Thursday, August 18, 2011

Cuddle Bug

It's amazing how I have come to dread showers. I used to love them, but now they are just another thing on my to do list. It's not because they are work, but because C hates it when I take them. If I put her in her pack n play she cries, if I put her in the walker in the bathroom with me she cries. I hate taking a shower being rushed because she's crying. I hate that it makes her cry, I don't like it if she cries and there is something I can do about it. But at some point a women needs a shower!

Lets face it if I hadn't taken a shower we would all be worse off. I'm sure the stench of unbathed mom is not one more thing people need to look forward to when they see me. It needed done I was going on far too many days without a shower.

So, I put her in her crib. I loaded it with fun safe toys and left her in there talking and playing away. I brought the monitor with me and I took a shower. The thing with our monitor is that it's not working right now, it makes sound, but it sounds like it is on the lowest volume setting instead of the highest. It worked out because then when she was just whining I wouldn't hear too much, but then she started full blown crying. Luckily for me I was just about done, so I hurried up and headed out to get her.

When I got to her room and picked her up she gave me the biggest hug. She just laid down on me happy to have her mommy. It made my heart soar. It was worth the few tears I had to hear that made my heart sad. It was the happiest thing to happen to me all day! I loved it.

Does that make me a bad mom? Ha ha ha! I don't think so. It makes me a happy women to be loved. I love that she can show me love. I love the innocence of her love. I love that instead of being mad at me for leaving her in her crib to shower she was happy that I came back. Thanks sweet baby for being so sweet and making mommy happy.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The bathroom is no longer a one person place!

Sorry that it has been a few days since I posted. I am sure those of you with kids know that sometimes you just cannot find the time to participate in leisurely activities, Ssmetimes you are lucky if you can get the opportunity to go to the bathroom alone.

Before my daughter was born I was trying to mental prepare myself for everything, but I think that is impossible. I never would have guessed that I would yearn for the chance to go to the bathroom ALONE! Is that asking too much? It is when you are a stay at home mom.

I used to leave my daughter in her pack n play right outside the bathroom with the door open, but most of the time she gets mad and cries. So I put her in her walker in the bathroom because that was easier than hearing her cry. Now she's on to my little trick and cries when I put her in the walker. Sigh. So now I go into the other bathroom and set her on the floor with her rubber ducky. She plays for about 5 seconds then she decides that she is bored and pulls herself up on the tub. I immediately worry that she is going to slip and hit her head so now I put my hand behind her. After awhile she gets tired of that and she meanders over to me where she likes to touch the toilet if at all possible. GROSS! I try to distract her with another rubber ducky and set her down next to the tub.

Then when I stand up I have to put the toilet lid down before I step away from the toilet and flush without turning my body around in order to create a barrier between my daughter and the toilet. After that time I set her back at the corner of the room with her rubber ducky in order to buy myself enough time to wash my hands before she crawls back to the toilet and tries to lick it or something gross. Needless to say I do not take my time in the bathroom, however it does take a little bit of time. Between keeping my daughter happy and moving her away from the toilet I have my hands full.

So, when my husband gets home from work our interaction usually goes something like this. "Hi, I love you." "Hi, I love you. C wants you to hold her, she missed you. How was your day?" "It was good. How was yours?" "It was good, I have to pee." "Alright, I'll miss you." I then go upstairs and take my time enjoying the opportunity to go in peace. Then I hear from downstairs, "I thought you just had to pee." And suddenly I'm reminded that alas I have to go back downstairs eventually and I was lost in the peace of alone bathroom time for too long. I respond, "I did," and quickly wash my hands and head back downstairs, moment of alone time over.  Do I take a long time in the bathroom? Yes, sometimes I just need to take a quick breather and remembering what it is like to pee alone. Am I the only person who does this? I venture to say that every mom takes advantage of bathroom time to some extent. It is like a miracle when you get the chance to go alone.

For those of you who have no children or grown children, relish the time you have alone in the bathroom because it's not always your own time. For those of you with children, do not be afraid to take a little longer in the bathroom when you are all alone, you're not the only one who does it.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Baby Laughter

I love baby laughter. I think next to the sound of her heart beat on the ultrasound for the first time it is my absolute favorite sound she makes. It doesn't matter how I am feeling as soon as I hear her laughter I'm so happy.

Today she was full of laughter. For some reason she thought it was hilarious if I rubbed my nose against hers and said "meow." She would laugh and laugh and laugh. It made me giddy and I laughed and laughed and laughed. I can't imagine what the neighbors must of thought looking through the big window at the front (which I was standing in front of.) There I was dancing around the room face to face with my baby laughing like a little kid and every once in a while letting out a loud high pitched "meow." I can only imagine what they were thinking.

She also thought it was hilarious when I would put the spoon (which we had been using to share my frozen cherry limeade hehe) up to my forehead and made a noise. Then I would put it on her forehead and she would laugh so hard. When that got old I used it to tickle her under her arms. Again I'm sure the neighbors were thinking I looked like a crazy, but it was so worth it.

The sound of baby laughter is the sound of innocence and beauty. It's a sound people are to soon to forget. I love that something so small can make such an impact. I don't think that a single person could be around a beautiful joyful baby and not be filled with joy. I hope that I am smart enough to remember these times when I am older and further from innocence. May the world never lose sight of the wonders, joys, and innocence of children.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Patience, Perseverance, and Persistence

Today required quite a lot of patience, perseverance, and persistence and not because my daughter was being particularly "bad" or cranky, but because I picked up her first pair of glasses. I knew that trying to keep glasses on a curious 9 month old baby would be hard, but it sure tested my patience.

I was first frustrated because the glasses I got her were too big. It was hard to tell when I was picking them out that there was even a difference in the baby glasses. I really just thought that I was picking the color. Then the man who helped me didn't say anything about them and just measured her face, so I assumed they would work. I had tried them on her, but between her lack of a nap (or really her total exhaustion) and her  curiosity pulling at them it was hard to really see them on her.

The lady who helped me today goes, "we do have smaller glass if those fall down all the time. I guess I wasn't the one who helped you pick them." I was immediately frustrated because she clearly knew these really didn't fit her. I specifically went to a children's eye care store so that I would get glasses that are a perfect fit. Why hadn't the first guy who helped me mentioned this? It's not like they are cheap to replace.

So I put the glasses on and leave. She actually did not pull on them as much as I had first thought she would. However, they fell down her nose and she looked like a librarian looking at me over the top of her glasses and they pulled her ears down perpendicular to her head. By the time we got home of course she had pulled them down and decided to try and eat them. I put them back on and dutifully followed her all day replacing them. After a couple hours she was getting sick of me constantly pulling them up after she pulled them off. She would even cry when I put them back on. Sigh.

Overall she did very well. She pulled at them less than I expected, yet it was more frustrating than I expected. We made it through the first day and I'm proud of us. A few tears, but it was overall happiness. Then we gave her a bath and I decided to look through the glasses just to see how bad her vision is... oh my goodness my daughter is so blind! I realize that it is probably different because she is so young and it's in an effort to fix her cross-eyes while she is young, but I was not expecting it to be such a strong prescription! I am so glad we noticed her eye issues so young so that she did not go years with bad eyes and us not even knowing it.

Now the day is over, I'm not chasing her around pulling those darned things back up. I'm sitting in my bed relaxing and contemplating sleep at the early hour of 8:50. And tomorrow, I can do it all over again. Ah, the joys of motherhood.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Darn Diaper Rash!

My daughter is currently teething and, despite the fact she has already cut 6 teeth easily, this time around is not so painless. She has gotten a terrible diaper rash. It makes me so sad every time I change her diaper and she is so red. I finally decided to give her an oatmeal bath.

Giving her an oatmeal bath sounds easy and like a good decision, but that is where all my problems started. First I didn't have any store bought, which is fine because I'd rather make my own. So then we had to go downstairs and making an oatmeal bath.

Making an oatmeal bath is incredibly easy. All you need is some unflavored oatmeal and a food processor. Throw in a few handfuls of oatmeal and grind until it is a fine powder. It is ground fine enough when it easily dissolves. I use about 1/3 cup for my daughters baths. Pour it in under running water and mix it in with your hand.

My problems came when I got lazy and didn't check to make sure it was fine enough in a small amount of water. First I cleaned out the tub with a quick wipe just to get any left over dirt particles from her last bath and then I filled the bath and poured in the oatmeal. Of course it wasn't fine enough and settled down at the bottom like I was trying to actually make oatmeal.

I quickly got over that and my daughter was happily enjoying her bath. Then she tried to stand up (she often does this and then sets her bottom down to splash.) I dumbly didn't stop her the first few times she did it even though I should have been aware that the oatmeal was making the tub more slippery, Then she stood again, but this time she slipped and hit her chin and proceeded to bite her tongue. I'm pretty sure that at that moment I wanted to kick myself for allowing her to use the side of the tub for support standing.

She of course started crying and I grabbed her quickly, sad that she had hit her poor little chin. As I was holding her I realized that there was blood coming out of her mouth. I think I almost screamed. I can't believe my poor baby was bleeding. Seeing her bleed and hearing her cry was so traumatic to me. Luckily she calmed quickly and I was able to see that she had bit the tip of her tongue. While I don't want her to bit her tongue or bleed, I was happy to see that she hadn't knocked out one of her teeth or something.

So, even though I had felt like I was being a good mom earlier while I cut up her fruit for the week, made some baby pancakes, and cut up other food for her to eat over lunches, my day was effectively ended by feeling like a low life who let my baby slip in the tub. I know I'm not the first mom that happened to and I know I won't be the last, but today it did not matter. I hate seeing my baby bleed and cry. I know she loves me the same, but it still made for a rough day.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

We Put Her In The Nursery!

Today at church my husband and I took a big step in parenthood, we put our nine month old daughter in the nursery. Let me tell you, that was nerve-racking! The ladies running the nursery are so friendly and I'm sure she had fun, but I'll tell you I can't remember a word of the sermon.

I sat through the service starring at the screen just knowing that my daughter needed me and they were going to call me any minute. I did not close my eyes and I'm not sure I even blinked! The sermon seemed so long (although I'm sure it was regular timing and good as usual.) I could hardly sit still and I just wanted to jump out of my seat and run down and get my daughter.

Finally church ended and I'm pretty sure I ran out of the auditorium and down the stairs. I was so focused on getting down the stairs that I did not even notice that you could hear my daughter crying about half way down (thank goodness!) When we got there they said that she had a great time and did not start crying until just a few minutes before we got down there. My instincts wanted to cry that she was crying, but I knew that she was taken care of. She had a fresh diaper (which is what prompted the crying), they had given her her bottle, she had played, and she was being held and comforted.

I held back the mama bear in me and calmly thanked them and made light of her crying. Then one of my friends said that she had been down there and did not even notice my daughter was down there because she was so happy until the last few minutes. Truthfully I think when it came down to it I was glad to know she missed me.

We were heading out of the church and I wanted to hold her (since my husband had been holding her.) I reached over to grab her and she started crying. That is when I really wanted to cry. I wanted her to be so excited that we came to get her that she gave me her big slobbery baby kisses and leaned her precious little head on my shoulder. I think I almost cried when she cried over me wanting to hold her. At least my husband got the satisfaction of knowing that she loves him.

After all that I end today knowing that we have stepped into another stage of parenthood. We are now back to enjoying church service alone. It does not feel right yet, I miss my baby. I know that it's only the beginning of letting her be independent and for that I am sad. My baby girl is growing up and it is so bittersweet. I want her to stop growing and stay just the way she is, but I want her to grow up and be a strong woman of God. I guess I will just enjoy the moments we have now and know that someday we will share special moments laughing about the antics of her children. Now I will seize the moments and memorize her beautiful baby faces and the joy of her baby laughter.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Sleeping Through the Night

Amazing, just as I finished putting the final touches on my last blog and dared to suggest that maybe my daughter would sleep through the night she woke up. The sound of her timid cry filled the airways of my monitor and I got a flutter in my heart because I knew I would get to go hold my baby and comfort her, this however is not always my attitude.

Before my daughter was born I imagined that after 4 or 5 months of not so restful nights my daughter would be sleeping through the night. I can not for the life of me figure out where I would get some silly idea like that! I also falsely assumed that if she was only getting up one or two times a night when she was first born that it would not get any worse than that. Again I found out that I was so wrong.

I remember the first few months home from the hospital I was so excited because she was only getting up once or twice a night and sleeping until 9 am. It was nice to be getting up less times than I had when I was pregnant in. It was also relatively easy to deal with her. I would nurse on one side, she would fall asleep. Then I would change her diaper. nurse on the other side, she would fall asleep, and I would gently put her back in her bassinet on the side of our room. It was a nice pattern and I liked it.

Then one day we decided it was time to move her to her own room. Of course I wasn't ready to leave her and was convinced that somehow she wouldn't sleep as well with out us in the room, so we pulled our mattress onto the floor in her room. However,  we picked one of the coldest days of winter to move her over there. It was 17 below outside and slowly making the way into the house. I was cold and she woke up many times so I assumed she was cold. I eventually let her curl up in bed next to me to keep her warm.

It finally got warmer and she still kept getting up. It became harder to get her back to sleep and I was becoming more and more exhausted. I felt like my brains were leaking out of my ears and there were nights when I would come back to bed and cry because I felt like I was somehow a failure of a parent. I just wanted to be able to put her to bed and get a little sleep. It got to the point where I got up 8 times in a single night. I would have tried anything to help her sleep better.

We finally decided that maybe her room was too temper-mental when it came to the tempurature since we had to set the heat at 75 to get it to be 68 in there, but I noticed that when the heat was going it would get so hot. So, we moved her back to our room. Finally she started to sleep better! I realize that it may have been being with us or that she finally got her first tooth or any number of things, but I was happy to have a sleeping girl.

Since then we have moved and she is back in her room. Her sleeping has maintained a steady rate of waking 0 to 3 times a night and I have come to accept that. I got to the point where I was frustrated because I just knew I was still doing something wrong. "They" say to let her cry, that she should be able to self-soothe, that she shouldn't be eating in the night and that you should keep middle of the contact to as little as possible. Well let me tell you, trying to achieve those things only made it harder.

One day I was finally exhausted and I let her cry at her nap time. It lasted 10 minutes and then I swore to her I would never make her do that again. She cried and cried and cried (and I cried.)  I went in a picked her up and held her close while I nursed her to sleep, this felt so right. During this time I read an article by Dr. Sears about sleep methods and I realized that we were doing many of the things that people suggested. It was at that moment that I finally came to the conclusion that I'm not a bad mom for comforting my child and knowing what works to get her to sleep. I realized that I'm not a bad mom just because my child wakes up at night and that in all likelihood she would not sleep through the night until she was good and ready. (I realize that maybe she would go to bed on her own and possibly sleep through the night if I let my child cry it out and choose to ignore it, but to me that feels so unnatural and I will never do it.)

After I had decided to relax about it I also finally took my husbands offer up for help in the middle of the night. He had always offered to help, but I rarely took him up on it because I felt bad interrupting his sleep when he had to get up and work the next day. It dawned on me that I needed to catch up on just a little sleep, so I told my husband I would let him get up with her in the middle of the night. Do you know what that little stinker, my daughter, decided to do that night? Yup, you guessed it, she slept through the night! The next morning I was so excited. All it took was a little relaxing on my part and things went so much smoother. She has slept through the night a few more times, but not consistently. However, for the most part she only gets up once and it's not until 4. I finally feel like a new woman and I have a clear mind and I am perfectly ok with her waking up in the night.

If you're waiting for the day when you will get a full nights sleep, look no further because I'm convinced it will never happen once you have a child. When she does sleep through the night I still wake. Part of my heart is living outside of my body, how could I not wake, if only for an instant, and want to know that she's ok. But it does get easier if you just relax and accept it. So, tonight, sleep well when you have the opportunity and cherish the moments you are awake.