Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Why do I have to be a grown up?

The supertasking at work led to me staying in the office until almost 8pm today.
I still have a million and one things to do.
I'm really feeling overtasked and exhausted. I know I'll get through this but looking out my window to see the sun beaming and knowing my husband, on spring break, has the opportunity to spend it outdoors with our daughter is not motivation for me.
The sad part is, with daylight savings, if I get home at decent hour, we can still have a little outdoor time together. Alas, I have to stay indoors to make us dinner and prepare the meals for the following day. It's times like these when I don't like being the grown up.
When we were kids outside playing, we didn't worry about coming in to make supper. We just played and played, came home when our parents told us to and washed up for meals. I seriously need an Alice like in the Brady Bunch.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

We finally got a chaise much to the happiness of DH

I love how my daughter requests to go to bed, whether it's for naps or bedtime. Today at 7pm on the nose, she signed 'bed', said it and then located her lovey and held out her hand so she could escort me.
Her sleep is still fluctuating. Essentially with me, we generally nap within 5 hours since wake up. With DH it's usually a bit later as they are out and about doing multiple things. I have no problem with this except later naps (around 2-3pm) equals later bedtimes which this tired Mommy finds harder for both her and TG. She likes to start her bedtime routine at the same time but then she's wired and we hang out for 60 minutes until she finally passes out.
Still, I don't complain because, she seems to like naps. She loved the bed. She has a healthy attitude towards sleep and on average she gets the recommended 13 total hours of sleep she seems to need.
On the family front, DH took a big step in trying to reclaim a portion of our living area. He purchased a new couch with ottoman coffee table and new toy bins(wooden with cloth baskets). I'm super impressed and love the look. DH loves his couch with chaise. I'm fairly certain he planned to nap on the chaise the first day.
It's leather and TG loves climbing up onto it and sometimes reads a book or flips through her 'computer'. Our living room sort of looks grown up again. just ignore the million crayon pieces, chalk, easel, various rolling objects and giant ball tent.

Monday, March 29, 2010

I understand why the groundhog prefers to retreat

This week, DH has spring break. I think it works out as my work has been picking up and I predict I'll be very busy this week.
I don't know if their is such a thing as spring blues but I think I'm slowly getting it. I'm not depressed but I'm definitely feeling overwhelmed and want to shutdown.
It's as if I'm seeing everything sprouting around me and I'm just here.
I think it's also a weird week as it's the last week of Easter and it can get a bit heavy.
I know I'm being hard on myself too as that cold that has been ping ponging back and forth amongst DH, TG and I is finally disappearing. TG still has a major sticky boogie issue but at least it's not like a leaky faucet.
I've decided that a child's illness will hit his/her parent 3x as hard as it hit the child. Unfortunately, as parents you don't get the luxury to hole yourself in bed with a box of Kleenex, some decongestant and bad daytime tv.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Apparently these boots aren't meant for walking

Two weeks worth of research.
1 online store.
2 retail stores.
3 pairs of rainboots.
I finally found the perfect rainboots.
The first ones were too big but I figured I'd save them for next year as the matching raincoat and umbrella are also too big.
I went to Carter's in a desperate attempt to get something before Easter as this is part of her Easter basket.
I found the second choice rainboots I wanted at another store on sale and grabbed those.
TG loves them and loves playing with them and singing her 'B-O-O-T-S' song.
Now does she want to wear them in the actual rain so she could stomp on puddles?
I'm guessing 1) she's never had high shoes on before and 2) she's never seen DH or I wear rainboots and doesn't know what to make of them.
Guess I'm going out to buy the cheapest pair of rainboots I can find for myself as I know my husband will refuse to wear them.

Saturday, March 27, 2010


Z-girl is getting old. Her legs aren't sturdy enough to climb even two steps. For awhile now, we've bypassed our front entrance which has 8 staggered steps. We've taken a ramp access that has two steps. Today she couldn't even go up those steps. We had to take the basement ramp.
I feel for the girl. She's 13 years old and after we lost P-man to old age last year, she's been alone.
TG has always been around a dog but DH and I made an agreement that our hands are too busy with a toddler that a new dog, young or old, would be too much for us. And so when it is Zoe's time, we may go sans pet for awhile.
It will be a first for us. DH and I have always had pets. 2 dogs, 1 cat, 1 ferret, a 70 gallon tank of fish and several dogs we've taken in for a night have lived with us. Oh, and two pigeons, if you recall the pigeon incidents.
I think it would be lonely and a bit out of sorts. I'm not sure how long we would be without a pet. I gather if we are true to our word and we also decide to have another child, it will be some time.
As a child, I always wanted a pet. I never got one until I was 9 years old and even then it was a fish. I know children that age aren't very responsible but I always felt a little different. I did my own wash at 9.
Will TG know something is different? Yes, I'm sure. Every morning she says, "Hello, Zoe." How do you explain the loss of a four legged family member to a toddler? Will she feel loss? Sadness?
I hope Zoe's health remains strong and doesn't deteriorate but I also don't want her to suffer.

Friday, March 26, 2010

I can't wait to buy her own apron

I love how my 20 month old daughter loves to cook with me. She's 20 months old and she gets so excited when I ask her to help me to cook. When she sees me pull the chair up to the kitchen counter, she grins the biggest grin and runs over.
So far, I found making eggs is a big hit. She loves scrambling the eggs. She knows the oven is hot and that she stays by the counter while I handle the hot stove. She seems interested in watching the eggs cook.
She also loves our Friday pizza nights. She continues to enjoy rolling the dough and painting on the oil, spreading the sauce and placing the cheese and ingredients. I'm not sure if she realizes the cooked pizza is what she made but she sure enjoys eating it.
I've also discovered she has a ton of fun making baked ziti. She loves stirring and watching the spinach disappear in the ricotta cheese and all the ingredients melding together.
I knew before my daughter was born, I wanted to instill a love of cooking with her. I didn't know I'd be able to start it so early and it's one of the joys of motherhood that excites me and thrills me.
I'd like to try to introduce more than just cooked veggies and fruits but she's still not keen on crunchy and super cold foods but I know in time her tastes will expand and change. Heck, she likes Thai food and Indian food. I'm not going to worry.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

You are what you eat.

We interrupt this usually self absorbed journal to talk about Jamie Oliver and his reality show on ABC.
As a new parent who realizes her child will someday go to school, I find the food and the USDA guidelines for the food schools serve our kids atrocious.
It is sickening and I felt complete shame that a man who isn't even an American is the one pushing this forward to the general public. I'm also sorry for the kids who were depicted as I honestly feel they don't know anything but processed foods and because of such find nothing wrong with what they are eating day in and day out.
Some folks may laugh at me for waking up in the wee hours to make my toddler's meals but after seeing that show, I know I'm doing something right.
After seeing that show, I'm fairly certain I plan to continue to make my child's meals for as long as I can.
By the way, if you haven't seen Peter Jenning's special on Food, check it out here. It is eye opening.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Books, Books and More Books

TG loves concept books with flaps and interactive pieces. She likes sitting on our loveseat in the bedroom or in bed flipping through the pages with me.
It makes me smile and even if it's late, I'll sit there patiently and allow her to 'read' the book with me.
She even says the name of one of the books, Opposites. I'm fairly certain she has no idea what opposites means but she knows it is the title of the book. She places this book and her 'Grover' book in her bed with her stuffed animals. That's how much she loves these books.
I found the opposites book at a book fair and found out that it is part of a series. I searched online and found out it was discontinued a few years back but after some hunting I was able to find used copies online for cheap too.
I purchased the entire set and although TG keeps her Opposites book with her dolls in bed, the other books are nearby. She keeps them on the ottoman near our loveseat. Practically every day, she sits with me and she chooses a book to flip through.
I think my Dad, the man who would take me to the bookstore/library every week, would be proud.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


TG serenades me now. It's hysterical. She sings renditions of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, Do Re Mi and her favorite, Are You Sleeping?
It is sweet and cute and melts my heart. It makes the 5am wake up palatable.

Monday, March 22, 2010

RIP My Breast Pump

My dual breast pump has met its maker. Last Friday I suspected it was on its last leg when it only expressed 3 ounces of milk.
I tried again on Saturday at home but nothing came out.
Normally, I probably would freak out but I figured I am blessed with alternatives. I knew I had my single pump which is a pain but usable. More importantly, my job has given me the luxury of a hospital grade pump in the lactation room.
I know I'm very lucky as most companies don't even offer a private area for a woman to pump.
Still, it's a little bittersweet that I'm not as emotional as you'd think I would be. For the last almost 2 years, my pump has been in an intimate and emotional rollercoaster of a relationship with me.
Hans and Franz was my direct connection to my baby while I was at work longing to be with her. They allowed me to feel as if I was able to give her something that would go far beyond just a nursing bottle. Every day I diligently cleaned and packed away my pump parts and carried my pump around as if it was the latest accessory to come from the Paris runway.
I washed each part gingerly and handled it with kid gloves.
I knew the way I was pumping (3 times a day) it wouldn't last as long as most folks would assume a breast pump would last. I continued though to take good care of it.
I'm going to miss my breast pump. It was one of the best baby shower presents I ever received and I will never forget him.
Yes, I will continue to pump once a day but it won't be the same. Sure a hospital grade pump may be a workhorse but we won't have the relationship I had with Hans and Franz.
Bye Hans. By Franz. Thanks for the memories. I could have used a really bad pun but I won't cheapen the moment.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Yes, I'm obsessed with sleep.

I know it seems as if all my entries are about sleep but it's been on the brain. If you are a parent to an infant or toddler, I'm guessing you can understand.
Today I made it a point to be vigilant of our time and to follow TG's cues regarding naps and sleep.
She woke up today at 8:30am. Her sleep was not as restless as the previous night. She did seem to be more pooped than usual. That's what you get for skipping naps two days straight, I suppose.
We went to church and then had some playtime. I planned on heading to the bedroom at 12:30 to see if she'd like a nap but when we got home, TG immediately asked for bed. She does the sign for bed and says, 'bed.' She napped from 11:30a-1:30p. I gladly joined her in her nap. As I dozed off, I recall wondering if daylight savings and the lighter bedroom would effect her but she seemed to fall asleep rather quickly.
She woke up miffed. I did too. It was that kind of wake up where it's so bright out you wondered if you slept the day away. She quickly recovered and spent the afternoon at the playground with her Dad while I cooked up a storm.
We had dinner at 6p and at 6:30p she started her usual bedtime routine. She said, "Cleanup. Brush Teeth." She then took her broom and mop and started cleaning up the area near her high chair her first step to getting to bed.
She was out fast asleep by 7pm. I hope she sleeps until 8am.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

I'm obsessed with my daughter's sleep

You can call me the sleep nazi.
Because she was carted to and fro, her nap was inconsistent. Following my tot's cues we had dinner at 5:30 and then went to bed immediately afterwards. She passed out at 6:30 but had a restless night. It was one of those nights where she woke up every cycle and needed to be cuddled. It was rough.
Today we went to CMOM for a concert of English/Spanish music which also ruined her nap. Although I know that the sweet spot for a nap for my daughter is 5 hours after she's woken up, I still kept up out past the time frame partly because the concert started an hour later than they originally scheduled. When we got home, I beelined to the bedroom. She was just about to nap when she got up and said, "Poop." She's been walking to a quiet area to poop away from me lately. After that, she was up. Guess I'm going to have a bumpy night again.
I feel awful about it. It's the mommy guilt that apparently comes with the baby but the hospital doesn't tell you that.
I keep reminding myself that being protective of her sleep and naps is important. I've read too many research studies regarding proper sleep and cognitive and behavioral development to not want to protect it.
Plus, it gives me a nice little respite in the day as well.
Guess we'll see if she gets sleepy again around 6 and try for an early bedtime again to compensate for the nap.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Trying to remember perspective.

My friend mentioned how it's important to acknowledge how well our husbands are with our kids and how supportive they are of our parenting desires even if hey grouse.  She's right.  I sometimes get so sucked into it that I can lose myself in the moment.  
Even though we have different views he still respects me and my feelings.  I do appreciate that. 
I know he just wants a kid who sleeps through the night but since he doesn't I suspect she will follow his sleep pattern.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Turning point?

So yesterday, TG passed out in the car out of sheer exhaustion. She napped from 12:30 to 3pm. She woke up in the morning at 7:30am again as I had to head out to another early am meeting. I've noticed that TG gets pretty sleepy 5 hours after she's woken up so I figured 12 noon would be a good time to start the nap routine (quiet, slow things down, dim lights, etc). Unfortunately, DH had her out in the car for another errand that was supposed to only take an hour to 90 minutes but took most of the afternoon as well.
TG: Bed. Nap. (Signs nap). Milk? Raffe?
TG kept saying these items over and over again. It was her way of saying it's time for my downtime, parental units. Unfortunately she did not want to nap in the car though. She finally broke out with what I know is her last resort before meltdown. She said, "Ergo?"
Immediately, I recommended driving around hoping to lull her to sleep instead of idling. Ten minutes into circling the block, she passed out. The car was idled again for 45 minutes but then she started stirring and so while waiting for the errand to be completed, TG got a tour of several city blocks including cobblestone streets. By the way, sleeping TG seems to enjoy the cobblestone roads as long as you drive them in a moderate pace.
I was actually happy that she napped at a decent hour. For the past few weeks, her naps have been after 2pm which I think lent to the late night bedtimes. I mentioned this to DH but he immediately tells me that naps happen when they can return home in time. I wonder if he'd feel the same if he had nighttime parenting duty.
Since she woke up at 3pm, I hoped that this would be the turning point for her bedtime and she's be tired enough to go to bed at a reasonable time, like 8:30p.
We are almost there. At least, last night we were. TG started her sleep routine at 8pm and finally passed out at 9:30pm and woke up at 8am! Not only did she wake up at 8am but she woke up all smiles and happy as a clam! No crying. No clinginess. Happy go lucky TG was back!
Please oh please let today be the same.
I asked DH to try to make sure her nap routine begins around 12:30pm/1pm but I just received a call at 2pm that they just came home and he'll start the nap soon. If she naps at 3pm again, I'm screwed I know it. Argh.
I know it's not DH's fault. I know he's not doing this on purpose but we clearly don't see eye to eye about this. I don't mess with nap because nap is sacred. Good nap equals a happy baby and a happy bedtime.
Please let me be wrong. Let the 3pm nap be ok.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I'm my child's security blanket. Is that bad?

DH: She wakes up when you wake up. She doesn't go back to bed. It's as if you are her security blanket.
Is that bad thing? Security blanket, wise. Aren't parents supposed to be the original security blankets for their kids?
Yes, the waking up when I wake up is a problem of sorts. She went to bed at 11:30pm and I have to be out the door for a meeting around 6. I wake up and gingerly creep to my closet, snag a few clean, unwrinkled clothes and bee line to the kitchen. I grab my bag, a banana and shuffle to the door, change and leave the apartment.
By the time I get to the bus stop, my husband texts me, "She just woke up. What time did you leave?"
This has been happening consistently. As soon as the door closes and I'm outside of the apartment, she wakes up. I close the door quietly. I've even left my nightshirt next to her in bed. She can sense when her wubby is away.
DH thinks it's a bad thing for her to be so attached to me. I don't think it's bad. I think it's what she needs right now. She's fairly independent. It's not like she won't do anything without me. She plays by herself. She runs to friends. She investigates new places, people and things. She just likes to run back to me and check in every now and then.
I also think it probably is nice to know that there is some sort of routine with me. Because of my OCD, I like to have some form of structure even with a toddler in tow. She knows that after she wakes up with me, we spend some time in the bathroom then she plays while I prep the kitchen. Sometimes she helps with breakfast. Sometimes she continues to play on her own. She knows there is an order to things when it comes to Mommy. With Daddy it's more of a fly by the seat of your pants. Many times, they are running late and Daddy shuffles everyone in a mad dash to do things. Lunch is sometimes at 12, sometimes at 2. Naps are usually when they fit into when they can get home as Daddy doesn't use the Ergo.
For the past few mornings, her wake ups have been brutal. She's a cranky mess because she goes to bed so late. It also doesn't help that I've had to leave early for meetings so there is no routine. There is no playing in the bathroom, brushing teeth, washing face and saying goodbye to the potty. (Everytime I flush, "Bye Bye Potty! See you!)
Maybe this is why she's also prefers me for somethings like when she wants to read in bed. Or maybe I'm the giant sucker that just allows her to walk all over me. Afterall, it's not like Daddy is going to lay in the dark with a flashlight taped to his head reading a concept book on Opposites to her.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

9:30a wake up, 5p nap, shoot me.

Because she finally passed out at 11pm she woke up at 9:30am. Then after a car ride with her Dad, she returned home at 2pm, ate lunch and tried to pass out but only finally passed out out of sheer exhaustion at 5pm. 5pm!
In the car she started saying, bed and nap but didn't nap. I suppose we passed the hump.
I think we need to be more in tune with her nap cues especially as DST has kicked our sleep routine. This is where we see our different parenting skills/preferences kick in. DH is more apt to have TG shuffle along with him and expects her to adjust her routine a little bit. I'm more of a I'll try to do what I need to but if she's showing signs of sleep, hunger, etc... I generally take them as a guide and shift to the mode she needs. My theory is, I want her to learn to read her body's cues and I want her to know I'm trying to read her cues. Most importantly, a cranky tot equals meltdowns and I'm really not a big fan of those.
Anyway, DH was surprised I allowed her to sleep at 5pm but in all honesty, at that point, it wasn't about allowing. The kid needed to sleep and downtime. I figure maybe this will lead to a crazy night tonight but maybe just maybe this will help her body get back into a rhythm.
She slept until 7:30p which led to her passing out again at 11:30pm.
Now, if I can only go to sleep as I have a 7am meeting.

Monday, March 15, 2010

DST & Playground Season

Bedtime at 11pm again.
She seems to be sleepy but just can't settle.
It doesn't help that I'm exhausted so I know my patience is really tested.
On a good note, it looks like the torrential storms that hit us over the weekend was the wind of change. The weather is gorgeous and has led to us planning daily playground excursions.
Last night, to help tire her out, we went to the playground with one of her buddies for some swingtime, slidetime and chasing time. It's so cute how her buddies want her to chase after them but she's more into climbing and doing her own thing. Is that a boy versus girl thing? Anywho, today, one of her friends didn't have the patience to wait for her to slide as she likes to linger at the top and survey the terrain. He kicked her down the slide causing her to not only get pretty irked by the surprise but her pink coat got a lovely muddy toddler foot print stamped on the back.
Later on, when he tried to get TG to follow him, he kept pushing her in the back. Finally his mom took his hand and put TG's hand in his. They walked hand and hand for a bit. It was very cute. Then TG scampered off to play with a gate and her friend went to pick leaves.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Daylight Savings Time is kicking my butt today

Since TG has altered her sleep routine, I knew Daylight Savings was going to be brutal and it has been.
Essentially, TG now naps later, except on occasion with me when she prefers to nap at noon. On average she naps around 2pm which means that she's not ready physically for bed until past her usual 7:30pm bedtime.
I can deal with 8. I can deal with 9 to some extent but tonight she didn't fall asleep until well past 10pm!
Again, I'm starting her routine as usual. It's what she likes best but now we're laying in the dark and she's reciting sounds and words and songs again. I try my best to be quiet and lay there waiting for her to pass out again but sometimes it seems like I'll pass out before she will.
I also know that if I don't start our bedtime routine of dim lights and slowing things down around 7:30, the kid goes bonkers.
As it is already, she's got the best internal clock I've seen since my maternal grandfather. At playdates, as soon as it hits 6:30, the kid says, "Clean up!" and starts to put away whatever she's doing and then takes me to the door to go home. Yes, don't hate me but my kid takes after me. Even at home, after dinner and right before bedtime, when I tell her we need to get ready to go to bed, she starts to clean up.
Today she helped me put away the playdough and clear her table and push her chairs back. Then she grabbed her lovey and then said goodnight to DH and then shuffled to the bathroom to brush her teeth.
God, I hope this isn't a phase.
Anyway, our daily bedtime routine goes without change but instead of falling asleep during our lullabies she's now getting up and saying every vocabulary word in her ever growing dictionary.
I'm trying to be patient as I recalled she did this at the very beginning of speech. I think it's the brain's way of recapping, recalling and learning new words and pronunciations.
I have a theory that at the end of the day, as we're settling in bed, the brain of a toddler sort of does a back up of what they have learned. Some things they comprehend are recalled and stored in long term memory. Other things that are fresh, new or more complex cycle through and may even lead to expanded deciphering during their sleep.
This is the only reason why I have no problem with TG, bringing me non-bedtime books to read at night or going through alphabets, numbers and concepts with her as we lay in bed. Right now her two favorite books to read in bed, regardless of time of day are an Opposites book and a descriptor book (things that are soft, things that are tall, etc).
Any time of day means, when I am home, TG on a daily bases outside of naptimes and bedtimes, takes me to her bed and gives me 1 or 2 books to read. As we read them, she reviews certain concepts and then asks to nurse.
We used to do this in her reading chair but now she solely does this in bed. Her favorite concepts to date are: Quiet/Noisy, Left/Right, Above/Below, Fuzzy/Rough/Soft/Smooth. I'm not sure she gets the concepts as much as enjoys looking at the pictures and describing them to me but I'm not expecting a 20 month too.
Just as the nursing nowadays is more comforting and downtime related, I think it also serves as a rebooter for her cognitive development. Why else has her primary request for nursing during the day been after complex concepts?
Still having a bedtime routine start at 8 and end at 11 takes a toll. I'm hoping that as the week progresses and we acclimate to DST and the illnesses run their course, we'll get back to a more reasonable sleep time. Until then, I try to remain patient and listen to the cues TG gives me.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Still feeling awful but mommy is a 24/7 job

I'm sure if I just had some downtime and rest I'd lick this congestion thing quicker. Sadly this isn't meant to be. Why is it that daddies can turn into babies when they get sick but us mommies have to be the strong tough soldiers?
Anyway, DH was really sweet and has been the last few days. He's skipped his gym routine for 3 days straight! He has been here helping me get TG to bed and everything. This hasn't been easy as her sleep schedule is all out of whack. Since she's gotten ill it has gone from a usual 1pm nap and 8pm bedtime to 2pm nap and 9-10pm bedtime. It has been brutal. As I've said before, it's not that she passes out at 9 or 10 that is the hardest part. That's hard because I know what that means for the morning but what's hard is how TG still wants to have her usual routine (bathroom, diaper, pjs, lotion, hair, story, prayers, singing) and at the usual time (7:30/8).
It's gotten to the point where I repeat the Mrs. Sears mantra daily (how you just have to go with the flow with your night owl child but try to keep a quiet serene evening environment).
DH thinks that part of the issue is how TG is too attached. I think this stems from TG's preferences for me when it comes to doing anything except play. Play is cool with Daddy but for everything else including the mundane tasks (holding a book, changing her doll's diaper, etc) Mommy is the preferred choice. She's now even doing this pull her hand out and shaking her hand and saying, "No No No. See you."
I don't think TG is too attached. I think it's just a phase. Some friends have suggested that she prefers me as I'm not around as often as DH. Others say it may be harder for him to grasp as he's the SAHD.
I think it's a phase and I told DH that soon enough, I'll be the 'you don't understand parent' but it doesn't help the here and now.
It's lending itself to some weird vibes regarding my views on breastfeeding and attachment parenting. Still DH seems to understand my views and tries to support me as best as possible.
Ooh, DH was so sweet and took TG out to play giving me 3 hours of solid alone time. The intent was for me to rest and I knew he was right. It's been weeks maybe months since I've had me time. So I did have me time and true to me fashion it included some chores but not grueling chores.
I was able to shred 3 bag full of items. (I hold everything that needs shredding and shred when TG isn't around with the idea that is she doesn't see the 'fun shredder' in action, she'll ignore it.) I watched a guilty pleasure reality show, Biggest Loser, thank you. I ate a snack without having to share it or cut it into tiny pieces. I took a long hot bath and soaked in eucalyptus oil to help loosen the congestion. I shaved! I gave myself a quick pedicure! I read a magazine from cover to cover! I did two loads of dishes. I baked a loaf of bread. (Ok, the rising and what not was done that morning but I finished baking it in peace.)
The only thing I didn't have a chance to do was continue working on TG's baby book which I swear will be done before she goes to school. I've also decided that going forward, her yearly scrapbook will be probably what I've built for the grandparents (scrapbooks, calendars, etc) in duplicate. I just don't have the time and energy to do something different.
When TG and DH came home, he said he could clearly see I felt much better and I did. It didn't hurt to breath and my face didn't feel swollen and painful. In fact, I haven't felt that major blockage pain in 5 hours now! Hopefully the rest and me time is helping me fight this congestion.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Mommy confessions #2

The torrential rain storms aren't helping my congestion misery. It's so bad today I'm chalking up as a wash and that was decided at 8am.
I'm in such discomfort, I couldn't bear to have a playdate for TG so it was a mommy and me day but more of a watch mommy sit around while TG lays about airing her tush. Between TG's tush and my nose, we're a bunch of fun.
I have a big confession to make. If DH knew about this, he'd be totally disgusted.
Yesterday, I gave up on pants or shorts for TG. Usually we slap a pair of pants on her because she's a diaper whipper offer. But since I was allowing her to aerate sans diaper, on a waterproof mat, and since I was changing her diaper every 2 hours, I figured she could roam around pants free.
Remember, how I said I couldn't smell a poop diaper if it was shoved in my face? Well, this caused me to miss a poop diaper yesterday afternoon. I was busy doing a cursory clean up just before TG's playmates came over when TG ran into the kitchen sans diaper. I chuckled until I ran into the bedroom to find that it wasn't just a pee diaper she whipped off.
Turns out it was a poo diaper. Now she didn't have any remnants of poo on her that was visible so I can only hope she wasn't playing with the poop but I did find streaks on her bed linens.
With less than 30 minutes before her playpals arrived, I dunked her in the bath and scrubbed her from head to toe. DH arrived home as I was washing her hair. I asked him to take over bath duties while I ran around disinfecting and spraying things down just in case poo got in places I didn't notice. DH took my running around as frantic prep for kids coming over.
I'm just thankful 1) TG didn't seem to be playing with the poo as it was relatively contained in her diaper and 2) my dog didn't get a hold of it and 3) DH wasn't home. He probably would have had us quarantine the bedroom.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

My entire right side of my face is a puffy painful mess.

I am such a mess with this sinus congestion. Different shades are coming out of my nose. Sorry to be disgusting but misery loves company. Plus, I'm pretty sure if this doesn't clear up, I'm going to be in some medical journal. I'm exaggerating but I'm allowed to, I can't even open my eyes without pain. I can't even neti. It won't come out.
I've been on a cooking kick too which I attribute to being at the hump of northeastern winter. I've made Julia Child's Beef Burgundy which was awesome, French Onion Beef Stew and Shepherd's Pie. I also have it on my radar to make my spinach lasagna roll ups with beschamel sauce. This wouldn't be a problem if I could freaking taste anything. My congestion has left my senses completely numb.
DH has been my guinea pig as I cook.
This has lead to a good thing and a bad thing when it comes to TG and her diaper rash. Since I can't smell a dead pig in front of me, I can't tell if TG has pooped anymore. TG usually tells me if she poops but since her booty is raw, she's been denying poop to avoid the inevitable diaper change. This is one of the reasons I've implemented the 2 hour diaper change. Still, I do find myself checking her diaper more than when she was an infant.
The worst of the diaper rash though was how uncomfortable it makes her doing anything including fun things. Today she had her first meltdown outside and I know for a fact it was due to the diaper rash. She refused to sit in her stroller but I could not possibly carry her and push the cart home in my congested state. So I had to force her which caused more friction and pain for her. Add to it the fact that I knew full well she was tired but kept her out with her playmates well after she gave me signs she needed a nap and we're talking a category 4 meltdown.
I felt awful and not only because it was a public meltdown but because I could have prevented it.
DH was sweet again and skipped his nightly gym routine to help me with nighttime parenting. He's being awfully nice and I can't help but feel appreciative and special because of such.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I'm such a baby when it comes to my sinuses.

In addition to TG's raging case of diaper rash, I have caught her sinus cold and am in congestion misery. My eyes hurt. My nose hurts. And I spent a 8+ hour work day running around to meetings.
I wish they had an adult size nosefrida. I wouldn't mind having a machine or even a person suck out the congestion. I'm going to brutal but when I neti now, more crap comes out than I thought I had mileage up there. The worst part is not 30 minutes afterwards, I feel congestion blocking up the passages again. Argh!
DH has been sweet though. I finally had the courage to ask him to not go to the gym in the evening and to stay home and help me settle TG in for bed. Between my sinus congestion, the diaper rash and my long day I felt like i"d probably pass out leaving TG up and running about without supervision.
Sure enough, I passed out before TG did. I think she finally came to be for a nurse and then bed around 9:30.
I know I need to get a handle of her bedtime changes but I am just not in any functioning state at night with this congestion.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Eww Diaper Rash

TG has her first flare up of diaper rash. What is it about this month? First a sinus cold and now diaper rash.
Man, I feel for her. It's making everything miserable. All she wants to do is have me carry her around as any movement causes friction. She's even refusing a bath because it feels so raw.
We've been on diaper rash protocol. In this household this means, changing her diaper every 2 hours, regardless of saturation level.
For this mom, this also means treating it like a hemorrhoid, the only reference I have as an adult to diaper rash. I gently swipe the area with no ouchies antiseptic then use q-tips to slather on the zinc oxide and lanolin without stretching out the raw area.
I also let her allow her to lay splayed to let it breath. Of course in order to do this, I've relaxed the rule of tv so she'll sit still.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Taking one for the team

On Sunday, my brother and sister (I know it's SIL but she's my sister.) came over for brunch. My husband commented on how he's making sure he's up with all the 'new music' so that he can embarrass our daughter in the future.
This lead to an interesting discussion on how our Dad took us to a million concerts and events and how he probably wouldn't have taken us to them if not for us being his offspring. In other words, parents do things for their kids they wouldn't normally do.
Shell out $$$ to see Disney on Ice, not once but three times, in our memory.
Taking us to any 'live action' show based on a Saturday morning cartoon.
Taking us to see a Dirty Dancing tour.
Taking us to see the New Kids on the Block, Debbie Gibson, Kool and the Gang, Herman's Hermits (it was a phase), REM, Rolling Stones, The Monkees and a slew of other shows. I think he may have taken me to a Cure show too. Man, that's love.
TG has already experienced her first musical theatre show and play. She's been to more outdoor concerts than most 1 year olds and she's scheduled for her first indoor seated concert next month. Who knows what DH and I are going to take for the team.
Jonas Brothers v3.0? Some large stuffed animal on ice? Standing online in the cold to get an autograph of the latest Zach Efron? (That's how you spell it, right?) Man, I'm starting to feel old.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Back to herself now if we can get her sleep back.

DH slept off most of the alcohol. He did wake up to help watch TG brush her teeth and floss. She pretends to floss. Very cute. His response, "Wow, she's so small and tiny."
In the morning, he woke up and was back to his old self except a little less stressed, I think. I mean, he was stressed still but it wasn't carried as heavily. Maybe the drinking was a good thing.
My brother and sister came over for a quick brunch. It was great to see them. I missed them so. It's been ages where they just came over and chilled. I wish it was more often.
TG's illness has thrown off her naps and bedtime. She is now accustomed to 3pm naps and subsequently 9pm bedtime. This doesn't mean we start them at that hour. Oh no. We still go to bed as per TG's request at 1pm and 7:30pm but then she stays up reading books or whatnot fighting occasionally until she finally passes out.
I've learned that 4.5 hrs after she wakes up is a prime time for naps and bedtime. So if she wakes up at 8:30am, 1pm is when she wants to move to the bedroom for downtime. If she wakes at 4pm, 8pm is when she wants to brush her teeth and put on her pjs. At least she's got a routine of her own.
She does floss or pretend to floss. It's rather cute. She brushes her teeth and then Mommy helps her. She also brushes her tongue.
She's taken to caring for her friends too. This morning, she took the nosefrida and 'cleaned' out Jay Raffe's nose. Oh, Jay Raffe's name went from Raffe to Grr-affe. That just started.
I put up a chalkboard and alphabets and she now occasionally scribbles on the board. She has more fun cleaning the board. We're also actively pointing to more letters when we read.
All over my house now I have letters, numbers and stickers. In the kitchen I have bread and apple and broccoli stickers by the sink. In the bathroom, we have frogs and inchworms. In the hallway, butterflies and lady bugs. In the living room, bunnies. We're sticker-fied.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Maybe the alcohol will stave off The Cold

Spent the day in the West Village with family. It was very nice and relaxing. The food was delicious. The company was great. It was nice to be with folks and not be knee deep in toddler speak. It's different to hang with folks that you know because of your kid's friendships and your friends.
DH got a bit carried away I think. He really was enjoying himself and got more than just tipsy. This irked me to no end. I think it irked me because 1) we're not 20 anymore, 2) we have a kid with us and 3) he is naturally vociferous but drunk DH turns into Ricky Gervais berating Karl Pilkington. It's funny but mean. I know that part of it was he felt comfortable and laid back but I view things slightly differently now.
I wasn't mad but I was a bit perturbed. I only said a few things to him to simmer down when he started getting a little too in your face with some strangers.
On the way home, he passed out next to TG. TG, who was also a bit sleepy as she only had a 45 minute nap, sang lullabies and stroked DH's hair. If this child isn't my child, I don't know who she is.
In a way, I guess I'm glad he was able to let loose a little. He has been stressed. Still, next time I hope he sticks with a glass or two of wine.

Friday, March 05, 2010

The duck paddles

Pg: I noticed that if TG cries at night you don't move even if you are the only one in the room with her.
Dh: Yeah, if you haven't noticed she wants no part of me at night. Plus if I go over there she will only cry harder.
Aside from putting me off I often wonder how he can just lay there watching a program or reading or even sleeping as our child lay near him crying. It seems so callous.
Dh: You know I see no reason for you to be upset and tiffy.
Pg: First, this is not the time nor place to have this discussion.
Dh: Exactly why you shouldn't be upset or tiffy.
Nowadays even when DH hurts my feelings or says something that irks me, I may strike back with a comment but I just give up. I resign myself to the fact that DH thinks what he thinks and believes other points of view are malarkey.
He's a bit detached. I never noticed that before. Well maybe I did but I took it as confidence.
We were watching a PBS documentary on emotions and they were discussing the possibility a teenage boy suffered from reactive attachment disorder. His expressions and sighs screamed,"bull.". Dh: if that were the case other kids in orphanages for the first three years of life would have attachment disorders.
Moments later the program notes this.
DH has the unique quality of believing what he believes and holding true to it even if it their is evidence to the later. I think it comes from his background in market research and the fundamental truth that data can always be manipulated to say what you want it to.
It's a gift that can turn him into a supergenius and inventor or it could be a hinderance to some of his goals.
Right now it's beginning to increase the divide in our parenting styles.
Today when it was pretty much confirmed TG has a cold and has a sore throat he didn't acknowledge what I said last night nor did he apologize for his hurtful and at one point daughter manipulating statements.
He didn't acknowledge what I was doing, giving her chicken broth in a cup, feeding her squash and nursing her were the best course of action for a sore throat. I didn't expect him to. He just thinks things are what they are. He doesn't realize the thought put in. He doesn't realize there is a method to my madness. I've learned not to expect that but that does not make his comments less stinging. I think they probably make them hurt just a little more.
He's clearly surprised when even though I am tired and exhausted and at times mad at him, I still make the family dinner. I still clean up and follow our bedtime routine. Why? Because it needs to get done. Routine makes a toddler happy and everyone needs to eat.
I think DH is of the mindset that things happen when they happen. Maybe this is the fundamental difference between us now, things may happen in due course but why not use all the tools available to me to help ensure things go smoother. Why wait to iron the shirt when ironing it straight from the laundry whenever possible ensures an easier time of it? Mind you I haven't ironed since early 2000.
I read in a magazine today that men may not realize what is happening in the background in order for the show to run smoothly. It was an article on the shifting workforce and roles within a household. Along with letting go of perfection, it also recommended realizing men need step by step instructions and reminders that their is a crew behind the cast. Not that it was saying men are children that require hand holding. It just said that most men are unaware of what Moms do to keep the ship afloat and that's a big bone of contention among couples.
I'm not sure if this is supposed to make me feel better that I'm not in any different circumstance.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

I grew a set of balls with my husband, sort of.

My husband and I have a disagreement. It's a really big one. He has stated that he plans to Ferberize our child when she turns two and that I am no longer going to night nurse her. I don't believe in Ferberizing and I do not see the harm in night nursing.
At night, she nurses to bed for approximately 15 minutes. She wakes up twice for a diaper change at which time, I nurse her again for 5 minutes. It's all on me. Why is he so adamant?
Now some may say he just misses me and not in the sexual way. To me, I just have to say this. Tough cookies. First of all, the man doesn't sleep with me at night, not even before TG. He stays up watching television or doing whatever and then passes out on the floor in the living room. Around 4am when he wakes up to walk the dog, he'll drag his butt in and crash.
If TG wakes up at 4am for a diaper change and milk, he seems annoyed. If TG wakes up at 7:30am, he seems annoyed. Tough cookies. Go to bed earlier.
For me it's simple. The benefits I've seen and continue to see regarding breastfeeding and attachment parenting outweigh his feelings.
I know that sounds cruel but I"m sorry, I do all the nighttime parenting. I'm the one reading a million journals, websites and books. I'm the one who tries to be inclusive of TG in my daily life.
DH is a great dad and an awesome SAHD and he has generally sided with me and followed my lead and respected my wishes on how to parent. I'm just taken aback by his daily comments now about attachment parenting and breastfeeding.
Part of this could be the fact TG is extremely clingy of late. This is due to her first illness but it's also probably due to the fact I'm her Mom. I think kids this age like to hang out with their Mom. Does DH feel slighted when TG turns to him and says, "No No and runs to me?" Maybe.
I know he gets annoyed when she calls him Mommy. I'm sorry I can't change that. She uses Mommy and Daddy interchangeably with him. I don't think it is some spiteful thing. It's a kid learning her words.
Now, I know some folks say, "Be understanding of his needs." Not to be callous but I think I am. There are many things that I have learned to deal with and handle. There are alot of things I try to be supportive of. The bottom line is this, the weight is on me. I am not asking him to do anything different or sacrifice anything. He still gets to do what he wants to do when he wants to do it and how he wants to do it. Leave us be.
Ok, some folks will say, well in his mind he is sacrificing you and your attention less on him and more on your child. Isn't that what it's supposed to be? Buddy for 13 years all I did was put you on a pedestal and maybe that's why this is partly my fault but we have a toddler who is just learning the world and will need our guidance for quite some time.
I guess this is all coming out not only because of his daily comments but because of his late night comments he has made these nights that TG has been sick and in need of comfort. I also didn't like the time he had negative comments about me and said them in front of my daughter. For me, it's ok to disagree in front of TG but not get personal. That's not what I want her to learn as a fair fight/argument.
He made it sound like it was such an imposition on him that TG was ill and had needs. Am I spoiling her by listening to her and responding? I'm I a pushover?
Am I siding with my child? Yes. Do I think I'm being hard on my husband? No.
And if you know me, you'd be floored by that. I will pretty much give in to my husband for anything he asks but for this, I have very strong feelings. I don't know how this will play.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

TG has a sinus cold.

Today is our anniversary, our wedding anniversary. I'll discuss this later.
Right now, it's about a toddler with a sinus cold. Today, she had something that I'm going to guess is a category 4 meltdown although, I don't really count meltdowns where I know what the issue is and I can talk my daughter down from it. Still it was a meltdown as nothing could make her feel better until...
Today, her cold turned into a sinus cold. The last few days I've been on boogie duty. Well, the first day I was but then I realized something I forgot was in my arsenal, breastmilk. Breastmilk up the nose can help dry up boogies like no other. DH nosefridas the nose and then I put some breastmilk in both nostrils. This makes for easier breathing, the throat is soothed a bit and she doesn't sound like a wheezing mess trying to go to bed.
Unfortunately though, you still have to contend with the congestion coming out some how. By the way, a toddler learning how to talk with congestion is the funniest thing to me. It's like an old chain smoking granny with a child's voice. Am I the only one that finds it humorous?
Anyway, DH has been walking around with the nosefrida in his back pocket and I've just about run out of Kleenexes and Boogie Wipes.
Bedtime is easier with the breastmilk trick but today the nap was not good. Right now, I'm typing this while sitting on our balance ball with TG in the Ergo on my back. That was the only way to settle her.
DH this time figured it out. He's a genius. "She probably has a sinus headache if she can't express it."
Sure enough, two minutes later, while I was holding my glazed child she started banging her head with her hand and making this awful looking face as if two hamsters were duking it out in her head. "Head hurt?" TG nods then says, "Eyes."
Sinus headache. Now I don't wish that on any adult. I could only imagine what it's like for TG. Hence she didn't want to lay down to nap even though she was exhausted because her head was on fire and her sinuses were backing up.
DH gave her Tylenol and now she's on my back fast asleep on the Ergo. Makes sense as I prefer to sleep upright whenever I have sinus cold. Hope tonight won't be as rough.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Stop the world. I don't want to talk.

I have a confession to make. I've been avoiding my MIL and my mom. It's not that I dislike them. I like them very much. I'm just really tired right now and I really don't need to go through with calming neuroses. I have enough to do trying to calm my family's and my own.
My MIL is simple. Right now, I'm exhausted and tired and DH is driving me nuts but in the typical couple kind of way. You know when one too many socks are left by the side of the bed kind of way.
I'm not in the mood to have a conversation with my MIL and settle her neuroses about DH and me, DH, TG, DH and TG, etc...
She's a sweet and wonderful woman and I don't want to just go all out on her with a tirade on how I'm so darn tired and if her son would only stop picking on me for my AP decisions, I wouldn't feel so alone.
Then there is my mom. God I love her but she's very black and white. No matter what I say, I'm going to insult her. "Glad you brought a fruit back for me from your sabbatical. I'm not going to see you before you head out to Vancouver, so just eat it. I understand. It's the thought that counts." I just insulted her.
"Well, I'm glad the sabbatical was relaxing. I get it. No one gossips there. Well, 1 it's a monastery so you shouldn't be gossiping and 2 you were only there for a week, the honeymoon phase. 3 weeks later, you'll gossip...... Because... We all gossip. Mom, you gossip. Hate to break it to you but we all do in some shape or form." I just insulted her.
In hind sight, I think I need to remember that in my mother's language, things are very cut and dry. So when she says folks don't gossip, I should have realized she meant, folks aren't judgmental. That's one thing I've recently learned about my mom and I need to that into account more when we speak. It's tough though when you spend most of your life listening to the language and taking it to be the literal. If I had studied the language more formally, I think I would have understood that earlier on.
Anyway, so it's been about two weeks since I've had more than just a 5 minute conversation with either women.
I feel awful about it but I'm not in the mood to placate another person. At home I placate. At work I placate. Is it wrong for me to hide out a little bit?
It's gotten so bad that even with the small circle of friends I can vent to, I don't even know where to begin with my vent. I know if I vent, I'll feel better and will be able to get through a lengthier call but right now, all I want to do is just hide.

Monday, March 01, 2010

I didn't know I had it so good.

I'm extremely blessed and fortunate. I had no idea what a sick child would be like. This is the first major illness I've experienced with TG. Most of the parents I know have told me their kids have had at least 2 major illnesses before they were 2.
I thought those times she had a little runny nose were the extent of how a kid could be like for a cold. I had no idea.
Granted, it could be worse. TG is verbose and has a large vocabulary which helps us interpret how she feels. Plus her disposition seems to lean towards happy go lucky.
Major signs something is up is she gets very clingy and needy but then again, if I was feeling crummy I'd want to be babied as well.
I think it generally is harder on a Mom than a Dad as Moms are the nurturing one of the two. For us, this means, TG wants to be with me 24/7. Now, if I have to leave, she understands though. It's funny.
For example, this morning, she happily shuffled me off to work. "Bye Bye. See you. Kiss?" She made sure I had my hat and gloves and closed the baby gate as I left the house.
But if both DH and I are with her, she automatically wants me to be with her.
This elicits sometimes mean and sometimes in humor comments from DH. "And again, Dad is chopped liver." "Dad's always get the short end of the stick." "Just because you gave birth, Moms get all the glory."
I can live with those.
"This is what you wanted." "See what breastfeeding does?" "You insisted on co-sleeping." Those not so much. I'm not sure what he means by that. I wonder if that's just passive aggressive displacement of his idealized image of toddlers independence. In the end, it makes me feel as if he didn't want to sign up for this crazy ride and that he's questioning my parenting ideals. It's not a good feeling. I try to tell myself it's his way of being funny. Don't take it personal, PG. That lessens the sting, a little.
"It will be a glorious day when we can watch a movie with her and we can nap while she watches."
"I don't think that's how it actually work."
"Come on. How many parents take a nap while their kid watches Snow White."