Archive for August, 2011

  • The Sick and the Milestones

    Date: 2011.08.31 | Category: Baby, Family, Health, Home, Mark, Sarah | Response: 20

    Day care is great. Sarah goes and plays and wears herself out. She is enamored with the other kids and sleeps like a champ.

    There is only one problem. One nasty problem. The combination of Sarah currently wanting to stick every thing she can find in her mouth and every other kid in the room doing the same thing means lots and lots of sickness. In less than two months, we are finishing up sick round two. I know it will be great in the long run, like when she starts kindergarten and never misses a day due to illness, but right now it’s wearing me out.

    When she brings the sickness home, Mark and I usually have 24-48 hours before we get it. And this past weekend, all three of us were sick. It was sort of pathetic. I would sleep while Mark entertained Sarah, and then we would swap. All weekend long. And because her snot was so bad, she didn’t sleep more than two hours at a time. Which meant that I was exhausted and sick. No fun.

    Needless to say, my energy level is still low. But we’re recovering!

    And little bit has been busy growing and developing.

    For instance, she’s learned to grab things with her fingers AND her toes.

    IMG_6353

    Her new favorite trick? Grabbing my arm skin with her toes while she nurses. Ouch.

    IMG_6375

    Maybe she has a future as a gymnast?

    Also, she has been literally grabbing food out of our hands, so with the encouragement and blessing of her pediatrician we started a little rice cereal.

    IMG_6327

    I was worried she would feel the same way about the spoon that she did about the bottle. I was ready to duck my head as a shrieking baby hurled the spoon as far away as possible.

    So I was pleasantly surprised as she took the spoon like a pro.

    IMG_6335

    Yes, she’s growing and learning and grabbing everything. Including my camera.

    IMG_6408

    Oh, and she’s also attempting the army crawl with some success. I guess it’s time to get on that baby proofing thing huh?

  • Hello Old Friends

    Date: 2011.08.25 | Category: Books | Response: 24

    I have always loved books. When I was little, mom tells me that even though I couldn’t read, I had memorized all the books she would read to me and would know instantly if she tried to skip a page. To this day I can still quote Dr. Suess’s ABZ’s. (Ten tired turtles on a tuttle tuttle tree!)

    The love of reading followed me through my childhood and college years. I actually yearned for the Christmas holidays so I could put down my schoolbooks and pick up my own books. As such, there are some books that are interwoven with my memories at all points of my life. Anne of Green Gables is one that instantly comes to mind. I remember tearing through all eight in the series and connecting with Anne’s vivid imagination and desire to write. (Plus, the romantic in me loves that the handsome, wily boy chases her).

    In high school I developed a special love for Tolkien, reading The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings. I still reflect back to that time in my life when I think of those stories.

    A couple years ago, a friend offered me some of her books to read. I told her I would bring them back when I was done. She told me not to worry about it, that she didn’t have any use for them anymore. “What’s the point?,” she said. “I never re-read a book because I already know what happens.”

    I stand firmly in the other camp. Some of my books are parts of my life. They are more than just stories. Sure, some I’ve carted off to the Centenary book drop, but many of them are still happily occupying shelf space at my house. And my favorites I have read many times. And even though I know the outcome, it doesn’t stop me from enjoying them. Usually several years will pass before I pick them up again, so I manage to forget a lot of details.

    That’s not to say I’m not constantly reading new books, I am, but every once in a while I need the comfort of my favorites.

    And so this week, for the first time since book 7 came out, I’ve picked up the Harry Potter series again. And while the movies have kept the stories fresh in my mind, there is still nothing like the details that Rowling wrote, and all the great things the movies left out (though I can’t say I blame them for skipping over that whole house elf rights movement).

    So what do you think? Are you done and over with your books, or do you hold on to them and read them over and over?

  • Is Carters the New Lisa Frank?

    Date: 2011.08.22 | Category: Baby, Family, Nostalgia, Sarah, Style | Response: 24

    When I was little, say 4th-6th grade, most girls my age collected Lisa Frank stationary. There must have been something about the brightly colored rainbow tigers and dolphins that triggered the mockingbird reflex in our little girl brains. After purchasing a set of Lisa Frank, we would get together with our girl friends and barter pieces for other pieces in their sets, thus allowing us to have entire collections of fluorescent kittens on paper or stickers.

    Obviously that brightly-colored collection reflex is still in my brain, because have you seen the Carter’s infant pj’s? Each one has an animal or print on it in bright colors with a cute little tag that says something like, “Cute Like Mommy.” I find myself going into the Carter’s outlet store going “I have that one, have that one, oh wait THERE IS A NEW ONE WITH AN OWL ON IT. Must. Buy. Now.” Until I effectively have the entire Carter’s collection at any given time. And it certainly doesn’t help that they cost about as much as Lisa Frank stationary used to, which is next to nothing. AND I get to put my adorable little girl in the clothes, effectively making them even cuter.

    And while I don’t barter children’s clothes, I certainly borrow them from friends and lend Sarah’s to friends, so all the mommies of little girls in a 50-mile radius can enjoy this collecting habit. Because let’s not kid ourselves, these outfits are purchased to make moms happy, not babies.

    I am trying to keep my mockingbird habits at bay when it comes to smocked dresses because while they are adorable, they are in the neighborhood of $39 – $80 a pop. Considering that I can get ten Carter’s outfits for about $80, Mark is indulging that habit, but I think smocks are a different animal entirely. And these smocked auctions they have on Facebook keep trying to lure me in. But considering the dresses on sale are still $38, it keeps me from plunging in head first. (Though I am stalking eBay auctions to get Sarah a smocked Christmas dress. At least I’m trying to be frugal right?)

    p.s. How cute is this Halloween smock? Someone close down my Paypal account before I end up in credit card debt.

    (Not a sponsored post, all words and opinions are my own).
  • Healing.

    Date: 2011.08.19 | Category: Baby, Family, Friends, Health, Home, Life, Love, Mark, Me, Sarah | Response: 21

    After a very long week of no sleep and baby shots, I  am exhausted. Really really exhausted.

    But I also realized last night that I’m not sad.

    I’m not sobbing after only getting about 4 to 5 hours of sleep a night.

    I wasn’t crying uncontrollably when Sarah got her shots this time.

    Sarah is sleeping in her own room,  I am sleeping in mine, and I’m ok with that.

    I dropped her off at school yesterday (usually her dad’s job) and I left happy.

    I work every day and can actually focus on the job at hand instead of obsessively calling her school all day and fretting about her.

    Middle of the night feedings are no longer met with tears, but with comfort  and determination.

    Rocking her to sleep has become my favorite part of the day. Laying with her sleeping on me fills me with perfect happiness.

    And even this morning, when I had to leave this scene, I was ok.

    I’m better.

    And while I may not be completely well rested or happy all of the time, I am making it and adjusting to this new way of life.

    I am so thankful for Mark, mom, Shannon, Susan, Cassie and Kel and, most importantly, Sarah, for pulling me through the bad times. Things may not be perfect, but they are mostly happy. And for that, I am so thankful.

  • Sleepless Zombie Lady

    Date: 2011.08.15 | Category: Baby, Health, Home, Me, Sarah, Weirdness | Response: 17

    I really thought I had this baby sleep thing down.

    At six weeks, Sarah started sleeping from 10pm to 5am. A miracle! I attributed it to the schedule I had her vigilantly following. Things went really great for a while. Sarah slept, I slept and all was well with the world.

    Until she started school. Then, she started waking up at about 2:00 a.m. every night again. I think it was because her schedule got so messed up. After talking to some mommy friends, we decided to let her fuss it out until she went back to sleep. And it worked! All was right with the world again.

    Until we had to go and screw it all up this weekend.

    This weekend we moved baby girl to her own room. She had no problem going to sleep in her crib, but staying asleep has proven to be a problem. At first I just tried to let her fuss it out, but she was not having it.

    Saturday night she woke me up FOUR times. Last night it was only twice. I think that the move from the bassinet to the crib has suddenly given her all this space and she’s unsettled by it. Instead of going back to sleep all snug and warm, she uses her new found rolling skills to turn over and wake herself up.

    Twice I’ve gone in there and she’s been enthusiastically squawking and gnawing on her feet.

    And even though I would happily move her crib into our room, I know I need to stick to it. Eventually she’ll appreciate not having to endure the dog toenails clacking on the Pergo in our room all night.

    In the mean time, I am sleepless zombie lady again.

    Mmmmm, FEET!

  • 4 Months

    Date: 2011.08.12 | Category: Baby, Sarah | Response: 21

    IMG_6273_4

    We’ve made it to month four.

    I’m consistently amazed by how much Sarah learns and changes each month.

    In the past month Sarah has become the master of rolling over. She goes front to back and back to front. Once she makes it to her tummy, she is completely happy to stay there and kick her legs over and over.

    IMG_6278

    She’s developed a special love for her toes. She holds them every day, and gets especially happy when she manages to get them in her mouth and suck on them for a while.

    This past month she’s developed a special love of bouncing. At school she keeps her teachers laughing by bouncing over and over and giggling. Her bouncer at home has toys on it that fascinate her. She’ll spend a solid 20 minutes trying to get every single item on it into her mouth.

    IMG_6284

    She can reach out and grab now. Hold a rattle in front of her and she’ll grab it and start shaking it. She’s pulled glasses off the face of her granddaddy and Aunt Stephanie. She enthusiastically grabs stray strands of hair and yanks with all her might.

    She also does these sort of half sit ups when you lay her down. I think she’s strengthening her ab muscles so she can sit up. She’s nearly there.

    IMG_6310

    Every day when I go to pick her up from school, I ask her teachers how she did. And almost every time they say, “She did good, she giggled a lot.”

    IMG_6260

    I’m so thankful to have a curious, determined, happy four-month old.

  • Roly Poly Part Deux

    Date: 2011.08.09 | Category: Baby, Sarah | Response: 14

    I know I’ve shared one roly video already, but rolling back to front is an entirely different effort than rolling front to back. For one, her hands aren’t readily available to help, so she just grabs her feet and converts herself into a cannon ball for easier rolling. She’s a determined little gal. If she doesn’t succeed in her first attempt, she will try again and again until she’s made it over.

    I have a feeling I am going to have many many months of toddler chasing ahead of me.

  • Too Hot to Function

    Date: 2011.08.05 | Category: Health, Home, Life | Response: 27

    You guys it’s hot. I know it’s hot everywhere and people can’t stop talking about it, but we reached ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHT degrees yesterday and it’s very likely we’re going to see that again today. That’s without the heat index, which put us up somewhere around 115. We’re setting all kinds of new heat records. It’s to the point that we try to scurry to our cars after work, but loose the energy to scurry after about 5 seconds and contemplate just laying on the hot asphalt and melting. And on top of that, we are in a severe drought. I’ve forgotten what rain even looks like. Here’s our forecast for the next seven days. Are you ready to move to Louisiana yet?

    So here for you is my top ten ways I know it’s too hot to function.

    10. We put the sprinklers out at 6:00 a.m. and the water still evaporates before it hits the ground.

    9. My mom thought about walking outside at 10:00 p.m. last week, but was scared to take the dog for fear he would suffer from heat stroke.

    8. The benefit of leaving the car running when I have to go inside to pick up Sarah outweighs the risk that someone will brave the heat to steal my running car.

    7. We let the dogs outside to pee and instead of bounding across the yard they turn around and stare at us as if to say, “No really, we can hold it another five hours.”

    6. If the mail doesn’t get picked up as we pull into the driveway, it gets left until the next day.

    5. I’ve actually driven past a roadblock that was set up because the heat had caused the concrete to buckle.

    4. Crumpled paper bags are slightly more comfortable to walk on than our singed grass.

    3. We actually hoped that last hurricane would hit us, just to bring the temperature down to a manageable “99.”

    2. The electric bill was more than it costs to feed our family for a month.

    1. I need to get into the attic to swap out baby clothes sizes, but it’s too dangerously hot to actually go into the attic. Hopefully Sarah will hold out on going up a size until October, otherwise she’s going to live in diapers and the box of clothes Angela loaned us until we can safely brave the heat.

    I hope you’re finding ways to stay cool!

  • Shake, Rattle and Roll

    Date: 2011.08.02 | Category: Baby, Sarah | Response: 14

    Sarah is growing in leaps and bounds. She has now reached the stage where she tries to grab and put everything within a 2 foot radius in her mouth. We are quickly learning to relocate diaper bags and small objects. At night when we’re getting her ready for bed we let her hold the rattle. It entertains us as much as it entertains her!

    I love these moments of happiness.

  • Worry Worry

    Date: 2011.08.01 | Category: Baby, Family, Health, Me, Sarah | Response: 21

    No one ever told me that becoming a mom would come with so much worry. Maybe Probably because I’m a first time mom I freak out about everything. When Sarah had a rash, I panicked and took her in to the doctor’s office immediately. For the first few weeks of her life, I barely slept, and not just because she was waking up, but because I felt like I needed to watch her to make sure she was still breathing.

    And now, after less than two full weeks of daycare, Sarah has her first head cold.

    I knew she wasn’t feeling right when she slept at daycare all day Thursday. Normally she will take one or two hour long naps, if that, at daycare. But they had to wake her up to feed her after three hours of snoozing.

    I took her home and realized she was running a low-grade fever. And then it happened, she choked on her snot that was running down her throat. I panicked, stuck my finger down her throat, she gagged, coughed up a bunch of nasty stuff and started breathing again. The whole thing lasted 5-10 seconds, but felt like forever. My heart was racing and my hands were shaking. I called the pediatrician’s office. They gave me some tips on preventing it from happening again.

    We went to see the doctor Friday morning and unfortunately there isn’t a whole lot they can do. Her fever broke, but she continues to gag until she pukes at regular intervals. I feel so bad for her. I wish her little self knew how to blow her nose. I’ve never felt so helpless in my entire life. I wish I could take it from her.

    Because of the choking, I’m a nervous wreck. My past few nights have been like those first few nights where I wake up every hour to make sure she’s not choking. Fortunately, between the booger sucker, the humidifier and elevated sleeping, she is getting plenty of rest at night. Unfortunately, eating stimulates the gag reflex, so I have been puked on many many times over the past five days.

    I know it will get better, but I can’t shake the feeling that I need to be there taking care of her throughout all of this and I just can’t miss any more work. Mark is home with her this morning, and she is well enough to go back to daycare, but I just worry that someone won’t be at her side if she starts choking again.

    Worry. Worry. Worry.

    How do you moms do it?