Friday, January 11, 2013

The Return of the Butternut Squash

Everything had been going smoothly. For an entire week we had made it germ free. I swore after the last sickness, once I got better, things were going to change! I was going to become the best mother EVER! There would be no stopping my wonderful motherness. I would let no more illness take me down! Yeah well that was short lived. It all started this past Saturday. Emma and I went to visit her Nana. I had made butternut squash for lunch, Emma’s first time having it. Everything went really well, better than expected. She loved it! I was pleased to be able to check off another veggie on her growing “love to eat” list.

So, what does butternut squash have to do with germs and sickness? Well, after a hearty lunch I gave her the rest for dinner (another large portion). At both sittings she ate a lot, more than I thought she was capable of eating. Then came Saturday night, the beginning of the worse vomiting/ diaper explosion nightmare I have ever seen and she had plenty of squash to fuel everything. I wish I had known that she was about to get violently ill from a stomach virus so maybe oh I don’t know, I wouldn’t have fed her 2 lbs of squash earlier in the day! My heart went out to my poor baby as yet again there was little I could do to help except bath her 3 times a day and do a million loads of laundry after endless secretions kept coming out.

Of course, like a rapid wild fire the virus took first me and then my husband. So once again, nothing got done around the house for a few days. I was very upset because we have now spent a month and a half in and out of quarantine. I am pleased to report that we are finally on the mend and making progress toward symbolizing a normal family unit. We even got our Christmas decorations put away. I told my husband last night that I finally had energy so we needed to do it now or never because who knows when the next evil virus would strike. I did see Emma’s nose running the other day. Maybe I should make her some butternut squash….just in case. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Daycare Separation Anxiety

I of course am talking about ME, mommy having separation anxiety being away from Emma. The thing is Emma LOVES being at daycare but mommy does not like being away. I had a hard time letting go when I put Emma in daycare, especially in the beginning. I did not mentally prepare myself well enough for the transition from maternity leave to daycare. Going from everyday being with your baby almost 24/7 to suddenly having this huge 8 hour gap in time together was extremely traumatic for me to say the least. Not to mention that Emma was still pretty much helpless at that point and was not getting attention every second like I had given her, which really upset me. I think she started daycare to early, but that’s a whole other post.

Right now, I have the amazing perk of her daycare being located right inside my office building. I know it is a rare and magnificent miracle and for the past 4 ½ months I have been able to go down and see her everyday which has helped both of us tremendously. In fact, in the beginning, I would go twice a day. I finally scaled it back to once a day a few months back. I am by no means trying to wave my good fortune in the face of others that don’t have daycare in their building but it is amazing to be able to leave the spread sheet you have been staring at for hours or run out of a two hour meeting to go sit and play with your child for a few minutes. I love every minute of it.

After going to visit Emma at day care every day I started getting to know the ins and outs of the place pretty well. I got to know the women who were taking care of Emma. I got to get to know the other kids. Everyone started to know who I was. It has been my second home. I never thought it would be so hard for me to let go, to not be with my child every second of every day (trust me I don’t really want to be with her EVERY second) but still having daycare so close is a nice arrangement for someone who is new to being a parent and a working parent on top of that.

I am finally getting to the point of my long winded mushy mush post. I think the day has finally come where I can’t go see Emma at daycare every day any more. She has entered her attachment phase. She cries when she is aware I leave the room. Drop offs are easy because she is still sleepy and disoriented, but when mommy shows up in the middle of the day to play then leaves? WHOLE different story. Not to mention she is moving around on her own now and is comfortable with the other kids. Hello independence! So, the need for me to see her everyday has lessened but that does not mean I want it to end! Where is the happy laughter I got to hear after a droning conference call? What excuse will I have to give my eyes a rest from the 1 point font hundred page spread sheets? The truth is, sometimes I wish I was working at the daycare and not doing other work. (A post on my job to follow). I suppose for now I will sacrifice my wants for my child’s well-being. I will stay away from daycare until Emma is over the clingy phase. I guess only one question remains … do they allow daily visits in elementary school? 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Teeth and Standing, The Milestones Keep Coming

We have teeth! That’s right we have not one, but TWO tiny chompers a comin in! Land ho! Ahoy maties we have two tiny barnacles sailing through the drool tides to stake claim in the land of Baby Gum Isle!  I have to say that my husband is the most excited of all about the whole thing. Every time he sees her he asks her “how the teethies (pronounces teefies) are doing” like an excited little kid! It is hilarious to see my husband, a big burly dude, squealing over two little baby teeth!

We also have a stander-upper! That’s right, Emma is pulling herself up on the couch, in her play yard, in her crib, and on her taller toys. The look on her face when she moves is amazing to me, almost a matter-of-fact, ho hum look like she knows exactly what she is doing and what she is trying to accomplish. Like standing unassisted oh yeah I know that, now let me try it. She just turned 7 months old and here I was thinking I would not have to worry about having a walker for a few more months, but it seems like that was wishful thinking. Not that I don’t want her to walk, I’m thrilled she is making moves and developing at her own pace, it just that my baby is growing up so fast (yes nostalgic mother moment here) I remember the days when rolling over was a big deal and now that seems like just a faint memory.

I will keep you posted on these new developments but for now I thought I would share the good news! We are knee deep in milestones here!

What milestones are you going through with your little one right now? 

Friday, January 4, 2013

Hello, Mr. Sandman a Little Help?

So if the Sandman had an evil opposite twin it would be who we have been dealing with these past few weeks. We have managed to clear the sleep regression hurdle and are back to sleeping through the night but we never shook the desire to not fall asleep and then scream uncontrollably when we get anywhere near the crib.

Last night I found myself trapped in Emma’s room. She was rustling and tussling while we rocked squirming and squealing while I hummed. I kept my eyes on the warm glow of light coming in from the hallway. The key to my sanity salvation lay just beyond. After a half hour of rocking and standing over her in the crib, while she fussed and fought, there was finally a glimmer of hope, she had gotten comfy in her crib. I saw my chance to escape. Ever so slowly and cautiously, I lifted one foot at a time and gently placed them on the ground, jumping at any sign of the slightest creek from the floor. My whole body was tense as I inched for what seemed like hours over to the door. Once at the door I smiled at my small triumph only to realize a much greater challenge lay ahead…opening the door. This posed two monumental problems that could lead to a potential slumber meltdown. One, as soon as I open the door, the light from the hall will flood the room and could wake Emma. Two and probably the most important since one will not even happen if I don’t get past two, I need to open the door without it squeaking. I am not sure if I have ever mentioned it, but the house we currently inhabit is my husband’s stepmother’s house, as in the house she grew up in, so it is getting up there in age and it seems like everything squeaks and creeks and generally is not baby sleep friendly. Anyways, so there I was clutching the side of the door, looking longingly at the light from the hallway….freedom! After what seemed like another hour of inching, I finally got the door open (squeaks and all) and made my escape!

The thing is, I get it, I know what the bedtime problem is and I know what to do. This is where we need to work on reestablishing our routine. We had fallen off the wagon while Emma and I were sick so now I am trying to go back to getting her to calm down right before bed, bathing and feeding. It is difficult. I can see a lifetime of disagreements about bedtime ahead. That would be my child though, spirited and stubborn just like her parents. I will do my best to have patience and continue establishing a solid routine. After all, we have years to perfect it. 

Have you had difficulty getting your little one to sleep? What bedtime routines do you recommend? 

Friday, December 28, 2012

It’s Two Days After Christmas and My Child Has Barely Played with Any of Her New Toys

That’s right, as you might have deciphered from my last post because in my junked up cold medicine head it is so clearly obvious, Emma has only gotten to play with about two or three of her new toys. Most of them are still in a pile. In fact ALL of our Christmas presents are in a pile because mommy has been very sick and completely out of it. I don’t even remember half the stuff we got. Santa was good to Emma, but her Mimi, Nana, Aunts, and Uncles were EVEN BETTER to her. In fact she got so many wonderful new things (and by wonderful new things I really mean space sucking stuff) that we are going to have to create a whole new area for her in the house. I was thinking of rearranging her room because there is a lot of untapped potential in there but we usually spend the majority of our together time in the main living room/ dining room of the house.

I was prepared for this day to come. I thought we might make it a little while longer before we needed it, but it finally has to go….daddy’s precious bar. The one his mother lovingly restored for him. The one that has not moved from its same spot in the house since I moved in (ok it was moved away from the wall for a day so we could paint) but other than that it has been dead space. It usually ends up getting cluttered with all of our junk mail or odds and ends and becomes an eye sore so in a way I am glad it is going. My husband and I never drink any more so there is no use for it in that way either.

Now the only problem I am having is that officially baby stuff will be taking over a portion of our adult living space and I don’t think I like that. True as previously mentioned the bar space was used as a dumping ground for junk mail and other thingamabobs but still they were “adult” thingamabobs gosh darn it and I am not ready to see my thingamabobs go! I guess I feel like I keep losing more and more of my adult self.  I should go back to when it all started … first, the play yard came into the living room after Emma out grew the basinet and I was ok with it because it has wheels and is self-contained which means it is not a permanent fixation if we don’t want it to be. Then, the next item was the bouncer which made an appearance early on and seemed to fit just perfectly in the space between the front door and the chair. It has been there so long it has blended into the living room scenery for me. So now literally the walls have been closing in on me with baby stuff. I remember watching those house selling shows pre-parenthood and thinking “geez people you are soooo disorganized with all of your baby stuff I mean COME ON!” And now I find myself in that group. In fact I believe the title of president has been reserved for me.

Bickering aside we will have to cope at least for a few months until I hopefully wrangle this promotion at work and we can finally move. Until then, I am giving myself a baby challenge.  Clean up old adult beverage space and make it a happy, colorful play space and do it within the next month so these Christmas toys don’t start to collect dust. Also do it with a smile because after all, I am doing it for my daughter.

Think I can meet my one month challenge? I will write on my success or failure. Have you set any goals or challenges for yourself to get “baby” stuff done around the house? 

The Patterson’s Night After Christmas

T’was the night after Christmas and all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, except for an annoyed spouse

The stockings fell off the bar they were taped with little care
Because St. Nicholas had already been there

The baby was screaming unsnug in her bed
While painful teeth were coming through her little head

Mama drinking cough syrup and dad in his Redskins cap
Were hoping to pass out for an after Christmas nap

When out in the dining room there rose such a clatter
We rock paper scissored each other to go see what was the matter

Away to the dining room I shuffled not being rash
Tripped on a dog and heard a splash

I looked down as the dog vomit did grow
I rolled my eyes and groaned to the puddle below

When what to my blood shot eyes had appeared
But a mountain of presents that had done what I feared

They crashed to the ground; it happened so quick
So many toys and most did not come from Saint Nick (he was too broke to afford all that)

My feet did not move rapidly as crashing they came
Down on to the floor, there was no one to blame

Now Playskool, Now Fisher Price, Now Little Tikes, Now Disney
On Melissa and Doug, On Crayola, On Lego, and Etsy

Toys stacked to the top of the tree, to the top of the wall
Now reorganize, reorganize to fit them all!

Mommy had to come up with a plan she knew
St. Nick would not be back to help tame this shrew

Then up in my head, an idea, I felt like such a goof
Just restack them nicely it will be full proof

I have skipped a few lines don’t think me not merry
If I don’t get more sleep I will become quite scary

So laying a finger aside of my nose
I blew it and headed back for a doze

Tomorrow will be a good day to deal with this, I thought as I left the sight
Of the fruits of Christmas past so I say to all a good night!  

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Great Santa Debate

Success! We made it to see Santa without any major catastrophes! Everyone had a great time! We met Nana and Grandpa, Uncle Thomas (not to be confused with daddy Thomas), and Mimi for brunch. Everything went well at brunch and thereafter. Smile after smile, picture after picture everyone was jolly and full of cheer.

We were in a very well decorated location (not a mall but a grand hotel if you can believe it) so grandpa wanted pictures taken at every turn. As dutiful children excited to show off their kid on her first Christmas we happily stopped every few feet to smile and Emma followed suit.

After two hours of a very good baby, we sauntered over to the line to see Santa. At this point, someone was starting to get a little bit cranky. Afternoon naptime had come and gone and mommy started to get worried. By the time we got up to the front of the line, I knew we would need some kind of miracle to get a smile from Emma who was obviously all smiled out.

It all happened in slow motion. Thomas walked up to Santa with Emma as I ducked behind the cameraman. I missed the initial pass off, but by the time I had positioned myself and was able to look back I saw it. A face I know so well because it is the only time my child looks like me, her all out screaming crying face! I was not too upset because I was mentally aware that this was a probability. In that moment everyone stopped and stared at her, the camera guy, the line lady, the 20 other families in line. I could hear everyone give a collective gasp and then time froze and I did what any mommy would do. Like the beginning of a slow clap at the end of a movie, I started clapping really loudly and yelling “YYYYAAAAAAYYYY!!!” at the top of my lungs. All of a sudden everyone in the crowd joined in and we were all cheering for this sweet baby to smile and she did! Ok so maybe the entire Santa line wasn’t cheering but it sure sounded like it. Anyways we got our smile. Followed promptly by a glance upward at Santa’s face only to rediscover there was a scary man in a psychedelic shirt (to be explained later) holding her which lead to another meltdown. Luckily daddy swooped in to save the day!     

To back track, while we were waiting for Santa, everyone in our party made a very profound observation. None and I mean NONE of the kids in line had any holiday attire on, even the babies! One baby boy was in a blue jumpsuit and another baby girl was wearing a pink shirt and jeans. So did I miss the memo? Is it no longer “cool” to dress up your child like they are headed for the North Pole? My husband did make a comment the other day about how the corduroy jumper I put Emma in for picture day was sooooo 80s! Maybe I am behind the times, but this is my kid’s first Christmas, in fact I might only have a few Christmases to put her in a cute little holiday outfit so I am running with it!
Just to be sure, my mommy friend who had taken her son to see Santa the week before at the same place said the same thing. Her son was the only child in Christmas gear. Maybe it is the posh people who go see the hotel Santa that don’t dress up their kids? Maybe people just so happened to be walking by and saw Santa and said hey why not? I thought this was something you meticulously plan out? Maybe only the type A folks.

The other problem that came up was of all things … Santa’s attire. So not only did the kids not have Christmas cheer, but Santa was not in his complete red suit, which sent my ultra traditionalist mother off her rocker. He was wearing a psychedelic blue shirt with multicolored hot air balloons! I was kind of taken back by the whole thing myself. He was “authentic” if you know what I mean, but something to me said Santa might be on hiatus from his North Pole biker buddies.

Which leaves several questions at hand: Are certain traditions going out the window? Do you dress up your children in holiday outfits? Is Santa trying to keep up with the Katy Perry/ Niki Minaj generation? Or did he get lost on his way from a Grateful Dead concert? (see picture below – sorry it is a little burry)

What do you think? Weigh in on the great Santa debate!