Wednesday, March 25, 2009

What's the Maximum Bad Mother Points for One Day

Is there a maximum for bad mother points one can be awarded in one day? I think not, but today will be one of my contenders for the high score.

After returning from taking Ada on a long walk with a neighborhood mom friend (+1 good mom point for getting out of the house), I realized that this might not have been a "good" mommy hour for me...

It started with a change in the weather. The clouds rolled in and the temperature was about 10 degrees cooler than our morning walk (+1 good mom point--I never do 2 walks a day) but I didn't realize that and process it until we were way too far into our walk to turn back and add layers. I always dress her too warmly so this was a first. (-1 bad mom point for dressing her inappropriately for the weather). Because she had kicked off her shoe during the last walk and made me backtrack a block to find it, I didn't put shoes on her either. (-1 bad mom point for not putting shoes on her.) As I was leaving the house, I remembered that she might get hungry and thirsty so I brought a sippy cup of water, a teething biscuit and a piece of string cheese as a snack (+2 good mom points for remembering basic necessities). I didn't buckle her into the stroller properly because I was lazy, and only buckled her in part of the way for part of the trip, and she wasn't buckled for the most dangerous part of going up and down the stairs between the inner and outer vestibule doors to our place (at least -1 bad mom point, if not 2 or 3).

During the walk, she got fussy... so I gave her a stick off the ground to play with. (-1 bad mom point) and I didn't wash it off (that could be a bonus bad mom point.) After chewing on the dirty stick from the ground that had probably been you-know-what-ed-on by every dog in the city, I made the comment that I had a 90% chance of it not being really "dirty" since it rained yesterday. (-1 bad mom point.) The excitement of the stick quickly wore off so I moved on to a rock. It was too big for her to choke on (+1 good mom point), but it was a rock (-1 bad mom point), it was dirty (-1 bad mom point) and the only reason I needed to use the rock and the stick was because I forgot to bring any toys for our journey (-1 bad mom point).

Once Ada got fussy, we decided to head home. On the way, I just happened to mention to my friend that the store we were walking by, Bittersweet on Belmont, was really good. She agreed and we stopped to "warm up the kids" (-1 bad mom point for using my daughter as an excuse to consume chocolate.) Then I made the mistake of ordering the most intense, decadent, rich flour less chocolate cake and proceeded to share it with Ada (+1 good mom point for sharing, -1 bad mom point for sharing something so chocolaty and surely filled with sugar). At the end of our adventure at Bittersweet it was apparent that I had again come unprepared as my friend, let's call her Super Mom Jen, whipped out baby wipes for which she gets +1 good mom point for having them in her stroller, +1 for washing her hands with them before eating, and +1 for sharing them with a mom and baby in need (me and Ada) since my child decided it was a good idea to wear the delicate chocolate cake all over her face, shirt, pants and hands. Nice. (-1 bad mom point for me not being prepared for all potential circumstances including a stop for chocolate and -1 bad mom point for picking the messiest treat in the entire shop. It was covered with cocoa powder!) And finally, -1 bad mom point for letting Ada momentarily grab the real silver table knife to use as teething relief.

Upon leaving we both got +1 good mom point for being able to get strollers through 2 doors that opened in opposite directions in the tiny vestibule and down one step onto the street. The rest of the walk home was pretty uneventful, but I think that is only because I had already used up all of my bad mom points for the day. And I'm sure I'm forgetting a few others that took place earlier, but my brain isn't working today so I can't even remember what they would have been.

So what is that? I think it's -4 overall. And Super Mom Jen is at +6 (her baby didn't cry and took a nap during the walk which is a sure +2, and she took a walk with the intent of working off baby weight whereas I just needed to get away for a bit).

Moral of the story: Hang out with good moms and hope that some of their goodness rubs off on you and your baby. :)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Do all crib sheets suck?

Calling all moms, dads, grandparents, caregivers, or anyone who will read this really...

Do all crib sheets suck?

Is there such a thing as a crib sheet that doesn't tear at the 4th corner when you put it on the mattress?

I ask because I've got 2 types - two of each - from target (circo all white sheets and tiddlywinks with the zoo animals on them) and at this point, I've thrown 2 out and have one on her bed currently that just tore as I rounded the last corner.

Obviously I need to by them from somewhere other than Target and skip these two brands.

Does anyone have a suggestion for brands you like? That work? That don't cost a mint and don't cause me to become a sailor and put earmuffs on my child when I change them? (I've been working on my swearing but seriously, a mom can only handle so much!)

If you know the magic trick, let me know. Otherwise I'm going to have to start learning the army fold of a flat sheet and hope that she doesn't figure out how to get into trouble with it.

Moral of the story: Baby crib sheet design should have some openings right now because I can think of a few people that aren't qualified to design crib sheets.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Pregnancy vs Feet & Hair

Some of you may have heard that your feet get bigger during pregnancy and your hair changes somehow. I thought it was weird when I was pregnant that I was wearing size 8 shoes instead of 8.5 but just thought it was a new brand and they sized them differently--of course that's when I started buying Cole Hanns with the Nike technology because Oprah said they were the best. I got them on sale but still paid a mint, and loved every minute of them.

Flash forward to my spring wardrobe and I'm pretty SOL when it comes to covering my feet. None of my 8s fit. My feet SHRANK and then GREW BACK! So now I am trying to get the most out of my boots and my tennis shoes until I can find dressy flats that are comfy for the warmer weather. URG! Just another one of the MANY sacrifices of motherhood. Tip: Buy cheap shoes during pregnancy.

Additionally, I've heard a lot of people talk about how their hair turned color, got more grey(obviously! Kids are the #1 cause for grey hair--unless you are Obama and, well, he's just doomed to be all grey in a matter of months), or straightened, or curled. In my case, I think my hair is a shade darker, surely more streaks of grey, and I have funky curls in the back now. Weird.

I will say too that I think my fingernails are stronger as a residual effect of the prenatal vitamins and I'm okay with that as a mini mom bonus.

Speaking of body changes, I don't even have to mention the spare tire that just lingers--but I will. :) I'm negotiating with higher powers to have it recycled or donated to someone who needs it more than I do.

Moral of the story: Everything changes when you have kids. Mostly in a good way. (I guess I get to go shoe shopping now. Too bad I'm not much of a shopper.)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Cat Nap

This isn't the most exciting video, but I just had to have proof that it really happened so that one day, I can tell Ada that when she wouldn't take a nap, this is what happened...

Monday, March 16, 2009

A few key questions for your doctor...

If you have a sick child who needs to see a new doctor for the first time, there are a few questions you might want to ask before making your appointment. Or if you are in the ER, make sure they can handle a child and know what do to with a little person.

This seems obvious but I am guilty of assuming that a Dr is a Dr is a Dr. If a Dr works at a clinic, I just assume they are a family practice clinic and that they can deal with any age of patient that walks in. That's how almost every doctor I've ever had has been. General family practice that can do it all.

This is not true.

Last weekend, my daughter was out of town while we were whooping it up for St. Patrick's Day here in the city. When she got to Grandma's house, we realized she had a fever and needed to see a Doctor in a different town, on a Saturday. My mom recommended a clinic she knows of that was open --thereby avoiding the expense of the local ER. I called ahead to make sure they knew she was coming, that she was with her grandparents, that I'd be available via phone for any questions, and that I authorized her grandparents to treat her as needed. Here I thought I was being the good, thorough mom. Boy did I think wrong.

What I should have asked was:
Do you have a pediatrician on staff who is available to see her?
Do you treat kids her age?
Is there another clinic that is better suited to see her?

And I should have caught the red flags when I was on the phone with the Dr. and when my mother-in-law was describing their visit on Sunday. When I mentioned that Ada was on Albuterol in the past for Bronchiolitis she said "What?" and I repeated, "Bronchiolitis" assuming my cell phone connection was bad and she just didn't hear me. Turns out, I don't think she knows what that is and it is one of the most common things kids get when they are little. During the visit, they didn't have an infant/toddler scale so they asked my father-in-law to step on the scale, then get on with her and figure out the difference. 28 lbs. She's just shy of that but it's pretty accurate so I didn't think much of it. Any Dr's office that can handle kids, should have a kid's scale.

Then, I took her in to our Doctoress for a checkup today since we scheduled it Saturday before we knew she had a fever. Thank goodness we did. What the clinic Dr diagnosed Ada with was an ear infection. She gave her 3.5 ml of amoxicillan 3 times a day. When I told that to my Doctoress today, she immediately checked Ada's ear. No infection. None what-so-ever. She asked if Ada had a fever when she went to the clinic. Yes. It was about 102. Ah ha! When a baby has a fever, it can make their ears red and therefore make it appear that she has an ear infection. Part one of the mystery solved.

When I heard the original diagnosis an hour after Ada was at the clinic, I looked at my husband like the Dr was crazy. It didn't make any sense to me that she would have an ear infection but Ada was on antibiotics so either way, I figured she was getting something to fight the infection and she was improving so that was good. Another red flag was that my gut told me things didn't add up. How does the ear infection deal with the coughing and throwing up? Rick's justifying it by saying that Ada was pulling on her ears a lot lately and I debunked that by saying that studies have recently shown that is just baloney and it doesn't correlate. Kids play with their ears either way. (Which my Doctoress confirmed again today.)

When Ada got home on Sunday, she was a mess. Tylenol and Motrin alternating for the pain. Ear drops to numb her ear. And when I went to give her the last dose of Amoxicillian of the day another red flag went up. This dose was way less than she's ever had before and she's been on Amoxicillian 5 times since she was born so I should know the dosing. Again, I convinced myself that maybe this was a more concentrated mixture since it was from a different pharmacy or maybe ear infections take a smaller dose.

HELLO! I read Blink. I know I'm supposed to listen to my gut. What the hell happened here?

As it turns out, I should have taken more responsibility in the first place. I woke up telling Rick I wanted to take Ada in and he said he didn't think she needed to see the Doctor. ALWAYS LISTEN TO A MOTHER'S INTUITION. Secondly, I wasn't going to take her in today but I ended up needing to see the Dr anyway so we got a two-for-one special. Luckily, the Doctoress instisted on checking Ada over and asked the right questions to get to the bottom of it all and now it makes sense. It's a good idea to get her in to see the regular Doctor just in case. Thirdly, I should have been the go-to person the whole time instead of having Rick talk to this Doctoress, me talk to the other, in-laws talk to the nurse and Dr at the clinic, without anyone really knowing the whole picture but me. My bad.

On top of all this, when Ada went to Sycamore, she had heat rash. When she went in today, it had turned into eczema -- we had to get a new prescription for that. Now she is on Amoxicillian for her brochiolitis, a cream for her eczema, an inhaler to open up her lungs and help her breath, and Motrin for the pain since she is teething during all of this too. If that's not enough, I don't know what is but I could sure use some more sleep. :)

Moral of the story: Listen to your inner thoughts. If something doesn't seem right, speak up. Question it. Get another opinion. Check into it more. And go with your gut. This is your kid we're talking about.

A case of bad timing...

My mom taught me about Murphy's Law at a young age. Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong. Occasionally, I find this to be true. My optimistic side doesn't let me think about it very often, but this weekend was one of those times.

It just so happens that this past weekend was Rick's 30th birthday. It also happens to have been the observed drinking holiday for St. Patrick's day, and the weekend we decided to celebrate both with a rather large party at our house involving 30 of our closest friends that were still sober enough to stumble to our house -- some of them started drinking at 9 am Saturday morning.

In preparation for the party, we had been hoping to clean the house, grocery shop, beer shop, and finish all of our chores. We also made arrangements to ship Ada to grandma and grandpa's house for an overnight. All was going well until Rick had a major deadline come up at work which made him unavailable most of the week. Then my mom came into town for Oprah on Tuesday which took a morning of cleaning from me, but she cleaned the stove and microwave while she was here so that was a bonus. Then my dad came into town Friday and took us to dinner so that stole a night of cleaning time from us. Then the bomb dropped. Ada got sick.

Friday night, after 3 or 4 glasses of wine each, we got home to a fussy mess of a munchkin. Ada was up on and off all night with a nasty cough, throwing up for the duration. We tried to tuck her between us for a family bed arrangement but she spewed hot dog remains on our sheets within 5 minutes of lying down and was thereby banished from our room. After taking turns going in and out, up and down, I finally made a bed on her floor and set up camp for the night. That was great until she took my pillow, woke me up every hour or so to spit up on my blanket, and stuck her extremities in between my ribs at every available opportunity. Needless to say, I was a cranky come Saturday morning, and Rick wasn't much better.

Luckily, we had grandparents coming to rescue us around 11. We did our best to get 4 loads of laundry done in the morning. Rick quickly made grocery lists and cleaned. I hustled around to do what I could with hacking Ada in tow. All around, a very bad scene. Once Ada left, we tried to take a nap that was shortened by a phone call from the Doctoress to say that if Ada had a fever we needed to bring her in as she could have pneumonia. In my hazy stupor, I at least had the foresight to have Rick pass his insurance card to his parents in case she'd need to go to the clinic back home. Of course she spiked a fever and the card did indeed come in handy. The Doctoress in Sycamore diagnosed her with an ear infection and soon her life would improve with the help of some antibiotics.

Meanwhile, the party must go on.

With Ada settled in good hands with good drugs, we set off to finish cooking, cleaning, and shopping to prep for our soiree. We finished the food at 7:30 with the help of a few guests and magically made the house look presentable to the untrained eye.

Since Ada was under the weather and we knew we'd have to drive over an hour each way to retriever her on Sunday, Rick and I opted for a lower key evening of drinking instead of all out partying.

Sunday morning we got to sleep in... until 7, 8, or 9 -- depending on when you count it since Rick got up 3 times and I made it until 9 when, surprise, my cell phone rang. We tried to take Rick's brother to brunch, but failed when the line to the diner was out the door. We opted for Einstein's bagels instead and witnessed a jammed packed parking lot that made things interesting. Once on the road, we stopped at a gaming store to pick up a few things off Rick's wish list for his birthday. Then back on the road, and back to discomfort for me as my herniated discs in my neck were not up for a drive -- having been mashed into Ada's floor two nights prior, my body wasn't up for anything. And the whole standing up all day cleaning didn't help much.

Once in Rockford to make the baby trade off, we stopped for lunch. Ada was a HOT mess as she was in desperate need of a nap. Hungry. Fussy. In pain. And all out ticked off that we ditched her in her time of need. I inhaled my meal while Rick played with her outside. Then vice versa. Then a long drive home where Rick drove and Ada and I napped the whole way. Finally, Bliss.

Poor Rick spent his first night of being 30 on the couch so that Ada could take his side of the bed and he could be in decent shape for work as he's still on deadline until Friday.

And so it goes.

Moral of the story: Sacrifice takes on a whole new meaning when you have kids. Beware.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I went to Oprah!

Thanks to my friend Jessi, who happened to check for ticket availability on, I was able to snag 2 tickets to her show for moms. Since my mom and I have always wanted to attend a taping, this was a pretty big deal for us. I called my mom to tell her we had two tickets and all the details - Get there by 7:30 am, wear bright colors, don't bring anything with you because you can't (no cell phones, cameras, gifts, cards for Oprah)-and she came to spend the night. At the butt-crack-a-don (I like to make it sound like a dinosaur), which is 5:15 in my world, we got up, showered, dressed, beautified, and drove down to the show. We got street parking which was swell, and we got in line about 6:15. We were number 33 and 34 in line out of a gaggle of women.

For starters, Oprah's staff is SUPER. Our experience started with the security guard who was fun and nice and kept us all in line while explaining that we couldn't have cameras or cell phones, and that our coasts would be checked, our purses searched. They have this down to a smooth rhythm and I was impressed - which says a lot coming from me who constantly is bitching about how inefficient people are and how I would do things differently. We checked coats, checked purses, went through the metal detector, and then up to our holding area for just over an hour. The excitement in the room was intense. Everyone was excited. Everyone was a mom -- except 2 men who were there because they got in on standby through their hotel and didn't know it was a mom show (oops!). They had water for us and restrooms. We were all seated in a neat and orderly fashion. The only issue we had was that they didn't have anywhere to get food nearby and once we were in line, we weren't moving. (Pack a snack if you go.) You can take food in until you get to the studio but once you're in line, there is no going back. Luckily, I had a banana with me. Whew!

When the time comes, they call out a few names on the intercom of the preferred ticket holders -- I think you have to know someone to get those tickets - and then they called my friend's name and gave her special treatment because she is currently pregnant. They all got seated in the front section special seats within 10 feet of Oprah. Very nice.

While we waited for Oprah to come out, there was a woman who warmed us all up. She asked for funny stories about our kids. One woman got up and said her son wouldn't breastfeed in the beginning and when she finally got him to, then she couldn't get him to stop. Finally, at age 2, she took and put band-aids over her nipples and told him her boobs were broken. AND IT WORKED!

Another woman talked about peeing in a diaper while on a long car trip so she wouldn't have to stop at a rest stop and wake her two kids in the back seat. Talk about sacrificing!

After a few minutes of warming up the audience, Oprah finally comes out. She wasn't as glamorous as I was expecting -- maybe because her hair was straightened--but she looked nice as always. The show was about moms and motherhood and she had over a dozen moms who had Skyped in to be on the show. One was Heather Armstrong from which is an insanely successful mom blog. We talked about mom stuff. And then 2 women came on for a book they wrote called (something I can't remember). I'd tell you about it but I can't and they didn't give us a copy or any info about it really so what help does that do? Then they introduced Cheryl Hines from the new show called In the Motherhood that is coming out soon and looks cute. She's funny and nice. I was impressed with her. A few members of the audience added to the comments and told stories. And then at the end, Oprah said blah, blah, blah, "you're all getting a Flip Video camera with the Oprah logo." And the crowd goes wild! Yeah! It's a hundred dollar toy and is so easy to use I didn't even touch the manual -- which is again saying a lot because I don't think I've ever not even touched the manual of a new electronic. Super easy to use. Can't wait for Ada to get up from her nap so I can test it out. Too fun.

And that's it. Done. We walked out, got our coats and stuff we had confiscated, and picked up our Flip video and were on our way home by 11:05. Pretty sweet morning if you ask me.

And it was all made possible by my awesome neighbor Colette and her daughter Eva who graciously watched Ada while I went to Oprah. Nice. She's my hero. And she's moving to Seattle so if you know anyone who wants to buy a condo in Chicago... Let me know.

Moral of the story: Keep your eye out for me on an upcoming Oprah. You know the topic and the guests. I'm wearing teal, in the second tier of the audience, and it's doubtful I'll be more than a blurb on TV.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Now Hiring - Take 5

When everything seems to be going along so well...


My nanny is moving back home to live with her parents.

But not until May. At least I've got some time to replace her.

And my frustrations continue.

I just got done telling my friend that no matter how hard you try, you just can't plan to have a nanny for more than 6 months. It just doesn't work out that way. If the nanny candidate jumps around a lot, that's fine. Don't worry about it. Just roll with it and enjoy him/her while you can.

There was daycare - where she got kicked out, Ashley 1 (two days a week) and Emily (one day a week for about 3 weeks), then my friend Jessi and my mom filled in when she went to Hawaii for a month, then Gosha (she lasted half a day and taught me that a native English speaker was #1 on my list of qualities), Stacy (a month and a half before her back wasn't going to be able to lift our chunky monkey), and Ashley 2 who's been with us for quite some time now - September maybe? At least the streak is getting a bit longer.

Bummer. I really like Ashley too.

Well, we'll enjoy then next month or so and start the process over again. Who knows what the world will bring but I'm excited to continue riding the wave. :)

Moral of the story: Consider yourself warned. Childcare isn't easy and you just have to roll with the punches. Hold on and enjoy the ride.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

It's getting hot in here...

What's that on Ada's back?

Uh, I donno.

It looks like some sort of rash.

Yep. Looks like sandpaper kinda.

Let's google it.

Could be chickenpox. No. Scarlet fever. No. Strep Throat. No. Measles. No. Insert 20 other possible things here. No.

Let's just wait and see if it disappears. Give it a few days. She doesn't have any other symptoms and it doesn't itch, seems mild, and is only on her torso so let's watch to see if it spreads or what it does.


2 days later- day 2

Nanny Ashley texts, "What's this rash on Ada's back?"

"I donno. Just got it 2 days ago. Keep an eye on it and I'll take her to the doctor if it gets worse or persists. Watch her for a fever and let me know if she gets weird."

5 days later- day 7

Me to Rick. "I think it's getting better. Doesn't seem as bad today. Not that it was ever 'bad'."

Next day -day 8

Rick to me. "No, I don't think it's getting any better. Seems the same. Why don't you take her to the doctor(ess) Wednesday when you're off work?"


Next day -day 9

"Fine. I'll call and see if they think I need to take her in. I'm sure it's nothing but let's be safe."

I call the Nurse hot line.

"Is it raised? No. Any puss? No. Purple or Red like blood? No. White? No. Anywhere else on her body? No. Does she have any other symptoms? No. Fever? No. Allergies? No. (Insert another 20 questions here.) Well, I'm not sure what it is but you should take her in just in case since it's been around for so long. Better safe than sorry."


At the Doctor(ess') office:
(Nurse weighs her -- Shock! 28.6 lbs! I have an elephant. No wonder my back hurts!!!)

Doctoress: What's up?

Me: Ada's got a rash on her back.

Doctoress: Any allergies? New lotions? New foods? Health problems?

Me: No. No. Nope. Nothing.

Doctoress: What does she sleep in?

Me: Oh, a bunch of hot stuff. You know. Fleece footie pajamas. A fleece blanket. A plain fitted bed sheet. And we have radiators so it's super hot in our house. But I try to leave a fan on to cool things down. It's heat rash isn't it?

Doctoress: Yep. That's what it looks like to me. And if she sleeps mostly on her back, that makes sense.

Me: Yep. That crossed my mind and makes total sense but I had to make sure since I looked it up on the Internet and wanted piece of mind that it wasn't strep or scarlet fever even though she had no other symptoms.

Doctoress: Yep. She just needs to wear one layer less than you do. Maybe try to put her in a baby Y shirt. What do they call them? A wife beater. I think they make them for little boys. Probably not for little girls. But something cotton should work. Something without snaps.

Me: A tank top? Okay. I'll do that.

So what shocked you more? That Ada's got heat rash or that the Doctoress (super nice and African American, beautiful, impressive, didn't introduce herself to me when she came in which was weird) said "wife beater"?

Moral of the story: Pick one or both.
Don't over dress your kid because they'll get a rash. AND/OR Don't use words like "wife beater" when you are making a first impression and in a professional setting such as a Doctor's office.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Pedialyte Coupon

It all started with a Pedialyte Coupon....

The coupon was in the Sunday Chicago Tribune. We had Pedialyte on our grocery shopping list as I always try to have some of the individual bottles on hand just in case Ada gets sick. They only last 24 hours once you open them so no reason to get their big bottle unless you use a lot of Pedialyte.

So I send Rick and the two dollar off coupon to the store. He comes back with Pedialyte Popsicles. "They were all out of the single serving bottles so I thought we'd try these."

"Really? That's not really what I was going for but okay." Ignore the fact that we have a whole box of Popsicles in the freezer right now.

So today I decided I'd give the Popsicle a try. I gave Ada a blue one to see what would happen. It started out well. She appeared to be enjoying it.

Then she started chewing on the plastic so I moved it up.
Then she started sweeping it across the floor. I cleaned up the mess and tried to help her get a hold of it a little better.
Then it broke in half in the plastic sleeve and she started screaming at me to leave her alone because she was doing just fine without my help. You know that "Ehhhhhhehehehhhhhh" cry. So I left her alone. Then she pulled it out of the plastic and started crawling across the floor of the kitchen with it.

Bye Bye Popsicle. We'll try again later when you're older. Better luck next time.

Until then, I have over 2 dozen Popsicles in my freezer -- which is about the size of a postage stamp. Maybe an international postage stamp, but still.

Moral of the story: Be sure to always feed your child on an easily washable surface in washable clothing. See photo below for further support of this moral.

Inching closer to walking

A week ago Friday, Ada took two steps with nanny Ashley. This past Friday, she took 4 steps unaided with Mom and Dad. Sunday night we got 4 more after a dozen attempts that mildly resembled face planting on replay. Two steps, fall. Two steps, fall. Two steps, fall.

During this stage I'm getting a few common comments:

She'll be walking anytime now.

She'll start running the next week.

She'll slim down once she starts walking everywhere.

You're so lucky she's a bit of a late bloomer. (I know. It's awesome. I don't know why people aren't more proud of their late bloomers. I know I am. Go Ada! Take your time honey. Mommy's so proud of you!)

Every child develops differently. I'm sure she's in the range of what's normal.
Followed by: My first didn't walk until 16 months but my second wanted to chase her around so she started at 9 months.

I think kids start walking sooner when they have a dog/cat or siblings to chase after. Gives them more motivation.

I'm just excited that her walker can entertain her for a half hour. She's getting more exercise. She is taking one nap that can be anywhere from a half hour to two hours long. And she's still sleeping beautifully through the night.

I will admit that Rick and I shared a pretty big "high five" as soon as she made it those four steps. I'm glad we were both there for it. And I'm really glad she hasn't just taken off and is still taking her time to figure out how she wants to go about doing things. This is all on her timeline.
She's in charge.
She's taking her own sweet little time.
Not growing up too fast.
Savoring each stage in life.

And I think that's the moral of this story, and the story of life. So s-l--o---w d-----0-----w----n.