Thursday, December 17, 2009

I used to be more organized.

I need to be more positive. I think this will be my New Year's resolution.
DH and I just had a phone conversation and he seemed to think I was a bit of a Debbie Downer. Part of it was due to the Christmas crunch. We have less than 7 days and we still have 3 gifts to get, a tree to put up, cookies to be made, presents to be wrapped, service presents to package, desserts to make for Christmas eve, Christmas evening dinner menu to finalize, Christmas Day breakfast menu to finalize. I feel like everything is still up in the air.
My mother who complained that I don't host dinners anymore asked me to do Christmas but now thinks she'll be away for Christmas. So now I'm planning a meal for my family and one for the extended, just in case.
Christmas aside, I do find myself talking to my husband and being the 'grownup'. For example, DH just bought a guitar to learn how to play it. That's great. He wants to do this because our daughter loves music and the guitar. I'm just in a place where I cleaned out our house of unneccessary stuff and we're getting more. To understand what I mean, my husband would not let me get ride of a video game because one day, one day he will play it. It's been over a year and it's still wrapped in it's packaging. By the time he wants to play with it, the new game console will probably be out. Odds are, he'll want said console and the old one will fall to the waste side.
I'm sure the guitar will be fine. I need to be positive. I'm just feeling Christmas crunch. This too shall pass.
On the menu possibly are:
Dessert for Christmas Eve social - Chocolate Cherry Cupcakes
Breakfast for Christmas Day - Berry Muffins or Apple Date Cupcakes & Hot Chocolate
Dinner for Family - TBD
or Dinner for Extended Family - Roast and Roasted Veggies etc...
As you can tell, dinner is the last thing on my mind these days.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Would you rather have a life which is a sitcom or a dramedy?

This past weekend has been an emotional roller coaster for me.
I got my period. This wouldn't be big news except it's been 2 years and 3 months since my last period. Go Breastfeeding!
This is a big thing because it essentially is a message from my body that I'm ready to procreate. Physically, my body is ready to incubate a human being. Emotionally, I'd like to incubate another human being. Realistically, this isn't going to happen anytime soon. Unless God thinks otherwise.
I've always felt a 2 year gap would be perfect timing for siblings. Thinking this way, my body is on schedule but financially this isn't feasible. With my husband changing careers our budget is tight and I can't afford another child right now.
That's the painful part of this whole period. Forget the cramps. Forget the hormonal changes.
Add to this my daughter has begun shortening her night nursings. Instead of all night chows, she only nurses 3-4 times for 20 minutes and then goes back to sleep. It's like a little stab to my heart, my little baby isn't a baby anymore.
My emotions got so ridiculous that at one point when I felt my body telling me AF was arriving, I tried to get my daughter to night nurse all night. It was pathetic. It was a parenting low for me.
Oh and I just finished packing away her 0-12 months clothes and her baby gear to be placed in storage. Tell me that didn't add to my hormonal emotional peaks.
Sure enough AF came the next morning and out in the news comes word that the Duggar mom have baby number 19. The baby is premature so I'm saying a prayer for her but still. Here this woman has 19 kids and I'm asking for #2 but need to hold off.
I shared my emotional jumble with my husband the other night. I pretty much summed it up to him like this. In my teens, all I wanted was my period because it meant I was growing up. In my 20's, all I wanted was my period because I didn't want to be pregnant. After we got married, all I wanted was not to get my period because I wanted to become a mom. Now, after we have had #1, I don't want my period because that's my body saying, "Ok, we're ready for #2." This is freaking ridiculous. I want another child but we aren't ready and of course the Duggar woman just gave birth to #19. In an ideal world, I wanted 3. DH interjected with a 'Three?!' Now I feel like I may not even have two. DH turned to me after my rant and said, "I don't know what to say about your period. We'll find a way to have 2. And as for the the Duggar lady, she's just plain gluttonous. You can't compare yourself to her."
I know he is right but when you're dealing with emotions from AF, you really have no control.
So now, I'm hormonal. AF is here. Christmas is two weeks away and I have 7 more gifts to buy and no money. My daughter has reduced her night nursing. I have no tree up as of yet. I have no cookies made as of yet. And all I keep thinking about is babies.
My husband is going to love me this week.
POSTSCRIPT: Funny how I the first few years I was journaling, I talked about how my husband and I were at a crossroads regarding starting a family. Now, I'm sort of back at that crossroads but in a different level.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Imitation is flattering... sometimes

It's super cute when TG imitates me.
She pretends to cook.
She pretends to change her brown bear's diaper.
She brushes her lovey's hair.
She tries to brush her teeth.
She is getting better at using the fork and spoon to eat.
She wipes the entertainment center.
But, it's not cool when she watches you clean the toilet bowl one day and tries to do the same the next day with the icky toilet brush.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Whistles and Plastic Tubing

I scared the bejesus out of my daughter.
She likes to feel the wind in her hair. So while we were cleaning up one of the many boxes of collected things, I found the plastic tube for the exercise ball. It's used to inflate the ball. I figured, I'd blow into it and let the air blow out onto her face.
What I forgot was the tube was ridged so a whistling effect would be produced.
I blew full force and a shrieking whistle shocked my poor daughter. Her body trembled and she fell silent. She then looked at me and then proceeded to cry with a furrowed brow. "Why did you do that?" seemed to be her reaction. She pushed the tube away from her and I ran to hug her.
Now my kids going to have an unexplained fear of train whistles and plastic tubing.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Words to live by

Spread love everywhere you go: first of all in your own house. Give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to a next door neighbor... Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting. -- Mother Teresa

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas Clean Up

I’m starting a new tradition. This new tradition has been started in part to get me into the Christmas spirit and partly to kick my butt into high gear. I’ve decided that I’m going to do a massive Christmas purge of the apartment every year and the proceeds go to a donation to the church box for the needy.
Don’t give me a hug. It’s not altruism that is motivating me. It’s the cold reality that I live in a 1000 square foot apartment and have a toddler underfoot. I’m literally bursting at the seams in duplo blocks and wooden foods.
Strangely enough, I’ve found now that I’m a parent, I had more Christmas spirit prior to giving birth. Don’t get me wrong, I do get the Christmas spirit but usually later in the month. My old self would have all the Christmas to dos done by now to enjoy the Christmas merriment. Now I have to juggle the boring stuff with the glee. I think being a parent has actually deepened and honed the spirit of Christmas for me but that’s a topic for another day.
Today is about my tornado of a home. We have a tiny apartment but I jokingly divide our apartment into the west wing and east wing. The east wing is where we retire at the end of the day aka the bedroom. The west wing is our workspace aka the living room and kitchen.
DH and I spent Monday and Tuesday sprucing up the east wing and now we have a beautiful serene east wing complete with a newly cleaned utility closet. I can walk into it again!
I also sorted and packed TG’s clothing and baby gear (bassinet, changing pad, bathtub, bouncy seat, etc) into boxes for storage. Ok, I did the clothing. The baby gear requires a trip to Target to pick up those gigantic Ziploc bags and some hefty trash bags so they can be stored protectively.
I also posted a large quantity of baby and non-baby items for giveaway or nominal donation. Items that don’t go will go to the local church donation for the needy and the funds received will go towards a family Christmas donation.
We clear out stuff we haven’t used or don’t need. We’ve given stuff to folks who could use it rather than fill a landfill and we’ll give to others. I think it’s a nice tradition that helps highlight the spirit of giving and unity I hope to instill in TG.
I still have the west wing to tackle which is why I’ve been telling folks my house looks as if the police raided it. See, I’ve moved the to-be-stored boxes to the west wing so DH can get the hint that he needs to go to storage. Sadly the hint was missed and he pushed them back to the east wing this morning but I will not harp on this.
Then there is the three boxes of donations that are awaiting pick up that are sitting in our foyer.
Then we’ve got a million boxes that need to go to recycling sitting in my kitchen.
Oh let’s not forget the Mega Blocks and various assorted kitchen plates, spoons and forks that TG likes to strew around the kitchen.

Notice I haven’t even gotten to the living room?
I woke up this morning after a very fitful night (TG is teething again) and I felt like I was in an episode of Hoarders.
Anyway, I don’t know who it’s comes to this but in our tiny apartment I had collected 30+ towels (there are only three of us), unopened movies and games and more shoes you can shake a stick at. Don’t ask me why you would shake a stick at a shoe.
I haven’t even tackled our coat closet, the pantry or the kitchen. I’m scared. Last time I overhauled the kitchen I found 50 packets of sugar I had collected from various takeout orders. Why did I save all those sugar packets?

Friday, December 04, 2009

Taking care of her peeps

In addition to her affection towards Dylan the duck, TG is also displaying other affectionate actions. During the day, she pushes her toy stroller and occasionally brings my husband or me one of her bears for a diaper change. She grabs her bear and exclaims, "Diaper?" She'll sit down, lay her bear down and take off his/her diaper. I knew those extra newborn sized diapers would come in handy. Then she'll get up, to to the container of diaper wipes, open it, pull one out and then go back to her bear and wipe him/her down. Then she'll happily leave her bear bare bottomed.
I've also caught her taking her brush and brushing her lovey's hair.
The cutest of all these is her occasional request for me to help her put her lovey in her shirt. I'm not sure if she's mimicing breastfeeding or babywearing. I'm leaning towards babywearing as she likes to have her lovey's head poke out of her shirt. When she's old enough, I'd love to get her the Ergo Doll Carrier. I think she'd like it. A month ago she had me carry Ally Gator in her actual Ergo. Of course, I thought nothing of it and walked happily around the house with a 0 pound stuffed animal on my front as TG smiled and clapped her hand with glee.
These to me are all signs of she's ready for a doll. Now if you know me by now, you'll know this isn't going to be a go to Toys R Us, come out with a doll for her type of deal. I spent the last week researching and talking to everyone about preferred dolls. The conclusion is simple, I want her doll to be cloth and made of natural materials. I had rag dolls as a child and rarely had a plastic doll. I think I'd like her to have the same.
I narrowed it down to a few specific dolls based on materials, appearance, maintenance and price. Holy cow, there were some great dolls out there but for over $100 for a cloth doll! If I got my child a doll that expensive, it would have to be encased in glass and she'd be given a 'look but don't touch' ultimatum.
So now, Santa plans to bring TG her very first baby doll. I hope she likes it. I also purchased two outfits for her baby doll.
Which reminds me, did you ever have a Learn to Dress doll? I had one and I loved it. I found the cutest one. It's a pirate! TG might get this for Christmas too.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

I swear she has memories from her infancy.

I feel like I blinked and TG became a toddler. Honestly, where did the time go? One minute, I'm sleep deprived trying to soothe a swaddled baby and the next, I'm trying to gain patience as my toddler attempts to feed herself with a spoon.
TG's vocabulary has sky rocketed and it simply isn't just repetition. There is a clear understanding of the definition of the words she speaks. For the most part.
At night, before she drifts off to sleep she repeats some of her words. She also lists her favorite songs. Right now, her favorite songs are Row, Row, Row Your Boat, The Itsy Bitsy Spider, Are You Sleeping? and A-E-I-O-U. Two weeks ago it was Do Re Mi from the Sound of Music and Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star. With the later, she repeats the cadence of 'Up Above The World So High'. It comes out 'Up Above Da'.
Another blossom has appeared. TG is clearly displaying affection and attachment not only to her lovey but to other objects and to us. She has known how to hug and give a hug for some time now but she's also giving us kisses when we ask for one.
But the biggest most heartwarming display of her emotional development is her interaction with her stuffed animals. She has this duck named Dylan. When she was a wee infant, I would make Dylan speak and talk and dance for her. I didn't think anything of it and as she got older and more attached to her lovey, I left Dylan with her other stuffed animals. She has some bedtime buddies and some playtime buddies. Her bedtime buddies she seems to have a stronger connection with. Anywho, the other day, she saw Dylan sitting alongside her daytime buddies and she walked over to him, picked him up and hugged him. She smiled a big grin as if she had seen a long lost friend. Then she brought him to me and said, "Quack." and asked me to hug him. Ever since, she's placed Dylan in her bed and interacts with him daily. She even gives him a kiss and a hug before going to bed. As she drifts to sleep with her lovey in her arms, she likes to have me hold Dylan next to me.
How do kids learn emotions and connections and bonding? It's all so fascinating and to me it's a big sign she's not an infant anymore.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Ode to my husband or Attachment Parenting can be rough on Dads too

I love my husband and for all the silly fights and disagreements we've had the last year, deep down in my heart, I know he's my soulmate. Of course being my soulmate also means he knows how to push my buttons which I swear sometimes is done solely for his entertainment. But I digress.
As new parents and as adults who have spent a good 10 years together sans a wee one in the house, disagreements and arguments abound. I know this. I also know it's not a reflection on our love or lack of for each other. It's simply our growing pains as humans shifting our priorities from ourselves and each other to our child.
The one thing that we both agree on though is the bettermint of our child. Parenting is about trial and error and during our short foray so far, we've learned that we lean toward attachment parenting.
I'm not an expert. I'm merely a Mom who is learning as she goes. I read alot. I research alot. I ask alot of questions. The one thing I found was how there are particular articles on the challenges of attachment parenting for women living in a modern society.
Yes it is true that attachment parenting has its challenges but name anything associated with parenting that isn't a challenge. For me as a woman, I can spout out a list of things that are challenges for me. Breastfeeding was a challenge but I conquered it and I'm proud to be an extended breastfeeder. Working and continuing our attachment parenting principles have been challenging but I'm not the only woman doing it. Focusing on nighttime parenting after a hectic day is a challenge but it can be done. Attachment parenting is adaptable and if you find your heart leans towards AP, you make things work.
Well, all these articles focus on moms but AP is tough for dads too. My husband is a great AP dad. Now, he doesn't wear her as much anymore and much rather prefers to have her walk by herself or stroll her but that doesn't make her any less of an AP-er.
I'd like him to focus on her more and less on his laptop somedays but she continues to have a healthy, solid relationship with her Dad and is developing extraordinary cognitive skills. I know all parents say that. What makes AP great is that even within a couple, the principles are focused on differently making for a more well rounded child, in my opinion.
I know that my husband thinks some of my views and opinions are a little too crunchy but he knows I truly believe it is in the best interest for our daughter. For the most part, if it doesn't completely go off the deep end, he smiles and agrees with me. Sometimes he disagrees but he still abides by my desires. This means no sippy cups. Our efforts have paid off quickly with a toddler who can drink from a straw and a cup. This means, no TV even as background noise. Her concentration is strong. Her vocabulary growing every day and her ability to play quietly by herself is welcomed. This means keeping her nap and sleep routine sacred. She's happy and has minimal tantrums and can express herself readily.
It's tough on us, as parents and as spouses but in the end, we think it's worth it.
What's truly tough for my husband and I really do admire him and appreciate him all the more is how he defends me and our family.
Personally, even though I defend my beliefs, I always question myself. I ask myself am I being too rigid in my views on natural, pesticide free foods for my daughter? Am I allowing her nap routine to rule my day too much?
My husband probably doesn't beat himself like I do but he's got folks questioning him probably quite often about our views. Being a stay at home dad is hard. Being a stay at home attached dad with parents and in-laws that don't quite understand the principles is even harder. Still, he's firm and he'll tell anyone who asks, I'm trying to raise a self confident girl who will one day grow up to be a self confident woman who doesn't fall for the short skirts, heavy makeup, princess type mass marketing promotes. No, we don't like anything that says princess or branded items. We focus on her talents and developing her cognitive skills. We cherish her being a kid and will protect her right to continue to be a kid for as long as possible. We take pride in our family unit being a team and will promote this necessary foundation.
And he does all this while balancing on the delicate tight rope that is the grandparent/parent/in-laws relationship.
So, thank you DH for protecting me, our daughter and our family. I don't know if the triangle gets better or worse over time but as a team we'll muddle through it.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Words to live by

In those days, Elijah the prophet went to Zarephath.
As he arrived at the entrance of the city,
a widow was gathering sticks there; he called out to her,
"Please bring me a small cupful of water to drink."
She left to get it, and he called out after her,
"Please bring along a bit of bread."
She answered, "As the LORD, your God, lives,
I have nothing baked; there is only a handful of flour in my jar
and a little oil in my jug.
Just now I was collecting a couple of sticks,
to go in and prepare something for myself and my son;
when we have eaten it, we shall die."
Elijah said to her, "Do not be afraid.
Go and do as you propose.
But first make me a little cake and bring it to me.
Then you can prepare something for yourself and your son.
For the LORD, the God of Israel, says,
'The jar of flour shall not go empty,
nor the jug of oil run dry,
until the day when the LORD sends rain upon the earth.'"
She left and did as Elijah had said.
She was able to eat for a year, and he and her son as well;
the jar of flour did not go empty,
nor the jug of oil run dry,
as the LORD had foretold through Elijah. -- 1 Kgs 17:10-16

Friday, November 27, 2009

1st, 2nd and 3rd

I grew up with a father who even though exhausted from long hours of work during the week, would take my brother and myself out to see and learn new things on the weekend.
My husband didn't have these opportunities.
When we first met, he told me how he'd make darn sure he would be the father he always wanted. It was one of the most sincere discussions we had and it helped solidify my love for this man.
Now that we have a child, I'm finding it hard to find a happy medium between my dad and my husband as dad. I know realistically each man will be their own father.
I don't want him to be like my dad.
I know it's an issue of mine. I like going out to see holiday trees. I like taking our daughter to experience new things. My husband does to but he doesn't plan the day around it. I do. I think for him it's more of a 'if it fits into my schedule'. For me, it's 'I make things fit around the main event.
In the long run, I think she'll benefit from both. For now, I just need to rectify it in my mind. It's probably more bothersome to me than anyone else in my family.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The shoe is on the other foot

TG pooped while in her bath.  It was the first time we encountered that. It was during DH's shift.  He had just finished the bath portion and was having fun in the bath playtime portion when he spied the log.
DH screamed bloody murder and I ran in.  I held TG in a blanket as DH wore numerous gloves to clean the tub.
As I held TG in my hands I started chuckling atthe memory of my little brother and I way back when.  We were taking a bath together when I noticed that my brother pooped in the bath.  Apparently he had an upset tummy and it wasn't just poop but loose poop.  I jumped out of the tub and my Grandpa was so upset.  As he tried to drain the water and clear the mess my baby brother was like a leaky faucet.  Grandpa was trying to transfer him to the toilet but he just wouldn't stop.  Of course being the ever helpful schoolaged child. I stood there watching the scenario in my towel laughing hysterically.  Now if you knew me then, you'd know that I didn't have the strongest bladder.  Needless to say both of us needed baths and the bathroom needed a good once over with Mr. Clean. 
I'm off to sanitize the bathtoys now.

Librans go wild

I am so worried about everyone else in my family that I wonder if anyone worries about me. It is absolutely ridiculous since 1) I wouldn't want anyone to worry about me and 2) I should worry about me.
Maybe worry is the wrong word.
I'm just so preoccupied with everyone else in my family. It's easy to say you need to find time for yourself but harder to execute especially when you feel as if you have the weight of the world on you.
Maybe that's the problem. I feel as though the scales are unbalanced. I say I accept it but do I really accept it if it weighs on me so?

Love protects

The latest exercise asks me to protect our love.
The hardest part of this exercise is that I found I need to protect our love from me.
I am so stressed and feeling alone and overwhelmed that our love is hurting.
They are unrelated but related.
In order to protect our love I need to say goodbye to those branched that are withering or sucking too much from the root.
I need to prune our love.
How do I let go of hurt culled from the stress of everyday?
The simple answer is to remove that stress but (and I really want to get but out of my vocabulary) I need to be able to care for my family.
I tried to start with tangible things. I started leaving my laptop on the desk and trying not to bring it with me when and if we had a few seconds together. I broke it quickly as I found we were so preoccupied with other things it was hard to be in the together zone.
That's when I started praying more and a light came on that I need to think beyond the tangibles.
I want to protect and nurture our love.
It would be easier if I didn't feel as if I need to be nurtured a bit but as my epiphany reminded me during the darkest hours Jesus could probably have used some nurturing too. Jesus' darkest hour is far more of a trial than mine.
I just need to build my patience and try very hard to separate the everyday and tend to our love. I do not let the everyday define me and I should not let it define our love.
This exercise is a work in progress.

"It will get done when it gets done."

"It will get done when it gets done."
Honey, sometimes things get done too late and you regret not having done the things you wanted to do.
The difference is my wants are all family based.
Not that family is more important than individual desires. A balance is key and I know I'm far from balanced.
We both want to not have regrets. It's just our desires are not the same.
No one is right or wrong. It's just the way it is. Our paths twist and weave. Right now we're at different forks.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Words to live by

"Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven.
Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you." -- Luke 6:37-38

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Maybe a Macy's Thanksgiving Day float

I suppose it would be nice if I received a little pat on the back every now and then. Don't get me wrong I don't do the things I do for my family for praise. It's not a contest either.
When I get home from work I come home to a loving husband and daughter and an apartment hat looks like a wind storm blew in.
So when I am home with our daughter I try to tidy up a bit so dh comes home and doesn't have to manuever his way past toys and cloying and what not strewn on the floor.
I'm sure us appreciative and I don't want a parade but a little pat on the back would be nice.

When I come home after a long day. I immediately tackle cooking dinner while tidying up and hanging out with our daughter.
I'm not upset he doesn't cook but a little help would be nice. Maybe take tg and the dog for a walk so I can cook quickly and do a quick unpacking of my bags.

I guess I'm feeling a little underappreciated. I feel awful for feeling this way too. I don't want a banner or a ticker tape parade. I'd do and do continue what I do because this is my family.

I guess I'd like Mother's Day to come around more often and not to be like my first Mother's Day.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Stop the world I want to get off

I know my need to be prepared is a bit excessive. But I live with someone who doesn't plan and because of such the every day inconveniences that occasionally sprout up appear more frequently.
I don't know what's worse watching the storm or knowing the the destruction could have been prevented.
I know part of this is my need to plan and prep.
In fact it is getting to the point that I am quite peeved about these inconveniences. I don't think he realizes this but it effects me too.
Heck it effects our daughter.
I'm tired. I'm not complaining though. I will continue to do what I have to for my family but he is right. I treat his requests as my inconvenience and I do so because they are a direct result of his lack of preparation. I also probably have some psychological issue with my requests taking a back seat. The boxes in storage are not returned. The ceiling fans has not been vacuumed.
I know time is short and there are more important things in life but I have asked for over six months now.
Sure I could do these items. I give in to do other things because of my neuroses. I ask him to do the dishes and when he falls asleep I do them. I'm fine with this because I know it's my need to have a clean kitchen in the morning not his.
But the fan and storage and family photos I need his help and being second fiddle to his needs sucks especially when my needs are for the family.
Maybe that's he problem. Maybe I need to stop worrying about the family needs and take care of mine. I don't know if that's possible. Every mom I know does what I do for the most part. It keeps the family factory churning.
A friend once told me that a mom is always going to focus on her family. It's as if you push the baby out and push out the old single lady self. All I have to say is, Is it Mother's Day yet?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Words to live by

"Lend expecting nothing back; then your reward will be great and you will be children of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as (also) your Father is merciful." -- Luke 6:35-36

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Huge Leaps

So within a week, our daughter has moved into her own bed next to ours and begun peeing in the potty.
You'd think I'd be bittersweet about this but I'm actually proud and happy for my child. I feel that our attachment parenting leanings are leading us to read her cues making these transitions not only easier but a normal progression in her development.
So far she's taking to her bed. I catch her every now and then sitting in it like it's her own personal space. Sure I sleep in it with her throughout the night, but now my husband can finally sleep in our bed. He's been sleeping either at the foot or in the living room. I didn't kick him out. I think he was just afraid of hurting our child.
Co-sleeping has to be a joint effort and I can't stress this enough, you have to be smart about it. Don't co-sleep and drink. Don't use heavy covers. In fact, during the first year and maybe the second, use the pretty comforter or blanket that's for your child on yourself. For me, my daughter and husband don't like covers so they sleep exposed while I try to sausage roll myself in her cover. Also, if one of you sleeps heavily, co-sleeping may not be for you. DH sleeps heavily so when he did sleep with us, he sleep on my side so I could be a barrier and/or he slept on the foot of the bed.
Anyway, now DH is back in bed with us now that he feels comfortable knowing that TG is in a separate bed next to us.
As for the potty, we are only on day two but I'm pretty proud of her. This morning as a family we all headed to the bathroom. TG pee peed almost immediately and then raised her hands in the air and said, "Hooray!" As we wiped her and slapped a diaper on her, she said goodbye to her pee pee as we flushed it down the toilet and cleaned her potty.
Then she stood on her stool next to the sink and gave me the signal to wash her hands. I swelled with pride. I never really taught her that and there she was asking to wash her hands. We not only washed our hands but we also washed our face and she didn't struggle as much when it came time to brush her teeth.
The last few days I feel has been an explosion of words and cognitive development. As we head into the train station, she says, "Train." She points to the toaster and says, "Waffle" when she wants a waffle. She knows what the dishwasher is for. She knows the oven is hot. She knows where the lotion is hidden. Oh, she likes to ask for lotion and when you put a little dab in her hands she rubs it all over her hands and wipes a bit on her lips. I think she watched me do that. She helps me put away some of the groceries. She is also expressing her attachment to her lovey, Jay Raffe.
I have two loveys. We wash one every week and swap them out. I hid the extra lovey in my closet. Today after we came up from the laundry room, I took the lovey and she heard it rattle. I put it in my closet and closed the door. After a minute, she looked at me and her eyes swelled. She started having an emotional meltdown. It was clearly not a tired meltdown. Something was wrong that upset her. She kept grabbing my hand but was too distraught to take me to wherever she wanted me to go. Then I made out the word, "Raffe."
I grabbed her Jay Raffe and she hugged it dearly. Then she nursed and kept a tight grip on her Jay Raffe. That's when I realized she must have recalled the other day when I accidentally I repeat not on purpose. turned the light off and closed the pantry door while TG was still in the pantry. The dark room scared her and she yelled for me to open the door. She was in there for maybe 10 seconds and she didn't completely freak out but she did get startled. She must have thought of that when I turned the light off in my closet and closed the door.
It has been a very interesting and glowing time for me. I say glowing because I feel as if I'm swelling with pride watching my daughter learn and discover the world. It's the same glowing feeling I felt 7 months pregnant. At 8 months I was huge and starting to get edema. At 9 months, I was petrified of giving birth. At 10 months, I was just a big old house.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

My girl likes to potty all the time...

I just dated myself with the title.
Anyway, we bought a potty for our daughter two weeks ago, not to start the potty training, per say but to allow me a moment of peace while I'm in the bathroom doing my business. Everytime she came in wanting to pull me someplace or another, I'd ask her to sit on her potty. Next to her potty I placed 3 bath books for her to peruse while she was sitting and waiting for me.
My mother has been telling me how I was potty trained at 3 months of age. I think that's a Mom fib which is excusable but if this was true, it would explain my anal retentive tendencies.
My mother in law sent a potty book to my daughter in the middle of the summer.
Still both of us felt there was no need to pressure the child. I mean there is enough pressure in the world, why do we need to pressure her to eliminate on cue?
For the past few weeks, she's been bringing her stuffed animals to us with the exclamation, "Diaper?" Then she'd go to her diaper bin and pull out the changing mat and the wipes. Sometimes we'll catch her taking a diaper off the doll and wiping the bottom. We took this as cues she needed a diaper change and would happily comply.
The last few days I noticed she'd tell us this but when we checked her diaper it was dryish. Could she be ready to start potty training?
At a recent Le Leche meeting I brought this up and the leader who is also a leader of an elimination communication meeting said to try to bring her to the potty a few times a day and see what happens. No pressure.
Skip to yesterday...
Without even mentioning the discussion at LL to my husband, I received a text from my husband, "Guess who pee peed in the potty?"
Any Mom knows this is mind blowing and I did what a newbie Mom would do. I stopped everything and called my husband for a play by play.
DH said she had just finished her second breakfast and he was leading her toward the bathroom. So he took her diaper off and sat her down and grabbed a few books. A few seconds later he looked down and there was pee pee in the potty. "I cheered with the enthusiasm of a sports fan." said my non-sport husband.
I found myself telling people on the street my kid pottied in the potty. This is another sign your life is not what it used to be pre-child. At lunch, I couldn't stop telling my friend about it. And I wonder why I have very few non-Mom friends these days.
TG pottied again later the afternoon. That evening, DH and were enjoying a meal together, for the first time in ages and we decided that we'd try to bring her to the potty first thing in the AM, approximately 30 minutes after a meal, after naps and before bedtime. We weren't going to pressure her but we figure the more she does it the more she'll be more comfortable for the day when she goes sans diapers.
Ok, who are we kidding, we (DH and I) are not ready for the sans diaper 3 day potty training fest. We're not ready for the accidents. We know we'll have to dive into it sooner or later but we're quite happy and proud that we've only had 2 pee messes and 2 mini poop blowouts so far in our daughter's life. Oh and don't get us started on the nighttime potty training. We are so not there yet. Baby steps. Baby steps for the parents that is. TG is making huge leaps.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Big Girl Bed -- Step One

We co-sleep. With breastfeeding, it just seemed natural. It hasn't been easy. I think co-sleeping impacts the couple more than the parent and child. Thankfully I have a very supportive husband who understands the importance of attachment parenting and parental teamwork.
We're now moving towards another stage in co-sleeping, transitioning to a big girl mattress. We moved her mattress next to ours. Tonight, I will try to see if she likes her space.
I call it her space because it essentially is. It's her little nook. I read somewhere young children like little corners and areas where they can explore and have downtime.
I'm hoping her bed will be one of those places. I put some of her stuffed animals, her blanket she never uses but her mom uses when nursing and her flashcards and a book on her bed this morning. I also rotated the two nightstands to make a 45 degree angle book nook for her to sit near and hideout if necessary. She spent all morning going back and forth between the two.
My husband and I rushed to get a crib and looking back, if I had known that we'd be attachment parenting inclined, we would have saved our money. Now my husband calls it the most expensive laundry basket he's every bought. Thankfully, we'll be able to convert it to a full sized bed for her later.
I don't think I knew much about attachment parenting until after TG was born. I met a few parents in the nabe and from what I described of our situation and our views, they suggested we may be AP-ers. I went home an read up on AP at the API website and it was as if things started to click.
I was reading all these books on parenting and they didn't feel like they meshed with my views but AP seemed to make the most sense to me.
I know it's not for everyone and I think in parenting just like in life, one path does not fit all. And who knows, I may change my parenting style as my daughter grows.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Love is faithful

At first, I passed this exercise off but the more I thought about it and the more I read and contemplated this simple sentence, the more I realized this isn't just a small three word sentence. It's a statement and it's a hard statement to truly live.
Faithfulness isn't about being with just one person. Faithfulness is about being true and being steadfast with your love. Faithfulness is about those times when your spouse's idiosyncracies drive you up the wall and you wonder if you can handle another quirk. It's about saying at the point where you feel like you are going to break, I love you, faults, quirks, annoyances and all. It's about feeling underappreciated but realizing it's ok, I love you.
Why is it easier to do so with your offspring than your child? If you think about it, as parents we have much faith in our child(ren). Why is our threshold higher for our offspring and not for our spouse? For me, I sometimes feel like my partner should be my partner. I think it's very common for couples to teeter on the scales. It's what makes a relationship truly stronger. But at the same time, although I have high expectations for both child and spouse, I look as my spouse as an adult and thus he should be more mature and responsible. He should have my back and I'll have him. We shouldn't burden each other. What I need to remind myself is that when the weight gets very heavy to not consider it a burden. Like all good relationships, the scales go up and down. Today I am the stronger one. Tomorrow he will be the stronger one.
Faithfulness is saying, "I trust you with my love." That's a huge responsibility.
The exercise asks why is this love impossible without the love of God.
The simple answer is God's love begets everything we have. That's what I tell my child daily. But there is more. God so loved us he gave us his only son. He said, "I trust you with my love. I know you still won't understand. I know my son will have to suffer for you to understand yet I still trust you with my love."
How incredible is that?
If God can do that, surely I can remember during times of trials, "I trust you with my love."

There is a booger on my left boob

I never thought I'd ever say that.
I'm in the bathroom getting ready for bedtime. This includes a struggle with a toddler who loves to brush everyone's teeth but her own.
As usual, I take off my shirt and rinse my boobs. I nurse TG to bed and I like to make sure they are clean. I look down and on my left boob there is a nice sized crusty booger. What's more shocking is how I passed it off very matter of fact like. "Oh, look at that. TG left a booger on my boob. Glad I wash my boobs before we go to bed." Then I scraped off the boogie and continued to clean my boob.
This morning, I told DH that the snack cup he just put TG's scrambled eggs was possibly the cup that our dog was licking this morning. His response was, "I suppose there are far worse things."
Honestly, I felt like I needed to repeat myself for fear my husband did not comprehend what I said. Look whose got the boogie on the boob now.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Ever feel like your flying without a co-captain?

Days like these I wish I woke up in another dimension. It wasn't as if I was having a bad day but that I was just havig a day of inconveniences. It is as if they all came at me at once. For a person with obsessive compulsive disorder, it can get frustrating very quickly.
Firstly, the cough is lingering and because of the human body's hormone effects to the mucous membranes at night I wake up hacking in the middle of the night. I keep a clean tissue on me at all times so I can cough into it instead of my arm or hand. I stash antibacterial gel under my pillow to wipe my hands and I keep my canteen of water by my side for the dry sore throat.
On a side note: TG is now waking up around midnight and 3am for a diaper change. We are now down to 2 changes a night!
Anyway last night was brutal. I woke up twice hacking up my lung. It wouldn't be so bad if it was a productive cough but I was dry and my gag reflex was on overload.
7:30am: Could it be we licked this daylight savings time and sleep? Could TG be back to her 7:30am wake up routine instead of the 4-5am wake up? I'm not too sure. Yesterday's pm nap ended at 7pm with her bedtime at 9:30pm. It's anyone's call but I'm not complaining. I'll take 7:30am over 4am!
As I'm lying in bed finishing up the early morning nursing session, I think to myself, we missed two weeks of swim classes already, once because TG was ill and once because I was ill. I didn't want us to miss three in a row especially because of me. According to the doc I am no longer contagious so I woke up planning to go to swim class wih TG. DH didn't think it prudent but knew he couldn't stop me.
DH was running late and asked me to take Z-girl for her walk and if possible find a hardware store to make a copy of the mailbox key for him. DH is now missing his car key and mailbox key.
10am: Breakfast done. Dishes being washed in the dishwasher. Bag for swim class packed. I check out the weather and pull out outfits for TG and myself and discover her winter coat isn't in the radio flyer wagon by the door. In fact, her hat and her fall rainbow knit hoodie sweater is missing as well. The last time I saw them was on her body during an outing with DH. I email him to see if he knows where they are. I find the mittens in DH's diaper bag. A clear sign that they haven't been worn even during that 40 degree day last week. Still no sign of her coats and hat. DH responds, "I only had it on her once." Thanks dear, that doesn't help me. I search my tiny one bedroom apartment and come up empty. Time is running out. Guess, we'll have to layer her denim jacket with a fleece hoodie. I'll be wearing her most of the time outside so it shouldn't be too bad for her but it's irking me. I'm obsessive compulsive. I need to know where her brand new winter coat, fall sweater coat and hat are.
10:30am: TG is dressed. I'm dressed and we head out to walk the dog. As I open the door my phone rings. It's my Mother. She never calls me. She always texts me to call her. I don't get it but I won't ask. As we get outside, I ring her on the phone and we chat for a bit. The call ends after my Mom gets a bit defensive when I light heartedly mention her and her sisters are drama queens sometimes. in my defensive I did say that we all can be drama queens sometimes.
11:20am: I was supposed to be on the subway by now but I didn't want cut my Mother short. I strap TG in her Ergo, grab her diaper bag and beeline to the subway. It takes two trains to get to swim class. Thankfully the trains are running on schedule this weekend.
11:45am: On the platform for the local train to take us to swim class. TG is getting antsy. My bulky winter coat, her layers and the warm train station stop aren't helping. She snacks on some pasta as we wait for the train. I discuss with her how we'll just make it but we'll need to skip the dawdling and get dressed into our swim clothes as soon as we get there. That's when it hits me. I don't have my bathing suit on. Usually, I will put my suit on under my clothes so while I'm at the locker room, I can focus the time on changing her clothes and not my own. Between searching for the winter outwear and my Mother's call, I forgot to put on my swimsuit before heading out. Now, it I had forgotten my daughter's swimsuit, she's young enough that a swim diaper would have sufficed but I'm gathering my birthday suit for a Parent and Me swim class would raise a few eyebrows. I could just kick myself now. I trudge us home just in time to miss our class. I'm sorry baby girl.
12:15pm: I make it home and quickly change TG's diaper and pack our diaper bag. We may have missed swim class but at least we can take a trip to the local chef store for a mini muffin tin. If you recall, during my second trimester of pregnancy (February 2008) DH said we needed to move. Fearing that I'd be as big as a whale and unable to do anything in the dead of summer, I packed my entire kitchen and put it in storage. After I gave birth, I asked DH to slowly bring a box back. To date, I have seen no boxes. Since we had a 'playdate/brunch' scheduled for tomorrow, I thought it would be a nice idea to make apple/date mini muffins for the kids. Without supplies, I need to restock.
DH said the car was parked in the valley. We live at the top of a giant hill. To get to the valley I either take a short cut that involves stairs through our subway stop or walk a winding hill that goes the opposite direction of where we needed to go for a brief period of time. Normally, I avoid the short path when taking the stroller but the last time I took the stroller and the long path, it was to find out I wasted 15 minutes because DH took the car seat out of the car. With a bad taste in my mouth for the long path and the day going the way it has already, I opted for the short path. As soon as we got out of the house I noticed a little hair bow. It looked sort of like TG's. As I got closer I realized it was her hair bow but it must have been there for quite some time because it was trampled upon and broken. Argh!! Her set is incomplete now. It's an OCD thing. It is what it is.
I hear the local all girl school marching band playing and I recalled how the Archbishop of NYC was saying mass nearby. I stroll TG into church so she can see and hear the band. She's tired but fascinated. She keeps hitting her stroller to the beat. The archbishop waves at TG. I greet some fellow parishioners and feel a bit better and at ease. This weird funk will pass.
12:45pm: I head towards the short path to the car and not one but two people offer their assistance carrying the stroller down the steps. I remember that it's the small acts of kindness that make the world better.
I head out of the short cut tunnel and make a right and look for the car. And look. And look. I make it 3 NYC blocks down and decide, I have to call my husband. This is where I usually second guess myself. "Did I miss the car? Could I have been so preoccupied I walked past it? PG, you are so fixated on the missing coats. Maybe there in the car. DH probably took them off her and left them in the car. Did I read right, he said 'right', right?"
I call DH and he says it should be one of the first cars out of the tunnel. I then repeat what he emailed me, "To the right." "Yeah, Oh, I meant left. Sorry." For the life of me, I really don't know how he handled being an actor. When the director said stage left, did he have to stop and figure out what that meant? "I'm really having a bad day and this isn't making it better." "I know. Sorry. Bye."
By this time, TG is overtired and I'm cranky. I pack her in the car and look around for the winter coat, hat and fall jacket. Not in the car. The status of said items is looking bleak.
As soon as I make it to the highway, TG falls asleep. I spend the next 1.5 hours driving slowly and waiting for her to wake up. After this morning's chaos, I didn't want to wake her for a silly thing as buying a mini muffin tin. Thankfully, I hit traffic so that eats up a lot of the nap time.
As I'm sitting in traffic I realize that in my haste, I packed just a few wipes and no diapers. That's ok, I say. I have the emergency stash in the trunk. We'll be fine.
2:30pm: TG wakes up. We head to the shop and what started as a trip for a mini muffin tin became retail therapy. Sadly retail therapy doesn't involve splurging on anything for me perse. I wind up spending more $$$ on DH. I leave the chef store with a very light wallet and a cranky child who is tired of sitting in a stroller, sitting in a car or being worn. I've reached my max for non-child centric activity. We head home. The cashier asks if I want a paper bag or if I have a reusable bag. I do have one but wanted to beeline home so I ask for paper. I try to use my reusables exclusively. This one time will be ok. We get to the car and I think to myself we should change her diaper. I open the trunk to find the emergency stash of wipes are gone. I surmise that in DH's haste, he packed the emergency stash in his diaper bag which explains why he had two packages of wipes in his bag. I sigh.
4:30pm: We hit traffic but with some local street maneuvering we make it home and find a parking spot a half a block from home. Yippee! Thank goodness for small things. TG is revved up. She knows we are home. I get her out and she pitches a fit when she sees I'm preparing the stroller for her. I don't blame her but I wasn't in the mood to chase after her while wheeling the stroller and carrying the bag of goodies. I consider carrying her and pushing the stroller with the shopping bag in the stroller. It would take me longer to get home but not as long as letting her walk. I reach for the bag in the front seat and as I pull it up, it rips in two. Lovely. While TG sits on my hip smiling and giggling, I grab the reusable bag from the trunk and squat near the front seat and pack the goods. TG is going to have to deal with the stroller. She pitches a fit but I finally get her snapped in. We head home.
5pm: DH emails me that he is skipping the gym and heading home. I ask him to search for the outerwear when he gets back. I tell him it is really irking me. He obliges.
Darkness has fallen so the playground is out but I wanted TG to get some energy out and play so we head down to the lobby of our apartment building with her doll stroller and she has a blast walking around. She then spends 30 minutes in our mail room trying to use my keys to open the mailboxes. She's so cute on tippy toe trying to fit the key in. She understands the concept of the lock and key but I don't think she knows yet about turning the key nor does she have the dexterity to put the key in but you can see the cogs working this all out. I lean against the wall and enjoy watching her brain in motion.
6pm: DH comes home. He takes Z-girl out for a walk with TG to give me a moment of peace while making dinner. I start dinner and start on the brunch eats. I'm making apple date mini muffins for the kids using TG's birthday cake recipe.
7pm: Eats and Bedtime.
12am: Diaper change
1am: I try to continue baking and brewing myself some throat/cough soother but TG wakes up. Apparently nighttime parenting is exclusive to me. "She's unconsolable at night. She doesn't want me. She wants you."
Flash forward to 3:30am.
I'm up jotting down my day and making brunch eats. I've decided I should bring three small things. Mothra shows her crazy head. I'm going for a dim sum theme. We've got mini apple date muffins, mini sweet potato pancakes and mini baked scrambled egg. I'll set the oven to cook the eggs tomorrow while I'm at church. I figure, I don't know what the other parents will be serving but at least I can bring some eats that I know TG will eat. See, there is a method to the Mothra madness.
I know DH is doing alot. He's back at school. He's studying to be a trainer. He's gone back to acting. He does do a lot to help around the house and with TG but I feel like I'm the scout trooper leader. Shouldn't there be two? I'm the one trying to be prepared. I pack and clean out his and my diaper bag. DH doesn't like my diaper bag. It has too much 'preparedness' packed in. I update our calendar with to dos to keep track of what and where. I schedule the doctor's appointments. I research the studies on vaccines and H1N1. I grocery shop. I plan and make TG's food. I plan and make our meals. Which isn't easy when your husband is calorie counting and a finicky eater. I dust the house. I clean the bathroom. I tidy the kitchen. I handle nighttime parenting. I wake up in the middle of the night to do the dishes. Yes, I can't wait until the am while I'm making breakfast to do the dishes. I like to start the day with fresh clean kitchen. I wake up in the middle of the night to tidy the toys strewn about. I sort the laundry.
What drives me nuts the most is his waning short term memory. I always joking passed his mother's concerns about a history of Alzheimer's in their family but this isn't good. Is it that he's preoccupied with things in his mind that he doesn't focus in the here and now? He's lost his canteen twice. He cannot recall a conversation he had with a neighborhood 90 minutes prior. When I ask him to measure out the ground meat and the spaghetti portion, he only remembers to do measure the meat. I can't tell if it's a short term memory loss due to physiological reasons, ADHD or just plain not focusing in the here and now. I'm really starting to worry.
Of course, the missing coats and hat are still eating me up. I started searching for them again while I was waiting for the sweet potato to bake. DH said, "I know I said I'd look for it but I figured I look for it when we had a moment. I don't know what you want from me. I only had her in her winter coat once and I remember thinking I don't like the coat. It's too hard to put on. I don't plan on using it again." I'm not sure what moment he thinks is right because the weather is getting colder and with a toddler awake is not the moment to search a house. By the way, that statement about not using the coat again only adds to my thoughts on what may have happened to her coats and hat. To me the subconscious plays a big role in our actions.
I don't know if I'm more annoyed that we possible have lost two brand new jackets and a brand new hat or if I'm more disappointed at the lack of concentration and focus and the lackadaisical attitude.
I know this too shall pass and that I'm just having a day of inconveniences but just like the inconveniences amass became something more, I'm afraid this too will grow into something larger.
I wish I could be a better wife to my husband. I feel like I'm being an advocate for my child and I should be more of an advocate for my husband. It's just hard for me when I feel at times I'm the only troop leader for this family.
Time to make the sweet potato pancakes.

By the way, I know very well that trying to cook three things for a brunch at this hour is absolutely insane, especially as I'm still battling this cough thing. Between DH and myself, we both can't be sane all the time.
Chocolate Apple Date bites

Sweet Potato Pancake bites

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Just a fan not a paid endorsement...

My daughter is fascinated with Justin Roberts. On Wednesday she started grabbing my finger and walking me over to my laptop. She then does her Stevie Wonder side bops and then says, "Willy Willy."
This is my cue to play Willy was a Whale for her.

When that finishes, she says, "Pop. Pop."
This is my cue to play Pop Fly. By the way, if you have a boy who is a baseball nut, this song may become his favorite. We introduced this song to some parents at our church playgroup and the boys went nuts for it.

When that's done, she sometimes says, "Stay. Stay."
That's my cue to play "Stay at Home Dad." One of my personal favorites. Our SAHD prefers D-O-G."It's his punk song."

If you are a parent, check this guy out. He has some great tunes parents and children can enjoy. My cousin from his neck of the woods, Chicago, introduced me to him. His son is a super fan. She has this pick of her son meeting Justin Roberts and the awe and glee in his eyes melts your heart. I enjoy his songwriting. He looks like John Denver's son but sings with a mixture of alt rock favorites like Elvis Costello and They Might Be Giants.
My daughter will happily sit by the laptop and listen to her playlist giving me plenty of time to prep dinner. She sits and bops to the music and tries to say the words she hears punctuated or repeated. Pop, Stay, Whale, etc
So now I wait patiently for his return to NYC so TG can see him live in concert again. The last time she saw him, she was going through a nap meltdown. This time, I think she's older, wiser and we'll make sure she's sufficiently napped to rock out.
Oh, and he also has two cds out under 'Why Not Sea Monsters?' which are songs based on the Old Testament and New Testament. They aren't preachy and they aren't like his usual JR & Not Ready for Naptime Band tunes but they are catchy.
My daughter is a big VeggieTales fan too so these cds are a great addition to our music library.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

The Old Mare

I've got a crusty eye now. See what happens when you have a birthday.
My fever is gone. I have a sore throat and a smokers cough and now I have a crusty eye. My husband must find me super attractive right now.
I forgot to give you a DST & TG sleep update yesterday. She woke up at 7am! I was exhausted but I couldn't protest a 7am wake up after 4 days of 5ish wake ups.
Now, if I can only get this cough, sore throat and crusty eye licked. crusty eye licked sounds disgusting.

Diaper on. Diaper off.

My daughter rips her diaper off. Well, she doesn't rip it all the way off, she just rips a tab off and lets it hang. I don't know if she's trying to start a fashion movement. Maybe it's her first fashion faux pas in a parent's eye.
This new 'look' or 'style' has now lead us to move away from just 3T/4T white undershirts as sleep shirts and play shirts to full fledge two piece pajamas or onesies.
Staring at my pile of 18+ month onesies, I chuckled at how naive I was back when I was pregnant and trying to figure out the difference between 24 mths and 2T clothing. I couldn't imagine having a 2 year old wearing a onesie. Now I understand why and realize my logic that 2 year olds should be wearing t-shirts and not onesies is so pre-mom.
I actually prefer her in onesies for play and for sleep because 1) she's still learning to maneuver her body and giving her the freedom to do so without pants getting in the way helps and 2) our apartment gets very warm. I received a pair of short pjs which we rock as often as we can. Unfortunately in our neck of the woods all the pjs currently available are thermals or flannel.
It's making picking out our holiday pjs very difficult.
"Well, you know it gets cold in December. Flannel won't be so bad."
There is my husband being very optimist and forgetful. Remember Forgetful Jones from Sesame Street? I think I'm going to have to call my husband FJ. My daughter and my husband turn into space heaters at night. Slap some flannels on them and not only does their sleep get disrupted but the family bed turns into this limb kicking free for all.
It's not easy practicing a family bed with two space heaters and one very warm apartment. Add to the mix my preference to cocoon myself in a comforter and you've got the makings of a fitful night's rest for all parties, except the dog who moved out of the bed when TG was born.
But I believe I found our family pjs. They are green flannel but they are cute and I'm being optimistic. A NYTimes article reminded me how it's important to remind Dads of the trust and confidence in their special brand of parenting. It's very common for Moms to micromanage because of their multitasking ways.
Now if picking out pjs was the only thing I need to plan for our holiday season.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Hack, Cough, 'Open', 'Closed'

Apparently this transition for daylight savings time takes longer than I thought it would. Today, TG woke up at 5am. Between my hacking and coughing, she'd pass me a Kleenex and then give me an object to 'open' or 'close'. She's fascinated with opening and closing things.
She's also at that point where she asks what everything is. My day consists of play by plays.
'Whad dat?'
"That's a waffle. Would you like some waffles?"
'Wah wul'
"Yes, waffle."
"No, that isn't pasta. That's sweet potato. Sweet Potato."
"No, sweet potato."
"We'll work on it."
Oh and she loves music. Row, Row, Row your Boat, Itsy Bitsy Spider, Taxi, AEIOU and Sing a Song are staples now. In fact, two nights ago, she rolled over and in her sleep started singing Taxi and doing the signs she learned at sign class. DH and I were cracking up. It was so cute. She even dreams in song.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Is it weird my daughter knows someone else's last name before her own?

If you live in NYC, regardless if you are a Democrat, Conservative, Republican or 'The Rent is Too Damn High', you have been bombarded by Mike Bloomberg's viral election campaign. Now, I don't mean viral as is grotesque, although some may feel it is. I mean, the barrage of campaign media, tweets, ads on Google and what not has been so pervasive, it's hard not to know this guy is running for Mayor.
Honestly, he doesn't need to do all this. Everyone knows his name. Everyone knows he's running for a 3rd term.
It's a bit of a showboat now.
My personal favorite media is the 'Insert Nationality' for Bloomberg posters that line the streets at every single parade. Starting in September through to Thanksgiving, NYC has a parade every weekend, sometimes two. Every nationality in NYC is accounted for, I'm sure. Every weekend, the streets are closed and amidst the floats and colorful costumes and marching bands are these royal blue banners stating 'Greeks for Bloomberg' or 'Haitian Creoles for Bloomberg' or 'Southern Province of Mainland China for Bloomberg'. It just shows you how well oiled his campaign machine is.
Well, apparently it's working because my under 2 year old is now walking around the house saying, 'Boom Ber'. It's like a 'My Baby Can Read' endorsement. Since she has been born, she has seen his name throughout the city, heard his name on the radio and television and heard my husband and I speak his name frequently enough that her vocabulary now includes his name.
She doesn't know her last name yet but 'Boom Ber' makes her smile.
So Mike, you really don't need this but if you want to add to the 'family' demographic that's coming out today to vote, give us a call. My daughter will happily toddle around chanting your name with a giggle and a smile.

Monday, November 02, 2009

When I cough, it smells tropical. Sexy.

I'm officially sick. I had this fever that was so high, my husband proclaimed I could iron with my feet.
Since I'm still breastfeeding, I'm trying to stay natural with my remedies. I only give in to an occasional acetaminophen when the the fever causes me to hallucinate.
DH took TG out so I could relax a little. I've received a few calls for work related issues but other than that I'm laying low.
I've read a million books and articles and I'm fairly certain I'm in denial but I probably have the flu. So much for the flu shot. On a good note, I'm not sure if it's all the pineapple juice I've been downing to combat the sore throat and fever but I'm feeling a lot better. I sound like hell but at least the maliase and the sheer exhaustion I was feeling is subsiding. Now if that looming list of holiday to dos and daily to dos would somehow get down, I'd be peachy.
Oh, and apparently the memo was received but someone inadvertently forgot toddlers can't read. My daughter is unaware that daylight savings time in the fall means we are supposed to get an extra hour of sleep.
On the first day, she woke up at 6:30am thinking it was 7:30am. When we explained to her the fall an hour back concept, I think she took it literally and woke up the second day at 5:30am. I'm not joking when I say that as DH was walking towards the bedroom to bed, TG was holding my finger and walking us towards the kitchen for breakfast. We were like two passing ships.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Bouncer needed for The Loo

My husband and I have this long standing tension over the use of the bathroom. We live in a tiny one bedroom apartment. We share a bathroom. You can foresee an occasional overlap in lavatory schedule. It's quite common especially in the morning if two individuals needs to rush out the door. In our case, I swear nearly every time I'm in the bathroom, I'm interrupted.
With a toddler at home, I understand that my days of going to the bathroom, taking a shower and even brushing my teeth in peace, alone and without a play by play commentary are long gone. What I didn't expect is that my husband would subtract the 'me' time I get in the bathroom.
I'm not sure if it has always been the case but since I gave birth it is more apparent to me.
My husband's argument is that he doesn't need the bathroom more than the average male and that I take on average 20 minutes in the bathroom. "You say you're going to brush your teeth but 20 minutes later you're still in there." I'm sure he's exaggerating but I may take 10 minutes to brush my teeth? Why? Because, I'm not just brushing my teeth and flossing It's important to floss.. While I'm brushing my teeth, I'm putting away bath toys, taking stock of supplies I may need to replenish, wiping the sink, mirror or other surface that irks me. I'm multi-tasking not just on items that pertain to the house but to personal items.
If I can pop into the shower, I"m also shaving, brushing my teeth and maybe if I'm lucky scrubbing the shower.
My husband thinks it's a case of me joshing him on his bathroom time. As if he had an allotment of bathroom time, I mock him for overages. Honey, if we did have bathroom minutes, we'd have a family plan and the lack of bathroom time I do get would be rolled over to you.
"You're absolutely right, honey. I hold in my crap until I hear you in the bathroom."
Well, it sort of feels that way. It's dead quiet in the living room where you are. Not a peep which means you're engrained in something online. I beeline to the bathroom and all of a sudden, a knock on the door. "Whatcha doing?"
One day I need to respond to this all too familiar question with something like, "Waiting for you to tell me you need the bathroom."
In all seriousness, it's getting bad. I'm ready to move my toothbrush and some toiletries to the kitchen. Mid-brushing, I get a knock. Mid-peeing, I get a knock. Mid-shower, I get a knock.
I have two theories to the mysterious bathroom corollary: 1. Like some primitive innate response, DH has to exert his alpha male dominance. I've been around dogs too much. 2. After 13 years of coupledom, our biorhythms have become in sync. Like a sorority house, we now are on the same cycle for waste management.
It's probably a little of both. I'd test my theory but it would require data tracking and I have enough poop tracking in my life with a toddler and a geriatric dog.
For now the tiniest room in our apartment will remain the most sought after.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Mom's job is never done

Spent the night in a fever with chills, aches and a sore throat. Did I mention TG was having a restless night?
Been downing pineapple juice to reduce my fever as we ran out of acetaminophen last night and DH said that he'd go pick some up after he went to class and an audition. He's skipping the gym to help me today.
This is the second week we missed swim classes.
But the big thing is I just finished TG's costume for tonight. It's 12:17pm and I just finished sewing her 'antlers'. I stuffed her antlers with batting from the couch pillows while waiting for the bus for work and started sewing it while pumping at work but that was shortlived. I wound up spending my pumping sessions on the phone the last few days.
Now maybe I can get some rest before TG wakes up from her nap.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

My child is a Led Zeppelin fan

This is how we're influencing our child in quirky ways. She hums 'Four Sticks' by Led Zeppelin.
Apparently, my husband hums it while he juggles.
Now, my daughter comes up to me with items to juggle and starts 'singing' the song. At first I thought she was humming the circus song, Entry of the Gladiators. She goes 'Doo Doo Do Do Do Do Doo Do Do Do Do'. I was impressed. I was more impressed when I found out it was Led Zeppelin instead.

Led Zeppelin - Four Sticks from MusicGuy on Vimeo.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My life is a never ending list of 'how dos'

And I am tired.
I'm exhausted.
I'm juggling like many moms and I don't think my situation is any different than other moms in a similar boat.
Unfortunately, I feel at times I'm complicating my situation by not addressing a more important matter, the difference in attitude between my spouse and myself. I don't address it correctly. What I do is work around it. Why? Because I know you can never change a person's true self and we're both on opposite ends of the spectrum. It's what makes us great as a couple but also is the source of tension and stress. It's what will help us grow if we work on it together.
I have a tendency to take a backseat. It's part of my theory that women have a tendency towards martyrdom for the sake of peace. Would I rather hear whining and deal with weeks of complaining or just adjust myself and my schedule to accommodate the needs of the family members?
I'm tired.
My day consists of 'how dos'. At work, I'm asked, 'How do you do this?' 'Can you do this?' 'Make this happen.'
At home I'm asked and told, 'How do I do this?' 'I want do do this.' 'Why can't I do this.'
In my brain I hear, 'We need to do this.' 'How can we do this?' 'Can we do this?' Strangely enough, I do say 'we' when I refer to myself. I think it's a coping mechanism. I don't want to admit it really is a solo job here.
To make my life easier, I prioritize and push my needs back.
Problem is, I'm feeling burnt. I'm feeling one sided. It doesn't help that my child is just coming off a cold. Any mom will tell you that when a child is ill, they generally tend to cling to a parent and that parent is usually the mom. It's stereotypical and sexist but I'm finding there is some validity to it.
As soon as I get home I know my child is going to want me and need me with a passion like no other. It's a wonderful feeling but it's also draining when your child becomes an appendage.
There have been times when I've gotten home and cannot take my coat off because she's wanted me to hold her and carry her around. She wants to feel my arms around her. Going to the bathroom with my child on my lap has become a norm for me now.
The moment I step into my house, I know my second shift is in full swing and it doesn't end until I'm out the door the next day.
The reprieve I receive is my commute. Years ago, I worked at the tip of Manhattan and my commute would take at least 50 minutes. I complained about this to no end. Now, I secretly wish the bus or subway would be delayed so I could just get a few extra minutes alone.
A friend of mine called me the other day and cut our chat short. She said, "Call me in ten minutes." I knew though that the moment I walked into my house, my list of to dos would rattle off and I'd be off an running. Spend time with child. Cook dinner. Prepare child's meal. Feed child. Feed myself. Prepare and pack my lunch. Get my child ready for bed. Finish Halloween costume. Do dishes. Write to family. Fill out paperwork. Take a shower. Go to the bathroom. Clear the toys and put away books.
My husband does do a lot but his inability to multitask and his priorities don't mesh with mine and so I do what I can.
I'm just tired and it's showing. There are disconnects now. I'm sure we'll get through it. I just need to get over it. I need to get over and not assume. My problem is I assume that I will receive a reaction and/or no action for a request. This prevents me from asking for more assistance when I should.
It goes back to 'do I live with this' or 'do I live with that'?
My friend would say right now, "Man Up! Both of you!" She's right but she's also the pot to my kettle.
Tomorrow will be a better day. Today is better than others.
I'm just tired.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Born Free

My daughter just ripped off her diaper and is roaming free.
I know it's not funny but it's hard to laugh. One day I may be able to tease her about this.
She sat down, undid the tabs and then yanked the whole diaper out from under her. Of course, she fell backwards but she was stunned only for a second. They she ran to me with her diaper in one hand smiling from ear to ear.
I should have seen this coming. A few days before, she'd rip one tab and then exclaim, "Noooooooooo." According to my husband, that's what he says to her when she rips the tab open.

Monday, October 26, 2009

I should rename my blog

to 'My husband can't multitask.'
Don't get me wrong, my husband is a very smart man. He's helpful and caring and kind. He just can't multi-task.
A blue screen of death appears in my husband's brain and shuts everything down.
What can happen with the BSoD appears? Here are just a few things that happened off the top of my head:
*He left his cell phone on the subway. [This wouldn't have been so bad if it wasn't the only means to communicate with him and I wasn't 1 week post partum.]
*He left and lost my laundry basket and a full container of laundry detergent.
*He left his Kleen Kanteen on the street in midtown Manhattan.
*He ran 40 minutes late for an appointment.
*He misplaced his house keys.
Now, thankfully this inability to multi-task has only lead to minor inconveniences to him (major inconveniences and hassles for me). Still, it aggravates me to no end.
I think the aggravation comes from the fact that it doesn't have to be this way with a little preparedness.
For example: It's 1:34pm. You need to get our daughter downtown for her doctor's appointment by 2:15 the latest. What does he do? He calls me at 1:34pm and rants about how he has so much to do and that he left his keys on the table and our daughter moved them. Here is a hint, big boy, don't leave your keys on the table. Put them on the rack behind the front door.
Of course, this aggravates him and then he's ranting again. By this time it's 1:45pm and he needs to take two trains to get to the doctor's.
What drives me absolutely bonkers is when he says, "I have plenty of time." This is frequently mentioned when I tell him he'll be late.
My second phrase that sends me up the 'pissy creek' is "No one seems to be bothered except you. So what if I'm late. I'm here now."
Ok, dude, I may be the only one saying this is a problem. I'm not saying it's earth shattering but it conveys that your time is more valuable than the others in the room.
I'm not Mrs. Punctual but I do try to make an effort and I try to prepare knowing with a baby, I need to add at least 30 minutes to my preparation to head out the door.
I hope to all hopes that my daughter is a bit more punctual.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Green boogied

Tg is offcial sick. Irritable. Clogged nose. Eye discharge. Cough. Spent the night rubbing her back and keeping her elevated. Trying to lay low today.

I suspect it's a sinus infection. She has a doc appt tomorrow to confirm.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Reflections on green snot

Can someone tell me how a little itty baby can have so much boogies crammed up her nose?

My husband also has some magic voodoo when it comes to extracting the boogies. She'll calmly sit there as he digs them out. Me, she swats at me like a pestering bee.

Love is satisfied in God

It's been awhile again but it hasn't been from lack of effort.
This exercise asked me to read a Book in the Bible.
I chose to read the Book of Mark every day to my daughter during bedtime. Most of the time she was asleep but I did it anyway.
The LORD will guide you always and give you plenty even on the parched land. He will renew your strength, and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring whose water never fails. -- Isaiah 58:11
The exercise asks, "How will spending time daily with God change my situation and my perspective?"
Immediately, I realized that my fears and anxiety are understandable but that I'm not alone in this world and like the cartoon of Jesus holding back the large stones while an occasional peeble may sneak through, I know I'm loved and protected.
Just as I tell my daughter daily I love her and just as I try to let my actions give her the confidence and reassurance to learn and grow, God is there for me. By spending that extra time daily to stop the world and remember how much God loves me makes some of those worries into pebbles on my road.
As we read Mark together, it served as a great reminder of how much love God has for us. Would I be able to ask my son to do what God asked of him?
The second reflection asks how I can expand my daily interaction with God. I suppose I can continue to read another book. I actually tried to read the Acts again but that quickly fizzled out. I think I'd like to read the letters again. Each letter is rich with human emotion.
I find myself praying to Mary more often nowadays. I used to pray to her almost daily as a preteen. When I felt misunderstood or confused, I would pray to her.
I think I've been thinking more about Mary these days because of the universal bond of motherhood. I keep thinking of how hard it must of been to stand back and let her son be persecuted.

On a side note: I know I'm taking forever to finish this but I actually find it very helpful and I can always flip through to a reflection and redo it under the circumstances I am in at the moment.

I started this to grow stronger in my relationship with my husband and with others but I realize now that the stronger my relationship is with God, the stronger my relationship with others will be.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Growth Spurt

My daughter has sprouted in the last few weeks. She's much more vocal in front of people. She grabs our hand to take us someplace if she can't vocalize her needs. She took me to the kitchen to get her a banana the other day! She's even holding make believe cellphone telephone conversations with her play phone. She uses her hands alot while she converses which is hysterical. I also love how she will walk around the house with the phone against her ear 'chatting'. I suppose I do that alot.

Now, I'm trying to help her vocalize her needs. So instead of whining when she needs something, I try to use a one word descriptor so she can speak her needs. It's kind of hard but after awhile you just get used to walking around the house and saying what you are doing or what an item is.

She's unfortunately learned that she can remove the tabs of her diaper and does this frequently during her sleep. Gone are the days of simple white t-shirts as pajamas. We've now got pants on her but occasionally during the late night diaper changes, they've been forgotten. This of course leads to potential leaks which is why I'm writing this entry at 5:20am. Thank goodness for our protective mattress pads.

I'm getting to a point where I'm not so obsessed with her food intake. I'm still monitoring it but I'm not as freaked out that she has a lot more grains than I'd like her to. The simple fact is, grains, mainly whole grains, are easier for her to eat by herself and that allows me to eat when she eats, clean up a little or let her eat a snack while I do something else around the house.

She's mastering the fork. I mean she usually can stab a 3-4 pieces of her food and get it into her mouth during a mealtime. Spoons are a little harder.

I'd like to say that she eats all her meals at the table but that isn't true. Snacks usually are in the kitchen or on the go as I'm doing something else. I try to do the meals at the table but sometimes, and most of the times with her Dad, she eats it standing next to us at the table or in the kitchen.

She's a breakfast fan though. She'll wake us up and take us to the kitchen or the dining room table in the morning. She prefers a scrambled egg and some yogurt with fruit in the morning. That is probably the biggest meal of her day. She then proceeds to snack every 2-3 hours until dinner.

I've noticed she seems to recall toys she played with as a baby. I rotate toys every now and then to keep them 'fresh' and she gravitates to certain toys that I played with with her when she was a newborn.

I also notice that some of what we've tried to instill is coming forth. TG will sit quietly and thumb through a book or two every day. She'll pull books out from her bookshelf and bring them to her chair and 'describe' it to us.

She'll pick up items and put them away or give us items to throw away. She picks up the furballs that have amassed during our dog's annual Fall shed and toddles them over to me to throw away.

She'll gently pet her stuffed animals just like how we show her how to pet our family dog.

She also seems to be an observer. In a room full or rowdy toddler boys, she'll watch them running and throwing things around. If she finds something interesting, she'll go over and play with an item but isn't phased by the commotion or sudden emotional outbursts that are common in a group full of 2 and unders.

She's also a cautious tryer. She'll call for us if she needs help and if we tell her she can do it, she'll assess it and most of the time will attempt it or occasionally call for 'backup'. I'm glad to see that she's not always depending on us. I credit my husband for this.

By the way, if you think leg warmers look cute on a baby, you should see them on a walking toddler. She looks absolutely adorable with her leg warmers. She walks around at home with a onesie and her socks and legwarmers. It's very sporty looking.

When she lays down for her nap, she grabs her lovey and instinctively pulls off her socks and leg warmers and lays them next to her. It's hysterical.

I've been slowly reading about potty training as she's now been telling us when her diaper is wet or dirty. She still doesn't tell us when she has an urge to go and I don't expect her to at such a young age but I figure it's better to read up about it earlier than later. Plus, keeping a potty around for her affords me the luxury of going to the potty myself without her tugging at me.

I feel like this past month was a whirlwind of growth and activity. Just when you think you understand something, a new ball is pitched at you. It keeps you on your toes.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


My kid wants her independence.
She doesn't like to sit still for diaper changes.
She pushes DH's hands away when he attempts to help her pierce food with her fork.
She happily tells us when she's done with her meal.
She says, "nap" when she's tired and wants to rest in bed but still occasionally fights sleep.
She protests sitting in the stroller sometimes.
Still, she's a pretty cool kid and I think a lot of it comes for DH and I focusing on developing a good relationship with her and listening to her needs.
She'll tell us when she needs a poopie diaper change and sometimes a wet diaper change. She may not sit still for the wets but I've learned she'll stay standing and I can do a vertical change.
She wants to use her fork and without assistance. It may take longer and sometimes, she'll stop and use her fingers but she's mighty proud when she gets her food in her mouth and savors the morsel.
She may not finish all her food but I'm not a force feeder. As long as she gets a daily portion of fruits, veggies, grains, protein and breastmilk, I'm happy. So when she wipes her mouth, whips off her bib and exclaims, "Up!", I let her go and in return, she wipes her seat and clips the seatbelt closed before playing.
Sometimes when she asks for a nap, all she wants is cuddling and nursing in bed. As long as she gets 13 hours a day on average, I don't freak out. We all need downtime. Now when she fights the sleep at night, that's when I whip out the Ergo and she knows I mean business, Ten minutes in the Ergo and she's out or settled. Mommy loves the Ergo.
She first protested the stroller at our local market, on the check out line, during a rainy day. She went stiff as a board. That set me back. Now, I know if I can just get her seatbelt onto her shoulder, she'll settle.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

In her comfort zone

I don't know how I feel about this. Actually, I'm actually kind of proud and happy which is surprising.
On Saturday, after my daughter took her first swim class, I took her to the children's museum. It was the first time I went to the museum. It was not the first for my daughter.
As soon as we got to the museum and entered, I took her jacket off and she took off and didn't look back. At first, I followed her around like a chicken hawk. Then I noticed two things: 1) she didn't look for me and 2) all the other parents, were nearby but not hovering. Ok, there were a few hovering moms but those kids didn't seem to interact with the other kids.
Not wishing to be labeled, 'the helicopter mom', I slowly backed away. I wasn't as far as most of the parents but I wasn't on top of her either. And as I backed away, I also allowed myself to soak the museum up. I didn't just fixate on my child.
I usually allow her to fall and get back up by herself but I haven't yet allowed her to figure out social interaction issues. I started to at the museum. I realized I can't be there when someone takes her toy or pushes her or cuts her on cue. She is going to need to figure those out. I can guide her, which I did when she took a boys light bright peg but for the most part I was proud of her reactions. She didn't seemed phased too much and only disliked when a child tried to climb over her to get to the co-pilot seat on a trolley.
TG wandered to and fro and played happily at first by herself but then learned to interact with some of the other kids. She also liked to walk to adults, pull their pant leg and wave hello.
I only interacted with her when she either was doing something potentially dangerous, like climbing into an exhibit that wasn't meant for climbing or when she took another child's museum toy or when a child potentially was doing something dangerous around her, like climbing over her.
I actually found myself enjoying and feeling proud that my 14 month old played well by herself and with others. I felt proud she didn't always look back for me. I saw a confident kid who felt safe to explore and essentially learn without hesitation.
We stayed until closing and when we got home, she refused to go to bed until she could see her dad and tell him all about her day.
As I sat there listening to her babble on to her Dad, I realized we have a great kid and I only hope our relationship with her continues to grow stronger.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Get Back to Basics

This past weekend, DH and I got a little testy at each other. Usually, we know we're a team and work together and help each other but this past Sunday, exhaustion got the best of us. We apologized an hour later and we knew we didn't mean to be punchy.

A fellow mom in the neighborhood actually described the relationship husbands and wives have after child best. She said that it's not that she means to make their home into a business like atmosphere but essentially, she does what she knows and she manages her home like her job.

Later on, I read an article in Kiwi Magazine where the author, a stay at home dad, said that a mother is the CEO while the father is the Director of Development or something similiar.

I suppose the similie is apropo for me. I try not to make it sound like I'm bossing or forcing DH to do something he doesn't like to. Sometimes, I just need things done and when your juggling plates, it's just easier to be succinct.

To my mom my succinctness comes off as cold and sometimes abrasive. To my husband, I suppose it sounds bossy sometimes. Funny thing is, I often lapse into my mom's tendencies to explain/justify everything. I don't know what DH thinks is worse, that or my precision speak.

I suppose being parents and a spouse to each other alters your dynamic and you need to be mindful that one dynamic doesn't spill over often. I can be succinct with family items but when it comes to being a spouse, I need to be more patient and slow down.

You'd think that I'd need to be more patient and slow down as a parent and in a way I do. I just need to be more mindful to be patient with my spouse. That's the trick. As a parent, you realize you need to slow things down for you learning toddler. As a spouse, I need to slow things down because I shouldn't rush our relationship either. Whether it be doing dishes together or sitting and watching a program or just talking about our day, I need to remember my to do list will always be there and this time next year, I'm not going to care if we cleaned our closet or took that trip to the farm in the rain.

I think that was God's message in the readings on Sunday. As our priest said, "It may sound harsh to cut off your hand or pluck out your eye but essentially God is telling us to forget the stuff that doesn't matter and focus on what does."

What matters is my family and my husband and God.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Parenting in the city: Registering for classes

I had my first foray into registering for classes in the city this weekend. After much deliberation with DH, we agreed to sign TG up for swim classes. Unlike other registrations where I emailed or went online, this registration required my presence.
Now, I'm not sure if this is the same in other parts of the country, but in NYC, registrering your kid for anything is a near all day affair, testing your patience and your planning skills.
Unfortunately, against my better judgment, I didn't plan as well as I should have. Essentially, if registration starts at 12 noon, you should be there at least by 10:30am.
I liken it to the days when I would camp out to get tickets or be the first to see a midnight screening of a movie. You need to be that diehard to be a parent in the city.
I called the director the week before to ask her how the registration process went and she told me that coming that early was unnecessary. I should have known better. 2.5 tense hours later, we got into a class but just barely. The parents lined up in this hot, humid, gym locker smelling corridor tensly waited to see if a staff member would come out to the printed list of classes and cross out their desired class in super red marker.
It's like high school again. That one tiny piece of paper posted on the bulletin board lets you know if you got into drama club's rendition of Merchant of Venice or if you'd be spending your semester in concilatory glee club.
Add to the tension, my lack of preparedness in the food category. I ate breakfast at 8am. I went to church and then beelined to the registration. Now, I know Jesus is filling but the stress, the tension, the berating I gave myself for not being prepared and the breastfeeding caused my stomach to do 360's 1.5 hours into my wait.
So here are my tips for any parents who stumble upon this and for myself for the next go around:
1. Don't listen to the director. Arrive early.
2. Bring a book.
3. Bring a pen.
4. Bring all necessary paperwork, documents, doctor's notes, checks, etc. Check and double check before you leave your house.
5. Bring snacks.
6. Bring a drink.
7. Bring your headphones. Most of the time, parents bring their kids. Kids are cool. Kids waiting on line after 2 hours are not cool.
8. Talk to your fellow parents on line. You'll pass the time together and you'll get tips on other events or classes.
9. Catch up on phone calls, especially calls you prefer to be short and sweet. Trust me, you won't be rude. Other parents are doing the same.
10. Catch up on emails. You'll be able to send an email off without being interrupted.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Anticipating Leaving

With the new found independence of walking solo, TG is now more aware of my departures and isn't very fond of them.
She doesn't throw a tantrum but she does get super clingy in the morning, especially if she notices I begin my getting ready to go out routine.
I'm slowly becoming an expert in walking with a toddler under my feet, clinging to my legs.
My last refuge, the bathroom, has now become a center of conflict for our daughter. She runs away from the toilet if you flush it. The noise frightens her. DH thinks this is great since we don't have to worry about her playing with the toilet or toilet paper. I'm concerned with how this is going to translate for potty training but in the immediate future, I'm more concerned at the dilemma that TG faces when I'm in there.
You can see the psychological dilemma she faces clear as day. She wants to be with me yet I'm on the toilet, the loud noisy scary doodad in the otherwise fun room.
A few days ago this played out in a scene found in any parenting sitcom, if they allowed toilet humor, literally.
I was in the loo, doing my business. TG toddles over, pushes the door open and looks at me with longing. She walks into the bathroom but stops short of the toilet. She stands there and you can see the cogs turn. Do I go to Mom or stay here safely within distance of the toilet?
Finally her desire to be with me usurps her fear and she toddles to me. As she reaches me, her fear takes over again and she proceeds to try to climb into my safe arms.
Here I was trying to push her down and she's developed the strength of a 7 year old pushing me back.
Since then, she's developed a coping mechanism. Whenever I'm in the bathroom, she'll open the door but stay at the edge of the bathtub. She'll leave the room and come back to 'check' on me but has decided to stay away from the toilet for awhile.
I guess my only refuge now is literally my pantry.