Friday, April 29, 2011

21 Months

Every time I write one of these, I'm tempted to start out with the same, tired line.  "I can't believe it's been XX months".  But it's true.  In ways, I cannot remember a time without my baby.  But in others, I can't believe that she has changed from a baby to a toddler seemingly in the time it took me to take a breath. 

She is amazing.  In this past month, she has started exerting her independence more than ever.  Her favorite phrase of the last month has been "DOOWIT!!!!" or "Self!"  In other words, she wants to do it herself, whether it's get dressed, put on her shoes, eat, change her diaper, climb the stairs, brush her teeth...  You get the picture.  It's generally been okay except when she had a cold.  A toddler trying to blow her nose and hold the tissue gets a bit messy.

In the last couple of weeks, we've noticed a big push toward using phrases instead of single words to convey her thoughts.  She had been using two-word phrases some, but now it's almost always at least two words (even if they still sound like one word sentences because of the unnatural break in between them).   

Baby Girl is also becoming more reliable with her manners.  She says "Sank You" and "Peeease" and "Cue Me" on a regular basis.  And she says "Sorry" when she hurts herself.  I think this is because whenever we hit her head getting her into her car seat we'll tell her "sorry".

This month has also been one where Baby Girl learn to climb and descend the stairs standing up.  I don't know if her height was her previous limitation or if it was our hesitation, but she's getting to be a pro now.  As long as she has something to hold onto, she can go up and down any stairs.  Of course, this also means she wants to prove her abilities whenever we're around a set of stairs, so our baby gate has been getting a good amount of use.

The last, less pleasant development that we've experienced has been, as of this past Monday, a complete shift in attitude.  She's decided that Daddy isn't worthy of putting her to bed.  She now knows that brushing her teeth is very likely going to kill her.  She also now believes that booby milk is for babies. 

Yep, she's now weaned.  Look for another post all on its own about that.  It has been since Easter Sunday that she last nursed.

All of these changes have meant that bedtime has become an incredibly painful battle.  I think she's having a hard time winding down now that she's not nursing.  It could also be because she's throwing tantrums about brushing her teeth and about Daddy trying to change her diaper and put on her PJs.  Oh, and she's screams and cries if we even mention Daddy doing bedtime, even though he's done 98% of her bedtimes since she was born.  It's loads of fun.  I'm praying it's a phase and fearing it isn't. 

All of this means that she's becoming her own independent little person.  I have moments of loving it...and moments of not being so happy about it.  But it's inevitable, so I'm accepting it and trying to adjust to her ever-changing personality.  Only three more months until we hit age two!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


After I post a blog post like I did yesterday, I fear that I'm being judged.  I know there are about 30 people per day that visit my blog and I don't know who most of them are.  So I picture them all sitting there, reading my post, and just judging how crazy I am instead of offering (any!) words of support. 

The feedback I get from those of you who post comments means the world to me, but the silence I hear from everyone else makes me want to run and hide and not post anymore entries that are so revealing of my soul.  I realize that yesterday's post was about 24 hours ago and not all blog readers are so obsessive devoted to reading blogs, but this just isn't the first time I've felt this way. It makes me want to make my blog private and not share what I'm thinking and feeling with anyone.

This is NOT trying to beg for comments or anything--just sharing, again, how I'm feeling.  Honestly.  Openly. 

Why does it matter if people are judging me?  It just does.  I wish I could take on the attitude of not caring what others think of me, but that's not who I am or how I operate. 

I love blogging.  I love expressing my feelings and talking about my little girl in a place that people can choose to visit and read (rather than bombarding all my FB friends and message board members with story after story of all the cute things she does).  But I don't just do it for me.  I don't just do *anything* for me.  I try to tell funny stories to amuse you.  I try to talk about how I'm feeling in the hopes that someone else might be feeling the same way and either I can help them or we can, at least, find some camaraderie in it.  Some part of this blog is for my own record-keeping.  It's what I do instead of a baby book.  One of these days I'll go fill out her baby book and I'll use this blog to determine when she took her first steps, got her first tooth, and said her first word. 

But mostly, I blog for the community.  And rather than hearing the comments I do get, the silence is saying more.

Monday, April 25, 2011


Last night I start reading Good Enough Is the New Perfect* and the first chapter was talking about priorities and that we need to decide what our priorities are so we can decide what we can let go by the wayside.  I know already that I am a Never Enough, which means that I keep trying and trying and it's never good enough for me.  I made Baby Girl's food, nursed until TBD, don't feed her sweet, limit her TV-watching, etc.  And I still think "I should feed her more organic" or "she loves Spongebob far too much"--it's never good enough for me.  Other people look at her and think she's wonderful and perfect but, for me, perfect seems unattainable.

And it's driving me crazy.

I know, logically, that no one can be perfect.  But in my head I think, "but maybe I can" or "I'm going to keep trying".  It's driving me crazy, though, beating myself up for any little thing.  I second-guessed myself for days when I took a Benadryl (a does is two pills and I only took one) before bed last week.  I beat myself up for not getting Baby Girl Stride Rites and putting her in shoes from JCPenney that are too big so she can wear them longer (and yet, I still did it...).  I kick myself for not bringing unsweetened applesauce because my mother-in-law only got the sweetened stuff.

I know, logically, that sweetened applesauce for a weekend, wearing good--but not the best--shoes, and taking a Benadryl a full 22 hours before nursing Baby Girl again are NOT going to kill her.  But how badly will they hurt her?  How badly have I messed her up down the road?  How much therapy is she going to need to get over the things I still haven't done?

Yep, I know.  I'm neurotic.  And the worst problem is that I worry like this about everything.  I spent too much at the grocery store.  I slept in too long and am going to make The Hubby late for work. I didn't exercise and feel like a blob.  I haven't emailed that friend in 3 days--what a horrible person.  I'm constantly criticizing myself and I need to find a way to stop. 

And that is why I've ordered this book and started to read it.  The problem is, I don't know what my priorities are to be able to determine what to let go.  This is what I'm going to be working on this week.  Unfortunately, I don't know where to start.  I start a list, then get all nit-picky and can't determine how big or small it should be.  Should it be "Keeping Baby Girl healthy", "Teaching Baby Girl to eat healthy" or "Making sure Baby Girl doesn't have sugar" (and one for each food I don't like her to have)?  Should it be "Saving money" or "Saving enough to do XX"?  How specific do these need to be?

Yep.  I'm neurotic.

* Just days apart I received this book as well as Two Kisses for Maddie, which I have been dying to read.  I started Good Enough Is the New Perfect, thinking that Two Kisses for Maddie might give me nightmares to wake up in a cold sweat at 4:15 from the more horrific nightmare I've ever had and never get back to sleep before The Hubby's alarm went off at 6:00.  So much for that!

Meal Plan: 4/24-4/30

Because we were out of town (again) this past weekend, I didn't get to do my normal plan on Saturday and shop on Sunday.  I tried to plan last night, but it just didn't happen.  So here it is--my haphazardly thrown together meal plan for the week:

Sunday: BBQ pork leftovers from last week, mashed potatoes, peas

Monday: Quesadillas made from chicken, onion, & mushroom leftovers from last week

Tuesday: Whole chicken (thank you Tupperware microwave cooker!), mac & cheese, frozen veggie

Wednesday: BBQ Chicken Braid with frozen veggies

Thursday: American Chop Suey

Friday: BBQ meat cups (biscuits in muffin tin, filled with ground beef coated in BBQ sauce, then topped with cheddar cheese and baked until biscuits are done), pasta, veggie

Saturday: Nieces' birthday party

I'm also looking for side dish recipes--something really, really easy but just a bit different from orzo/rice/pasta/mac & cheese/quinoa (or something to throw in with these).  I always look for main course recipes and never spend time on side dishes.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Back in the saddle....or something like that

Watch this video and sing along with my words below:

Back on the potty again
Trying real hard to go
Where I sit and I can read
Waiting for the need to pee
I'm back on the potty again

Sitting here once more
Maybe for a minute, maybe four
Where I spend a lot of time
Gonna make this potty mine
I'm back on the potty again

Rockin' to and fro
Back on the potty again
I go--say "Yay!"
Back on the potty again

It's true--we're back to hanging out on the potty.  We're not pushing at all, but she's just started being interested again.  The best part is that her first two tries with this renewed interest, she peed in the potty!  She hasn't again, but she's actually giving it a good try, which is all we can ask for right now. 

We're giving her stickers for trying (when we remember....) and giving her change for her piggy bank when she actually goes.  We aren't holding out much hope that this will be it, but the fact that she's interested is really encouraging!

Oh, and this is now Baby Girl's favorite video (the whole thing is much longer, but this is our favorite part of it):

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Happy Birthday

I think I mentioned this in another update, but it's worth re-sharing. 

Baby Girl has really taken to singing Happy Birthday.  I think one of the other kids at daycare sang it, so she started.  When she'd started, she didn't say anybody's name, though.  She'd just sing "Happy Birthday..." over and over...and over.

Her cousin's birthday was April 4th, so we sang it (A LOT) with her cousin's name in the song.  And then her twin cousins' birthday was April 9th and one of the kids at the sitter had a birthday on April 15th.  So she started singing TO people.  It still wasn't the actual song, just "Happy Birthday, Daddy..." over and over.

She's now sung to her cousins, every kid at ther sitter, the sitter herself, the animals at the sitter's house, Minnie, books, herself, Daddy, Grandma, Papaw, baby, Cheerios, get the idea. 

Well, this morning she sang to an unlikely recipient. 

She was sitting at the table eating her breakfast and started singing "Happy Birthday....cough"  Yep, she sang Happy Birthday to her *cough*.  Let's hope the cough doesn't hang around long enough to celebrate its birthday.


Baby Girl has another cold.  Who would've thought, huh?  We were actually healthy for a week or two, but then she went back to the sitter's (the sitter took a vacation), where one of the other kids had a snotty nose and a cough.  And now, guess what?  She's got a snotty nose and a cough.  She's really handling it well and it's only cut a couple of naps short, but she is overall sleeping fine.  I'm hoping she's on the uphill now--we'll see.  As usual, if it doesn't clear up some by mid-week we'll be heading to the doctor to have her ears checked.

Oh, and now I've got a runny nose.  I was blaming it on allergies yesterday, but today I'm not so sure. 

This brings to me to my ongoing question--to medicate or not?

I was having this debate mostly when I thought it was allergies.  You see, before getting pregnant, I was on four different allergy medications with limited success.  I am allergic to just about every environmental allergen out there and the worst part is that it settles into my ears and causes major ear pain and dizziness.  Oh, and my other allergy sufferers have runny eyes and nose and sneezing, making it obvious they're suffering...and I don't.  So that sort of sucks.

But since getting pregnant and then nursing full-time I haven't dealt with much as far as allergies go.  I've had days where I felt stuffy or had some ear pain, but it was never as bad as it had been--yay!  Unfortunately, it seems that whatever those hormones were doing to keep me from suffering has stopped working and now I need to make some decisions about whether I should start taking some medications.  The medications that I would think would be the safest for nursing (since I am still nursing once a day), nose sprays, aren't classified as particularly safe.  And the pills are going to do some drying and I fear they will impact my supply (which is pretty much non-existent anyway).  So I could take the meds right after nursing Baby Girl and hope that she doesn't get much through the milk the next evening, which is what I'm leaning toward. 

The biggest problem, though, is that I'm frustrated that there isn't a single doctor that can help with both symptoms and knowing what's safe for nursing.  Even my OB/GYN didn't seem to know for sure what meds are safe during nursing.  My primary care physician looks it up in a book, which is more than any other doctors I've had.  My allergist, though, didn't seem to know what would be safe when I'd asked him previously, which is why I haven't been back to see him since 2008 (besides the trip for Baby Girl's allergy testing).  I need someone who can look at my allergy symptoms and suggest medications that will work well and will also be safe for Baby Girl.  There are suggestions out on the web, but I would prefer to get it from a doctor who can see the whole picture.  I suppose that's where a holistic doctor would come into the picture...but they don't seem particularly apt to prescribing meds, which, in this case, I need!

Just frustrated, I suppose.  I'm not looking forward to suffering through the next 7-8 months without any allergy meds.  I'll do what I have to do, but am hoping I can find some sort of happy medium that won't harm Baby Girl but will help me with my symptoms.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Meal Plan 4/17-4/23

We were out of town this past weekend and will actually be out of town again this coming weekend, so I only needed to plan for five meals.  One meal is reusing some shredded BBQ pork from last week and one other is a repeat from last week that didn't get made (we'd planned on cooking at home on Saturday, but were visiting my parents instead).  So, meal planning was easy this week...but I still somehow spent $80 at the grocery.  Stay tuned as I explore how this happened and hopefully you can learn something from me.

Sunday: Chinese with my parents
Mondays: Crockpot stew beef & cream of mushroom soup served over rice with some steamed veggies--one of my favorite childhood meals
Tuesday: Southwest Pasta Skillet
Wednesday: BBQ pork with rice & steamed veggies
Thursday: Pork Chops Over Rice
Friday: Some sort of veggie & chicken be determined.  I'd planned on using Flat Out, which was supposed to be on sale at my grocery store...but couldn't find any.  So I instead bought some high fiber tortillas that were BOGO and may do something with it (or I might do something completely different).  Let's face it, I'm really bad at winging it in the grocery store, which is why I go with a list!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Crisis Mode

I discovered this morning how I react in a perceived crisis.  It isn't particularly pretty.

When we're trying to get to the car in the morning, many times we'll let Baby Girl walk around the car by herself while we carry bags, lunches, and all the other things we need for the day.  This morning The Hubby was helping her out to the car while I finished up my breakfast and set the alarm.  She had walked around to the other side of the car while he was loading on the passenger side.

I walked around to get her and she wouldn't listen to me and get in the car (which has become a trend recently...).  I was setting down my English muffin on top of the car and looked and saw that she was going even further away from the car, toward the mouse poison.

I yelled "No!  No! NO!  NOOO!" and she just didn't listen.  I freaked out.  I don't know if she touched it or not--I don't think she did.  I yelled at The Hubby--"I need you to take care of that rat poison!"  He threw his glass of lemonade against the wall of the garage in frustration (I'm sure he was feeling attacked).  He grabbed the tray of poison and threw it in the trash can as I stood over Baby Girl, who I had grabbed and thrown into her car seat, panting and near tears.

The Hubby got into the car as I lectured Baby Girl.  I tried to explain that we needed her to listen when we say "No" because it means she's doing something that could hurt her.  I kissed her, twice.  The Hubby asked if I needed him to get something to wash her hands, but he said it in such a tone that I knew he would feel incredibly bothered by it that I told him no.

I got in the car, shaking.  I drove down the road, barely listening to Baby Girl talking--pointing out a bus, a truck, a bird.  And then I hear her eating the English muffin piece we'd given her. 


So I pulled over the first logical place I could find.  I grabbed an old napkin I found on the floor of the backseat and licked it and tried to clean off her hands.  I tried not to panic.  And I proceeded to try to avoid panic every time I heard her cough or whenever she'd stop talking.  It was really difficult to do during a half hour drive on the freeway.

She's fine, thank goodness, but that was scary.  And The Hubby and I didn't exactly speak at all in the car, even after we'd dropped her off.  I think the fact that I resent having mouse traps and poison in my house came out.  I also think the fact that I resent my husband not cleaning them up now that we've trapped over 10 mice in our house because I've *always* feared that Baby Girl would get into them came out as well.  I snapped.  I know it wasn't the best reaction and definitely wasn't one of my more attractive moments.

We'll talk today after work.  I'll apologize and so will he.  I think I need to find a constructive way to discuss my frustrations with him...before I'm too frustrated. 

Friday, April 1, 2011

Our weekend trip to the doctor

The weekend of March 19th was generally a good one for us. 

Saturday morning we made a trip to the zoo.  During the early spring, the zoo doesn't open until 10 a.m., so we got there around 9:50 and waited at the gates.  We were among only about 40 people waiting, so once inside we didn't see anyone else for awhile.  It was a nice day--the sun was warm and the animals were out and active.  It was actually the first zoo visit where Baby Girl was able to watch the animals and enjoy them.  We saw Beco, the elephant, some monkeys, the fish (the aquarium was almost empty, so we didn't feel like we were going to lose her in the dark), the manatees, and some tigers.  She loved it!

We left the zoo and headed to get some lunch because once we got home, it would be naptime.  Of course, she fell asleep during the 10 minute drive to lunch, so we woke her up and took her in the restaurant to eat.  She didn't seem really interested in eating, but we weren't concerned since she doesn't typically eat well at fast food restaurants.  We got back in the car and The Hubby entertained her until we got home so she didn't fall asleep.  She went down for her nap wtih no problems and off I went to meet a friend's new baby.

When I returned, Baby Girl was awake and had been crying for me.  I picked her up and snuggled her a bit and realized that she was pretty warm.  We couldn't find a thermometer with batteries, so we decided to take her to one of the clinics inside a pharmacy.  We sat down and were looking at the information and discovered that they didn't accept our insurance.  We didn't know how to find out if the other pharmacy clinics accept our insurance, so instead of going home we decided it made more sense to go to a clinic inside a grocery store a bit away that we knew would take our insurance.  On the drive, we could tell she didn't feel good.  She didn't talk, sing, or whine and we could hear her breathing was a bit fast and loud.  We got there and there was one person being seen and another waiting. 

Baby Girl was clingy and lethargic--something we'd only seen from her one other time, when she'd had a double ear infection (it was also the only other time she's had a fever).  She sat on my lap (wouldn't go to Daddy) and snuggled with me.  She's half-heartedly wave at the baby who was waiting with her mommy, but I could tell she wasn't herself.  After we'd waited for about 30 minutes, I went and got her a snack and some water--we'd left the house without a diaper bag or anything.  Good thing we were inside a grocery store.

While we were waiting, a few other people came in to see the nurse practitioner, including one couple that apparently had already signed in but needed to leave.  They went to see her before we could.  At this point I was starting to get a bit upset--couldn't these people see we had a sad, sick 19 month old???

Eventually we got in to see the NP.  She took Baby Girl's temperature--101.5.  She did an exam and, of course, found an ear infection.  She kept looking up things in her tablet PC, making me feel a little uncomfortable.  I know her specialty isn't pediatrics, though, so I suppose it's good that she's double-checking her thinking.  She prescribed us Omnicef for her ear infection (what I was actually already on for my sinus infection) and then also a steroid for her breathing.  I asked her to check her temp before we went and it had indeed gone up to 103.4.  After paying, we immediately went out to the pharmacy area and picked her up some ibuprofen to bring her fever down.

We submitted the prescriptions and went to look for something for dinner.  You see, this grocery store is a-may-zing.  Seriously.  The Hubby and I decided we could have a really great date night there.  At a grocery store.

We went to the hot foods station and found some personal pizzas.  We got pizzas for all of us and sat down to eat.  Baby Girl wasn't really interested in eating, but did seem to perk up--she was chatty with some little girls at the next table.  Eventually it was time to pick up the prescriptions and go home--we got home around 7:00, just in time to nurse her and put her to bed.  She slept well overnight as we alternated Tylenol and ibuprofen to keep the fever at bay.  She still had a bit of a fever when she woke up, so we kept up with the fever reducers until about noon on Sunday.  She was acting like herself by then and had a great day with my parents at our house.  You never would've known she'd been so sick the day prior. 

We go to our own pediatrician for a recheck next Monday to see if her ears are healed.  They seem to be, but what do I know?  The kid never shows signs of an ear infection unless she's got a fever, which has only happened twice.  She's acting like her normal happy self, though, so we assume it will be an easy visit.

(This was written over a week ago.  The recheck was fine, but she still had some fluid in her right ear.  We're going back in the middle of May to see if the fluid is still there.  If it is, we'll be referred to an ENT.)