That smile of hers. And those baby noises ... “Ah-gurrr” and “Geee” are still some of the most amazing sounds I have ever heard in my entire life! That, and the belly laughs. The best sounds ever!

-Diaper Blow Outs! Man, who knew this would be the easy part of parenting? Even the ones that happened while on the road!

-Spitting up. I survived. We all survived. Nine LOOOOOOOOOOOOONG months. Maybe even closer to ten months. I remember thinking that there would never be a time that we went anywhere without a burp cloth, that nobody would ever see Baby’s adorable outfits because they were always hiding behind bibs … but we made it!

-Milestones. Rolling over. Sitting up. Pulling up. Cruising along. Realizing that every time I thought she was “just about to do it” … she had other plans for me and made me wait. I’m pretty sure this was how she taught me that she was really the one in charge!

-And speaking of milestones, there were some pretty amazing ones on the emotional end of things, too. Even if I cried or was an emotional wreck … I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything in the world! The first birthday. The first time she called me ‘mama’ (which was actually just the other day because she calls both Husband and me Dada most of the time). The first time we hung out, just the two of us, and did nothing but giggle at who knows what. The first time we looked at each other and just knew … we were meant for each other.

-Watching Baby learn new things throughout the first year of her life. It started with simple things like rolling over, eating from a spoon, etc. Now it’s putting concepts together. Learning to communicate with words or sign language. Pointing to what she wants. Her curiosity is amazing.

-Black Friday shopping. Okay, this one seems a little funny, but it’s true. My mom commented that I had changed quite a bit when I listed off all the stores I wanted to go into on BF: Gymboree, The Children’s Place, Target (for any number of baby items), etc. It wasn’t too long ago that there would have been a very different variety of stores on my list. And, I suppose that this can be applied to many other areas of life. My priorities have most definitely changed in the last year.

There are many, many more (obviously!), but these are the ones that come to mind right now. I know that 2011 will bring just as many new experiences, some good, some probably not so good (I envision trips to the ER with toddler-hood looming) … some disgusting (given that we’re still dealing with diapers). All of which, though, will make up the story of our lives.

Of course, I’d be okay of that story didn’t include any more explosive diapers.

I'd also be okay without another ear infection, doctor's visit (with the exception of well checks), or anymore peas in my hair. Just sayin' ...

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas

1:03 PM 4
Christmas
It's been a week since I blogged last, and, to be honest, I'm still a bit on overload. So many things have happened over the last several days, many that would make for a great story or funny post. But it's all just too much to wrap my mind around. So, I'm just going to do a quick recap ...

-Baby's day care was closed from Wednesday last week through the weekend. It was great spending so much time with her. It was also ... exhausting! I really don't know how the SAHMs do it. I'm sure you all settle into some sort of routine, but that kid wore us out! I think we wore her out a bit too ... Husband said she wasn't her normal clingly self this morning when he dropped her off.

-Husband and I exchanged gifts on Dec. 23 in advance of the madness that would ensue in the days to come (see below). He got me an awesome Dell Inspiron mini! And shortly after opening my very own little laptop that night, I began to compose an equally awesome blog post. It was sweet, cute, clever ... and deleted. Because I apparently didn't know how to work the thing. This is round two (5 days later). I've already hit save about a dozen times.

-Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were a whirlwind of family celebrations. We had lots of fun, saw many loved ones. And we met Baby's Christmas-Eve-Meltdown head on. In the car. For two hours. Lesson learned: Holiday madness + a stuffed church at the end of the day = mass amounts of overstimulation/frantic tantrums/unhappy campers. (I think Baby was pretty unhappy too).



-Despite all of my attempts to create tradition, especially my adamantly placed foot (read: We WILL wake up at home on Christmas morning. Baby WILL wake up in her own bed and see what Santa brought her AT HER OWN HOUSE), we didn't actually open Baby's Santa gifts until the day after Christmas. It was madness, I tell you. If only we could have racked up frequent driver miles for all the criss-crossing we did throughout the state of Texas. It turned out okay, though. I know we won't be able to get away with that next year, but we'll burn/cross/turn-and-run-away-from that bridge in about 11 months or so.

-That brings us to today. Baby is 13 months-old today. Gulp. Double gulp. I don't know how this happened. I realy don't. Somewhere in the frenzied midst of sippy cup battles and table food wars, my teeny, tiny little girl that was swaddled until she was 8-months-old just grew into size-large sleep sacks. She "all of a sudden" has a vocabulary of a handful of words and about a dozen animal sounds. She, practically overnight, learned the meaning of the word "no" ... and also how to ignore that word when her mama says it. Somehow my baby has become a toddler. Gulp. Double gulp.

Fortunately, our family Christmas celebrations are not yet over. So I can simply deny this reality and bury myself in additional gift buying, cookie baking, etc.
Whether you're still celebrating or simply sitting back and enjoying memories of these last few days, I hope you had a Merry Christmas filled with lots of love and happiness.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Tis the season … for chaos.

9:09 AM 7
Tis the season … for chaos.
I’m twice as tired and half as organized as I used to be.

I find myself using that phrase on a regular basis these days.

I used to knock out things like thank you cards and Christmas cards in an hour flat. And early, too. Like … thank you cards were mailed out the day after an event.

Not so much anymore. I don’t know whether to blame the busy holiday season this year or just motherhood. Somehow, I have a sneaking suspicion it’s more of the latter.

I have been somewhat organized. I did address/stamp/stuff almost all of my Christmas cards two weeks ago.

Yesterday I found a stack sitting on my kitchen counter. [Note: Husband is a neat freak. Our counters are not cluttered. I don’t know how I missed this STACK of cards.]

Somehow I had sent out one half in the mail, but not the other half. Don’t ask. I have no answer. No clue as to why I’d leave a stack of perfectly addressed/stamped/stuffed cards just sitting there.

I’ve also been relatively organized when it comes to gift shopping. I’ve been putting things together since sometime in November, maybe even as early as mid-October. But it never fails that I still end up with a list of last minute gifts, wrapping supplies, etc. the week before Christmas.

I should have seen this coming when it took us a week to decorate the tree. The fact that we bought it at a local hardware store (which, sadly, has become a tradition in our family) instead of gearing up for a trip to the tree farm should have been the first clue. We did manage to half-hazardly throw up a couple of strands of lights the morning of Baby’s birthday party, but it took days before any ornaments appeared.

I made dozens of delicious oreo truffles last week that could be refrigerated and kept for Christmas. Um. Well, I think we have 6 (individual, not dozen) left. Which means …. That’s right. Another last minute item added to my To Do list this week: whip up another batch of those truffles. I’m guessing it will have to be really last minute so they actually make it to our holiday celebrations intact and not just on my hips.

Fortunately, I’ve put together a trusty spreadsheet for our family visiting schedule, so we’re golden on that front!

Is it motherhood? Is this holiday season particularly hectic? Or, is it just me?

Again, I’m guessing it’s probably the latter.

Oh well, thank goodness coffee and wine are in abundance this time of year!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Why I'm quitting charity.

2:24 PM 7
Why I'm quitting charity.
Every year at Christmas, I donate to various charities in honor or memory of many my family members. I try to select organizations that have special meaning to each and every one of them. Then, these donations become part of their Christmas gifts.

It’s a really nice thing to do, I think. Especially for people like parents, grandparents, etc. who really don’t need another tchotchke to put on their shelf next to the whatever-I-made-for-them-in-third-grade-art-class twenty years ago (and everything I’ve given them since).

Sooooo. Along came the charity donation idea, and it’s fantastic.

Except for one teeeeny, tiiiiny, little problem.

My once a year donation isn’t enough. They want more. The military organization mails me letters, almost on a weekly basis. (Here’s a thought: add up that postage and donate it back to yourself instead of my trashcan).

The cancer organization … well, they unleashed every single one of their regional branches on my phone number and email address. And they call. All. Year. Long.

And don’t get me started on the city-county-state law enforcement groups that may or may not be a scam and you never know if they’re secretly stealing your social security number or adding you to the blacklist of people who they’ll most definitely ticket next time they come across you on the highway. (longest sentence ever?)

It’s not that I don’t want to give more. I’d love to. But, I’m just your average person. With an average income. And I simply cannot afford to give more to every single organization that calls.

My solution? I’m quitting.

Well, maybe not entirely. But I will no longer give to multiple charities. I am attempting to select one organization that generally has a place in everyone’s heart. I will make one big donation in honor of everyone.

On that note (and in honor of this blog post with super long run-on sentences), I just need to find a Cancer-Military-Heart-Diabetes-Starving-Orphans-Plant-a-Tree-Catholic charity that will buy a goat to feed a village that will ultimately be cured of their diabetic heart cancer and be saved from the ravages of war.

Any suggestions?

[Note: There are lots of fantastic charitable organizations out there. For my personal life right now, I just need to reduce the number of them that cause my phone to ring on a nightly basis …. Juuust as Baby is falling asleep.]

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Caution: Shortening may burn your house down.

10:07 AM 7
Caution: Shortening may burn your house down.
So, my house is still intact. I didn’t even spark a flame. But, imagine my surprise when I read that caution statement to that effect on the box of shortening this morning. I mean, if this stuff could ignite a flame, should I really be putting it in my body???

The answer … heck, yeah! The reason … “super easy” no-bake oreo truffles.

You heard me!

When I saw this recipe on Brandi’s blog a few days ago, I knew I had to try it out myself. If you couldn’t already tell, I’m not much of a baker (read: I’d never used shortening until this morning).

I rushed right out and bought all the ingredients to make these truffles. How hard could it be? There is NO BAKING INVOLVED!!! Now, that’s my kind of baking!

Problem #1 – I don’t own a food processor (much less one of those fancy mixers). I did until last week when I realized it no longer worked.

Problem #2 – My blender kinda sucks. It’s great for pureeing Baby’s food, but to grind oreos until they’re like coffee grounds … let’s just say, it was a process.

Problem #3 – My hand-held mixer is great, but I clearly don’t know how to use it. Or I don’t have the muscle to take on cream cheese. (Note to self: soften it first next time).

Once I tackled each of those obstacles, I was golden.

Until.

Until it came time for actually coating the mixture in chocolate.

Mix chocolate chips with shortening. It doesn’t sound too difficult.

But I’m the genius who decided that perhaps I should kill the heat. I have an electric oven, and I didn’t want anything to burn … especially since I had somehow miraculously managed not to set fire to my kitchen yet.

Seconds later, I was dealing with clumpy chocolate. And, apparently, reheating it doesn’t exactly provide for the same consistency.

The positive side to this whole story is that I have an entire batch of tasty, albeit ugly, truffles that I couldn’t possibly burden my dear friends and family with over the holiday season.

I guess I’m just going to have to eat them all myself!

Oh, who am I kidding … they’ll all be gone approximately 4 minutes after Husband gets home from work. He's got the sweet tooth in the family.

Happy Holidays, everyone! I know kids are out of school soon, and holiday events are occurring every day of the week at this point. So, life is busy. To that end, I’ve decided I’m not actually in a blogging rut. I’m just spending my typical blogging time doing other insane things for Christmas.

Like thinking I can pull off making truffles.

P.S. Sorry, Brandi … I didn’t mean to butcher your recipe. This was just round one, though. I’m going to try again!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Bloggin' Rut?

2:57 PM 5
A Bloggin' Rut?
It's sad, but true. I think I'm in a bit of a blogging rut. I blame this busy time of year at work, the holidays, etc.

So .... since I have nothing to offer you, I thought I'l share a link with you to one of my favorite parenting blogs - The Thoughtful Parent. Right now, Amy is talking about developmentally appropriate gifts for kids.

Happy reading, shopping ... and blogging!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Traditions

9:53 AM 8
Traditions
Last night I attended our local MOPS meeting. There were some very sweet older ladies speaking about family traditions around the Christmas holidays.

One said that you don’t know what will become a tradition when you first do it. It isn’t until several years later that you realize, oh! Okay, this is a tradition.

Another said that their tradition was traveling. That they were always on the go during the holiday season, but that they made it a point to be home on Christmas Day.

These speakers were very poignant given my recent attempts at cramming ‘new traditions’ (yes, I know, that’s an oxymoron) down Husband & Baby’s throats.

Given the expansive family we have, I feel like we’re always on the go. That we never do the same thing twice. And I’m worried that my child will grow up never having those fond ‘remember when we always did ….’ memories.

It’s really important to me to carve out some very specific traditions. I started pajamas in stockings from St. Nick this year on Dec. 6th. That one will become easy over time, but it was a vast disappointment this year considering Baby was completely oblivious to it all, and Husband was out the door for work before I had wiped the sleep out of my eyes, downed my morning coffee, and remembered to point out the new gifts.

I’m trying very hard to stay firm in my plan to ‘always wake up at home’ on Christmas morning. No matter what. No matter how far we have to drive on Christmas Eve. No matter how inconvenient it is. Even if we turn around and drive somewhere else at 7 a.m.

I want Baby to wake up in her own bed on Christmas morning.

But a few things that were said last night really spoke to me.

Calm down! Is basically what I heard. It will all fall into place. Everything will work out the way it’s supposed to.

I know that there are a few things that I need to hold onto. It’s easy to get caught up in all the options. All the celebrations. All the places people want us to be (and the places we ourselves want to be).

I know I need to carve out a few things that will remain the same from year to year.

But I now also realize that some of the best traditions are likely to occur without any planning. Without my forcing them into existence.

The crackle of an old traditional record player, as one mom spoke of last night.

Pancake Man – my stepdad – on Christmas morning.

And, yes, even traveling. ALL. OVER. THE. STATE. Can become a part of our holiday tradition.

Be it stopping at the same spot for snacks, playing a game, singing a song, or even simply the road trips themselves. These traditions remain to be seen.

Shutterfly Christmas Cards

9:08 AM 4
Shutterfly Christmas Cards
Truth be told, I have already ordered Christmas cards this year. I’ve even mailed out the first wave of them to some family and friends.

[Side note: Before Baby came along, I could knock these out in an hour. Now, it’s more like a week!]

The problem is … I found another website that offers some really cute options.

Shutterfly cards are so, so cute! They have a great selection of holiday cards and I can’t help but to want to order a whole new set for this season.
I really like the Christmas photo cards like this one:




I don’t know what my deal is lately, but I’ve been a bit obsessed with the red and brown color combination, and I think these are just too cute for words!





The one that has really caught my eye, though, is this one:



I first saw it on another friend’s blog, and if I’m really honest, it was this card in particular that cemented my decision to order another round of Christmas cards this year. Even if it means that I’m the weirdo who sends out two cards. Even if it means having to address and stamp dozens more cards in this already busy holiday season. Heck, even if it means that I just have a stash of these cards in a box on my shelf forever.

It’s just such a sweet idea, and I can’t help but to want to commemorate what is basically the first year of my sweet little girl’s life. I haven’t placed my order yet, but I’ve been looking through pictures from the past year, and I just can’t believe how much she has changed in such a short time!

I’m also thinking about putting together a wall calendar. My friend noted how much fun it would be to put a picture from each month of Baby’s life in 2010 and have that to reflect back on in 2011.

Honestly, this could either be a really fantastic way to reminisce, or it could have this sentimental mama in tears on a regular basis!

Bloggers get 50 free holiday cards from Shutterfly at http://bit.ly/sfly2010.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

These are a few of my favorite things!

11:19 AM 6
These are a few of my favorite things!
It seems everybody is talking about their favorite things this holiday season … so here are some of mine …

-La Crema Pinot Noir
-Coffee! Specifically, Autumn Harvest k-cups for the Keurig and pumpkin spice lattes from Starbucks
-Anything Jasmine Vanilla from Bath & Body Works
-Salt & Vinegar potato chips
-Pedicures, massages, and other day spa fun
-Colegate Wisp disposable toothbrushes. Seriously, every mom should store up on these.
-The Gap long sleeved favorite crewneck. LOVE it! So comfy, and thanks to Cyber Monday, I got one in chocolate brown for a steal. Now just wishing I had ordered it in every color!
-SHOES! Right now, I am living in a pair of knee-high, flat soled, black boots that I bought last year. Super comfy, still cute, but practical for those times I’m carrying around Baby (i.e., every second I’m not at work).
-Books. I love to read all different genres, but I’m currently in need of a copy of The Great Gatsby, one of my all time favs. Can you believe I’ve never actually owned a copy?

And a few kid-related things that I also love …
-The Children’s Place.
-Zulily! If you don’t shop Zulily, sign up today!
-Cheerios. I eat honey nut cheerios almost daily, and I’m now loving the plain ones. It might be the only ‘real’ food that Baby is willing to pick up with her own fingers and feed to herself.
-Mabel’s Labels! They’re awesome! I put these on Baby’s bottles and dishes back in September, and they’re still showing no sign of wear and tear. It definitely makes my life easier not to have to continuously label everything that goes to day care. There are some teeny-tiny ones that fit perfectly on her pacifiers, too!
-Baby’s new Britax Marathon convertible car seat. Had I known then what I know now, we would have moved up months ago. It’s so, so easy to use. And the best part? Baby no longer screams or flails in wild tantrums when I put her in the car!

What are some of your favorite things?

*I have not been asked to endorse any of these products ... I just love them! :)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Day Care Dilemmas. Part 432.

9:02 AM 8
Day Care Dilemmas. Part 432.
I am not oblivious to my ridiculously high set of standards. I operate under no illusions.

I clearly see and understand that there are very, very few people in this world that I would take care of my child just the way I would do choose to do so.

I understand that different people have different perspectives. Different circumstances. Different options.

I get it.

I didn’t move Baby to the new day care under any illusions that it would be a perfect fix or that all of my frustrations would immediately disappear.

I knew we would have new and/or different hurdles to contend with.

But that doesn’t mean I’m not frustrated.

Because I am.

It’s not just the small things. I am also frustrated with the bigger picture. For example, what genius decided that it would be okay for one person to be in charge of 5 kids? That’s the ratio … one person for FIVE babies.

I know there are moms out there who do this all the time. But, I'm fairly sure there are key differences between a parent caring for her own five children and a day care worker going through the motions of her job.

I by no means discount how difficult this job this must be. I can definitely understand an overlooked runny nose or other similar situations from time to time.

I’m just frustrated.

The issues I had with the other day care (i.e., basic incompetence) have been replaced with new problems.

Small things, really.

Why can’t they just put a bib on my child during meals so she’s not a disgusting mess by the end of the day?

Do they really consider ‘pork and beans’ a vegetable?

How can they let her go ALL day without drinking and not call me? (I know they tried very hard to get her to drink, but they should have called me on day 3 when she still wasn’t taking any of her bottle!)

I suppose this is nothing more than the working mother’s plight … learning where to give and take when it comes to putting your child in the care of others.

Many parents do it on a daily basis. Sometimes I wonder if they all struggle as much as I do. (Yes, I still cry some days when I get back to my car after dropping Baby off, especially now that we’ve hit the separation anxiety phase).

Or, is it just me? I know I’m a bit neurotic, a little controlling when it comes to things that are important to me. I am sure that there are some basic aspects of this whole day care dilemma that I make more difficult than necessary.

But, I can’t be the only one who feels this way, can I?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Just so we're clear

9:31 AM 9
Just so we're clear
Dear Sweet Baby-of-Mine,

I know it’s rough. First it was the time change. Then, we were up extra early to take you for your ear tubes procedure. Then the holidays hit. This week you started a new day care.

It’s a lot to handle in one short (er …. looooong) month.

I get it. I do. Your schedule has been thrown out the window. And stomped on.

But, none of these are reasons to wake up at 5 a.m. Or 4:30. Or even 6:00.

None of them.

Remember the glorious month of October? When you slept from 7 p.m. straight through until 7 a.m.? Remember those times?

It’s amazing how such a short stretch of peaceful nights can completely throw a mama off her game. It’s funny how quickly we adjust to sleeping through the night and how hard it is to revert back to sleep deprivation.

But, please, please, please … give your parents a break! We love you. We’re excited to see you first thing in the morning, too.

BUT. But, let’s just go ahead and define ‘first thing in the morning’ so that we’re all clear here.

The official definition of ‘first thing in the morning’ (according to our family) is NOT before the sun comes up. It is NOT before my alarm goes off. It is most especially NOT before your father’s alarm goes off (an entire hour earlier than mine).

Rather, it is more like 7:00 a.m. That’s a good time to aim for …

Or really, any time after I’ve had my morning coffee. After I’ve pried my eyes open adjusted to the fact that lights are on before the sun has even begun to peak over the horizon.

Most importantly, my dear, sweet child, ‘first thing in the morning’ should never include massive dirty diapers or anything else that requires us to turn on the bright, unnecessary overhead light (which then fully wakes you up for the rest of the morning).

Love,
Your Devoted/Exhausted Mama

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Holidays. And Birthdays. And Transitions. Oh My.

9:05 AM 4
Holidays. And Birthdays. And Transitions. Oh My.
In addition to the Thanksgiving holidays, I also took two days off of work over the last week. So, you can imagine that I’m a little overwhelmed with all of the catching up that needs to be done … including blogging!

Wow, it’s hard to believe that it’s only been about a week, because soooo many things have happened.

Thanksgiving. Just your typical Thanksgiving, my favorite holiday. But, Baby did get her first taste of a ‘real’ meal. Turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, rolls. The whole nine yards. And she loved every bite!

We celebrated her first birthday on Saturday. I cannot believe my baby is one. For the record, I asked her if she would be mama’s baby forever. She replied with an emphatic, “Yeah.” So I’m considering that a legally binding verbal contract.

The party was a smashing success … except that Baby didn’t smash the cake. I’ve never seen a child less excited about digging her hands right into something sweet and tasty, but I suppose that’s the product of Husband’s cleanliness and my lack of a sweet tooth.



Monday was a big day for Baby. The first day at the new day care. Hallelujah! Of course, I still have some concerns. I think any mom would when leaving their child in the care of others. However, I really do like the people who work at this new place. It’s also much, much closer to home. We have actually found ourselves with lots of extra time in the morning, which lends itself to extra playing and cuddling with Baby … something that is nice for any parent, but I think especially great for working parents who don’t get to see their kiddos most of the day. I’m really enjoying this aspect of the new day care!

We also had the 12-month check up at the pediatrician on Monday. She weighed in at 18 pounds 11 ounces and was 29 ½ inches tall. Yes, we’re calling it ‘tall’ instead of ‘long’ now … my baby is growing up! Four immunizations later (which she handled like a pro), we were finally through with our week-long barrage of events, appointments, and not-on-any-kind-of-schedule activities.

Now that we’re back on track … er, well, never mind. Ever since the ear tubes, Baby has been up before 6 am every day. Actually, we are starting to get back on track. She’s woken up progressively later each day (4:35, 5:09, 5:30 and so on).

Hopefully we’ll settle back into some sort of routine. You know, just in time for the Christmas holidays to change it all up again. Of course, Baby handles all the changes pretty well. It’s her sleep deprived parents who are struggling.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Another Sappy Thanksgiving Post

12:55 PM 5
Another Sappy Thanksgiving Post
Because I am thankful! And I can’t think of any better time than the week of Thanksgiving and my baby girl’s birthday to talk about it ….

I am thankful for …

-My beautiful baby girl, for teaching me how to really live and love.

-My amazing husband, for being a true partner in life. And for being both incredibly wonderful and incredibly unaware of just how wonderful he is.

-Family, my beautifully, insanely complex family. And for the complication of having too many options for where to celebrate holidays and special occasions. (I had to make a spreadsheet yesterday. Really.)

-Friendship. Time, distance, jobs, babies, life … none of it could ever come between good friends.

-A great job that provides for my family in immeasurable ways.

-Coffee, shoes, and red wine. Because, well, do I really need to explain?

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Her mother

8:07 AM 7
Her mother
Last night, I snuck into her room and listened to her breathe.

I haven’t done that in quite a while.

It’s hard to believe that almost an entire year has past since she came into our lives.

On the other hand, I can barely remember what life was like before she was here.

I can only glimpse the tiniest memories of who I was before I became her mother.

Today, this is the role that defines me. First and foremost, I am her mother.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Motherhood ....

1:12 PM 4
Motherhood ....
As we quickly approach Baby’s First Birthday (this Saturday), I can neither promise blog posts free of sappy, sentimental, mushy-gushy, proud-mama stuff. Nor can I promise blog postings at all. Let’s face it … between Thanksgiving, Black Friday shopping, and the BIG birthday party on Saturday …

Okay, okay. In all honesty, I just might be too overwhelmed with emotion to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) to get it together.

So before I begin to spiral down the inevitable I-Love-My-Baby-So-So-So-So-Much-I-Can’t-Believe-She’s-Already-One-Year-Old tunnel, I thought I’d reflect on a few things that parenthood has taught me over the past year.

Although I don’t have the perspective of how much easier it is with a second child, I’m already rolling my eyes at myself as I think back. Seriously, I think new parents are their own worst enemy, and we most definitely make everything more difficult for ourselves.

Case in point: my child spit up. All. The. Time. Until well after the nine month mark. How did I handle this? Lots of bibs and burp cloths, of course. But I also prevented a lot of people from holding her. I didn’t want my child to spew all over their nice non-maternity, non-frumpy clothes. Or in their hair.

You know what I should have done? I should have let them hold her! And when she spit on one, I should have let them pass her to another. Why? Because babies are cute. And it wouldn’t have mattered what she did. They were still going to leave talking about how the cute baby cutely spit her cute breakfast all over everyone. Cute.

And then there are the germs. I think all brand new babies should be overly protected. Absolutely. And I still prefer everyone to wash their hands when they come into my house and want to hold my child. Because, well, I’m a bit of a germ-a-phobe. But I did finally realize (after a while) that my child was probably licking the floor and sharing pacifiers with other kids at daycare. So when her grandparents drive from their house to ours, it’s probably okay if she jumps right into their arms *gasp* before they have a chance to scrub in.

And I probably shouldn’t venture into the topic of schedules and meals and naps … oh my! But, I will. Honestly, before I became a parent myself, I was occasionally perturbed by the 4:30 pm dinners we’d have with our friends who had kids. Must. Keep. To. The. Schedule. Must!

Now I get it. In fact, just today I found myself scarfing down a cheeseburger for lunch at … 10:28 am. Why? Because, even on days when I do manage (to remember to eat) breakfast, throwing back a handful of your kid’s puffs before dawn just really doesn’t cut it. No matter how much coffee you gulp down.

All in all, I think the biggest lesson I’ve learned is that my Type A personality + my no-I -will-not-listen-to-reason-or-logic-but-you-must-deal-with-me-anyway child do not mix. And it was always going to be me who had to change.

Take, for example, punctuality. Ha. Ha Ha. Hahahahahaha.

Even when I would manage to get it all together (i.e., everyone dressed and packed up, even having remembered to brush everyone’s teeth) and get out the door –on time—even then, my beautiful girl was sure to load up a massive dirty diaper roughly 4 minutes into our drive. Why 4 minutes? Because we are still juuuust close enough to home to warrant turning around to change said diaper.

Peas in my hair. Snot on my third shirt of the day. Waking up (hours) before the sun begins to rise. Conversations (in public, sometimes even with strangers) about poop. Sleeping in short, short, short bursts of time. Keeping my glasses on all night long so I could keep one eye on the video monitor.

I know I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again. And again. And again.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Recovery

12:54 PM 6
Recovery
Thanks to everyone for your thoughts and prayers. Baby did great this morning. (I did too!)

It was a quick procedure, and our little girl was up and growling like a tiger at everyone before we knew it.

We took this picture in recovery ...



I only wish we had taken video of her after they gave her the initial drug cocktail ... she was a little loopy and all giggles and smiles.

And now, just a few hours later, she seems almost back to normal!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Prepared for tomorrow

3:45 PM 5
Prepared for tomorrow
Baby gets tubes in her ears tomorrow.

I have instructions from the doctor:
-Arrive at 6 am for a 7 am procedure.
-No food or liquids after midnight.
-Bring a favorite blanket/toy/etc.
-Bring a bottle or cup for when she wakes up.
-Be prepared for her to be fussy when she wakes up.

I have washed the special blanket and toy.

I even purchased a special pair of pajamas. (Do you know how hard it is to find two-piece footed pajamas in any size larger than 6/9 months?! Hopefully they’ll fit!)

I have even been telling Baby all week about everything that’s going to happen. She probably doesn’t understand, but maybe she does.

As for me, I have my big girl face. It’s packed away in my purse. I’ll pull it out first thing in the morning. And I’ll put it on right over all of my mama-fear.

I know I shouldn’t be nervous. It’s just a simple procedure. It’s routine. It’s quick. Easy.

And even though I have my worries, I won’t let Baby know. Nope. All she will know is that mom and dad are right there for her. And that she is safe. And that everything will be okay. And that we love her.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Dollars for Doma

7:51 AM 1
Dollars for Doma
Last week, in honor of Veteran’s Day, I talked about how proud I am to be an American and how great it is that we have brave men and women fighting for our rights and freedom every day.

Yesterday, I posted about Baby’s upcoming procedure to have tubes put in her ears.

This is a relatively simple procedure that tons of American kids get every year. It’s takes something like 8 minutes and they’re done. Of course, I’m a little worried, as any mother would be.

But, let’s face it … we’re lucky to have this not only be an option to clear up the trouble Baby has been having with her ears. But, we’re also lucky that insurance covers it. That’s it is a routine procedure. And that, aside from my own paranoia/mama-fear, there really is little to worry about.

We really do take these things for granted. The fact that we have access to medical care at all. There are places in this world where this is simply not the case.

You all know Julia over at Work, Wife, Mom … Life from our Working Mommy Wednesday posts. She is now raising money for a fantastic organization called Doma. Doma means home in many languages, and their purpose is the following …

[Doma] works in the lives of vulnerable children and young families through crisis prevention and early intervention. By removing obstacles to peace, comfort, joy, and stability, we guide children and families toward wholeness, where they can know a definition of home that is more complete than what they have experienced in life so far. Most of the children and families doma works with have never had a home or a mom or dad… Or the homes they know have been filled with abuse, neglect, anger, hostility, or pain. doma means home in several languages. doma strives to redefine home. (taken from their website: http://domaconnection.org).

If you’d like to support this cause –AND- have an opportunity to win some fantastic prizes, check out Julia’s Dollars for Doma. Even as little as $1 goes a long way to help these children in need.

Thanks for your support!

Monday, November 15, 2010

The goop is back

12:32 PM 6
The goop is back
Baby has been off of antibiotics for exactly 5 days. On day four, the goop came back. In her eyes. In her nose. Bleh. Which means that the ear infection is probably back, as well.

But she still wakes up smiling. She is such a sweet, happy girl!

Nevertheless, we scheduled to get tubes put in her ears for Friday morning. We had to go with the doctor I’m not too crazy about. The other one just can’t get us in until next month, and I can’t see putting Baby through yet another round of antibiotics (or maybe two by the time our appointment would be).

So, the countdown begins. I’m hopeful that this will be the resolution we’ve been looking for. Hopeful that this will be then end to the ear infections and constant antibiotics ... and the subsequent tummy aches and diaper rashes. Hopeful that we can stop feeling like we basically live at the doctor’s office.

I’m also anxious. Anxious about the anesthesia and about the procedure itself. Anxious about the fact that Baby can’t eat or drink anything from midnight until after her 8 am procedure. Um, have you ever tried to explain to an almost-one-year-old that she can’t have what she wants when she wants it? Yeah. I’m not counting on that being a walk in the park.

But I am looking forward to this being the end of the yucky and the beginning of the healthy.

On that note, I do have one small public service announcement: if your child is prone to ear infections, please, PLEASE don’t do feedings where your baby is lying flat on his/her back. I don’t do this with mine, but they do it at her day care. They lay all the kids on the floor, flat on their backs, and give them their bottles. I know this is easier, but it makes ear infections worse. I don’t know exactly why, but that’s what the doctors tell me.

Please be vigilant. Had I realized what was going on sooner, I might have prevented some of the issues Baby has endured.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veteran's Day

8:48 AM 3
Veteran's Day
Today, on Veteran’s Day, I am reminded of just how lucky we are to be American citizens. We have A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. men and women fighting for our rights, our freedom, and our liberties every single day.

With three siblings currently serving in the military (Army, Marines, and the Air Force) and many other friends and family members who are also currently serving or who did so in the past, this definitely hits close to home.

These individuals risk their lives to protect us. Their families live with concern on a good day, and great fear and uncertainty on the really tough days … and those tough days occur all too often.

Thank you Kasie, Colt, and Fanci – and all members of the U.S. Armed Forces - for all that you do for us.

So we can speak our minds, complain about anything we want, and go wherever we please.
So we can live in a state of relative certainty.
So we can make our own decisions for ourselves and our families.
So that we can agree, disagree, fight or give up.
So our choices are our own.
So that consequences for our negative actions are fair and just.
So that when something isn’t as we’d like for it to be, we have the opportunity to express our displeasure and seek change.
So that our basic human dignity is protected by law.

So we can sit on our couches and blog, Facebook, and email!

It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day grind, to forget that the American Way – flawed as it may seem from time to time – is not commonplace across the world.

We are lucky to live in the land of the free. We are lucky to have the opportunity to disagree with each other and/or our government without our lives being at risk.

We are lucky, but that luck doesn’t come by chance. It comes by way of great sacrifice.

Our troops sacrifice time, relationships, personal goals, and so much more. Sometimes, even their lives.

Remember our troops today. Thank them if you see. Hug those military moms and dads and spouses, especially if you know their loved ones are deployed. Send up prayers for safety, for strength. Remember them today. Remember them every day.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Last Batch

10:01 AM 7
The Last Batch
Yesterday I made sweet potatoes, white potatoes with chicken stock, and apples. Today I’m making peas and mango. Pureed, of course. Frozen in ice cube trays, then transferred to storage bags in the freezer.

This baby-food-making process has been such a staple in my life for the last six months. Every week or two, I’d whip up another batch of food for Baby’s meals.

But I realized yesterday that this would probably be the last batch I’d make for her.

With a mouth full of front teeth and molars coming in, she’s doing much better with eating “real” food. Add that to her obvious desire to eat what she sees us eating, and I think she’s about ready to move along to table food.

She has given me a few hints over the past couple of months. She reaches for the food I’m eating. If I sit on the floor to eat while she’s in the exersaucer, she leans waaaay over the side to see what I have on my plate. And, just this past weekend she literally licked my chin after I put a bite of food in my mouth.

Yes, I think she’s ready to move on to the next step. And, with her first birthday quickly approaching, I think some of my mama-paranoia will start to wear off. The berries, honey, milk, etc. issues will be behind us. And I’m thinking that once she gets a-hold of that birthday cake, there will be no turning back!

So, it’s a little bittersweet to realize that I’m working on her last batch of “baby” food. My little girl is growing up, and that’s exciting. But it feels like just yesterday that I was teaching her how to eat rice cereal from a spoon.

This may not sound much like I’m pouring my heart out, but it sure feels like it! So, I’m linking up with Shell’s PYHO Wednesday. Join us and read some of these amazing stories.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Nap Mat H-E-Double-L

2:18 PM 10
Nap Mat H-E-Double-L
Seriously, people, I’m living in Nap Mat Hell.

Who knew there were so many options?!

Nope, I’m not just talking about pretty princess patterns versus the plain jane ones. I’m talking about different levels of thickness. And size/width/length. And whether they can roll up. And whether they have a cover blanket attached. And. And. And.

AGH!!!

Okay, let me backtrack a bit …

I know I haven’t been great on updating y’all regarding our day care situation, but the good news is that we’re moving to a new one at the end of the month!

[Pause while I squeal with delight and do a little happy dance.]

We’re really looking forward to moving to this new day care. It was our top choice OVER. A. YEAR. AGO … when we initially started looking into child care.

It’s closer to home, a convenience that is a major plus, but definitely not our deciding factor. This is a great facility, and we’ve heard that most kids go there from birth until they reach the age limit (which is 10 or 12, I think). They’re also a “learning center” and not just a day care. AND! And, their director was just named some super high honor in our town because she’s basically a saint.

Okay, so I’m obviously happy about that. [Yes, I’m doing the happy dance again.]

However – and we would have had to deal with this no matter where Baby went to “school” (because apparently this is just what they do at this age, but that’s just not the point) – we are now dealing with nap mats.

No cribs. No pack-n-plays. Just a nap mat.

Uh huh. Well, good luck to them. If they can make my never-sits-still-or-stays-in-one-spot-or-even-really-takes-a-nap child to sleep on the floor, more power to them!

My problem is finding a dang nap mat.

One with these specifications: something that can be rolled or folded, hung on a hook on the wall, and not too large.

Sound easy, right?

If you think so, then I’m guessing you never did a Google or Amazon search for nap mat.

Wow! I had no idea that this search would literally consume precious moments of my life. Moments that I will never get back.

These are the things they don’t tell you about before you become a parent. That one day you’re a witty, professional, successful businesswoman who can make smart snap decisions that affect budgets, revenue, etc. The next minute, you’re freaking out because you don’t know what bleepin’ nap mat to order for your one-year old …

Because just when you find the perfect pattern with the appropriate thickness, it ends up either being crazy expensive or too big. Or it gets bad reviews. And all the ones with good reviews are so brightly colored you’re not sure how your child will ever go to sleep on them. (Really, a glow in the dark nap mat? As if Baby isn’t already distracted enough.)

Seriously, I am overwhelmed.

These are the thoughts that are consuming my life right now, a fact that I find both intriguing and … well, pathetic.

Sigh.

Friday, November 5, 2010

What she's doing now ...

1:39 PM 5
What she's doing now ...
[Warning: This is all about a mama gushing about her baby. Sappy and sentimental statements lie ahead.]

Over the last 11 months, I have watched as Baby learned so many new things, all the typical stuff, of course … babbling, waving, crawling, eating, etc. Those were the things I expected her to do. Those were the things I knew to look for, and I was absolutely excited every time we reached a new milestone.

There are other things, though, things that nobody prepares you for, things that cannot be predicted because they are unique to each individual personality.

My daughter growls. Yes, she growls. We ask her what the tiger says, and she growls. It’s the cutest thing. Ever. Sometimes she growls without being prompted. Just because she thinks it’s fun. And it is!

She’s a daredevil. I can tell already. She loves to fall backwards. She’ll sit on the floor and turn in a circle until her back is to me. Then she’ll just free fall. Her excitement is cute, but it scares me to death. I can’t tell you how hard it was to teach her to make sure somebody is behind her before she falls. I’m still not sure she fully comprehends the concept.

When she’s standing next to a toy or the furniture, she’ll push off so that she’s standing on her own for a second or two. Then she laughs and laughs when she falls back to catch herself (or usually I catch her). She seems to love the thrill. I think we’re going to have our hands full!

She also likes to be startled. Peek-a-boo is only fun for her when you catch her off guard. She squeals and giggles, but only if you really spook her. And she loves to get you back. She’ll give her best, “Ah-boo!” and is so delighted when your response is one of shock. I love this little interaction.

She points. She points her little finger and can tell me where my nose is … it’s hysterical to watch her reaction when she can touch her finger to my nose. She seems … proud, satisfied, accomplished.

She also points at the pantry when she wants puffs and makes the sign language motion for ceiling fan while looking up at the ceiling.

She’s independent. She can’t walk by herself yet, but she wants so badly to let go of our hands. She’s also clingy. Sometimes I think she’s permanently affixed to my right shoulder. Or, at least, I think that she thinks she should be attached.

She talks. A lot. Sometimes I think we’re really having a conversation. Sometimes I think she’s giving me legitimate answers, even though everyone else probably just thinks it sounds like she’s babbling.

There are so many amazing aspects about being a mom, but I think one of the most astounding things is just watching the way your child becomes her own person, to go from those first few moments of her life – even those first few days and weeks – where she literally couldn’t do anything for herself. Now she has her own personality. She’s communicating with tools and skills and words, not just cries.

And we’re only 11 months in!

Part of me is excited to see what is still to come. The other part of me wants to bottle this time – right now – and stay here forever.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Honest Confessions About Motherhood

11:49 AM 10
Honest Confessions About Motherhood
Julia at Work, Wife, Mom … Life has prompted us to give honest confessions about motherhood for this week’s Working Mommy Wednesday.





I think it’s also a perfect subject to link up with Shell’s Pour Your Heart Out meme. The two almost always overlap for me.



What should I confess about motherhood?

For me, motherhood is the easiest thing I’ve ever done.

It’s also the single most difficult thing I’ve ever done.

Easy because it’s so incredibly natural.

Difficult because … well, you know, there are diaper blow outs, ear infections, tantrums, and figuring out how to do every single thing in life with only one hand.

Motherhood is amazing.

Watching the look of wonder on your child’s face as she discovers new things for the first time. Seeing her grow, develop, and learn. The way she begins to communicate, mimicking and responding and pointing at what she wants ... when just mere months ago she couldn’t do any of that.

And the truly amazing aspect seems to be that the amazement never ceases. One new development after another, and I’m still overwhelmed with pride and joy each and every time.

Motherhood is also painful.

Emotionally painful … the paranoia, fear, and unending worries.

Physically painful too! There is a scar on my right foot from where I dropped scalding water from the bottle sterilizer and an endless string of bruises on my shins from constantly walking into things on the way to a middle-of-the-night diaper change. And we won’t even discuss breastfeeding.

Motherhood is overwhelming, plain and simple.

For good reasons.

For not so good reasons.

It’s just overwhelming.

I confess that there are days I’d rather say in bed than get up at some before-daylight hour.

I confess that there are times when I long for a day without a shirt stained with spit up or peas or snot.

I confess that there are moments that I sneak off to the bathroom just the check my email or Facebook.

I confess that I occasionally wish I didn’t need to pack up the entire house for a quick trip to church or the store or the doctor.

But, at the end of the day, my biggest confession is that I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Most of it, anyway.

Because nothing is better than snuggling with your baby in those early morning hours. Or knowing that those peas she’s spitting in my face … she knows how to eat them, because I taught her to eat from a spoon!

Nope, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

PINT: Questions

9:48 AM 14
PINT: Questions
















[And, I really am sorry for the rant. But, man-o-man, that doctor's appointment was just shy of a nightmare. My normally happy, good natured, smiling girl literally threw a two hour tantrum. And that doctor's office had next to nothing in terms of distraction and/or entertainment ... but we survived!]



Only Parent Chronicles


AND DON'T FORGET TO VOTE!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween = Mom Fail

9:15 AM 8
Halloween = Mom Fail
Despite my grandiose notions of Baby’s first Halloween being fabulous, full of visits pumpkin patches and fall festivals, adorable costumes, loads of fun, well … let’s just say that things like ear infections, allergies, and seemingly black eyes had other plans in store for our little family.

To be fair, I should acknowledge that I bought at least a half dozen Halloween onsies for this fun holiday, and I’ve been dressing Baby in them ALL month. What can I say? The “I’m batty for daddy” one was just too cute to only be worn once.

Unfortunately, that’s about all that has gone according to our haunted plan. As much as I desperately tried to visit a pumpkin patch every. single. weekend. in October … it just never seemed to work out. So, I decided to be ultra-efficient and cram every little possible Halloween activity into the last weekend of the month.

Except.

Except, when I picked Baby up from day care on Friday afternoon, her eyes were green and goopy. They told me that her eyes had been completely sealed shut after her afternoon nap. (Thanks for calling to tell me earlier in the day … but that’s a story for another time).

So, of course, we make another doctor’s appointment. For Saturday morning. We wake up on Saturday morning, and it looks like Baby has two black eyes. There are dark circles under each one, but no goop! Another morning blown at the doctor and probably our fifth co-pay (this month) later tells us, of course, that it’s just the continuation of her ongoing ear infection. Begin week seven. (We’re seeing the ENT today.)

Okay, okay, I’m thinking … all is not lost. Baby is already in a better mood. Her eyes are starting to clear up, so we’ll just push the festivities to Sunday. She’ll be in costume anyway. The super cute white Bengal tiger costume that I ordered at the last minute was due to arrive that day. Note – I did plan ahead. We also had a ladybug and a butterfly costume, but I just had to order the tiger when Baby learned to respond with a very cute growl when asked, “What does a tiger say?”

But, of course, we missed the delivery of the costume. Now, it’s scheduled to arrive today. Monday. The day after Halloween. But, you can bet she’ll be dressed in it all month. I paid more for the dang shipping than the costume itself.

Husband’s allergies pretty much kept us inside all day Sunday until we ventured out around 6 pm to check out the trick-or-treaters.

Except.

Except that we were apparently an hour early for our neighborhood. So, Baby was all dressed up. As a butterfly. With black eyes. We did our best to placate her, but she wasn’t too fond of the hat part of her costume. She was already starting to reach her limits when the first kids appeared, so she basically got to see approximately 4 ½ kids in costumes before she promptly melted down and went to bed.

Oh well, Husband and I actually had a good time, and Baby really doesn't know the difference. I just feel like I failed my child. I couldn’t manage to get it together enough to do all the things we had planned, muchless capture very many Halloween festivities in pictures. We snapped a few of her in the butterfly costume on our kitchen floor, but she’s so mobile now that most are of her back or her profile.


I have to say, though, that she made one extremely cute butterfly.

Friday, October 29, 2010

My First Birthday

9:21 AM 7
My First Birthday
Today is my birthday!

It’s my first official birthday as a mom, and I think it’s fair to say that this is the first year I didn’t wake up with a list of gifts that I hoped to receive.

Sure there are things that I’d like to have and surprises that would be wonderful … what girl doesn’t have a wish list in her head?

Of course, I’m probably a little more sentimental and even a bit sappy since I’ve been away for the last few days, so it’s a good thing that Husband did come through with a nice birthday gift … Coach Outlet, here I come! And maybe a few other stores while I’m at it!

But I really did wake up this morning thinking that the absolute best birthday gift would just be time with my family, time to laze around, snuggle with Baby, have a hot cup of coffee, and enjoy the morning.

And that’s exactly what I got!

Happy Friday, everyone!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

PINT: Notes to myself

4:38 PM 5
PINT: Notes to myself

Monday, October 25, 2010

Mushy Monday Meltdown

10:24 AM 7
Mushy Monday Meltdown
(Read at your own risk…)

I’m not sure what’s more crippling …having to leave a sick child behind for a business trip or having to leave a happy, giggling, energetic one.

Last week, Baby was sick, and I left. This week, she’s happy and fun-loving, and I’m leaving again.

It’s hard. I can’t believe it’s still so difficult, even though I’ve been doing it, week after week after week. I can’t believe how debilitating it is despite the logical, rational voice in my head that constantly lists all of the reasons why this is a good thing.

I never quite expected it to be such an emotional roller coaster, such a constant emotional roller coaster. I literally have to talk myself into leaving every single week. I literally have the exact same conversation with my self every single week. And it doesn’t get easier. In fact, I think it might get harder.

In my head, I know that it probably just feels like it’s getting harder because I’m tired, worn out from being on the go for the last couple of months. In my head, I know all of this traveling will be over in just a couple of weeks. The end is in sight.

The problem is … logic apparently has no influence over a mother’s heart or guilt. None whatsoever. Rational thoughts? Nope, those don’t seem to work either.

All I can think about is that I’ll be missing out on 3 (yes, 3!) Halloween outfits I bought for her to wear this week. And that we’re going to have to squeeze in a trip to the pumpkin patch some time at the last minute, because I’m not here to do it sooner. And, all I really wanted to do this week, which happens to be my birthday week, is wake up every single day and hold my baby girl … which isn’t going to happen. Because I won’t be here.

It is going to be okay. I know that everything will be just fine. It will.

But right now it is a drizzly, humid, gray Monday morning, and I just needed a minute to wallow …

Friday, October 22, 2010

More fragments this Friday ...

8:47 AM 5
More fragments this Friday ...
Wow, it’s been a whirlwind of a week … well, a couple of weeks, actually. Thanks to all of you for your thoughts, prayers, and kind words. It has definitely been a roller coaster of many kinds – emotional, mental, physical. We’ve been up and down and all around, happy, sad, sick, exhausted … you name it, our family has probably seen it somewhere in the last few weeks.

Since it’s Friday and I feel like I’ve only blogged about the tough stuff lately, I think I’ll take today to focus the silver linings. I’m linking up with Friday Fragments because … well, things are getting better, but I’m not sure I’ve got it all together just yet!

Mommy's Idea

-Baby woke up with a rash yesterday morning. I was worried. Thought it was an allergic reaction, and a thousand thoughts ran through my mind in a split second.
Silver Lining: Nope. No allergy, just viral exanthem. As far as I can tell, it just means the infection is leaving her body, and it doesn’t cause any negative side effects.

-Work! Work! Work! I’m sooooverwhelmed (that’s a word!) with work right now. Sometimes I don’t feel like I’ll ever catch up.
Silver Lining: I closed several fairly large sales this week. Even when I’m tired and stressed, I’m still good at my job. I need to remind myself of that fact a little more often.

More silver linings ….
-This weekend. It’s my high school reunion, and we’re getting together with lots of friends – both old and new – to hang out and have fun! Baby is spending the weekend with her grandparents for some much needed rest and spoiling, and Husband and I plan to enjoy sleeping ALL NIGHT LONG!

-Shoes! So, I bought a new pair of shoes. They’re very cute. The heels are reeeally high. They’re semi-designer. And I only paid $32 for them at TJ Max. Yep. I’m wearing them this weekend.

-Wine ... plan on drinking lots of it this weekend!

-Sleep! Getting more of it. Baby seems to be on the mend, so she’s sleeping much better recently.

-Family. Husband and Baby are amazing. Just when I think it can’t get any better, we find new ways to have fun … even amidst sickness and exhaustion.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Change of plans. Again.

8:47 AM 5
Change of plans. Again.
Morning plan: Drop Baby off at day care. Work. Work. Work. Possilby with a pumpkin-flavored coffee from the new shop in town.

Change of plans: DR visit for potential allergic reaction to Baby's 3rd round of antibiotics. She's covered in a rash and has been screaming all morning.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

WMW: What's in your bag?

8:37 AM 7
WMW: What's in your bag?
Julia at Work, Wife, Mom … Life has prompted us this week with the question …

What’s in your bag?




In attempting to answer this question [yes, I know, there should be no need to “attempt” … just list the contents, right? But …], my first thought was: which bag? Purse? Computer bag? Diaper Bag? Suitcase?

I have so many bags, and I use them all on a regular basis. Fortunately, I went back and read the prompt again, and she actually just asked us to list the “Things in your purse,” so here goes …

-Wallet
-Phone
-GPS (because I’m at a hotel, and I’d never leave it in the car overnight)
-Make up. Probably one too many lip glosses.
-Sunglasses
-Burp cloth
-4 tiny sample tubes of diaper cream the doctor prescribed for Baby (don’t worry, we filled the Rx, and it’s at home with her)
-Receipts – oh my, the receipts
-Medicine: Zyrtec, Xanax (which I’m proud to say I haven’t taken since that first business trip in August. But you never know, so I keep it with me!)
-Hand sanitizer. Lots of it.
-Mints
-Business Cards
-My Hilton Honors card. I got downgraded to Gold when I stopped traveling for a while during my pregnancy. Oh, how I miss the Diamond status.
-Pens (let’s hope I pull out the pen and not the diaper cream during my meetings today!)
-Loose change. My (designer) wallet sucks. Probably because I got it at the Outlets, but the change part does not stay closed.
-Misc: A packet of splenda, a contact case, random coupons that we didn’t use at Costco last weekend, and a paperclip

Funny, but it seems that the contents of my purse are much more telling than I would have initially thought. It’s a pretty decent glance into the contents of my life. Who would have thought? What’s in your bag? Tell us and link up!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Post It Note Tuesday!

2:57 PM 2
Post It Note Tuesday!

Friday, October 15, 2010

I'm going anyway ...

7:08 PM 8
I'm going anyway ...
I’m tired.

I’m emotionally spent.

I’m physically worn out.

I haven’t showered since yesterday.

My good jeans are speckled with Baby’s white antibiotic from when she spit it all out.

But, I’m going anyway. I’m going to my book club meeting tonight.

I haven’t finished the book. But I am going anyway.

Because, well … this mama needs a break. And a glass of wine. And, an opportunity to have a social life and maybe make a friend or two in this town I’ve lived in for two years.

So, I’m going anyway.

Hopefully the concoction of lotion, deodorant and hair spray will be enough to masque the spit up and yogurt that I can’t seem to fully eradicate.

Perhaps my charming and witty personality (aka the red wine I’m bringing to share) will sufficiently hide the dark circles under my eyes and the peas in my hair.

Even if it doesn’t, I’m going anyway.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Being there

8:14 AM 8
Being there
Another week. Another business trip postponed. Unfortunately, this time it is not due to a simple ear infection or bad weather.

As much as I love my child, I’d almost rather be away on business this week than be home for the reasons I am …

We lost my uncle, very unexpectedly, on Friday. Initial thoughts were that he had a heart attack. This was shocking to all of us, especially because he was so young. Not even 50-years-old yet.

Recent developments have indicated that it may be more complicated than we thought. My uncle, Greg, had been scuba diving and spear fishing in the Gulf of Mexico, and it’s more likely that his death was the result of something related to that … though the results won’t be in for up to eight weeks.

In reality, those details are trivial. The big impact is on our family – his wife, my aunt. And their two young children, both under the age of 10.

It’s heartbreaking. It’s terrible to think about those kids growing up without their dad.

And it’s so hard to know what to do or what to say.

For me, it’s difficult because I can’t just drop everything and be there. Before Baby came along, I would have packed up and immediately made the trip. All I want to do is be there.

However, I can’t just pick up and go now. I have to think through everything. Make logical, rational choices. Do what’s best for Baby and Husband.

My business trip is canceled, and Baby and I will be heading to Houston early tomorrow morning. We’re meeting my mom somewhere along the way, so I don’t have to make the entire trek alone with a child who does not like long car trips. Husband will follow as soon as he can get away from work.

I just hate not being there. I hate that I couldn’t go immediately. The truth is, the only thing I really know to do for them is to be there.

We’re praying constantly. It keeps hitting me over and over again. I think about my sweet cousins, who probably can’t fully grasp the finality of what’s happened. Then again, they probably get it a lot more that we realize.

If you have a moment, please say a prayer for my aunt, my cousins, and my whole family.

Thank you.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Friday Fragments!

9:17 AM 11
Friday Fragments!
I have so many bits and pieces this week, so I’m linking up again …

Mommy's Idea

-Bad Blogger: me. I’ve been sooo busy with work that most of my posts are memes (which are still a lot of fun!). I am still reading your blogs … just not commenting as much as I’d like. I tried to keep up for a while. However, after several bouts with writing looong, thoughtful comments and then either missing the word verification or some other problem … I just kind of gave up. I'm sorry! I’ll be better about everything when work slows down next month.

-Annoyed: me. For two reasons …

First, why? WHY? Why does a doctor’s appointment for my child that ultimately takes 12 minutes (from the time the pediatrician walks in and including a flu shot and scheduling a follow-up appointment) need to be a two hour experience. Why?

Second, I know the economy is tough. Perhaps it’s also taken a toll on pharmacies. However, must they fill Baby’s prescription in a bottle twice the size of the actual amount of medicine? Seriously, have you ever tried to take one of those syringes, extract exactly 3 ml of meds, and get it into your child’s mouth? Add to that, that with the first dose, the syringe barely reaches the medicine because it’s so low in the container. What am I going to do on day 10 (after 2 doses/day)? With a sick, screaming baby in one arm no less! I wonder if the pharmacy would let me bring my own container?

-Tired: me. It’s that time of year where work is really busy. The end is in sight. Just a few more weeks of traveling and being swamped with work. But, more than being physically tired, I’m just tired of having to leave Husband and Baby every week.

-Happy: me! The weather has finally turned to ‘fall’ like conditions. In Texas, that just means that the humidity has disappeared and highs are only in the 80s, but I’ll take it! It’s perfect for hanging out with Husband & Baby, taking walks, playing outside. We’re having so much fun! (when I’m home)

-Guilty: me. Yes, I’m guilty. Guilty of actually enjoying myself when I’m away for work. Part of me feels like I shouldn’t feel guilty … then I feel guilty for thinking that way! But, I’ve been working out, reading, sleeping. Plus, I’m getting a ton of work done. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you don’t have to worry about bottles, diapers, etc. I miss my family when I’m away, but it’s also nice to have a little time to myself.

-Excited: me. For all of the fun things coming up in the next few months … fall festivals, Thanksgiving, Baby’s First Birthday, Christmas … it’s going to be so much fun to experience all of these things with our daughter for the first time. Yes, she was here last Christmas, but let's face it: we were weeks post-partumn ... she might have been here, but was I? It's going to be fun to watch her take in all of these new experiences.

-Working: me. Now.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

If I could stop time

1:35 PM 4
If I could stop time
Mama Kat asks, “If you could stop time for 24 hours, what would you accomplish?”

What would I accomplish? Hmmm …

-Play, play, play with Baby. All day long. If I have the time, there is no need for day care. None whatsoever. If there is any time left over, I’ll do the following …

-Enjoy my cup of coffee. While it's still hot. Maybe even two cups. While they're hot.

-Finish my book for book club. And maybe start a new one.

-Make a fabulous dinner ... that would produce delicious leftovers so I don’t have to cook again for a couple of days (wonder if I'm assuming too much: stopping time doesn't exactly guarantee other miracles, does it?)

-Get in a nice, long work out

-Order invitations for Baby’s First Birthday!

-Put all of the pictures we have of Baby from the last year into albums

-Go out and buy the other curtain I need for our dining room and put it up

-Hang out with Husband!

-Go for a walk with Husband & Baby

-Enjoy a glass of wine with Husband ... outside on our patio in this beautiful fall weather

-Snuggle, snuggle, snuggle Baby. All night long. If I have the time, there is no need for that crib!

-If there is any time left over, I will sleep. Ah, beautiful sleep.

Notice what’s not on my list … work, laundry, running errands, or cleaning anything! Nope, not in my 24 hours. I’ll squeeze those things in some other day.

Mama's Losin' It

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

9:32 PM 6
(Almost) Wordless Wednesday
Missin' this sweet little face ...


PINT: More notes from the road

7:48 AM 9
PINT: More notes from the road