Sunday, September 30, 2012

Bathtime for my little button pusher

My daughter gets to enjoy the joy that I had growing up.... experiencing the fun of having her grandma (my mom) living next door to my grandparents (her great-grandparents).  I always enjoyed being able to run next door anytime I wanted.  (And there was always a nice neighbor to get a cup of flour or a couple eggs!)  So here are a couple fun stories from yesterday.  My little stinker was causing havoc at both houses.

We went to Grandma's house first.  Grandma fed her a banana, cheerios, and milk.  Well since it has been a few years since Grandma had to deal with babies she has forgotten a few of the essentials.  Like, if you give the baby food and don't sit by, a BIG mess will be made.  Well that mess meant the little lady got a bath.  So my mom undressed my baby, including taking off her diaper, THEN decides to run the bath water.  (If you have never bathed a baby, she did that backwards, water should be ready before the diaper comes off).  Well I don't know why my mom thought the baby would just sit next to her while she got the bath tub ready, but she thought this.  My little ornery angel decided to take full advantage of her new freedom and took a couple steps, then realizing that she could cover more distance faster on all fours, fell down to a crawl and took off like a greased pig after food.  She made it out of the bathroom, down the hall, and halfway into the living room (a pretty good distance in this house) before my mom caught up to her.  When I heard the unmistakable sound of the pitter-patter of little hands on hardwood I look in the direction it was coming from only to see my little angel in her birthday suit giggling, smiling, and crawling as fast as she could with my mom chasing after her saying, "Come back here you little squirt! Get back here! Come back! And DON'T PEE ON MY FLOOR!"  She got her bath and fun playtime in the tub.  She was in heaven!

Later we walked next door to play with the great-grandparents.  She crawled loads of laps around the house, giggling, and generally having fun.  When everyone was trying to watch the Saturday college football games, she kept trying to change the channel.  You see my daughter has learned to push the buttons on the remote and phone.  She had made 6 phone calls from my phone the day before (that was before I took the phone away from her).  Well at grandparents' house, she kept trying to get the remote, so my uncle gave her a remote from an old VCR player that was still in the house.  She kept pushing the buttons, then would look at the TV to see what would happen.  When nothing happened she got confused, yelled at me, then threw the remote.  Later I gave her a plastic phone to play with.  It took her about 5 seconds to realize it wasn't real, she yelled at me and threw it across the room.  You see my little button pusher actually knows what happens when you push buttons and doesn't like it when she doesn't get her intended results. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Daddy thinks it's funny!

My husband has trained our daughter to do what I call her little "parlor tricks."  He says "clap, clap" and she starts smiling, giggling and clapping.  When he says "dance, dance." She starts bouncing up and down. 

I have taught her to give kisses and hugs.  Also, I have her trained to giggle when I shake my head.

This being said, tonight I was laying on my back with my daughter sitting on my tummy when her dad called saying he was on his way home from work.  When I put him on speakerphone he said, "dance, dance," and she instantaneously started bouncing up and down.... ON MY BLADDER that wasn't exactly empty. 

She started giggling.  He started laughing when he found out what she did.  It was cute though.  She was excited to hear his voice and couldn't contain herself.  It was so cute.  LOVE!

You get what breed

First let me say, I am not perfect.  I make mistakes ... usually multiple times a day.  But something has been bugging me a lot lately and has made me reflect on myself and how I am as a mother.  I know two different moms that have out of control children, and I believe that they set themselves up for a tough situation. 

Both moms routinely call their kids negative names (not curse words), but names like "Devil boy", "Little Monster", "P.I.T.A" - ok, so the last one is curse words. (Pain in the a$$ in case you didn't know that one)  I asked both moms why they do this and they said that their boys are out of control and don't listen.  Even when I pointed out that they have become what their moms expect of them, both said "oh just wait, your daughter will become just as bad."

Well I hope not.  I think that by POSITIVELY reinforcing children they can be well adjusted.  Now, that is not to say I don't call my daughter names that are not on her birth certificate.  But lets look at some of these:

Little Miss Bedhead - This seems odd, but for someone with as short of hair as she has, she can root around enough when she is asleep to create some amazingly difficult bedhead to deal with.  I sometimes take pictures of it to showcase her ability!

Miss Sassy Pants - She is not lacking in personality.  Actually she is one of the happiest babies I have ever seen.  And I am not the only one that thinks this.    With all this personality comes sassiness.  It is who she is.  She crinkles her nose and snorts, moves her face to right in front of yours to get your attention then giggles, things like this.  She knows how to get a smile and does her little tricks to get the smile or laugh she wants.

Stinkerpants - This may seem negative, until you realize I call her this when she has a LOADED diaper.  Everyone poops - it is a natural process.  It isn't a degraded thing I say 24/7... and it is said jokingly.  Whenever I am calling her this, she is giggling... it almost like she lies in wait for me to discover the surprise she has for me then giggles when I tease her about it.

And of course there are the uplifting ones:
Angel - She is our little gift from God.

Sweetie - Again, happy baby.  Sweet hearted kid

Pumpkin - She was born in October.  I looked like I had swallowed the Great Pumpkin when I was about to deliver her.  She has been my little pumpkin since before she was born.

Cuddlebug - My little angel loves to snuggle.  I think if she could get someone to carry her everywhere she might allow it to happen... that is until she wants to get down and play.

So my hope is that my positive reinforcement of my daughter leads to more angelic than demonic behavior.  Don't get me wrong, my daughter isn't all sugar and spice all the time, but she is more sweet than bitter!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Two simple words make all the difference...

Yes, I am going to talk about the two hardest words any person needs to utter.... "I'm sorry."  Apparently people have forgotten how to say them!

Today the little lady and I went to the grocery store (not as easy when the one you are with is squirmy and wants to climb out of the cart....but I digress)... As I was getting her out of the car out of the corner of my eye I saw a large teenager who just happened to be Hispanic.... he was running towards me/my car and screaming.  Well his intended target was his friend in the car next to us.  He wanted to spook her, but instead he nearly made me pee myself.  I almost dropped my daughter I was so frightened.  Instead I kinda squeezed her a little harder than I intended and turned my back to him.  When he started laughing at scaring his friend I turned around and in my very angry mommy voice screamed at him, "WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU ARE DOING?" 

His lame response:  "What, I thought you saw me."

Me:  "I saw you after you scared the life out of me.  What were you thinking?  Were you even thinking?  Did you not see me getting an infant out of the back of a car?  Do you realize I almost dropped her?  You need to be aware of your surroundings!"

Him:  "Lady, chillax (I HATE THAT WORD!  YOU MIGHT AS WELL JUST RUN YOUR NAILS DOWN THE CHALK BOARD NOW!)  I was just playing a harmless joke."  Then he walked away from me leaving me very very upset.

So what did I do?  Well since this young inconsiderate individual works at the store (yes, he did this in his work uniform), I decided to do what any good mom would do.... I tattled.  It didn't hurt that the assistant manager was one of the first people I saw when I walked in the store.  So I told him what his employee was doing (on property and in uniform no less), how upset it made me, and how unprofessional I found it to be.  His response, "I will talk to him."

At no point did either of these gentlemen say they were sorry.  The guy who scared the crap out of me and my daughter thought it was funny (but what do you expect from a teenager, right?).  The manager (who I thought might understand my point because he was about my parent's age) didn't even seem all that concerned about it.  I highly doubt anything is done about this.  But I bet, had I actually dropped my daughter and I threatened a law suit there would be loads of people appologizing for the stupidity of one.... or maybe not....

Glad I didn't have to find out.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Daddy's Little Girl

I like to watch my daughter.  It is better than TV!  She never ceases to amaze me.  I have also noticed that she is kinda transitioning from a mama's girl to a daddy's girl.  And why wouldn't she?  He is the fun one.  He sings silly songs.  He has endless energy to bounce her (since he bounces his legs almost non-stop anyway as a side effect of his ADHD)  He makes a great a great seat (I have a number of pictures of her sitting on his shoulders, head, arms, etc.)  He's just a big teddy bear.

He took us to feed the ducks, geese, and fish at a local pond today (a favorite activity of both of us).  It took awhile to wipe the grin off her face.  She was bouncy, giggly, and all smiles.  We even walked through a park and took some time stopping to smell the flowers. 

How do you cap off a great evening?  You come home, eat dinner, (get a diaper change of course), and then spend a couple hours singing Disney songs and bouncing on Daddy's legs. 

We know you are jealous!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

What's wrong with the world

I have been hearing that my generation has gone to hell in a hand basket. (I guess I should say I am in my late 20s, my parents in their 50s and grandparents in their 70s). Supposedly we are spoiled, rude, and don't appreciate what we have. Also we are supposedly so self absorbed that we are stuck in the birth control/abortion mentality that our elders worry for the generations to come.

Well why I won't deny that many in my generation are like this, I maintain that this is learned behavior and it goes beyond our parents problem. Why do I blame those in the 60s (yes, half way between my grandparents and parents' age)?  Well let me tell you:

I have been noticing how people treat my daughter and I when my husband is not around.  Since I look like I am in high school, often times I can appear as a teenage mother.  While I know that it has been over 10 years since I was a teenager (oh sweet merciful Jesus I feel old), I do realize that I was a teenage mother when the 70+ year olds were, I would have been sent off to some home or sheltered away with some random family member until the baby was born then adopted.  I would have then returned home after a miraculously amazing vacation and no one would ask questions.  All this is besides the point, because these men and women of this generation are the nicest to my daughter and me.  They are always willing to make funny faces at her.  She LOVES them.  I never hear anything negative about being a parent from these men and women.

Well if you move on to those in their 60s you would think aliens had invaded the world and exchanged the brains of that generation with crazy-town brains.  I blame the "free-lovin" and Roe v. Wade infection.  What have both men and women said about me, my daughter, or both of us together that makes me think we live in a world of "Men in Black"? (and my responses)

"She's cute.  It is too bad your birth control failed." (Yeah, she was and still is very much wanted and loved and I never took birth control)

"Why would you ever want to ruin your life for at least the next 18 years?" (My life isn't ruined, it is improved.  She makes me love waking up each day to see what she can manage to do to make me giggle and love her even more)

"You are throwing your potential away." (No, I am living out a greater calling)

"Why would you want another kid?  They are expensive.  One is more than enough."  (Umm.. as long as God is willing to grant us another kid, we are willing to be the best parents we can be.  We say bring on the fun!  Plus, our daughter needs someone to fight with.)

And these are just a few of the ones I could come up with off the top of my head.  Oh, and not to mention the crabby lady at church who feels the need to scowl at my precious daughter.  It is not my dear daughter's fault you can't see the face of God in a happy child who just wants to play peek-a-boo with you.  She was not being loud, nor destructive, and was barely being distracting.   Had you smiled at her, she would have moved on to her next object of attention.  

There is a silver lining to my rant.  I am noticing a return to common sense for our generation and those younger.  There seems to be a growing appreciation for the respect for life movement.  Maybe it is because we are young and haven't been completely sucked into the culture (for the record I don't believe this one), or it is that we have noticed what our parents did, realized it didn't work and want to return to a better time in history.  Either way, as soon as people learn to realize that babies are a blessing, not a burden, the world will be made a better place.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Welcoming committee chair in training

The little lady and I recently went to daily mass on a Friday at her Godfather's parish (and yes he was the presiding pastor).  Well I didn't realize that NO ONE uses the "front" door of the parish and that everyone comes through the side door (stage left).  Well we sat in the second to the front row where everyone would have to walk past us.  I had her standing on the pew in front of me while I was kneeling in prayer (yes, I was holding on to her) and I couldn't figure out why it seemed like she was acting like a washing machine on the agitation cycle, so I opened my eyes and watched her.  As each person walked in the door she would make eye contact, smile, and follow him/her to the respective seat choice to see if the person would smile at her.  If she got a smile as her chosen target walked through the door, she would flap her "wings" (arms) and wait for the next person to walk through the door.  Each person was welcomed with a huge smile - one that was irresistible.

Well today in mass (at our "home" parish) she decided to attempt to bring joy to everyone around us.  There was a grumpy lady seated behind us.  The little lady tried to play peek-a-boo, smile, giggle, and generally be adorable.  While it didn't work to make the lady smile, everyone else in the rows behind us were smiling and enjoying her "antics".  I even had an older gentleman came up to me after the recessional to tell me how much he enjoyed watching my happy baby. 

Give it a couple years and she will be the church's welcoming committee chair person!

Promises to my child

Who knew that having a child of my own would make me extra-aware of others parenting styles.  (Doesn't it happen to every mother?)  So here are my promises to my child based on the observations of others.

1.  You will know you are loved.  I will tell you at least once a day that I love you.  I will do my best to show you as much (or more) affection as you need to know it.  I don't want you questioning if you are loved - EVER.
2.  You will know the meaning of the word, "No."  I will not be afraid to use this word when it is needed.
3.  You will not get everything that you want.  But I will do my best to make sure you have everything you NEED.  And you will know the difference between wants and needs.
4.  You will know how to act in public.  I will teach you what is appropriate and what is not.  If you have difficulty with this concept - I am not afraid to leave whatever public venue we are at. 
5.  I will do my best to praise you in public and private and correct you as privately as possible.  Now if your behavior warrants it, you will be corrected in public as well.
6.  You will know the Benedictine teaching of moderation and utilize it in your life.
7.  You will dress modestly as long as you live in my house. (and hopefully after)
8.  You will know the importance of your faith. 
9.  I am always here to listen to your stories, concerns, and to kiss your boo-boos (real and imagined)
10.  You will know the importance of personal hygiene.  I will make sure you don't smell bad and look like you have bathed recently.  Now if you come home covered in mud after playing hard with siblings or fishing with your daddy, I reserve the right to hose you off before letting you come inside to bathe. 

Friday, June 29, 2012

Daddy talks

I came home and found my husband taking a bathe (not something unusual).  Since I was holding my daughter, when she heard his voice she smiled big, started bouncing on my him, and giggled.  Again, nothing unusual.  So we had this conversation:

Me (in a high pitched baby-like voice while hiding my face behind my child):  Daddy, I have something to tell you.

Hubby:  What?!? (along with a the general accompanying "oh crap, what happened" look)

Me (still talking like my kid) I kissed a boy

Hubby: Oh boy

It is at this point the baby looks away and refuses to look him in the face.  She wouldn't look at him for quite a few minutes.  It was very funny.

I think she knew she did something daddy wasn't going to approve of.  This may have been the first of many daddy talks - but it was soooo funny and cute!

Swim play date

The little lady had a play date in the pool with my friend Amy and her dear son "Junior".  (Side note: Check out her blog - she's pretty resourceful!)  The babies had loads of fun.  My little lady proved herself a good flirt.  Junior was a little scared at first at the little lady's forwardness.  He is timid at first - needs to warm up to people.  She is instantly friends with everyone.  If he wouldn't have been scared off, she would have been all up in his business.  She tried to kiss him (and I am not sure she didn't succeed at least once).  EEEKKK!!  I thought I would have a few more years before the kissing of boys would start!  I mean a few months back she got kissed by a couple of boys, but this was the first time that SHE tried to kiss a boy.  I repeat EEEKKK!

So this pool play date allowed the mamas to talk.  Well kind of between Junior trying to crawl off a raft and my little lady doing her best snow angel impression and splashing me in the face.  It has been way too long since our last lunchy-lunch date to chat, so we had some catching up to do.  Since he is 7 months older than my little lady, I got to see what kind of ball of energy I can expect to deal with.  Oh boy!  I am not ready for that much energy!  Good thing it will be a gradual increase!

Thursday, June 28, 2012


Who needs to crawl?  Not my baby.  She has given up on this annoying milestone.  She can't figure out that if she stays on her hands and knees it is easier than if she tries to crawl from hands and feet (imagine bear crawling).  Mostly all she has managed to do is face plant thus far.  She has started pulling herself up on everything and taking steps using objects to stabilizer her. 

Oh.... we are in for a handful with this one!

Tag - You're It

There are few things that adequately describe my child's behavior - but this is the best I can come up with - Energizer Snow Angel on Pixie Sticks.  (If this doesn't make sense, imagine the energizer bunny making snow angel motions mixed with what happens when you give a small child pixie sticks - oh the sugar high)  She has 2 speeds - ON and OFF.  Lately she has taken this to a new level.  She has been getting up a couple times in the middle of the night and usually wants changed, fed, and to PLAY.  Her favorite games lately have been bouncing on one of us, playing drums on anything that makes noise, and tickling.  I get the job of taking care of her during the night since I am more of a night person and my husband has to get up early for work.  But let me tell you.... this gets exhausting since she is awake for 2-3 hours, sleeps for 2-3 hours, and repeat.  What happened to my good sleeper?  I don't get it!

Monday, June 18, 2012

What the hey?!?!

We had an very unexpected visitor this morning.  I mean VERY UNEXPECTED!

So the baby and I were cuddling in bed trying to take our morning nap and I felt something funny on the bed, so I opened my eyes to see a cat staring at me.  WE DON'T OWN A CAT!  I thought maybe I was dreaming, but it meowed at me.  I realized I wasn't dreaming!  How long has this thing been in our house?  Where all has it been?  Has it left it's mark somewhere in our house?  All things I guess I get to try to figure out!  I thought I heard something funny last night but didn't think much of it because I was attempting to go to sleep.  I guess I should have investigated then!  Yet, I probably wouldn't have seen it since it was a dark grey color and I wouldn't have wanted to turn on lights.

Well kitty was rounded up and tossed outside.  I washed my hands and headed back to bed.  The baby - yeah, she slept through it all.  She was completely unaffected by it.

I really don't know if I will fall asleep at all today after this little run in.  I am still shaking my head!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Detoxing a baby

It's not what you think - I PROMISE!

So every time we go visit family our child gets very accustomed to being the center of attention.  Since everyone loves her so much, she gets loads of attention.  This is great.  She becomes this social butterfly.  Then we have to come home...... and OH NO!!!!!  She expects all the attention and there are not enough people at our house to give it to her.  She has to detox!!  She becomes very sad and melancholy! 

Here is a good example.  We went to my sister's place for three days.  My sister used my child as a human medicine ball (throwing her up in the air), carried her around, showed her off, made funny noises, and generally was a baby's ideal play buddy.  You could not have made a baby much happier!  Then we had to come home :(  She has been trying to bounce like her medicine ball exercises she was doing with my sister.  My arms hurt.  I tried to put her down.... she whined.  It will take 2-3 days for her to stop expecting my sister to come around the corner and play with her.

I would not trade seeing my sister for the detoxification that I have to deal with. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Calling the priest....

I have learned that the words, "Oh, no, she never does that..." in reference to my daughter is usually viewed as a challenge to her and she promptly does it.  One of the days I will remember this!

I was at my grandparents house today.  The little lady was sitting on the floor playing quietly.  I gave her my phone to play with (she likes to look at the pictures of herself).  She has never called anyone - up until today.  [Side note: some of the pictures are linked to phone numbers so when that person calls I see a picture of my daughter with that person.  It makes me smile every time and is a quick way to see that whoever is calling is someone I know.]  She was scrolling through the pictures of herself and came to a picture of her Godfather (who just happens to be a Catholic priest) holding her from her baptism weekend and she must have hit the "send" button because seconds after saying that she never calls anyone I looked down and saw the timer going and it said 20 seconds and counting and my daughter was chatting away.  I looked at her and said, "What are you doing?"  She laughed, smiled and I quickly picked up the phone.  She had actually made the call and he answered.

I was pretty embarrassed!  I had no reason to call him - and I knew he probably was busy working.  The little lady decided she needed something to tell him that was very important and couldn't wait.  Too bad neither one of us knew what she was telling him because it sounded like babble to the "adults". 

There is a reason why I think she called him.  Other than I gave her something that looked like a fun play toy with buttons.  God thought he could use a smile.  I was unaware that he was having a bad day, but he was.  He enjoyed the fact that she called him and was chatting.  Who can not smile at the sound of a baby chatting anyway?  I believe God used my daughter to make someone's day better - and that is awesome.  After apologizing for interrupting his busy day, he did express a hope that my daughter feels comfortable enough when she is 18 to call him up randomly and chat.  So do I!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Melted heart - day 2

So if singing our daughter to sleep wasn't enough to melt my heart, there was a new heart melting moment at our house last evening.  My husband was sitting in our papasan chair with our daughter laying across his chest and they were playing a cute little game.  He would kiss her, she would giggle.  They played this game for quite a while (considering her attention span is that of a nearly 7 month old's).  When that game was done, he started tickling her, and lo and behold, the giggling started up again.  Who needs toys when you have a dad who can bring you more joy by simply being silly with you?

Friday, May 18, 2012

Make a wife/mom's heart melt

Our daughter has been kind of a stinker when it comes to her sleep pattern lately.  My child who early on would be fine with being put down awake at a designated time would quietly play until she fell asleep or just realize once the lights were turned out and the music from the mobile started it was time to close her eyes, grab her bear and just fall asleep.  Well she had an ear infection a few weeks back.  Because of this, she couldn't stand laying down.  She spent the better part of two weeks either sleeping in her swing or on my chest while I sat in the papasan.  Not the most comfortable sleeping situation, but hey, both of us got some sleep.  Well I think she got very comfortable with the idea of sleeping next to me because she has decided that sleeping on her own will only happen after a temper tantrum.  She has been crying (half asleep mind you) prior to settling down for about a week now.  Tonight as I was washing the bottles of the day (and listening to her scream), I heard my husband's footsteps going toward our daughter and a few seconds later she stopped crying.  I assumed that she had convinced him to pick her up.  So after I was done I walked toward them and noticed something unexpected.  The baby was in her own bed.  My husband was sitting a few feet away softly singing to her and she was just looking at him.  She just needed to hear her daddy's voice to calm down.  Since I work evenings and am often times not home when she goes to sleep I asked him if he does this often.  I was pleasantly happy when he said he does and it generally works.  It is so nice to see how much she adores her daddy and how much he loves her. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Temper temper and addiction

My child has reasons to throw all out fits. She was sick the last week with double ear infections. Did she throw horrible fits because of the feeling crummy and the pain? No, not really. She was pretty good.
What caused my daughter to scream? Her Gossie and Gertie books that her little birthday buddy and his brother and sister (not to mention their wonderful parents) gave to her when she was born. We have started giving her board books (especially these ones) to look at. She likes the pretty pictures. She can even turn the pages on her own. What happened when her dad tried to take the book from her to READ it to her? Meltdown. She screamed at him until he gave it back to her.  Then she smiled her big cheesy smile. She is a pretty big fan of Gossie and Gertie.
Can you say independent and stubborn?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

I wish I would have known...

This organization was recently brought to my attention:  Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep  Where did I learn about this organization?  My friend Sarah posted this on her blog.  Her kind words are in fact about me. 

I really, really wish I would have known about this organization when we lost our son.  There was/is photographers in the town we live in.  We could have benefited from their free services.  Even though they were free, I would have paid for them. 

So I want to make everyone I can aware of this organization!  You never know when someone you know will need their services.  While I pray no one ever does, they are there and they do great work.

Problem with planning...

In high school I had "rules" for what my future husband would be like (in no particular order):

1. "Tall" - I am short and wanted my children to have a "fighting chance" at being average height.

2.  Faithful and good father for our kids.

3.  Have a shorter last name that is higher up in the alphabet that is also easier to pronounce.  I was always annoyed at being last at graduations, the end of classroom role....etc.

I did good in the first two categories.  The third it is one letter shorter, but closer to Z than A in the alphabet.  I did fall lower!  But the jury is still out on being easier to pronounce.

I was talking to a co-worker (a 19 year old) about her boyfriend and she laughed when I told her my "rules."  I have to laugh at them too!  Nice to know what was important at the time!

Friday, April 6, 2012

How do you make a priest smile on the most solemn day of the year?

The answer to this my daughter.  She is such a stinker pants!

So she and I went to veneration of the Cross today.  She conked out on me on the drive there (no surprise there!)  I didn't think anything of sitting in the front row like we always do.  She likes to look around and I like to be able to see as well.  During the readings and the petitions (even with all the standing kneeling associated with this service) she was like a very heavy and dead sack of potatoes all snuggled up under my chin.  She was awake, but just cuddling.  The guy beside me leaned over and whispered how cute and calm she was being right after the Our Father.  She took it as a challenge - I SWEAR!!  The second the priest starts to part of the service that is the quietest and most solemn she starts giggling, laughing, cooing.  As the congregation is walking up to the altar for veneration she starts doing her snow angel interpretation (waving her arms and legs wildly like she is making the largest snow angel she can muster), cooing, laughing, squealing for joy....everything in her power to draw as much attention as she can get.  I tried EVERYTHING in my power to get her to be quiet.  Offered her the bottle - not interested.  Binkie? - oh no, who needs that?  She attempted to turbo launch it across the church.  The binkie saver cord saved it from landing on the altar or the floor.  Shhh'ing her only made her want to be louder.  Offering her the little squishy bear in the diaper bag - yeah, she threw that on the floor.  Turning her around to face me - no help.  Turning her to face the stain glass window - no go!  That just caused her to lean over backwards and about head dive onto the floor.  All she wanted to do was dance and squeal for joy while facing the altar.

Did I mention that we were in the front row?  Oh yeah.  Father could have taken 2 or 3 steps and touched the top of her head.  She was in his periphery.  He LOST IT!!!  He tried to remain solemn and straight faced, but failed miserably!!  He was laughing, as was about 1/4 the church.

Why didn't I get up and go to the back of the church?  Well on one side was a lady who required a walker to move (which was in front of her), so we couldn't go that way.  She seemed to be the only person in the entire church who wasn't distracted by my overly happy child.  The other way.....the procession line and the gentleman who was finding this very enjoyable and funny.  Plus he couldn't stand well either.

What did I learn from this?

1.  I am SO going to hear about this from Father.  This story is almost guaranteed to be told sometime during a homily.

2.  Sit in a pew with easy access to the isle.  No more sitting in the middle of a pew that holds about 20 people.

3.  Lent really is about the joy of the resurrection.  My child just was a day and half early in celebrating.

Oh, side note:  on the way home she was asleep before we got out of the parking lot!  I guess she wore herself out with all that playing.  That or she was just bored without loads of people to play with.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A "Great" Way to Start the Day!

There are some days when you know, "it can only get better from here, right?" I am having one of THOSE days - and it is only 10 am!

So I woke up a little after 8am to my daughter whimpering.  She was wet and hungry.  Ok, this is a daily thing, no biggie!  So I give her the binky, go toss the dirty diapers in the washing machine, and start it, and go pump.  (She refuses to latch properly and we have found that she is perfectly content with refusing to learn so that she can get her milk in the bottle - soooo much easier to eat from a bottle than from mom! Grrr)  Thus far, it is no different than any other day.  So I get her bottle all ready to go and change her.  (She also will not eat if her pants are dirty!)  As I am changing her my phone rings (of course, because it has to ring when I am busy!) and the number comes up 000-0000 on the caller ID (blocked number), so I don't think much of it, let it go to voice mail and continue on.  I put the diaper in it's pail, wash my hands, grab my daughter, the bottle, and my phone and sit on the edge of the bed to feed her.  She was pretty hungry and sucking the bottle down pretty quickly, so I thought, well lets see who called me and left a voice message.  So I call my voice mailbox, type in my code and hear, "Hello, this is Officer ______ from the sheriff's department." At this moment the thought crosses my mind, I am the ICE (in case of emergency) contact for 2 people for sure - my mom and my husband.  I know this because I am the one that set up both phones.  I let the bottle slip just a little and it hits the back of my poor daughter's very sensitive throat.  "One of our officers has found your (insert make and model of the car my husband drives) abandoned.  Please call us back if you get this message in the next 10-15 minutes."  It had been about that amount of time already.  As she is finishing up her message, my daughter has finished vomiting all over both of us.  I am not talking just a little spit up.  No, I am talking covered both her and I from neck down, coming out of her mouth and nose vomit.  There was not a dry article of clothing between the two of us.  My shirt, bra, pj pants, and even underwear were soaked.  You could have ringed out her little sleeper it was that wet.  GREAT!!  So at this moment I know a few things:

1.  The baby is getting a bath.

2. My husband is not a small man and he knows how to fight.  His work has even used him as a fill in "bouncer" on occasion.  No one in their right mind would intentionally pick a fight with him for no reason.

3.  My husband is out fishing.  He had talked about trying out a new location last week.  He probably unknowingly parked where he shouldn't have.

4.  My husband does not drive a car that most thieves would consider worthy of their time and energy to steal - especially during daylight hours.

5.  My husband has a bad habit of being bad at cell phone usage.  He will let the battery go dead.  He will leave it in odd places.  He will forget to change the ringer from silent to sound.

All these factors and my heart still skipped a beat and then rapidly sped up.  So I listened to the message again to get the number and called the dispatcher back.  She puts me on hold and comes back on the line and says, "Oh, one of our officers has made contact with your husband.  He was out fishing.  Have a nice day."  CLICK.  Thank you for telling me something I already knew.  So I strip the baby down to her birthday suit and run the bath water.  I know there is not going to be a lot of hot water because the washing machine is almost completely finished, but the little floating turtle says that the temperature is acceptable for baby bathing and she reeks of vomit.  So she gets cleaned up and a little play time in the water (her favorite thing to do).  I get her diapered and dressed and she was falling asleep, so I laid her back in bed.  So I jump in the shower - only to discover I get to take a tepid-cold shower.  Yeah!  Go ME!

So, how was your morning?

The only good thing about summer is...


I am intolerant of heat.  I hate being hot.  I whine, I moan, I complain, and every family member I have knows that I don't like the summer.  My favorite season is winter.  Spring and Fall are nice when it is under 80 degrees (preferably under 75).  That being said, the only good thing about summer (well Spring to Fall really) starts with baseball spring training and comes to a sad conclusion at the World Series!

I should probably back this post up a little and say there is a MAJOR stereotypical role reversal going on in our house.  My husband is the better cook.  I cook because I have to eat (and usually it is pretty simple meals.)  He doesn't just cook, he creates.  He reads cooking books for fun.  He owns cooking things I don't even know how to operate.  I love sports.  I obsessively follow my teams.  I have a favorite college football team.  (My husband roles his eyes)  There is a major obsession with my favorite college basketball team that probably needs therapeutic guidance.  (He calls it pumpkin pounding and discourages our daughter from watching it)  But the one that my husband is willing to tolerate is my love of the local baseball team.  I don't follow professional football or basketball because I think they are a bunch of over paid pansies, but for some reason that hatred does not filter over into baseball.  I love going to the professional games.  Maybe it is the slow pace.  Maybe it is the food.  Maybe it is the good company one has while sitting watching, or maybe it is because the college baseball teams around here usually are not that great.  Whatever the reason, starting in about 2 weeks there will be a game on 5 nights a week and Sunday afternoons.  While I might only attend one or two games at the stadium, I will watch a large chunk of the games on TV.  And hopefully my husband will join me and my daughter in this practice.  I hope to not only teach her to love the games, but to be a good sport when playing them.  I already know she is a fan of baseball - whether she realizes it or not.

You see I found out I was pregnant with her in late winter/early Spring.  I already had a trip to Chicago to visit a few friends planned for April of that year, so naturally I took her with me.  (It wasn't like we could be separated!)  I was just starting the first week of my second trimester when I landed in Chicago.  One of the things I wanted to do when I was in Chicago was to go to a game.  I didn't really care if it was the Cubs or the White Sox.  Well only the White Sox were in town when I was there, so we went to the Sox vs the Indians game.  Well I didn't feel movement per se (it was too early for that), but I could feel some intermittent pressure when I would get excited or laughing too hard at things my friends were saying.  Nothing to make me too concerned, but I think it was her way of showing she was enjoying my happiness at the situation.  Since it was sooooo unbelievably and intolerably hot last summer, I spent more than my fair share of time laying on the bed under the ceiling fan watching baseball.  I would talk to my daughter about the games.  She could hear me cheering for the team.  I even think she heard her daddy cheering them on at times.  Fast forward to the end of the season.  My team had no chance of making it to the World Series.  I was aware of that.  My husband has some family that are diehard Cards fans.  I have some friends who bleed Cardinal red as well.  So I jumped on the bandwagon.  My team was done, so I started to enjoy a team that had a chance.  (Hey, don't judge me! It allowed me to enjoy the game for a few more weeks!)  Well I was at the end of my pregnancy.  I would walk around a local park and lake to try to coax her out....didn't work.  I did just about everything short of castor oil (I have my limits) to try to get her out.  The only time I got good contractions was during the world series games.  Starting with game 3, I would contract for 3-4 hours about 15-20 minutes apart, but only during the game and for a little bit after the game.  They were going pretty good during game 6.  She was even moving A LOT during games 5 and 6.  I was sure she would be joining us after the 6th game.  But no!  I had to sign her eviction notice and be induced the morning of game 7.  While it was a scheduled induction, the world series game was not why I was being induced - it is just a unique coincidence.  Well labor got going real good and actively strong right about the time the first pitch was being thrown.  She was born in the middle of the 4th inning.  We spent the rest of the evening learning each others quirks and getting to know each other and watching the end of the game and the coverage after.  (Since after she was born it was late and her daddy was exhausted we let him sleep.... the nurses were in and out of our room every hour throughout the night, so I was awake whether I wanted to be or not)  I told a few of my Cards fans friends and family that I may have inadvertently birthed a Cards fan, but I will do everything in my power to get her to like the right team!


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sad Commentary on Society

So last week (Friday) I went to church with my daughter for Stations of the Cross.  After the service I was talking to priest and a lady stepped between us and said to me, "Thank you for not aborting your child."  Well I looked over her shoulder to see the look on Fr.'s face - it was one of shock and awe and I think there might have been a twinkle of "how is she going to handle this one..." (he is a little ornery sometimes).  Well I looked back at her and as gently and kindly as I could muster while being as shocked as possible, I responded by saying, "While she was a little bit of a surprise, she is and was very much wanted and loved.  My husband and I are truly blessed to have her."  To which Fr.'s face turned to one of awe and love (and there might have been a little bit of a tear forming since he was aware of our struggles with carrying a baby to full term).  She mumbled something about thinking I was a teenage mom because I looked so young.  I told her my age.  She didn't believe me.  Fr. reassured her that I was in fact at least as old as I claimed (he tried to add a year or so onto my age!) forward a week to last night.  I took my daughter to Saturday evening mass because I had to work Saturday night and didn't really feel like getting up a couple hours after I had got home from work to attempt to be functional during mass.  My husband was at work and had just got off work as I was leaving the house and he was in no condition to go to mass with me (really tired, kinda stinky, etc), so again I went to church without him (he'll go in the morning when he is good and rested)...  THE SAME LADY comes up to me after mass and tells me how cute my daughter is (yeah, I know but it is nice to hear, and I thanked her).  The she proceeds to tell me about her son and how she doesn't have any grand-kids.  I think I mumbled something about how unfortunate that is (I am trying to hit the door so I can drop my daughter off at home to play with her dad and so I can get to work on time).  Then she proceeds to attempt to set me up with him.  I reminded her that I am married and have been for almost six years and that this child that she was admiring is in fact his.  Oh yeah, and her son is 52 years old.  I am 28!

So my reflections upon this:

1.  It is sad that people seem to think that mothers need to be thanked for not aborting their kid.  It should be a shock to the system that moms would consider killing their child, not the other way around.  Kids are a blessing, not a burden!

2.  I sometimes hate being so short.  I get associated with teenagers a lot more often than I want to admit.  While it has been about a year since I was given the kids' menu at a restaurant, I do have a "young" looking face and short stature!  Grrr.......

3.  Gee... lady.... last week you think I am a teenage mom.  This week you think I look old enough to date your son who is my mom's age.  Did I really look that bad at mass?  I asked a co-worker if I looked that rough, and she said I looked the same as I usually do.  (Then a few comments about my height and charming teenager looks were added for good measure!)

4.  Maybe I need to go to church with my husband so this lady doesn't keep talking to me.  I think she thinks he is a figment of my imagination.  He is in fact very real and a great dad to our daughter!  Back off lady, I am not interested in your son!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Baby bad habits

My daughter has two very bad habits that I know her daddy would LOVE if she did away with because they both affect him negatively.

1.  Pulling daddy's beard.  She gets as much fur as her little hands can hold and just yanks for dear life.  I don't even have to see it anymore.  I know when I hear her name in a pained voice she is yanking on her daddy's beard again.  Good thing sheering day is in a few days and he gets his bi-annual hair cut and shave!  (More on that later)

2.  She seems to target him for spit up and puking.  It's been a few weeks since she has nailed me with some good vomit (I know I just cursed myself by saying this).  My poor husband on the other hand - about every other time he holds her he gets nailed.  A few nights back she nailed him 4 or 5 times while we were having family movie night.  I don't get it.  It is almost like she gets SOOOOO excited with him playing with her that she just unloads her stomach contents.

St. Patrick's Day fun

St. Patrick's Day is always a fun day in our house.  The celebration started extra early this year.  My dear husband has been playing Celtic music and Irish drinking songs since mid-February.  Both sides of our family have some Irish blood flowing through our veins.  For the last 3 or 4 years we have gone to a local microbrewery and listened to a local Celtic band.  This year was no different. The only difference is that we have the little lady.  So I dressed her up in a shirt that said, "Irish you would KISS ME" and took her to listen to the music.  Her daddy danced and sang with her for a couple hours.  She loved it!  They looked so cute it made my heart melt.  How awesome is it that she has such a great daddy who adores her so much?  She is a lucky little lady and she knows it!


My child may never learn her name.  Why is this?  Because we keep calling her by nick names.  Here are a few of the good ones:

Chipmunk (her daddy gave her this name when he saw her on the ultrasound.  She had and still does cheeks that could hide half a tree's worth of nuts like a chipmunk)

Pumpkin (she was born right before Halloween)

Sassy Pants (she has her mama's attitude)

Stinker Pants (she has the ability to do what we don't want her to do right when we don't want her to do it)

Fluffy Butt (Cloth diapers are thicker than disposables and she is so thin it makes her diaper look so much larger)

Tinky (my mom calls her this because my nickname was Tinkerbell and she is a little me - in personality, not looks)

Angel baby (She is our little gift from heaven)

Princess (she knows she rules this house)

Cutie Pie (her daddy calls her this)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Commentary on my parenting - from my daughter

So my mom taught my daughter how to blow raspberries.  A fact that is adorable, but she uses it negatively.  It started as a tactic that was used whenever she was annoyed, she blew raspberries.  LOUDLY!  She now does it to her dad during play time.

Well for the last couple weeks instead of screaming when she was annoyed with me she would blow raspberries.  This is a fact I am fine with.  It is so much more socially acceptable for a baby to blow raspberries (it is very cute) than to scream it's little head off.

She and I went to stations of the cross tonight and she blew raspberries almost the entire time.  (She did take a short break from it starting at the 13th station, when she passed out until the end).  If you are not Catholic or have not been to stations of the cross, the best way to explain it is Catholic Jazzercise.  It is beyond Catholic aerobics (aka the Mass).  The kneeling-standing routine happens approximately 60 times in about 30 minutes.  You are in constant motion.  Well I had her in her Kangaroo pouch and she wanted a nap.  Because I kept moving with the stations, she couldn't fall asleep as easily.  So she blew raspberries.  When Fr. walked by between the 4th and 5th station, he saw her doing this and laughed.  I guess I shouldn't be nearly as embarrassed as I was.  She was adorable doing it, even if I knew she was annoyed.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Mom and Dad-isms

So I have noticed that my husband and I say some very odd things now that we are parents.  Many of which can be completely misinterpreted if taken out of context.  Here are a few examples:

"No, keep your legs down." (diaper changing and dressing)

"Confessionals are not accommodating for 2 people - even if one of them is 25 inches tall and weighs less than 14 lbs." (talking about holding my daughter while in the confessional)

"Come on, please burp!"

"Poopy !  Yeah!!"

"Don't puke! Don't puke! I don't have time to bathe you today, please don't puke."  (also been said in combination with "Don't puke because you won't get a bath if you do." but that was said after she was anointed with chrism and smelled heavenly)

 "How's my fluffy butt doing?" (Cloth diapers!)

"What are the rules?  No peeing! No pooping!  Keep feet out of the diaper."

"I'll let you bite my noise if you will stop crying."

"Come on you stupid burger!"  (Said while trying to clean out my daughter's nose)

"No sweetie, we kiss with our mouths closed!" (She likes to lick people)

Visit from a Priest and a true gift of Friendship

I have known a man who is a priest since he was between his junior and senior year of high school.  There is no human reason we should have remained friends - it is only because God knew we needed each other in our lives.  I like to say he's the little brother I never got and I am the older sister he doesn't need.  (He has four sister and no brothers!)  Here's how the story goes:

2002 - I am a camp counselor at a retreat center in a different diocese.  I drove 5 hours (driving through a couple diocese in the process) to volunteer at this camp because the director of the camp (my uncle) needed more counselors for his senior high school camp.  There I met this tall, mildly awkward kid with a funny name.  One of the first conversations we ever had included me asking him where he was thinking of applying to college (I was in college, he was going to be a senior - seemed like a logical question).  His response shocked me - with a big smile and excitement he said, "I am going into the seminary.  I am going to be a priest."  How could this kid be so certain when I didn't even know what I wanted to do with my life and I was older than he was?  My response was something like, "That's awesome.  I will pray for you."

2003 - Same camp, same senior week.  I only remembered 3 kids from the previous year.  The same kid with the funny name was there.  He was taller and less awkward.  Since he had graduated from high school, I wanted to know one thing, so I asked if he was still going to the seminary.  There was an excitement in his eyes when he said he was.  At the end of the week long camp we exchanged emails and instant messenger names (yes, this was the age of instant messenger).  I never knew if I was going to see this kid again or not, but everyone needs more friends.

Over the next two years we occasionally would "check in with each other."  Not often, but often enough.  He came down for my college graduation in 2005 - not a short drive from his college in Minnesota.  It was nice to see him again after not seeing him for two years.  A year later I got married to a wonderful man.  Since he was a seminarian, my husband and I asked him to be the petitioner at our wedding.  A married couple (my husband's aunt & uncle) did the readings.  We thought it would be appropriate for a married couple to read about the Bible's words on marriage and a seminarian to do the prayers.  I also gave him carte blanche on what the petitions should be to.  The note I handed him said something along the lines:  "You are a seminarian.  If I have to tell you how to pray your diocese has issues."  He did a great job.

We would not see each other until his deaconate ordination over four years later.  I had a little surprise up my sleeves for this.  A few weeks before his ordination I called him and asked him if I could bring someone with me, but I would take care of feeding this person, he didn't need to worry about it.  I had to laugh when he told me there would be more than enough food and I wouldn't need to worry about it - I could bring anyone I wanted.  After over five minutes of hinting around I had to just come out and say, "hey, you're not getting the hint - I AM PREGNANT!"  The only thing that could have made this story better would have been if I would have been able to see his face when I said it.  I could hear the excitement through the cell phone.  This excitement was continued at his ordination.  I couldn't have been more excited/proud of him.

This excitement came to a crashing halt three weeks later when I sent him a text asking him to pray for me and my unborn baby because I was going in for emergency surgery for a ruptured appendix.  My surgery was very early on a Sunday morning, which made me feel guilty because I missed mass.  So while my husband was at mass (I was out of surgery and in a room to recover by this point) my now deacon friend read the mass readings to me and gave me a blessing via the phone.  (I don't know the rules on long distance blessings, but we gave it a go)  On Tuesday my husband and my world was forever changed when our son was stillborn.  When my deacon friend found out he immediately booked a flight to come down for the funeral.  He even spoke with the priest that was set to preside over the funeral to make sure everything was in place.   He also helped with the funeral as a deacon.

The following year when he was set to be ordained a priest I was excited to witness it.  He even asked me to be the second reader at this event.  I was able to see him the weekend prior to his ordination at a different man's ordination and I had a little surprise for him.  He got an early ordination gift and letter from my unborn child.  Yes, I was pregnant again!   I got to see his face when he realized there was a little baby inside of me.  He was super happy for me.  I was the same place in this pregnancy as I was when our son was stillborn, so I was beginning to feel movement.  The following week at his ordination my daughter had a surprise for everyone.  She decided to be a part of the ordination.  Right in the middle of the reading, she kicked my bladder.  I stopped/paused reading to make sure I didn't wet myself.  It was very noticeable.  While up in his diocese I did some behind his back investigation chatting with his bishop.  You see my husband and I wanted him to be the Godfather of our baby, but we both knew that some diocese don't allow priests to be Godfathers.  (We didn't want to ask him and then find out it wasn't allowed - oh the disappointment that would have been for everyone involved)  I had already found out about our diocese.  His was a go!  So after we found out our little baby was going to be a girl (at Father's day weekend no less), we asked if he would be willing to agree to be the Godfather.  He was!  And five months later he baptized his own Goddaughter.

He came down to visit for a couple days recently.  He wanted to escape his parish (yes, priests need breaks from the stress of parish life sometimes) and to visit his Goddaughter and my husband and me.  It was nice to see him again and the little lady decided to celebrate by rolling over unaided for the first time with the three of us watching.  He also honored us by celebrating mass in our house a few times.  He also anointed the little lady with the same batch of chrism that was used at his ordination a few months prior.  Something that is nice and somewhat humbling.  Not to mention she smelled heavenly for a few days following his departure.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Appreciation for what we have

In a world where being a father seems to be purely biological (get the girl pregnant and say adios!), I am very much appreciative of my husband.  Yes, people, I am married to my daughter's father.  Shocking as that might be in these days.  Not only am I married to him, we have been married since 2006.  Our son was still born in 2010 and our daughter was born in 2011.  You do the math - the "ring" came before the "bump"!  (A fact that a priest thanked us for this past week - which is sad that he felt the need to do so)  The only shotgun that was associated with our wedding was the one that my husband's uncle/Godfather gave to him as a wedding present (completely random and funny story associated with that!)

Ok, back to why I (and my daughter, though she doesn't fully realize it yet) am appreciative of what we have.  My husband is not perfect - none of us are.  That being said, he does a great job of doing the best he can.  It took a friend pointing out how much I was taking for granted to realize it.  In the past week my husband has:

~ Changed probably 60-75% of the diapers when we have been home together
~ Warmed up bottles and fed our kid probably 75% of the time that we have been home together
~ Laid on the floor and played with our daughter
~ Encouraged her to roll over (her latest trick)
~ Sang made up and traditional songs to her
~ Held her when she was upset
~ Played with her
~ Read/told stories to her
~ Helped me clean the house
~ Dealt with my craziness with minimal commentary
~ Watched over and protected her while I spent time visiting with a friend

One might say, "yeah, but that is what you would expect him to do".  That is probably why I might have been under appreciative of him lately.  I should expect him to help out with our child.  Yet, in a day/age where so many men are making babies and running away or just not being fatherly towards them, I am lucky.  My daughter adores her dad.  And he whole heartedly deserves her adoration.  There are times when I am pretty sure she would rather be with him than with me.  He is the fun one. She is lucky, and one day very soon I am sure she will realize it.  Right now, she is just too young, so for the time being, I am here to say, THANK YOU SWEETY!  We love you!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

You do WHAT?!?! - chapter 2

I currently give my child breastmilk, but I plan on making my own baby food for my child.  I bought a Baby Bullet mixer and everything.  Again I am cheap resourceful and want my child to get the best food possible.  This way she can eat a little of the same things we are with less preservatives.  We are going to start her on solids/pureeds when she reaches 6 months or so, but the machine was on sale/clearance, so I couldn't resist.  Why wait 2 months and pay 2 months more?  I'll let you know how she likes her change of food.

Addict in the making

There is ABSOLUTELY NO DOUBT about the fact my husband is a bibliophile (that is a book lover/addict)  I like to joke that our "library"/spare room is going to go up in flames and be the best kindling if our house ever catches fire (please pray it doesn't). 

Well while doing some Spring cleaning/organizing I came to a realization.  Our 4 month old daughter already has over 50 books.  While she really has only "read"/listened to about 10 thus far (the rest are for her when she is a little older), she has them for when she's ready for them.  This doesn't count all the books that are at my mom's house waiting to show up at our house because I keep forgetting to bring them back.  My mom has all my kiddy books from when I was little (or at least all the Dr. Seuss and Bernstein Bear books) and they are my daughter's whenever I remember to bring them back.  That will put her book count way up because we had every book written by those two authors.

Oh, and I should probably mention, I like to read too.  I do not own as many books as my husband, but I can't claim to not like to read.  So our child better like to read because her mama and daddy do and we like to read to her.  So far she seems to enjoy it - at least the pictures and funny voices.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Grandma's at it again!

So the last time we visited grandma (remember she fed my child ice cream) she was trying to teach my kid how to blow raspberries.  Yeah, my daughter didn't seem interested at the time.  WELL..... last night as we were laying in bed, my very exhausted husband looks at me and says, "Is our child blowing raspberries?"  To this I responded, "Yeah, she's been doing that to me all day when she's annoyed with me.  My mom taught her how to do that."  Hubby:  "Hmmm..." and rolled over and went to sleep.

So why was my child annoyed with me you might ask?  Yeah, I put her in bed and expected her to go to sleep.  It was midnight and she seemed to be the only one not sleepy.

So I guess it's good that she wasn't screaming her little head off.  Yet I couldn't fall asleep I was laughing so hard at the 20 minutes of raspberries she was blowing.  She did it again at 5am when I put her back in bed after eating her first breakfast of the day.  Silly baby!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Cradle what?

Sometimes a person needs to be realistic about themselves - so this is my self reflection for the day.  Ok, so my family calls that dry scaly skin babies often times get "cradle crap."  I just recently (as in about 3 months ago) learned that it is in fact called "cradle cap." Whatever it is called, my kid has developed it.  In the grand scheme of things, probably the thing you would want your kid to have because IT DOESN'T AFFECT THEM!  But it drives me BATTY.  I don't know why, but it annoys me that my perfect little baby looks like she has reptile skin.  It is about a quarter-sized spot, and from how much it annoys me you would think it covered her entire body. 

So last night at work I was complaining pretty hard core about this condition (and from the way I was carrying on about it I am sure the mom I was talking to thought I was bananas)  So after listening to me go on about it, and searching Google or ways to get rid of it, she looked over at me and said, "You know what?  You just need to have another kid because if you had another one to take care of you wouldn't even notice a little patch of dry skin."  Hmmmfph!  Message received.  I have a very happy and healthy baby, I should thank God for it and be grateful for this blessing.  Many other parents have FAR worse things wrong with their children and they handle it with loads more grace.  I need to learn from them.  But in the mean time, while I am learning, any suggestions about how to get rid of my kid's cradle crap will be appreciated.  Hey, I never claimed to be perfect - only human!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Grandma needs a spanking

So I recently (as in yesterday) saw a onesie that says, "I am spoiled because no one is willing to spank grandma."  I ALMOST BOUGHT IT!  I think if it came in the size my daughter is wearing currently I would have.

Why do I say this you might wonder?  WELL.... to celebrate my mom's birthday we went up to visit her (and fix her computer).  I leave my child in the culpable hands of my mother while I go to the bathroom.  Babies need cuddle time with grandma right?  While I am in the bathroom I hear my mom laugh - ok, not something horrible right?  Nothing bad could happen when laughter is involved, right?  WRONG!

My mom had given my (up to this point) exclusively breast milk fed baby a spoonful of ICE CREAM!!!!  And she LOVED IT!!!!  She was smacking her little lips.  She was smiling and giggling.  AAAAAAAAHHHHHH!

So my mom, grandma, and grandfather think this is funny.  My grandfather (who we call Papa) even offered to feed her more ice cream.  I am not a happy camper about this.  Why you might ask....well a 4 month old doesn't need to be eating ice cream for one.  Two - she REFUSED to drink milk for the next 5 hours.  When she finally broke down and took milk she was staring at me like I was the meanest person in the entire world.  Why wouldn't I let her have the yummy food that grandma was willing to give her?  It took me about a day to get her back on track eating/drinking "baby food" (breast milk)!

I told my mom that if she did it again, she would be limited to SUPERVISED VISITATION!  I love you mom, but that was mean!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

You do WHAT?!?!

I cloth diaper!  Yep, I do!  I even make homemade wipes.  Don't fall off your chair.  Part of the reason is money saving.  Part of it (at least in my husband's thinking), is that it is more eco-friendly.  When we used disposables, he would occasionally make comments about how we were filling up the landfills.  I am NOT the most eco-friendly person.  I don't have a grudge against the environment.  It just isn't something I think about often.

When my husband suggested cloth diapers when I was pregnant my response was, "are you going to do the laundry?"  It was said in such a way that he pretty much knew my answer was NO!  I was envisioning these weird squares, safety pins, possibly poking my child, and rubber pants.  Oh, those rubber pants!  For some reason, the rubber pants equal huge down the leg and up the back messes in my eyes.

Well, lets just say it took about 3 months of going through 16+ disposable diapers a day (and one day it was almost 30 because almost every diaper change was a 2-3 diaper change because our kid likes to go to the bathroom the second she feels air circulate around her bottom) for me to start looking into the cloth version.  To humor him - I started doing research.  Let me tell you, times have changed.  There are sooooo many options for moms in the cloth diaper world.  Yes, you can still get the squares and pins with the rubber pants.  They even sell these at Target!  Yeah, I still am not sold on that kind.  But they do make cloth diapers that LOOK like disposables.  You can even treat them like disposables in the sense that look and go on a lot like disposables.  They even come with cutesy names (not a necessity, but the names make me chuckle).  I even have a couple friends who use cloth diapers.  Click on their names and you can see their take on the matter.

So this is the kind we use: Rumparooz with snaps
My friend Theresa  and her husband uses:  Blueberry by Swaddlebees
My co-worker Nick and his wife as well as my friend Sarah and her husband use: Bumgenius

Some things I discovered after I bought these diapers and started using them:

1.  I bought WAY too many!  I think part of the reason we were going through SOOO many disposables is because the second my daughter got even the slightest bit wet she would demand to be changed.  She can unload in a cloth diaper twice before making it known to us that she needs to be changed.  I have to remind myself to change her.  So my dear husband made a good point when I was saddened by the fact that I bought too many - we can use them on 2 kids at once if God decides to bless us with another kid before this one is completely potty trained.

2.  (This is a quote from Sarah said during our daughters' play date) - "No matter how glamorous the people try to make it sound, your kid is still pooping and peeing in them.  There is no gold associated with them."  This is so true.  It is a diaper, not a toy, not a computer.  IT IS SOMETHING MY KID USES AS A TOILET!  How is that for realism?

3.  While doing the research, I wanted a diaper that could be used from birth if we are blessed with another child.  So that is why I picked the ones I did - they can be adjusted down to about 6 lbs.  My daughter was 6 lbs, 11.6 oz at birth and left the hospital at 6 lbs even.  (So much for the 8-9 lbs kid I was told I would be having)  I didn't think I would care about colors or patterns.  While I do find the patterns a little stupid (my opinion - they just pick designs that I find dumb), I have found myself deciding which color diaper to put on my daughter depending on what she will be wearing.  I am not trying to match her toilet to her outfit like it is an accessory, but I think it is a little silly to have a white outfit on and being able to see a bright red diaper below the clothes.

4.  Yes, they are a little bit more bulky than disposables.  We like to think of it as fluffy butt.  After talking to a few friends who have had kids in these kinds of diapers we have learned it did not affect their kid's ability to learn to walk.  Contrary to what some family members keep telling me, my research has found that kids can walk and be in a cloth diaper.  But to humor them, I will ask her (hypochondriac of a) pediatrician if he thinks I am harming my child by using them.

5.  While they do allow for flexibility in the absorbency department, my kid usually requires the max.  Even if I changed her 2 hours prior, there are times when she has nearly flooded her diaper.  We tried for about 1/2 a day to use just 1 of the absorbency pads (called soakers), but when she flooded out of her diaper 2x that day, I decided I didn't care how much smaller her butt looked with 1 instead of both soakers, she needs both.

6.  The laundry isn't so bad.  I put them in the pail.  When it is full I grab the liner and throw the diapers, and the liner in the wash.  I don't have to touch the dirty diapers.  We have a couple wet bags that we use when we are out and about.  They are completely washable too.  They dry pretty quickly.  While some websites say you can put them in the dryer, others say you shouldn't because they break down quicker.  I decided to err on the side of caution and air dry them.

Ok, and for my final thought.  We found out the hard way that our daughter CANNOT handle the Huggies wipes.   Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer had a less red nose than my kid's butt.  She was so chapped and nearly climbed the curtains for about 2 days with every diaper change after we stopped using them. (We only used them with 2 diaper changes before giving the jumbo pack to the in-laws to use on their kid - who tolerates them just fine).  She was so miserable.  The Sam's brand made her a little red.  Pampers sensitive worked well, but they were not very wet and took lots of them to clean her up.  My aunt suggested making our own.  She gave me the recipe of the ones she used in her day care.  They work amazing.  No more red butt!  And they are about 1/10 the cost.  So here it is:

1 roll of high quality paper towels (we use Viva select-a-size) - cut it in half so they are about the width of a normal wipe
3 cups water (warm)
3 tablespoons baby wash
3 tablespoons baby oil
2 large tupperware containers

First thing I do is take the time to separate the paper towels.  I also accordion fold them (like you find in the wipes you would buy.  This way they are ready to go for the diaper change.  Next, mix the liquids together.  Put the dry paper towels in the Tupperware containers.  (Each container gets all the paper towels from 1/2 the roll)  Pour 1/2 the mix over the paper towels in each container.  Put the lid on.  Let sit for about 10 minutes.  Flip over and let sit for 10 more minutes.  After that, put next to the changing table.

** Note:  diaper warmers (or putting them on the floor board of the car with the heater on) can lead to mold growing on the wipes.  Do not make up too many containers at once.  They are only "good" for about a month.

So here is the cost break down:
6.99 - 6 pack of Viva Select a Size paper towels (which cut in 1/2 make 12 containers)
0.20 - baby wash (This is about how much it cost to use the small amount out of her shampoo - which I got for free at my baby shower anyway)
0.20 - baby oil (again, 1 container that cost 1.50 that can be used for about 8-12 months worth of wipes)
1.50 - Kroger version of plastic container 3 pack - and completely reusable!

So for under $9 I made 2 months worth of baby wipes.  (Not sure how many because I have never counted how many are on a roll and the package doesn't say.)  The 80 pack of Pampers Sensitive wipes was about $2.50 and lasted about a week.

Play date! And a true gift of friendship from God!

Ok, so I have to start this by saying that I am super excited about the opportunity to have play dates for my daughter with my friend Sarah and her 2 adorable boys and 1 very angelic little girl.

Sarah and I became friends because I am a persistent stalker!  This might sound a bit severe, but hey, sometimes the truth hurts.  We were both transfers to a nearby Catholic college (about an hour from both of our parent's homes - her to the NE and me to the SW)  She transferred from a different Catholic college to be closer to her family.  I transferred in to be at a Catholic college instead of the public university I was at.  I transferred in at the beginning of Fall semester while she came in the Spring.  This being said, since I was commuting to and from campus, I really didn't know anyone and when we both showed up to class freakishly early we got to talking.  She was shy and polite.  Like always, I WOULDN'T SHUT UP!  I am fairly confident she was thinking, "what kind of freak show is this girl?" (Not to mention I was on crutches for some moronic injury which only added to my spastic level!)  I don't know what it was (so I blame/give credit to God for my persistence in the matter), but something (or someone) told me that I had to befriend her.  I needed her in my life.  Well over the course of the semester we would always show up to class early and talk - sometimes about schoolwork, but usually about life in general.  The next semester we had a couple classes together, and the following, and so on.  Since we were in the same major, it made sense that we would be seeing each other often.

Fast forward three years to graduation day.  By now we were good friends - and have a couple "classic" (read:  neither can manage to keep eyes open and look "normal" when a camera is involved) pictures to celebrate the big event of moving on to the next step in our lives.  We were both engaged.  I had asked her to be a bride's maid in my wedding that would take place the following May.  She would get married before me in January.  Such a BEAUTIFUL bride she made and the service was amazing.  Well when it came to my wedding she was pregnant!  EEKK!!  Happy bride and even happier momma-to-be!  Although looking at her and at the pictures you would have never been able to tell she was about 3 1/2 months along.  (Although she maintains she had a little bump, I never saw it!)  So her little prince was born in late October 2006.  She would have another prince in November 2008.

When 2010 rolled around we were excited to discover that we were pregnant at the same time.  Our due dates were 1 week apart!  She was one of 6 other friends that was due within 2 months of my due date.  My child would have lots of play buddies.  Well, all that excitement came crashing to a halt when my son was still born in early December 2010.  Sarah was available with a very nice phone call, a very supportive email, and knowing her - prayers.  Loads of prayers.  Did I mention she is one of the most faith filled people!  Well when her daughter was born (a little fashionably late, but the day after my son was due), I was super excited because at least one of us would have a baby to hold/take care of.  By this point I knew I was pregnant again, but not telling anyone.  I knew I shouldn't spill the beans to her before the grandparents, but it nearly happened when I learned about her daughter's birth.  Sarah was one of the first people to comment about my pregnancy announcement and much to her joy and surprise my little angel arrived the day after her oldest son's birthday.  (The one that was in my wedding in his mama's belly).  :)  They are birthday buddies.

At our first play date, her two sons were AMAZING around my daughter.  So attentive and sweet!  I just wanted to pick them up, squeeze them, and clone them to take home because of how awesome they were.  Between those two boys and their daddy, Sarah's daughter's future courtiers have a huge mountain to climb!  Not to mention we hope to continue our play dates over the course of the following years so that our kids can grow up with awesome Catholic friends and her daughter doesn't have to be scarred for life by my daughter when they would meet in college)

So we have a play date with the 4 kids for a few hours.  I was greeted at the door by both of the boys peering out of the door smiling as big as can be.  My daughter got her first present from a boy not related to her (and her own age) - a beautiful drawing of her and a church.  HOW SWEET!!  So I put it in her baby book when we got home.  The adults got to talk (sometimes over my crying/teething baby).  The boys offered to share their toys with my daughter (HOW CUTE!).  There were loads of hugs and kisses.  (Yes, my daughter got her first kiss from a boy - her birthday buddy and his little brother both kissed her on the top of the head when their mom was feeding their little sister, but shhhhh, don't tell her)  I got to hold (for the few minutes she would let me) Sarah's daughter.  While it makes me sad to see how big my son would have been and what he could be accomplishing, the joy that my daughter brings outranks the sadness.  We did not do anything earth shattering.  It really was a go visit a friend and her kids, talk, have some lunch, and basically get out of the house kind of day.  But aren't those the best anyway?

I am soooo excited to see my friend who was sent from heaven again.  Living about 3 hours apart really stinks! 

Would my life have continued had Sarah realized my spastic nature and transferred out of that fateful class into one with "normal" students?  Yes.  Would it have been as colorful?  No.  I thank God for a friend like her who shows me what a good Catholic mom these days looks like.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

A Promise to my Daughter

So I made a promise to my daughter (well and to her older brother too) before she was born that I would never take a video or picture of them that I wouldn't want to see repeated as a teenager.  Basically NO NAKED BABY PICTURES.  You can call me a prude, or whatever else you can come up with, but I have my reasons.

Why would I take a pass on such cute pictures you might ask?  Well I believe in this thing called modesty.  I believe kids are growing up too fast and being exposed to things way too early.  That being said, I do not see the point of pictures of naked (or diaper only) babies.  I have found that fully clothed, my kid is still pretty stinking cute (and warmer). 

I am enjoying dressing my child up in ridiculous outfits and taking her picture.  I figure these photos are a good substitute for the embarrassing naked baby pictures.  I mean, for heaven's sake, I put her in my Christmas stocking, took her picture, then sent it out to all of our families with the  caption "Our little stocking stuffer."  If she isn't completely embarrassed by that when she's 15, I don't know what else I could have done to make it worse.  :D

That being said, when she is 15 or older or younger, and comes to me trying to wear some ridiculous outfit that is not modest or posing stupidly in a picture (we pray neither happens, but just in case), we can pull out the baby photos and say, "Look, we gave you the gift of preserved modesty.  It is your job to take that gift and foster it."  Then I will just let her dad ground her until he feels she has learned her lesson and is willing to dress and act appropriately.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Child Just Like You....

It seems all my friends are now blogging, so I have decided to join the bandwagon!  Why not?

So you might ask, what is up with the name of your blog?  My mom would always say "I hope you have a child just like you when you are old enough."  It was always said when I was doing something she found obnoxious, so it always seemed like a threat instead of a wish.  But here is what I think:

What kind of a mom did I have?  What would my child be like if I turned out like my mom?  My mom was always willing to do anything, short of illegal activities.  She would sacrifice her comfort for my sister and my comfort.  We always felt loved and safe.  So if my daughter feels safe, loved, and happy, I will feel like I have done a good job.  Now, I will be the last person to say that I was an angel to raise.  I was (and still am) pretty sassy and opinionated - so I am fully expecting that from my little angel.  I got in trouble, and expect that from my daughter.  I got dirty and made messes - yeah, I've met my daughter's dad - I expect to have to take the garden hose to clean up mud pie messes.

So in the end, if my child has a good life where she feels comfortable to express her personality and feels loved and safe, I will feel like I did a good job!