Tuesday, September 30, 2008

New Job Titles for Mommy & Daddy

Rick and I came to the realization this weekend that our world now revolves around Ada. Spending 2 days with both sets of grandparents made that very clear. Our new job titles include...

Travel Coordinator

Secure seating (car seat mainly), pack and load luggage, maintain vehicles, confirm flights, pack plenty of necessities, provide snacks, drive, stop for frequent diaper changes and feedings, shade eyes from the sun, maintain proper interior temperature, play baby-friendly music, avoid bumps in the road, and shut up if and when baby wants to nap en route. Guard the car and don't move baby once final destination has been reached if baby is resting.

(Rick is the official Chauffeur but I fill in when he isn't available or is under the influence.)

Wardrobe Crew/Fashion Advisor

Provide multiple wardrobe changes depending on temperature, mood, messiness of eating, change in event, etc. Must remember to include tops, bottoms, hats, shoes, socks, diapers, bibs, and additional coordinating accessories. Wash, dry, fold, hang and iron wardrobe as necessary. Maintain collection of seasonal items in the proper sizes and secure collection for next season and size anticipating needs (all while avoiding the inconsistent brand labeling system that doesn't really correlate to what size baby actually is.)

Personal Assistant/Event Planner

Make sure Grandparents clear calendars to allow for plenty of playtime, cuddles, meals.

Ensure that cousin Ana is available for play dates.

Arrange for various pets to let baby eat their fur, pull their ears and attempt to ride them without malicious retaliation.

Organize social calendar to maximize party opportunities. Purchase gifts for said events, wrap them appropriately and sign cards with baby's name.

Schedule daily walks and outdoor activities for fresh air and exercise.

Have swings, exersaucers and playpens available at all potential locations.

Plan parties, birthday celebrations, and neighborhood play dates.


Lug plenty of toys everywhere we go. Make them dance, sing and move on command. Don't forget teething toys, books, music, blankets, etc. When that all fails, always have a back up bottle ready for immediate consumption.


Always carry at least one camera. Supply plenty of memory cards. Charge batteries frequently. Maintain a secondary camera as backup. And prepare to take video as needed.


Maintain records of "Firsts". Document special events and daily milestones through scrapbooks.

Communications Director

Maintain database of friends, family, babysitters, and neighbors. Provide monthly photo updates on growth and development and record major milestone achievements.

Doctor/Pharmacist/Butt Wiper

Administer various drugs for teething, colds, sinus infections, etc. Aspirate nose when stuffed up, wipe butt when poopy, pump legs up and down when gasey.

Salon and Spa Technician

Administer bubble bath, maintain proper water temperature, towel dry all parts, apply post bath lotion, brush hair. Give massage treatments, routine manicures and pedicures.

Personal Chef

Prepare all meals (Mom's in charge of milk, of course). Maintain supply. Provide a variety of fruits, grains, vegetables, and desserts. Keep bottles clean and sanitized. Wash bowls, spoons and sippy cups after every use. Provide a steady supply of teething biscuits.

Or taking one from HBO... we're planning to have t-shirts made that simply read...

Ada's Entourage

Monday, September 29, 2008

Superstar! (Another Ada Production)

Funny in a different way than the bathtub... and entertaining all the same.


Monday, September 22, 2008

9 Month Doctoress Appointment

What is more awful than giving your little one shots? It turns out, it's getting blood drawn.

Poor little Ada had to have blood work done for her 9 month checkup. No shots this time. Just a check for lead and a blood count. The lab tech put the tourniquet on her little arm and she started wailing. My heart ripped in half. Then, she couldn't get a good vein to pop up so we switched sides and she started all over again. Then the tech in training had to feel the vein too before they poked Ada with the big mean needle. Then (oh yeah, it keeps going) they filled the first vile. Then the second. Finally the tourniquet comes off and her wails slow to a simmer. Her little tears made her eye lashes clump together and her eyes glistened. Her face turned funny shades of red and purple. I saw all the way down her throat to the depths of her littleness as she opened her mouth in the loudest scream something that small could possibly utter. It lasted only a minute or two but seemed to last forever as her chest puffed up and she gasped for more air to let out the next wail to deliver blow after heart-wrenching blow to all things good, warm and fuzzy about being a mom. Once the needle was out I quickly pinned down the gauze and scooped her up into my arms before the tech could even get the band-aid ready. I went deaf momentarily as she squealed. The tech was too happy to stick the bandage on and bolt out the door never to been seen again. I gave Ada the sign language sign for "all done", quickly opened the door, gathered our things and got the heck out of there. Traumatic for us both.

She's fine.

She's off the charts for weight at 23lbs. 3 oz. She's almost off the chart for height 28 and 3/4 inches long. And she's adorable. That's all the Doctoress had to say. That and it's normal for her to walk before she crawls -- if that's what she decides to do. And that it's also normal for girls to be walking at 9 months, and to have some teeth. She's still working on both at this point.

To celebrate the morning's success, we walked next door to Carter's to get Ada a new onsie that says "Daddy loves me" to replace the one she outgrew since it was 50% off. Then we got smacked in the butt by the 10.25% sales tax on the way out the door. Thanks Chicago. We followed that with the usual eat, play, sleep, poop, repeat, routine until about 4 when we experienced quite a treat. Colette and Eva from next door came over for an official "play date" complete with music, toys, and (unfortunately) water for the moms (Colette - we really need to work on this for next time and introduce a little bit of vino or something since you do live next door). Colette and I are chatting away with the babes surrounded by toys when all of a sudden, Eva starts busting out her new moves. She can crawl! Her little butt whipped down to all fours and started trekking across Ada's play mat and my jaw hit the floor. "What the?" "How did that happen?" Mind you, I saw these two ladies on Friday - yes just 3 days ago and didn't see a hint of this action. Colette's response "It just did. I don't know. Crazy isn't it." Then, once I had recovered from my awe of the moment, Eva busts out smooth move number 2. She magically moved from a roll into a crawl. And this isn't some wussy crawl. This is an all out, trucking across the room with a toy in one had and a grin from ear to ear. "Attention: She's mobile."

"Crap. We're screwed."

Stay tuned. Ada's day is just around the corner. She's a ticking time bomb waiting to blow. Wish us luck.

Moral of the story: Be strong whenever you visit the Dr./Dr.ess. and just expect that your kid will scream bloody murder at some point during the visit. This too shall pass.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Who needs swim lessons?

Who needs swim lessons when you have a bathtub and two inches of water?

Handy Dandy Hand Me Downs

I will say, I am a HUGE fan of the Hand Me Downs! Yea, ha! Speaking of... I need to tell my mom and mother-in-law to hold up on the shopping for a bit... hmmm...

So my friend Colette, mother of Eva who is 10 days younger than Ada (and equally big for her age), and neighbor that shares a back parking lot with me -- who just happens to be AWESOME in a million different ways-- was reading a mom post from one of the mom networks we belong to and someone was looking to dump off a bunch of 9-24 month girl clothes to a loving family. Fast response/Super mom Colette was the first to respond and secured the stuff. But not only is that cool, she's so super that she was willing to split the stuff between Ada and Eva. Oh yeah! I ended up doing nothing and made out with a ton of clothes for Ada. Sweet deal if you ask me. I know I owe Colette big for this and many other things she's done for me.

Not knowing what these hand-me-downs would include, Colette ventured up north for the pick up. Turns out, this was the mother load (pun intended). FOUR garbage bags FULL of clothes! JACKPOT! She called me over to divvy up the loot and we had a blast going through all of this stuff. It was adorable and in great shape, and so fun to go through and pick what each of our girls would look good in. Eva has dark hair with the cutest little curls starting to form around her ears and Ada is a light-blue-eyed blond so they each look good in different colors making this way too fun. This woman had shoes and socks and coats and hats and dresses and skirts and leggings and shirts and halter tops and pajamas and on and on and on. I had to break for dinner and go back to finish sorting through our treasure. What a major score.

So this post is dedicated to my fantabulous neighbor, friend, fellow mom, and all around great person Colette. She's made my job as a mom so much easier by being an ear to talk off, a walking buddy to slim the baby belly, a great support in the nanny search, a wise advisor in the ways of child rearing, a good laugh when you need one, a fellow mother of an amazonian baby making me feel less "off the charts" with Ada, a reason to get ice cream or chocolate or both, a benchmark for good mothering, and a fabulous friend. I couldn't ask for more and I will be devastated when she moves to Seattle next year for her husband's job. (sob sob) I still have about nine months before she moves so I'm going to make the best of it and get as many play dates and walks and chit chats in as I can. Oh, and I'm taking applications for her replacement to start next July. She doesn't have big feet but these are some really big shoes to fill. Clown shoes even. She's pretty funny. We might just have to get that video phone thing set up so we can chat on Seattle time. Unfortunately the whole idea of the girls growing up chatting on "phones" made from empty soup cans connected by string from back porch to back porch won't work once they move. :( But I hear Seattle is a great place to vacation so she's not going to get rid of us that easy...

Moral of the story: Fellow moms are worth their baby's weight in gold, and then some. :)(Eva's 23 lbs now too!)

Don't I get some kind of award?

We've made it nine whole months! Ada is still alive(and sleeping like an angel), growing like bamboo (much faster than a weed grows), and doesn't quite have any teeth yet but they will come. There is still plenty of time for all that. I still have my sanity, (for the most part)-- meaning I'm not in a padded cell yet so I'm taking that as a win. Hooray!

Man how time flies. My friend Cadence pointed out to me today that Ada has been out of the womb almost as long as she was in the womb. That's crazy to think about. And it reminds me to count my blessings that I'm not having Irish twins since I'm not pregnant and don't plan to be magically having a baby next month. Hooray to that!

A lot has changed in the past 9 months. I'm a mom and that's kind of a big deal. I love my husband even more than ever because he is an awesome dad, super supportive of me and the things I do and my new role as a mom -- minus the whole taking pictures of me and the baby but that's a universal issue with men and their baby momma's--and I realize I could not possibly have picked a better partner to have on my family "team" for the next seventy plus years. So that's cool. :)

Hmmm... what else... I'm in a new job that I like a lot more than my old job. It's really challenging and cerebral which frustrates the crap out of me but it is great for my career growth and how can I complain when I get to work 3 days a week and play with Ada 4 days a week. I can't. Hooray for that.

So with all of these good changes in life, I must say, I don't need no stinkin' award. Ada is plenty reward enough. :)

Moral of the story: Life is good. Enjoy what you've got. Accentuate the positives... Breathe. Live.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Nanny day two

Yesterday went super duper well for the new nanny Ashley and she had an easy day with Ada -- minus the cloth diapers and the fact that Ada pooped 3 times in the morning to the point where Ashley gave up and decided to try the cloth diapers again another day. She did however note that Ada was the "happiest baby I've ever seen" when she first got here in the morning as Ada was playing and smiling and being silly, as per usual. Ashley even got her to take 2 one-hour naps and managed to get the stroller in and out of the inner and outer vestibule doors, without locking herself out. Something I consider to be a miracle.

I was both comforted and a bit peeved when I went to hug Ada good by in the morning and she quickly turned back to Ashley and reached out for the pass off. She's been doing this a lot lately. She must be secure in our relationship or bored with me (more likely) since she tends to reach out to go to other people when I'm holding her. I'm proud of that fact since most babies nuzzle in to mom's shoulder and act shy. Not my Ada. You want her, you got her. Here she comes! She even plays the same game between Rick and I and we play pass the baby, back and forth, back and forth.

Today however wasn't so easy. Ada has been and continues to teethe. I warned Ashley before I left and listed off the twelve steps we take to make her happier when her teeth hurt. "When all else fails, go outside and she'll quiet down."were my parting words of wisdom. I was shocked to hear upon my return, at 5 pm not 6, that Ada was a fussy little mess all day. Ashley had to resort to drugs twice and got the pleasure of listening to my little fuss pot all day go on and on about her teeth. Ada even whined while outside in her stroller on a walk -- very rare for this kid. Talk about making your mom into a liar on day two. And the result--still no teeth. Someday, sometime, hopefully in the immediate near future, I'll be able to post a photo of this damn elusive tooth and my very own shit grin as it will be one of the most glorious days of my life, and Rick's and Ada's too I'm sure.

Moral of the story: Don't make promises when it comes to the behavior of a nine month old. She'll sell you out and prove you wrong every time.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Anybody home?

Today was our new new new new new new new nanny's first day. Her name is Ashley, similar to our sitter 2 sitters ago. And she is very nice. She was on time this morning. Asked a ton of great questions. Is willing to work with the whole cloth diaper thing. Turned on the oven for Rick since he cooked a roast for some friends for dinner tonight - we've resorted to bribing sitters with really good food instead of payment. And she didn't call me several times during the day to say she couldn't get Ada to nap or stop crying. So, they had a great day as far as I'm concerned.

But... you can imagine my surprise when I walk in at 5:05 and noone's home. The lights are on. The stroller and diaper bag are gone. The house keys are gone. No baby. No Ashley. Nada. And being the calm, collected mother I have chosen to be, I didn't panic. Instead I went through the list of what ifs... What if they are having fun in the park and lost track of time? What if the new nanny ran off with my kid? What if Ada got hurt? What if Ashley got hurt?What if I didn't tell Ashley I'd be home at 5?

So what did I do? I called Rick and said "Nobody's home." He said, "Really?" and chuckled a bit. I explained and said, "Can you give me Ashley's number so I can call and see where she is?"

Now right here, all of you out there should be like "WHAT? Amanda didn't get this girl's name, number, address, cell phone, shoe size, underwear size, coffee preference, references, date of birth, social security number, last five boyfriends(or girlfriends) names and numbers, and have a background check run on her to make sure she isn't a crazed lunatic or sex offender?" To be honest, no. I didn't. The thought did cross my mind, but because I'm a trusting person and I trust my gut, I didn't. But I did briefly smack my head when I got home and thought, "What the heck would I tell the police if Ada was abducted?" "Well officer, you see, I, um, found her on the Internet, and um, her name is Ashley, and I think she lives near Halsted and Belmont, or is it Clark and Belmont, and um, she has brown hair, is about my height, maybe a little shorter, and um..." Needless to say, I'll have her fill out her life history tomorrow.

So I'm on the phone with Rick and he tries to give me her number, "773 - garble garble garble". The line went dead. So I tried again. "Hello, Rick, Hello." Cell phone reception cut out again. I call him back. Nothing. Then I start getting frustrated and rise to the next level of worry. Not elevated to Orange or Red like homeland security, but an orange shade of yellow. I forcefully set my phone on the kitchen counter and grab the house phone. I call Rick again and he reads me the rest of her number. I call her, and get her voicemail. I leave a message to call me back. Then I call Rick and say, "double check the number because the voicemail was generic." So he did, and it's correct. Then I look out the front door, and the back door, and the front door again. No sign of them. Hmmmm... what do I do now? Brrrrrrring. Phone rings. "Hey Amanda, I'm at Panera just finishing dinner. I thought you get home at 6." And I think to myself, "Silly mommy! You forgot to tell her you come home at 5 every night." Crisis averted.

Moral of the story: Maybe, it might kinda, potentially, sort of be a good idea to get some personal information about the people you leave your kids with in case you ever need it. Maybe.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Staying dry on a rainy Monday...

Yes, a rainy Monday. Not only a tough start to a new week, but a rainy one at that. What better to do on a rainy day than walk to the zoo for lunch with a friend? At the onset of today's adventure, Ada and I started out dry. She had a fresh diaper and I was showered and ready to start the day. The sun was hiding behind the clouds and the rain hadn't found it's way to our neck of the woods just yet. An so our adventure began.

With Ada strapped on the front of my chest in her Ergo carrier, snug as a bug in a rug as they say, we set off to the Lincoln Park Zoo. Not to really go see the animals or anything like that but we have a friend that works at the Zoo and today was slated for our semi annual lunch date. I debated taking the bus, but kept missing it as is typically my luck, and opted for the nice walk instead. We walked the bus route just in case I got tired or in case it took longer than expected. About half way there, I notice a familiar face -- this happens to me a lot for those who don't know me so it isn't much of a shocker. It was a woman pushing a stroller and I of course had to see if it really was someone I knew or not. So I ask, "Is your name Allison by chance?" And she replied, "Yeah, and you're Amanda right?" Sure enough, this is a woman I used to have in my business classes at Iowa. She was my roommate's neighbor Freshman year and I had known her about 7 years ago for about 3 years. Turns out, now she is an attorney here in the city. Go figure. The weirdest part is that she wasn't pushing her daughter in the stroller, but was watching her for a friend, and doesn't even live in the neighborhood. What are the odds of that? Pretty good in my world. Hmmm... maybe I should start to play the lotto...

So as we are catching up on old times and saying our goodbyes, it starts to sprinkle. I pop out my handy dandy trusty umbrella -- the one I got for high school graduation and just sent in for a replacement since totes has a lifetime warranty -- and we continued on our way through the sprinkles.

On the way from the zoo with our friend Ellen, it started to poor, and continued to do so through lunch. For the trip home, we considered taking the bus, but it sped past us as we were walking out of the restaurant. So we started walking and Ada fell asleep on my chest. About five blocks into the walk, I was tempted by another bus, but decided the fresh air and exercise would do us both good. So we walked, and walked and walked. Through big puddles and small. All the while shifting the weight of the umbrella and my should bag from one side to the other. Finally, about half an hour later, we arrived home. A bit wet and tired, but happy all the same.

Our little umbrella kept us mostly dry...and reminded me that I should probably invest in a few larger umbrellas if we plan to walk together in the rain often as the tiny one just doesn't cover as much as it needs to. Once we got inside, I started to change Ada since her socks and lower pant legs were a bit wet. As I took of her pants and started to switch out her diaper, she peed all over everything. And normally when she pulls this trick, she just pees and it goes underneath her. Not this time. She waited until I was lifting her legs into the air to situate the new diaper so that when she peed, it went up and back over her hip, to soak her shirt and her pants and her back and the changing table and the new diaper and the new diaper cover. Tricky little thing. Always coming up with something new to keep me on my toes.

Moral of the story: Sometimes even a big umbrella can't save you from getting wet. :)

Sleep baby...

This past weekend was a bit weird for our family when it comes to getting much needed sleep. Ada decided she wasn't going to take naps as she normally does, and that threw us all off. We also crammed a lot into one weekend - cards and dinner with friends, nanny interviews, lunch with more friends, lunch with family and a two hour drive on each end of it, brunch with other friends, a long walk including shoe shopping, some yoga and even a bit of the bears game on our snow covered TV with crummy rabbit ear reception. Whew! I guess that's a lot of eating - and amazingly we missed dinner Saturday night as we both crashed at 7 pm for a "nap" that took us until 5 am. Hmmmm...

Part of the reason for the lack of schedule is Ada teething, and the other theory I have is that she really wants to take one big nap nowadays instead of two. I'm not seeing how this is going to work out but we'll see. She was pretty good on Friday as far as naps go, but Saturday she skipped the afternoon nap to meet the nanny candidates -- we interviewed two and liked them both. Hopefully we'll secure one of them today. Woohoo. But boy is that a reason for me to lack sleep. Anyone who thinks finding a nanny isn't stressful is nuts --So after Ada fussed the four times we tried to get her to take a nap, I finally broke down and that's when we headed out for a 2 hour walk. She napped for 20 minutes. It turns out she isn't much of a stroller napper. Then she slept well overnight, but was up at 5 am. After drinking and playing in our bed for a bit, Rick finally got her back into bed at 7:30 am for an hour and a half nap.

She enjoyed a celebratory brunch with friends who got engaged oh about 8 months ago... and really loved sucking on and biting the spoon. When one dropped, she was lucky to have it quickly substituted with another as there were 10 of us at the table and plenty of clean spoons to go around. Then for the drive out west 2 hours, we had to first refill her tank with milk and do the ever so fun diaper change in the front seat of our tiny civic with her on my lap and daddy doing the quick change. On the road to Oregon, IL, we didn't sleep at all and finally had a major breakdown 15 minutes from our destination. We stopped for a quick feeding that turned into a 15 minute glug fest and was fought with much screaming when it was time to get back into the car seat. Since Mom's bag of tricks was empty, the remainder of the trip was less than pleasant. Upon arriving, the baby was fussy, mommy was crabby, daddy was glad to have a big beer, and after feeding, changing, rocking, and cuddling, the baby finally took a 45 minute nap.

As the sun started dropping on the horizon, we loaded up for the ride home. And to those people who think you just stick a baby in the car and poof they pass out--liars! My kid doesn't like to sleep in the car. At most she'll give us a half hour stint but in the four hours we were driving this weekend, she didn't give us 5 minutes. Frustrating.

And speaking of the little angel, it's 9 am on Monday and she is finally deciding she should maybe get up. She didn't go down until 8 pm last night but that was the last we heard of her. 13 hours ago! Yep, we have a real sleeper. Thank goodness.

Moral of the story: Cross your fingers for a good sleeper if you plan to have kids, and do everything you can to help make their sleep schedule work. You'll have a much happier baby in the long run.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Bathtime take two!

Lately, feeding Ada hasn't gone as smoothly as I'd like it to. Rick's the real pro as he has been able to pin her little arms down under the highchair tray without her really noticing at all. I was able to do that for a little while but now she's on to our tricks and isn't having any of it. Her hands have been set free and boy does she ever know how to make a mess!

Last night as I was feeding her an array of pureed fruits and vegetables, she decided she wanted to eat them and wear them and heck, I should wear them too. After a short battle to get most of the food into her mouth, I finally was forced to give up and grab her wash cloth. After three trips to the sink to rinse and re-wipe her, she was still filthy. Desperate times call for desperate measures and I was desperate. She had rice cereal in her hair, ears, up her nose, on her thighs, on my forearms, and covering both her tiny hands. A complete mess. So I held her at arms length while rushing her to the tub in hopes that I too wouldn't need to shower before bed. She got a nice little bath. Nothing special. Then I toweled her off, covered her with lotion and was retrieving her new diaper when she decided to roll over on her mat and play a bit. By the time I had the diaper ready, she had peed all over herself, the mat, and then decided to squirm in her new found puddle. And such is the reason for bath number two. Again, at arms length I rushed her into the tub. Did a quick rinse. Toweled dry. Diaper first this time, then lotion. Then dragged all of the pee soaked tiles from her playmat to the tub for a quick rinse and finally got her to bed. By now, she's overtired and has to scream her little head off for a few minutes to get into the sleep mood and somehow it becomes my fault that she needed not one, but two baths and that she rolled in her pee and threw food all over herself. Go figure.

Moral of the story: No matter what you do or how hard you try, the baby will win the majority of the time. Do your best to roll with it and laugh along the way.

We've created a monster!

I always hear "She'll be walking in no time." "She'll crawl backwards before she crawls forward." "They grow up so fast." "She'll lose all that baby weight once she starts moving" and similar lines. I used to just shrug them off and say "Whatever, I've heard that before. Blah, blahbitty, blah." But now I'm starting to say it myself and actually understand what it all means. I mean, I've been a mom for 8 months already and it seems like last week that I started my new job but I've been there for 4 months. Heck, my kid is already starting to crawl backwards! AHHHH! We used to think we had months to babyproof the house and now we realize we're too late. Gone are the days where we didn't strap her into everything. Gone are the innocent days where we could leave her unattended for five seconds while we try to throw out a diaper or wash our hands or answer the door. Gone. All gone.

Just the other day I put Ada on the center of her vinyl table cloth/playmat/rug saver and went to the kitchen to quickly wash her bottles in the sink. Not five minutes later I return to see that she has somehow worked her little body under the dining room table about 6 feet from where she started. I even put the boppy and another playmat behind her in case she fell over. She managed to move from a seated position, onto her belly, and then scoot backward 6 feet. All of this while cooing away, happy as can be, assuring me that everything was going well in the living room and I didn't have to worry about her. And yesterday I found her sitting up in the middle of the playmat after I had left her on her tummy as I went to empty her diaper pail. Thirty seconds or less and she's sitting up playing with her toys. What have we done? How did this happen? We've created a monster. Now she's right around the corner from crawling, walking and getting into everything.

And even scarier than that, we went to a two-year-old's birthday party this weekend and I got to see kids I don't see on a regular basis. One was 18 months, one just turned 2, and another one was 4 years old. What a reality check. I mean, I see my niece every few weeks and am amazed at how she is growing but it's gradual. Then I see several of our friends' kids and they are growing into perfect, adorable little women and I am a little freaked out. Really. I've created a little person. She'll be walking and talking and throwing water from the pool on people at the party. Whew. That's a big realization for me. Hello reality.

Moral of the story: Babies eventually grow into real little people, and eventually big people. That's just how it works. And I don't think anyone or anything can ever really prepare you for that fact. Good luck.

Daycare Nanny Drama Part XXIV

As I've finally learned, this whole nanny/daycare drama b.s. is almost never ending. At least until Ada is old enough to stay home by herself anyway. My mom's words of encouragement most recently were "The best days of my life were not having to buy diapers for you and your brother, and the day I didn't have to find another sitter to watch you guys." So true. Only 8 months into Ada's little life and I completely understand.

Here's the latest.
We hired a sitter. She came for a trial day. She called at noon to say she couldn't get Ada to sleep. I gave her a few things to try. She called again at 1:45 to say still no nap- Ada should have been down twice that day and she had already had a dose of Motrin for her teeth so the fact that she wasn't napping was a bit crazy. I was home by 2 and the sitter was done. Ada was really happy to see me. She just didn't like the woman at all. I get that. We can't all get along all the time.

Following my gut, I had a backup sitter waiting in the wings. She came and is currently watching Ada until we can go back through the process and find a more permanent solution. This current woman has a bad back, needs time of for this, that, and something else, and really just doesn't know what she wants to do in life since she got laid off a few months back and is just trying to figure things out. She's not serious about being a nanny and it shows. But Ada seems to like her okay and it's a good finger in the damn for a few weeks.

So, yep, we're back to the drawing board. Luckily I joined Sittercity.com a few weeks back and this will be my third time posting this position online. I received two good applications right after posting the opportunity so that's encouraging. But Rick will be doing the interviews and I'll be taking the support role as I just get too emotionally attached to these people and want to help everyone out. It's tough.

My new list of advice is as follows: Make your husband deal with it. All of it.

Moral of the story: The drama won't end, so you just have to learn to accept it and deal with it as best you can. Try to go with the flow and always trust your gut. It will all work out in the end so just have a little faith.

It's a doggie dog world...

Ah Labor Day Weekend. What better way to spend 4 days off work than with family right? And with family comes, yep, you guessed it, family pets. Ah, the sweet smell of vacation...and pets.

I must explain here that our parents both have pets and always have. It's something Rick and I feel pretty strongly against as we've always either been allergic or just didn't want to put that much effort into a pet. Before I grew old and cynical, I was a huge animal lover. Oh the hours I whined to my father that I just must have a cat. He'd always say his allergies couldn't handle a cat -- which he has since proven as he tends to have great sneezing fits shortly after hanging out with the furry fuzzballs -- but I kept trying. We had a dog and he was as close as you can get to the devil reincarnated. We didn't know how to train him and weren't the best pet owners in the world either. So, after a few bad experiences as a kid, and all the tears that came with a pet passing, I've sworn off ever having one. I realized how much pets can eat, destroy, poop, pee, get old, be mean, jump on me etc, and I've decided that I like them more from a distance. Ada's just going to have to deal with that. Partly because I'm over the whole having a pet thing and especially since I read an article about how a dog can easily cost a family fifteen thousand dollars during it's lifetime in food and medical bills and the like. And the fact that the US spends more on its pets than it does on education really gets me. And then there is the whole issue of allergies...but I digress.

I will say, I occasionally do enjoy pet sitting as I get to love and enjoy the pet typically, and give them back, and not have to pay for them. I also really enjoy dogs that are well trained. I absolutely abhor a dog that jumps on me. I don't want to be injured, scratched, or mauled by someone's so-called "pet". Why does it have to become my problem that they can't control their animals? I still haven't figured that one out. And I don't want them to eat my stuff, or lick my face. I'm not happy about crotch sniffing either but I understand that's like a high five in the dog world so I can deal with it when I have to.

Now fish, that's another story. I can handle a fish. You go a few days without feeding them, that's okay. They die, you can replace them as needed. They don't typically bite, jump on you and you don't have to clean up after them too often. You can talk to them and they don't talk back, yada yada yada.

Focus Focus Focus. Okay. So. It turns out that Ada really loved playing with Rick's parents four cats. She spent about an hour watching the cats check her out as she sat on the living room floor and had a good time catching their tails and trying to eat them as the afternoon went by. Some of the cats found her to be entertaining while others didn't really care for her at all. But for the most part, her cat encounter was a success. I'm not sure if her rubbing her eyes this weekend was due to over excitement and sleep deprivation or allergies, but I'm chalking it up to the former in hopes that she doesn't develop the latter.

Then we were off to my parents' house where they have two dogs. Long haired, furry Golden Retrievers. One old, one young. Both furry. And my mom will admit that she isn't the best housekeeper so there is quite a bit of fur for Ada to get into. Upon our arrival, Ada quickly made friend's with my brother's dog, the youngster, and tried to eat her tail. Then the dog sat on Ada's little lap and that got a laugh. And the rest of our stay I was busy pulling fur from Ada's mouth, off her sippy cup, out of her food bowl, and wiping it from her burp clothes and onsies. One would say it is an interesting source of fiber or protein or whatever but I tend disagree.

Moral of the story: Pets are a lot of things to a lot of people. To me, the are more furry and frustrating than fun and fabulous. But if the baby likes them, she can visit them all she wants - as long as we can always give them back, or at least trade them in for a fish.