Monday, May 26, 2008

Ada's Adventures in Eating

All I can do is hope and wish and dream that Ada re balances her happy time soon. I know it's getting old. Her daycare knows it's getting really old - especially when you have a handful of other kids screaming at you on a daily basis. But I'm honestly not sure what else I can do to make her happier right now. I wish there was a magic potion I could give her but again, I don't believe in using hard liquor on a child this small -- even if she is big for her age.

What I have tried so far is to start her on solids and wait it out. As each day passes, we're slowly inching closer to her first (and second and third) tooth popping up. I can feel them more and more each day. All Rick and I can say at this point is " This is why babies are so cute." And she is cute. And worth it. But come on already! Enough with the fussiness. I'm told it gets better soon. Wish us all luck and patience.

Moral of the story: You're not alone if your kid is a hot mess like mine. :)

Memorial Day Spit-up-a-thon

Sorry this one is a bit late... I needed to upload the photos...

I'm not sure about the rest of the world, but today was a great day to live in Chicago. We had the most beautiful weather for this incredible holiday weekend. First of all, I'm thankful to all those who gave their lives for our freedom. I'm also thankful that we made it through today and got Ada to bed by 8 pm. With the holiday weekend, kids tend to get thrown off their daily routines. Ada actually had a good routine until about 4 this afternoon when she went into a coughing and throwing up spell that lasted on and off until we got home after 7pm. She had two naps this morning, one on the lawn while we cooked out with friends, and then something happened that made her life miserable. Okay, not her life really as much as it made things awkward as she threw up all over the front of my shirt, her first outfit, second outfit, four burp cloths, two bibs, etc. I spent the rest of the afternoon in a tanktop playing board games with friends. She spent it in nothing but a diaper and a bib alternating between eating, throwing up and coughing. And not just an "ah hem" cough. I mean a "Heeech, Hack" gutteral cough that sounds like she could shoot a loogie ten feet. Disgusting.

Despite all of the coughing and the upset tummy, I will say that she thoroughly enjoyed being outside for a nice cookout, as you can see from the attached photo.

Moral of the story: When you have a baby, invest in a really big umbrella, baby sunblock, a sun hat, tons of burp cloths, and an outdoor blanket. And remember to always travel with all of those things so that you are prepared for warm weather fun. And try to pack an extra shirt for yourself or at the very least, always dress in layers or only visit friends who are your size or larger so you can borrow something from them or their husbands when your shirt or pants are destroyed by your child.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Pumping at Work

We all know it was just a matter of time before something entertaining came from me pumping at work. And finally it has.

I started the week off by remembering my pump, which is always my main fear since my chest would surely explode. I even remembered the tubing, power cord, hands-free tube top, shields and milk containers. It wasn't until I was done pumping that I realized I had forgotten the lids to the milk containers. Normally I would just pop off the connectors and shields, seal up the bottles and be done with it. But not today. Oh, no.

Thankfully, I do keep (or try to keep) a few milk storage bags with me for fear that I'll forget the containers. But... as I was transferring the measly contents of my pumping efforts -- a whopping five ounces-- from the containers to the plastic bag, I somehow managed to spill half an ounce on the counter top. At least I'm further along in the process to where this stuff isn't as much of a scarce resource as it once was. I no longer freak out over a little spilled milk since I have some backup stocked in the freezer. Speaking of... the other item I forgot today was the cold pack to keep the milk cold until I got home. Luckily I pump after noon and get home just after five so it should stay good, in theory, during that time. But in my infinite wisdom, I decided to put two ice cubes straight from the freezer into the cold compartment of the breastpump bag to keep the milk cool. Little did I know that that compartment isn't really waterproof at all. As I'm sitting on the El for my ride home--yes sitting during rush hour which is a treat- I notice two wet spots on the thighs of my pants. I've sprung a leak! No, it's just my breastpump bag that is slowly dribbling on me. I quickly move it to the floor and continue reading my book. Crisis averted. And at least I was wearing jeans instead of some trendy white pants. It could have been so much worse.

Moral of the story: Medela still hasn't figured out how to design their pumps with moms in mind, it is wise to make checklists for the contents of your breastpump bag, diaper bag, and purse --and double check it before you leave home, and motherhood is a state of constant change--all you can do is get used to it.

Monday, May 19, 2008


These are my personal experiences, based on my research, professionals I’ve consulted with, things that have worked for me, and advice from friends. Don’t just take my word for it if you see something on here that peaks your interest. Look into it further to see if it might apply to you. And note that I am just a new mom like all of the other new moms in the world. My formal training is in marketing and business administration. I have an MBA but no training in anything mom related other than instinct and common sense. So what the heck do I know?

Moral of the story: I’m not an expert. Take this blog to be my opinions on a few fun baby topics.

Ten things potential parents should know...

Babies need a lot of stuff – no really. A lot. Like a crazy lot, a lot.

Babies are expensive – no really. Really expensive. They go through clothes every five minutes. And diapers, my oh my how they go through diapers! And wipes!

Day care is really expensive – ridiculously so. And nannies aren’t any better.

Sex is never the same – unless you currently worry about constantly being interrupted by a screaming baby. Even then, no.

Laundry never stops. As soon as you get everything clean, the baby will pee, poop or spit up on whatever they are wearing.

Hospitals charge an insane amount of money to deliver your baby. Even if you have the baby “au natural”.

Giving birth involves a lot of gross bodily fluids. A lot. Like a crazy lot, a lot. It is not for the squeamish.

New Mom’s have their very own type of Tendonitis that appears in your wrist called “De Quervain's Tendonitis” from lifting the baby repeatedly. It goes away when your baby turns 3 –ish. You can expect mild discomfort for years.

Babies cry. A lot. They completely depend on you all the time.

Being a parent is the coolest thing ever and worth all the crap you have to go through to make it work.

Pregnancy Rules

I have a rule I try to stick to whenever possible when pregnant in the city:

Never ride the el train unless you've gone to the bathroom within ten minutes of boarding the train, have a bottle of water and a snack with you, have a cell phone, and are desperate. Why? Because the el trains are always breaking down and you don't want to be the "pregnant woman removed from train and rushed to hospital after being stranded for four hours on the Brown line" in the newspaper. There always seems to be one of those women. And it is typically 90 degrees on the train, and everyone is packed in like sardines and no one is "sure" if you know what I mean. I'd much rather take a cab or ride the bus for pete's sake. Hitchhiking would be safer. Lucky for me, one of the few times I did take the train while pregnant was 4th of July and I was on the only train line leaving the loop that didn't lose power for a few hours. And yes, there was a pregnant woman on one of those other train lines that ended up in the paper the next day.

And to reinforce this, my boss just told me his wife was one of those women when she was pregnant. She got stuck on one of the trains while it was underground. After four hours of trying to reach her - cell phones don't work when you're down under - she finally popped up out of a man hole. With my luck my belly would be so big that I wouldn't fit through the man hole.

Let's just not go there.

Moral of the story: Be safe when you're "with child", be sure you have reliable transportation, and travel with the necessities so that you don't overheat, dehydrate, starve, or otherwise injure yourself or your unborn child.

Just this once, can I...

Yet another challenge of parenthood is the whole debate of "when is it okay to leave the baby alone?" As in, I have to run into the house because I forgot something, can I leave the baby in the car in the garage/driveway? What if I live in the city and the car is right out front. Or, I just have to run into the post office to pick something up and she's sleeping in the back seat. Do I have to disturb her? Or, she's napping and I need to run (literally) next door to get an egg. Do I have to take her with me?

These situations come up on a daily basis and it's a judgement call. But there is a fine line between what is okay and what the law considers child endangerment.

There are the people who leave the baby in the car seat to run in to pick up a prescription. The neighborhood ladies who get together to play cards and bring their baby monitors and then check up on the kids every hour to make sure they are okay. Those who live in a high rise and go downstairs to do the laundry while the baby naps quietly above. And those who never ever leave the baby unattended.

I think it all has to do with what you are comfortable with and how safe you feel your baby can be without you. You hear of cars being stolen with kids in the back seat, homes catching fire while the parents stepped next door, and children being kidnapped unknowingly. Is it worth the risk?

Recently, a woman near Chicago was accused of child endangerment when she stepped fifteen feet away from her car to take her two older kids into a Wal-mart to drop off coins they had collected and were donating to a charity during the holidays. Her baby was asleep in the back seat and the car was within her line of vision. Someone noticed the car, and the baby in the back , immediately called police and the woman was charged with child endangerment. Everyone in her town considered her guilty from the very start. It wasn't until the case was heard that the charges were dismissed. Is it worth the ridicule and potential felony charges?

And a friend of mine didn't think much of doing laundry in the basement of the building until someone asked her what she would do if she got stuck in the elevator while her daughter was upstairs alone? I can tell you straight away that I would panic. I'd call everyone and their mother until I found someone to go check on her until I got rescued. But I can't blame my friend for not being in "what if" mode all of the time. I'm guilty of doing laundry in the basement one floor below my unit while the baby is sleeping. What's the difference between that and having a two story house in the suburbs? If I get locked in the basement, how is that different from being locked out of your house if you go to grab the mail from the box near the street?

I once called my husband to ask if I needed to drag the car seat and Ada into the alderman's office eight feet from the car door when both his office and the car would be in plain site of me at all times. The errand was to last 1 minute and his front desk is 2 feet from the door with glass windows clearly displaying my car. He said, "Yep, you gotta take her in with you. Better safe than sorry. I know it's a pain in the butt but if you don't and something happens to her, you'll regret it for the rest of your life." And he's right. But instead of taking her in with me, I flagged down some nice woman who was heading into the alderman's office and asked her to drop my stuff off for me. Then I sat there and watched her had it to the woman behind the counter. They all looked at me like I was a freak even though I tried to explain that I had a baby in the back seat. And then as I started to pull out of the parking spot, another mother was trying to hold open the door while dragging her big jogging stroller into the lobby to do the same thing.

Another instance was while having dinner and playing a game with friends we all decided we'd go across the street to get some ice cream. We debated who was going and someone suggested we all go. I said, "sure that sounds great." Then my husband looked at me as I put my arm into my coat sleeve and said, "Honey, one of us has to stay here with the baby." I had completely forgotten that she even existed since she'd been asleep for an hour and hadn't made a peep. So I stayed behind and twiddled my thumbs until they brought back a shake for me.

I guess my rule of thumb is: 1) Absolutely (almost) never leave her in the car unattended - maybe if I lived in a really small town and she was in the driveway and I was going to go double check that I locked the front door or get my sunglasses from just inside the door. 2) Never leave her more than one flight away from me - I think in a fire, that's as far as I could even consider getting in order to save her and myself. My mom has a rule that all of her kids had to live in the same part of the house as her, i.e. the bedrooms all had to be next to one another so she could get to them should the house catch fire and that always stayed with me. 3) Avoid having doors that lock between you and your baby whenever possible, and make sure you have keys (see my rant entitled "stupid keys" and you'll know why). This would include elevators, which I don't really like to begin with. 4) Don't leave your property without someone watching them, ever. The basement is one thing, the mailbox is another, dropping something off to a neighbor within a shout of your house is pushing it unless you are a really fast runner. 5) And even though the whole taking the baby monitor next door while you hang out with friends is tempting, just hire a babysitter to watch a movie or sleep on your couch while the baby sleeps. It's worth the peace of mind.

Moral of the story: Safety first, don't be lazy, and avoid jail time since it's hard to be a parent behind bars.

I wish I had known…

Here are a few thoughts from one of the mom groups I’m part of…

I wish I had known…

There is no "right" way to parent. Every child/mother/family is different and you do what works and what feels right, especially when it comes to sleep. Even if your mom/mother-in-law/friends/old lady at the mall would do it differently, don’t stress over the things other people find important. Do what is right for you.

Despite how hard and challenging motherhood is, (and there are brutally difficult times), it is all worth it. Look at every moment as the present because soon all the hard times are nothing but a memory.

To be prepared for what happens “if”… If your baby has complications that keep them in the NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit), you may not be able to take them home with you when you are released. Know that it is okay if they need to spend more time in the hospital even though you’ve been released. It is the best place for them and there will be plenty of time to introduce them to all of your family and friends once they are ready.

To be open to the challenges of recovery once the baby is here. No one wants to scare a pregnant woman so often times you don’t hear how rough it is. From emotions being out of whack (even more so than during pregnancy), to the swelling "down there", to simple trips to the bathroom taking 20 minutes. Give yourself time to heal, be prepared to ask for help and know that it probably will get ugly – but it is temporary and so worth it.

That for some moms, falling in love their baby isn't immediate. It might take some time and that’s okay. Just do your best and the love part will come on its own. Give it time.

How hard and lonely motherhood can be. Some women cry for weeks and have trouble adjusting to motherhood. It is good to find a mom group, or friends who already have kids, who you can call and get advice from once you have your child. You’ll need them for more than you can ever imagine.

How temporary each stage is. Sleep deprivation, hormones, pain, and teething. None of it lasts forever and it does get better.

If you don’t have family around, find some close friends and ask them if they’ll be willing to help you out. And if they offer, take them up on babysitting, meals, and anything else they offer. You’ll need it.

How much intentional effort needs to be put into teaching a baby to sleep. We think most babies just sleep naturally, and that those who don't simply outgrow that stage and start sleeping on their own. It can be a shock to realize that babies have to learn how to sleep properly. It is best to research a sleep strategy while you’re still pregnant and getting some sleep. Then you will already have an idea of what to do before you become so sleep deprived that you can’t even see straight.

What a doula and a midwife are and how they can help you during your pregnancy. Know that your doctor, the one you’ve been seeing for the last 8 months or so, may or may not be the one to deliver your baby. It might be helpful to have a doula or midwife with you in case your doctor can’t be. That way you’ll have some consistency.

How much having a baby changes your relationship with your spouse, family and friends. You now play the role of mother in addition to wife, lover and whatever else might be on the list (mother-of-the-grandchild). Be sure to keep the lines of communication open and check in with your spouse often to see how things are going and what adjustments need to be made. Family might demand more of you now that you have a baby, they might want to see you more often and need more of your time. And some of your friendships will grow stronger while others will fade and new ones will form. Just be open to the changes and do your best to go with the flow.

How much having a baby changes your sex life. By way of the baby interrupting you, being too tired, not finding time because you haven’t found your new life balance, or just healing differently from your pre-baby body.

How challenging and expensive it is to find child care. Nanny? Day care? Stay at home mom/dad? Part-time? Full-time? Will my employer be flexible? Start early and plan to give yourself as many options as possible. You won’t know until you’ve been caring for the baby for a few weeks whether you’ll be able to leave them at day care/with a nanny or not. Try to give yourself enough financial cushion to keep your options open and get creative.

Teething, Still

This is the face of teething.
Ada miserable, in pain, chewing on dad's hand for some relief.
And Dad, equally miserable, in pain from listening to her struggle with her teeth, knowing that the teething medicine isn't working, the Tylenol isn't working, the cuddling, bouncing, shushing, kissing, massaging, and ice chewy things aren't working either.
For as easy as pregnancy was, and as quick as my labor was, and the fact that she wasn't colicky, and I don't have stretch marks, I'm getting my just desserts now that she is teething.

If only we can make it a few more (days, weeks, months - how long do these damn things take already?)...

Moral of the story: Teething still sucks, it has thus far, it always will, and I'd still rather deal with her screaming than give her "a bit of rum on her gums" to take care of it.

Adjusting to a New Schedule

Last week was officially the first week of my new job. I quit my previous job when I got the feeling that they just weren't going to be very flexible with my new schedule and it wasn't where I wanted to be money and career wise. So I decided to start my own Marketing Consulting firm and work out of my home. I was able to find a part-time day care which is a miracle, and things were going great. I wasn't even really looking for a "real job" when a friend of mine called and asked about my situation. She had heard of a part-time position that might be right up my alley. I thought, well, I have one client for my consulting firm but it is going to take awhile to get this thing up and running and I'm not sure if I'm up for the challenge just yet. So, I decided to humor my friend, forward my resume along and see what happened.

What happened was I started about two weeks later. Now I have a "real job" three days a week and a little more here and there when I can get to it. Ada can hang out in day care those three days, I get some "adult" time that is a much needed relief from her recent bouts of teething and gas and just overall "gosh it's hard being a baby" fussiness. And most importantly, I get some balance in life - hopefully.

So these last two weeks I've had to get back into the swing of things and I realized that everything in life is exhausting, not just babies!

Thursday(the week before last) was my very first day. I tried to get going in the morning but boy was it ever hard. Figuring out what part of your work wardrobe still fits you is challenge #2 (getting out of bed is #1). Thankfully, my husband has flex time and can go to work anywhere between 7 and 9 and leave 8 work hours later. So he helped get Ada and me ready for our big days. And this particular day, Rick had worked late earlier in the week and earned a half day off for putting in so many late nights. What should have been a great opportunity for him to sleep in and relax didn't quite turn out that way.

Knowing that I needed to drop Ada off at 8, get to work at 8:30, leave at 4:30 and pick Ada up at 5, I thought I'd drive to work my first day to make things easier. Little did I know that you really can't park anywhere near my new job unless you want to feed a meter all day or pay $14 for a spot. Yikes! I ended up parking at a meter a few blocks from the office and Rick had to come move the car back to the street Ada's day care is on so that I could ride the el to pick her up. What a fiasco. But it all worked out. So much for Rick getting any sleep.

Then I had the weekend to recover -- but I didn't recover much because Ada and I got sick with colds, she was teething and we spent Mother's day at our parent's houses so we weren't in the comfort of our own homes to heal and reset our systems.

Then Monday came. We did some errands, and prepared for our new schedule.

Then Tuesday came and we figured it out a bit better. Ada slept in which allowed me to get ready. But it really is a juggling act and when a baby is involved, you have to be flexible. If she isn't ready to get up or wants to eat when you're supposed to be in the car, it can really mess up the timetables.

Wednesday was better. I even took snacks and my own lunch to work. I started to feel more comfortable disappearing into the bathroom for 25 minutes to pump after lunch. But boy was I ever tired once I got home. I was yawning all day and trying not to let the boss notice but it was pretty obvious since I work in an office with four people. You can't really hide easily. That night, in my exhaustion, I entertained friends for knitting club at my house. The social calendar must go on.

Then Thursday was nice as I was already looking forward to the weekend and getting my four days with Ada and a weekend in my own bed. Wooohooo! What a relief it would be if I can just make it through the day. It started with Thursday treats and ended with lunch. Yes. lunch. Being the boss's birthday meant we had a long lunch which cut into my productivity but made the day fly by. Before I knew it, I was back on the el headed to get Ada. Then once she's in bed, more social time to catch up with a friend.

A big part of the adjustment of going back to work is only seeing your child for a few hours a day, if that. I got to see Ada from when I picked her up from day care until she went to bed, and maybe an hour in the morning. Typically you can feed them, cuddle a bit, maybe play and go for a short walk. Then it's time for their bedtime routine and you get to prepare to do it all again the next day. I think the harder adjustment is for parents who don't get home until the kids are ready for bed or already asleep. They just get to see the kids on the weekends. That's like having joint custody. Ug.

Knowing how hard it is for me to adjust to this schedule makes me thankful for the arrangement I have. It's just another thing to think about when deciding to have kids. How much time will we get to see them and how can we make that work financially. It's sad that this is how the world works nowadays. All we can do is try our best to achieve some sort of balance in life, and try to get some rest.

Moral of the story: Not only is having a baby tough and a lot of work, but adjusting to life after having a baby is tough and a lot of work, and then you get to adjust to maybe going back to work, or "working" as a parent. Anyway you slice it, it's tough and tiring. I wish all parents the best of luck.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Time for Solids

So once a baby reaches a certain age, typically 4-7 months, it's time to start them on solids. That doesn't mean you start filling their rotund budda bellies with everything you can mash up and convince them to eat though. It means, you start them with a teaspoon of so of rice cereal mixed with breastmilk or formula. Then you gradually give them a bit more each day until they are having about 2 tablespoons daily. Then you can start introducing fruits and veggies the same way.

So my friend Natasha - I have to steal this story since it is so blog worthy - sent her hubby to the store to get some rice cereal for their baby, Linnea. She gets a call from him at the store from the cereal aisle. "Honey, what kind of rice cereal do you want me to buy? They have rice flakes, rice puffs, or rice crispies?" To which my friend Natasha replies, "Dear, are you in the baby food aisle?" "No, Whole Foods doesn't have a baby food aisle." "Yes, they do. Now go find someone who can help you find the baby food aisle and look for 'rice cereal' for babies." If left up to her husband, Linnea would be starting out with full blown rice crispies instead of the much more fine single grain baby cereal that is simple to digest.

My point being that babies just don't come with an owner's manual. But they should. There are many people that have gone before me and done this, so why can't one of them write it down and help a mother out! I'm off to buy a book on how to make my own baby food so that I can use it as a guide on how to introduce what foods when. A lot of it is common sense, if you already have a kid or know people who have kids. But sometimes this whole mom thing feels like being a pioneer in a new world--where the little people don't speak your language, spit up on you a lot, and make you change their stinky pants. Gesh!

Moral of the story: Be sure to make friends with moms who have kids older than yours so you can steal their tricks, don't let your husband do the cereal shopping (or be very specific), and introduce the solids slowly so as not to freak the kid out - ie save the steak for you and your spouse to enjoy.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

Before I became a Mom, I used to think Mother's Day was just another Hallmark holiday and another reason to make my mom a card. My mom loves the homemade cards best -- no offense Hallmark. But now I have a whole new respect for Mother's Day and for Father's Day too. It turns out, being a parent is a lot of hard work and takes a lot of time, thought, effort, and money. But it is so worth it in the end. Even if I did get thrown up on four times already this morning.

Being a mom isn't about being urped on all day. It's about cuddle time, watching your baby learn and grow, and being amazed about the milestones they reach. It's about spending way too much time with family who can't get enough of the new baby, and being overjoyed when they offer to babysit so you and your husband can go on your first date night in over four months --so what if date night means dinner, frozen custard, and hanging out at the local Target playing on the porch furniture and kissing on the loveseats. It's about falling even more in love with your spouse, and learning to manage the new shape your relationship takes. And it's about being loved by someone so tiny that you are responsible for bringing into this world. It's many more things too, but since I'm a mom, I'm short on time and have to run...

Moral of the story: Being a mom is one of the best things in the world, be sure to appreciate your mom all year round because even if she makes it look easy, she sacrificed a lot for you, and do something nice for yourself if you are a mom - this is your chance so you better take it.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

A Day in the Life of Ada’s Wardrobe

It’s May 4, 2008.
6:30 am
Ada wakes up wearing a plain white onsie under her pajamas which I think resemble something Moses would wear back in the day, only pink with butterflies. Rick changes her into her first outfit for the day – a white onsie with grey and pink stripped pants, white socks.

8 am
She and mom were hanging out on the couch, having breakfast and threw up on Mom’s teal shirt (Mom shirt #1) and herself. Outfit #2 for the day - Elephant onsie with blue pants, same white socks.

9:30 am
Ada threw up all over. It’s time for a shower. Dad got started, Mom passed Ada to Dad but before the hand off could happen, Baby pooped on Mom’s teal tank top (Mom shirt #2) and black shorts (Mom pants #1). While in the shower, she threw up on Dad. Mom towels her off, diapers her up and puts her in a onsie for her nap.

11 am
Jon, Dani and Eli arrive from Milwaukee and are ready for lunch. Ada finishes up her nap and Dad dresses her in Outfit #3 for the day – a white onsie and green pooh top and pants, with white trumpette brand socks that look like mary janes. We pack her up and add her giraffe sun hat.

We enjoy a meal outside in the sun and decide to go to the Lincoln Park Zoo. But Ada needs something a bit heavier so we can carry her in the baby bjorn. Amazingly the green pooh top and pants stayed clean while she was in them.

1 pm
We’re ready for the zoo. Outfit #4 - light pink fleece jogging suit over her onsie and her giraffe sun hat. We made it the entire trip with just a bunch of drool on the burp cloth.

4:30 pm
We’re home and ready to go to a new mom group once we change out of our hot fleece jogging suit and into something a bit cooler. On to Outfit #5- we keep the white onsie and switch back to the grey and pink stripped pants (with a tiny spot of throw up on them but who cares.)

4:45 pm
Soil diaper cover with mass explosion but save the stripped pants, onsie and socks.

5 pm
Arrive at Liz’s house, and Mom notices something wet as she carries Ada into meet the new moms. Ada pooped and peed through her diaper cover and pants as we walked in. Entire outfit annihilated. Got changed into Outfit #6 - Cupcake onsie and pink pants.

5:10 pm
Throw up all over. Hit Mom’s brown Threadless t-shirt (Mom shirt #3). Mom strips down to her brown long sleeve shirt and wipes Ada up.

5:25 pm
Ada spits up on her burp cloth and outfit.

5:40 pm

5:55 pm

6:15 pm

6:35 pm

6:45 pm
Repeat. Mom gives up with slobber on the shoulder of her brown long sleeve shirt (Mom shirt #4). Thanks other moms and says it was nice to meet them all – yes, for the first time! Nothing like a whole bunch of spit up on you to make a good first impression.

7 pm
Arrived home and Ada threw up again, this time on Daddy (Dad shirt #1). Changed into pajamas (Outfit #7), and proceeded to throw up on them by the time mom walked from baby’s room to the kitchen to say hi to Daddy.

Total wardrobe ready for washing:
Pants: Pink Striped, Light Blue, Pink Solid
Onsies: White, Elephant, White, Cupcake
Burp cloths: too many to count
Mom’s: Teal Shirt, Teal Tank Top, Black Shorts, Brown Shirt, Brown Long Sleeve Shirt
Dad’s: Green Shirt
Diaper Covers: Pink, Royal Blue, Flowers, Light Blue
Socks: Surprisingly none. Normally they get covered in poop during diaper changes. This was the miracle of the day.

Moral of the story: Spit happens, poop happens, pee happens and all you can do about it is laundry, more laundry, laugh and giggle.

Crib Sheets Make Me Cry

I understand that SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) is very dangerous and researchers haven't figured it out yet, yada yada. I get that baby needs to sleep on her back and suck a pacifier if she'll take one so that she can breath easily and have less of a chance of suffocation. It even makes sense that you wait to use the crib bumpers, pillows and stuffed animals in the crib. (Which is why it baffles me that they even sell crib bumpers since we aren't supposed to use them, whatever.) But is it really necessary to make the dang crib sheets so tight that I can't get them on? Seriously? I dread any time Ada soils her crib sheet because I am barely strong enough to change it. And I'm not patient so that doesn't help either. (This is why my husband makes or bed too. I guess I hate doing it.)

Yesterday morning, Ada leaked on her sheet a bit so I took it off and asked my hot, buff, manly man husband to change it before he went to work. Of course, he forgot. So at 6:30 at night, when I'm ready to put Ada down after a long day at day care, I notice there is no sheet on the crib. "*$%!"? I yell. "Darn it Rick!" Then I remember he is on a deadline at work and I try to sympathize. Nope. Didn't work. So I set Ada in the glider while I attempt to put the crib sheet on. You would think I was getting my butt kicked by a 500 lb gorilla if you saw me in action. What a sight. I'm struggling to lift the mattress, get the four corners secured and Ada is screaming at the tippy top of her lungs -- like I've just taken her to the Dr. (Doctoress) for her shots-- and I'm seconds away from tears when I channel my anger into the fourth corner of the @#$%*^& sheet and it finally gives way. Whew! Breakdown narrowly averted.

Since the fourth corner is the worst, it makes me hesitate to fix the corner of one of her sheets that I ripped while trying to put it on a few weeks ago. (We have four crib sheets since she is really good at soiling them). At least I can get that one on, sort of, I mean, it won't stay on but so what? Who needs crib sheets anyway?

Moral of the story: I CAN change a crib sheet-- I don't LIKE to but I am ABLE, you can't always rely on your husband to do the things you hate to do just because you hate doing them (he might hate doing them too), and there is no use crying over tight crib sheets-- unless it helps you get the fourth corner over the mattress, then go for it.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Who knew teeth are such a pain?

Now I understand why the dentist harps on us all to brush and floss and visit him/her (again with the Dentist gender thing too -- Dentistess?) regularly. Poor little Ada is having a heck of a time teething. Finally today I broke down and gave her some baby Motrin. The Tylenol isn't cutting it (no pun intended), and the oral gel is only working so well. I have found one trick to stop her screaming though. I put her in the baby bjorn and go walking. And walking. And walking some more. I'm at the point where I want to borrow my neighbor's dog just so I feel that we have a purpose or sense of direction. Today we had to go to the post office and it was a great reason to get out of the house. But I'm not one to just go on a walk. Typically I go with a friend or have a mission. That's one of the amazing things I'm learning about having a daughter. She's making me slow down, pay attention to her and only her, and enjoy some free time for myself. (Unless Rick and I are trying to sit down for a meal in which I'm learning to eat faster than humanly possible, re-heat everything or just eat after my meal is cold, or eat one-handed while bouncing her on my knee or feeding her a bottle.)

I will say that I am very thankful that she decided to start teething while the weather is nice. I can't complain about being forced to go on walks when it is sunny and 70 and the flowers are in full bloom. It's not all that bad. And she has so much to distract her from the pain of her teeth that she just hangs out and quietly enjoys everything she sees. Today we sat on a bench in front of the local ice cream shop and just watched the people go by. It's always fun when they say hi or walk by with other infants and the babies check each other out.

Moral of the story: Try to find the good things when the going gets rough, get creative with ways to distract children from pain, and when nothing else works take a few deep breaths and count to ten slowly.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Kid Comparisons

I have to say that I am quite happy that my doctor wasn't comparing my kid to the "average" every time I went in to see her. (which makes me digress briefly to say - why is it that whenever I say "I took Ada to the doctor..." most people respond with "what did HE say?" Even the nurse on the Nurse Advice line I called one day assumed she was a he. I happen to have all female doctors that I go to and think they are all great. Dr. Batista and Dr. Cummins are fabulous in case anyone needs a referral. I think it is partly because we don't have a female version of Doctor like we do for Waiter or Waitress. Maybe I'll invent Doctoress but what would the abbreviation for Dr. be? Dres. Batista?) Okay, back on track. So, not comparing my kid to the average.... I've been in to see the Dr. a lot since Ada was born - probably ten times, which seems like a lot to me. I mean, as adults we only go in once or twice a year if we are fairly healthy and this little munchkin is only four months old. Babies go in for a one week checkup, one month checkup, two month shots, four month shots, and several more I'm not sure when. But the average - there is that word again - baby gets 10 colds a year. I've already taken her in about four times for colds and treated her for a sinus infection. I think she is on cold number three - and that's a lot of snot and boogers so be prepared all of you not-yet-parents.

Where was I? Yes, the average. So at four months, Rick and I were amazed that our baby who started out at 8 lbs was now 16 lbs 8 oz. I knew she would double her weight in the first 6 months but the first four months seemed ahead of schedule. So I asked. Where is Ada on the national chart of averages? To which my female Dr. Batista replied, "She's off the chart for weight, and over the 95th percentile for height." What? I have a big baby! Is that a good thing? or a bad thing? She told me not to worry as things will even out as she gets older. She's just front loading all of her growth spurts. Okay...

So I asked my neighbor who has baby Eva how much Eva weighs and her stats. Same as Ada. Yeah! We both have crazy big babies that are off the charts. Woohoo! We aren't alone. But going out in public is a whole different story. "Wow! What a big baby!" is the new standard comment. "Yeah, she's eating well and growing fast." I reply. Or "How old is she?" (sometimes they say HE even if she's wearing light pink - go figure.) "She's four months." "Wow. My eight month old is smaller than her." To which I think "Holy crap what have I done to this child?" It used to be that everyone commented on how cute she is and what beautiful blue eyes she has but now they have switched to how quickly she has grown. I don't have much to compare her to but baby Eva next door and they are similar so I'm not worried. It's just when she comes back from day care in Claire's clothes that fit Ada nicely (I forgot to send a backup outfit one day and that's all they had to put her in after a blowout) and they tell me Claire is nine months old and wears the same size as Ada. It is kind of weird. And day care would know if she is big on average since they have several kids her age that they see daily.

The good news about having a big baby is that they tend to sleep through the night sooner since their bodies need to be a certain weight before they can physically sleep that long without needing to eat. The studies say 12 lbs/12 weeks old or 14 lbs/14 weeks old is when they are able to make it through the night. We hit that milestone early. (For which I am very thankful.)

The bad news is that I don't want to give her a complex about her size. At mom network I was told that studies show that whatever you tell your kids at age four is what they will be. If you say they are lazy, they will be lazy for the rest of their lives. So at least I have some time to re-train myself. But I can't help but catch myself every time I say "Look at your cute budda belly." or when I call her "pumpkin". I can't say "you're my 'big girl'" either since it is okay to say that to little boys but not little girls. Again with the gender crap.

I'm trying to call her my "little monkey" instead just so that it isn't related to anything big and round. And day care is calling her "cupcake" since she has a cupcake outfit. I thought about "muffin" but then I thought of muffin tops being the flab hanging over the waist of a pair of jeans and, well, that just isn't working for me either. It's not like she'll have any trouble with her weight growing up as both my husband and I have insanely high metabolisms and have to really work hard to put on any weight, but still. If she is above average for height and weight, she might be teased and called "Amazon Woman" by her peers. I guess I just have to tell Eva's mom that they can never move because Eva and Ada have to stick together in their bigness. They can be the twin towers -- but see that doesn't even work since 9/11.

I guess I'll just hope that she doesn't turn into a bully and used her size to intimidate other kids, unless it's on the soccer field or basketball court or wherever else intimidation is socially acceptable. And it could be worse. She could be below average. I'll take what I got and know that there is just more of her to love and cuddle with. And I'll pray that she doesn't decide to join the WWF (world wrestling federation not world wildlife foundation).

Moral of the story: It's okay to be above average (half of us always are if you think about it), it is important to love your child for who they are, and it is best not to make a big deal when people compare your child to theirs knowing that they all develop differently -- and that's okay.