Friday, December 7, 2012

Addison Mae - 16 months

Man, I love this kid! She is so funny so smart and so cute. At her 15 month appointment, her doctor asked about  how many words she says and didn't quite believe me when I said in the realm of 50 or 60 (especially because in no way shape or form is she going to speak to him - he pokes and prods her and she doesn't care for it!). But, then he asked if she says two-word phrases, which she does, which apparently validates the breadth of her vocabulary. She's brilliant. She's ecstatic about the Christmas tree being up, and despite my best efforts to give her multiple trees of her own that she can do whatever she wants to, she's obsessed with pulling the ornaments off our big tree. But she also loves to lie under it (preferably with the cat) to look up at all the lights. Be still my heart. She loves her Christmas skaters, Little People nativity scene, Christmas books, Christmas music ... I think she already loves Christmas as much as I do. We had a really fun Thanksgiving at our house, with Addie predictably not so interested in the weird food we were giving her (I think she was saying, "what the heck is all this stuff covered in gravy? Where are my blueberries and squash?") The past month has also been full of Addie feeling pretty yucky. She started the month with an ear infection, which didn't respond well to ear drops or oral antibiotics. We saw her ENT and he gave us lots of good information about other options we'll start pursuing ... right now, we're basically waiting for her to get another ear infection so he can culture it and give his best recommendation. After the ear infection cleared up and starting on Thanksgiving came the fever that wouldn't end ... yesterday was the first day she hasn't had fever. We thought it was just teething, but then discovered she had a viral throat infection. After that came croup and a lower respiratory infection, and low and behold, an ear infection, which can't be cultured because of all the meds she's on for other things. Praise the Lord, she's finally acting like she feels better. I'm all for lots of snuggle time, but my poor girl's whimpers and pitiful little face when she's sick just break my heart. On a positive note, we did see Santa (which was not so positive for Addie) - we went to a really fun event where she got to make several crafts, have storytime with Mrs. Claus and then go meet Santa ... who she did not care for. Although she says a really cute, "ho, ho, ho" when you ask her what Santa says. I am so excited and thankful for the chance to spend Christmas with this precious baby girl. And trying really hard not to buy her every toy and article of clothing in the stores.

Weight: 20 lbs 6 oz
Length: 29 1/2 inches

New things this month:
  • Saying "Izzy no" and "Mia no." Seems she has learned who she has a lot of power over in this house.
  • Saying no a whole, whole, whole lot - even when we know she doesn't really mean it (because the answer to "do you want cheese" is never no). And occasionally yelling "Yes!!" which she learned from watching her dad watch football. She also nods her head yes and says uh-huh! when she wants something.
  • Saying "I love you," which sounds nothing like I love you unless you're her mother :)
  • Calling herself Addie Mae
  • Have I mentioned that she's slightly OCD? Yeah, I don't know where that comes from ... for example, after school each day, she has to do the following, in the correct order, visit the Jesus statue and touch his head, review the Christmas trees/bows/lights, see the waterfall, push the elevator button and ride up, review the nativity scene.
  • Saying her friends names ... Stella, Daisy, Jack and Kate are about as far as we've gotten so far.

  • Likes:

  • Elmo. He is number one. Followed by Bi Bir (Big Bird) and Cook (Cookie Monster)
  •  Stickers. She likes to put them everywhere. Everytime I'm out and about, I'm on the hunt for new stickers because there are never enough stickers in the world to satisfy this girl
  • Dancing. Girl's got moves.
  • Cheese.
  • All animals and animal noises.
  • Throwing Izzy's ball or toy for her.
  • The Christmas tree. And removing any and all ornaments within her reach. And flinging them all about the house or giving them to the cat to play with.
  • Speaking of flinging ... the girl loves to cover my entire house in Cheerios. I find them in my bed, in my closet, in the shower. There are too many for even Izzy to clean up.


  • Being away from momma. Especially when she doesn't feel well.
  • Taking her medicine, which I can fully understand since she's been on so many lately.
  • Chest x-rays or any other sort of medical personnel trying to do pretty much anything to her.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Addison Mae - 15 months

This baby girl has 78 times more energy than I do, on a good day. Wish I could bottle this stuff so I could keep up! She is so busy and the talking is constant. She loves to be outside. She drinks about a gallon of milk a day. She is now obsessed with her paci (we are in trouble). She loves to share her food with anyone in range (even tried with a sweet retail worker recently). She is a total daredevil and would have gone over the back of the couch numerous times if we hadn't been there to stop her. Her dancing is the cutest thing I have ever seen. She yells at the TV during football games (where on earth did she learn that??). She pulls the cat's tail and fur a lot ... and then goes to time out. She looks at us while we tell her "no" about something, keeps doing it and laughs. She stops her whirlwind of movement several times a day for snuggles and kisses. She loves to be read to - says "book" and then starts backing up to get in our laps. Her sweet smile and funny sense of humor are the highlights of my day. Nothing soothes my soul more than her sweet, heavy, sleepy head on my shoulder.

Weight: 19 lbs
Length: 28 1/2 inches

New things this month:
  • An official Ipad obsession. She asks (insists in a very loud voice) for EIEIO or "Melmo," which means her apps on the Ipad.
  • Along the same lines, an obsession with "Melmo." We were looking at a Target ad and she started obsessing about "Melmo" - we didn't even know she knew who Elmo was. Turns out they have an Elmo toy at school and watch Elmo music DVDs. So she's also brilliant. And Sesame Street is now a daily occurence at our house.
  • Constant talking. My favorite words she says are "uh oh" and "turtle." She can literally say everything we say to her. She's also started saying "Addie" a lot more, which usually sounds like "Ahi" :)
  •  Drawing/coloring. They have craft time at school fairly regularly, and I can tell that she's figuring out how to hold crayons and make pictures. Although the crayons still usually end up in her mouth for a quick taste.
  • Houseshoes. Her obsession with shoes ("bees") continues, and she was completely thrilled when she got houseshoes for Halloween.
  • Telling me which book she wants. "Mouse" applies to several that have mice in them, "Izzy" for one that has a button you push to make it bark, "Button" for one about buttons, "Wee wee wee" for nursey rhymes that include "This little piggy," "Mia" for one about cats, "Boo" for one about Halloween ...

  • Calling roll. She like to have all her people in one room at one time. And then she likes to name them all. (Still not saying Grammie - my mom is also named Mama)
  • Regular attacks on the cat. Keeps her in line.
  • Her teachers at school, whom she calls "Do" (Storm) and "Izzy" (Leigh)
  • Hairbows, which she likes to ask for, talk about and then rip off of her head. And then ask for it to be put in again.
  • Playing push-back, a very exciting game in my family which consists of the baby pushing on the adult until they fall over. She asks for "push, push."
  • Her new playroom. I finally caved and let Jordan turn our guest room into a playroom. Excellent decision. And it also means there isn't a room in our house that isn't covered with toys.
  • Buttons. Loves to push the elevator button at church. Asks to be lifted up to push the microwave buttons. I catch her in the pantry pushing the blender and crock pot buttons (which, don't worry, are not plugged in)
  • Cheese. I think this is her favorite food of all time.

  • Sugar. Jordan tried to sneak a little piece of donut onto her tray for dinner, which she spit out and replaced with a piece of squash. Glad she eats better than I do.
  • Her car seat. Can't wait until she weighs enough to turn her around. She's also thrown up in her car seat multiple times lately, I think just to remind us how much she hates being in it.
  • Being away from mama. Or mama being distracted by anything, which results in her holding/moving my face until I'm paying full attention to her.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Please tell me we're all this crazy

When I became a mom, I also turned crazy. OK, maybe I was a little bit crazy before, but becoming a mom has exacerbated the crazy.

My entire life, people have credited me with being very organized. That used to be somewhat true. Now one look in my closet, car or purse will tell you the truth about that one.

For example, I was at Sam's the other day and was having a very difficult time finding my credit card (you know, when all my items have already been scanned and the people behing me are glaring at me with daggers in their eyes). I offered to pay with the excess of graham crackers in my purse. The checker didn't think I was very funny. (I did find my card and no one tried to knife me or anything). I have been to two doctor's appointments in the past week or so, and at both they, understandably, asked me what medications I'm on. There are three and I couldn't remember the names of any. At either appointment. You'd think the first one would have prepared me to check my meds for the second. I told one that I'd be happy to share every medication my daughter has ever taken, along with dosage, side effects, etc. I still don't know the names of any of my own meds. I tell my coworkers it's often a miracle I get to work with clothes on. I forget to pay bills. My plants are all dead or screaming for water. My refrigerator desperately needs to be cleaned.

How is it that one tiny person can take over your life so completely, so totally that you literally can't get anything else done? Or perhaps this is just me? Please tell me it's not. And I have had this idea all along that as soon as she got to six months, to a year that things would ease up a bit. And things definitely do change, but that hasn't meant I have any more time to myself or to get things done. And how exactly do you tell people ... yeah, sorry I couldn't get to that. See, I have a kid.

I have always been a bit of a perfectionist. And someone who loves to check things off lists. And someone who bases success in life on measurable accomplishments. Changing eight diapers, getting halfway through three loads of laundry and forgetting to feed the dog till 8 at night don't exactly feel like accomplishments.

There are a lot of moments that do feel like huge accomplishments, though. Like getting through a trip to the grocery store without a breakdown. Making a new recipe (unless it's terrible). Hearing my sweet girl say a new word. Watching her "sing" itsy bitsy spider and realizing she learned that from watching me sing it to her. Seeing her share with other babies. Getting her sweet hugs and kisses. Making her belly laugh.

But it can be hard to see those things as accomplishments. Especially because we usually leave the store without everything we need to ward of a breakdown. My making dinner usually involves her crying and pulling on my leg because I'm not paying enough attention to her. My house is never clean enough. We still have episodes of inconsolable crying that take me back to colic days. Naps are never quite long enough. And I'm used to a completely different kind of accomplishment - like ROI, an increase in awareness or a meaningful media story. And I'm used to people constantly telling me I'm doing a great job. While Addie's hugs and kisses and laughter mean a lot, she doesn't exactly every say to me, "hey mom, I know this is a tough gig sometimes, but you're doing a great job."

And speaking of work ... How in the world do you people with kids and full time jobs do it???? I'm never devoting enough time to work. I'm never devoting enough time to her. That push/pull is relentless and agonizing. It's been much tougher on me, emotionally and physically, than I anticipated.

I told my mom the other day that there are times I genuinely feel like I'm the only mom in the world who doesn't have it all together. She asked if it was possible that other people look at me and think I've got it all together. Well I'm here to tell you that I really don't. My house is a wreck. I should pray more. I should talk to my husband more. I can't remember if I brushed my kid's teeth before she went to bed. I should be working on work instead of blogging. I have at least three friends' voicemails I need to return. My stinky dog seriously needs a bath. I seriously need some yoga. And a nap. And I'm crazy.

Addison Mae - 14 months

I swear I get these posts written at her month markers ... and then just forget to post ... or am waiting on a really great picture ... promise I'll repost with some recent pics.

From walking to RUNNING. And climbing. And jumping (which is that cute way babies jump where their little knees are bending and legs are working, but their little feet don't actually leave the ground :)). I only thought this baby of mine was into everything before. And I only thought she was talking up a storm before. The talking is constant. Where on earth did she get that?? New words every day and constantly trying to repeat what we're saying (which means we should get some of our words in check now). She is the life of the party wherever she goes. We are constantly being stopped, at the grocery store, at church, wherever we are for people to tell us how undeniably cute she is, what pretty eyes she has, how much she talks and how friendly she is (the waving is also constant). Which, let me just tell you, never gets old. The moms of kids in her Starbright class and at her Gymboree class say their kids talk at home about their friend Addie. And we got a note from Starbright saying how much the boys already love her - they love to pat her head and play with her. That was not Jordan's favorite day. I love that she loves to share, be inclusive of everyone she plays with and always has a smile and a wave - those are the sweet qualities, that as her mom, I hope to help grow and strengthen in her.

Weight: 18 lbs, 9 oz
Length: 28 1/2 inches

New things this month:
  • RUNNING. Everywhere. I look away for 2 seconds and she's across the house.
  • Climbing. I put her on the living room floor, and then look back and she's on the couch, leaning waaaaay over the back to pet the cat. Panic attack. She also somehow knows how to climb the ladders at Gymboree.
  • Talking. All. The. Time. I have no idea how many words she says, but it's a whole, whole lot. She has successfully learned "Pete" (as in Pistol) and "Rumble" (pronounced more like Bum Bum). She says no, except usually it's "no no" or "no no no" ... guess she hears that a lot. Other new words are all done when she's finished eating, wa-wa for water, play, up/down please, in/out please (usually in relation to the laundry basket ... why do I even buy this kid toys???), teeth, eye, ear, duck, deer, book, blue ...
  • Waving her wheat. Be still my heart :)
  • The animal sound obsession has continued. We took her to the zoo and it was crazy overload. She moo'd at the hippos, rhinos and bison, meow-ed at anything that looked like a cat, hissed at the snake, made fish-face at the fish, etc. etc.  
  • Taking consistently longer naps. We waited what felt like a long time for this, but we're finally there. She takes one afternoon nap that's usually anywhere from one to two hours.

  • Playing with door handles. Perhaps we should keep our doors locked at all times.
  • Climing up onto the hearth, from which she surveys her kingdom and subjects.
  • Going to the park. The wagon ride is the best part, but she also likes climbing on the equipment, swinging and sliding.
  • Waving. She's like the mini welcoming committee at church. I love watching people's faces light up at the grocery store when they see my little waver smiling at them.
  • Mice. Not the real kind, at least I hope not. Have you ever noticed how many children's books have mice in them? We read Goodnight Moon every night, and the mouse is somewhere different on each page. She has several mouse-related books at Grammie and Pawpaw's too.
  • Shoes, which she calls "bees" (and I find myself doing, too ... Jordan, have you seen my bees??). She is seriously obsessed with her own shoes, Jordan's, mine, whoever's shoes she can get her hands on. We took her to try on/buy shoes and she squealed and squealed. This could become a problem.
  • Bubbles are still a very big deal. When I tell her we're going to Gymboree, she says, "bubble??" And there's no going out to the back yard at our house unless there is also bubble time.
  • Pumpkins. The pumpkin patch was like heaven. She screamed "ball!!! ball!!!!" And then proceeded to lick every pumpkin we gave her. We bought a lot of pumpkins.
  • Being read to. Especially if the books is about a mouse.
  • Sharing her snacks with Izzy, or mom or dad. We have snack time about six times a day at our house.
  • Playing with other babies.
  • Telling you where your eyes, ears, mouth, nose, teeth and tongue are located. Very helpful. She tries to pin down Izzy and Mia to tell them, too.
  • Looking out the cat door, which is in the utility room and goes out to the garage, and calling either for the cat or whichever parent isn't at home. She also sits there to wave and say bye-bye to her dad in the mornings.

  • Most vegetables. Our once awesome eater is going through what I hope is just a picky phase.
  • Her Halloween costume, which is an elephant. She really likes to look at it but wearing it is currently a no-go.
  • Teeth brushing.
  • Anything less than five snacks a day.
  • Being away from mama.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Addison Mae - 13 months

Oh yes, the monthly updates will continue. Mostly because I can hardly remember what happened yesterday, so I (as one of the few people who reads this blog!) love to go back and see how my baby girl has changed from month to month. Addie had such a fun birthday with many celebrations and many cakes, which, ironically, she didn't particularly care for. I think she's not so into really sweet things, and I'm all for keeping it that way as long as possible. I'm totally fine with eating her sweets for her. She continues to change dramatically every month, with her most dramatic change being WALKING! I am equal parts thrilled and terrified by everything that means.

Weight: 18 lbs, 6 oz
Length: 28 inches

New things this month:
  • WALKING!!!! She took her first steps a few weeks after her birthday and over Labor Day weekend really took off. She's about a 50/50 crawler/walker at this point. She's still much faster on all fours. But she's SO proud of her new skill!
  • Saying more words than I can possibly count. If I were to guess, I'd say she says about 30 to 35 words. Her new favorites include snack (pronounced NACK in a very loud, insistent voice), down (when she's done being held or wants to walk), Mimi (the cat and her grandma!), bubble, mouse, book and eat (anytime we come remotely close to her high chair, also in a loud, insistent voice). She just learned no, so I'm guessing that will soon become a favorite.
  • Eating all the foods she wasn't supposed to eat before the age of one. Favorites have been peanut butter and strawberries. Totally my child.
  • Drinking whole milk. We were nervous about this since my eating dairy while nursing was a big no-no. But she did great and goes through a carton of milk in no time. That also means no more nursing, which was difficult for her for just a few days, and is still a little emotional for me.
  • Wearing shoes. I know, kind of makes me seem like a terrible mother ... but she really hated shoes until just recently.
  • Playing with her babies. Calling herself baby. And pointing out all babies in photos or real life. Anyone under the age of about 15 is a baby.
  • Time outs. Boo. She's started hitting us or the animals in the face occasionally, hence the time outs. The somewhat funny part about this is that her time out location is her crib (the only place she can be contained), so when I warn her that if she hits again she will go to time out, she responds by saying "night night???"
  • Making even more animal sounds. She's so smart.
  • Going to Gymboree once a week. She LOVES it. She's especially fascinated by all the balls they have there, the other babies, the bubble time (the teacher calls her bubble due to her crazed obsession) and of course Gymbo the clown. She is completely mesmerized by him.
  • Starting in the one-year-old classroom at Starbright. No more nursery for this big girl!

  • Waving. At everyone. My little social butterfly.
  • Her new farm toy, courtesy of my aunt, uncle and cousins. She loves that it makes all the animal noises, which she then mimics.
  • Her new book about animal tails, courtesy of her Auntie Katie who knows my baby's obsession with animals.
  • Eating. As evidenced by two of her new favorite words. I can't decide if she's really that hungry all the time or just likes the power of saying those words and getting what she's asking for.
  • Her pink armchair, which she got for her birthday. She loves to sit in it, and for about the first week of trying out her new walking skill, she had to start from that chair. Kind of bounced herself into an upright position.
  • Asking for "babies," which means she wants to look on my phone at pictures of herself or go all around the house looking at her pictures. Thank you Kristi Morton for ensuring we have plenty of beautiful pictures all over our house! :)
  • Sharing her toys with other babies.
  • Chasing Izzy or Cowboy with her push car. And laughing.
  • Turning off and on the DVD player, cable box, CD player and receiver.
  • Being read to. But at the pace (FAST) she requires and preferably the same one or two books over and over and over and over.
  • Throwing a ball for Izzy or Cowboy.
  • Being refused a NACK.
  • Time outs.
  • Not getting what she wants, when she wants it.
  • Being away from mama.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Addison Mae - 12 months

This time last year, we were anxiously awaiting the arrival of the little person who would forever change our lives. We knew we would love her, but we had no idea the breadth and depth of that love. She continues to amaze us and make us believe she's the smartest, most talented baby there ever was. She's a pistol, who wants to do things her way, herself, unless she's feeling sad, unhappy, mad or sick, and then she wants momma. We are sad that the past year, and Addie's true babyhood, is behind us, but we are looking forward to the many years ahead.

Weight: 18 lbs, 6 oz
Length: 28 inches

New things this month:
  • Using her push car, or anything that moves really, to facilitate walking
  • Standing on her own for longer periods
  • Saying baseball, beach ball, beans, milk ... and probably a lot of other things we just can't decipher.
  • Giving hugs and loves to accompany those open-mouth kisses. There is nothing better than feeling that sweet baby's head on my shoulder. She loves to hug her stuffed animals, too. And her real ones.
  • Making amazing animal sounds, just like her momma. She can successfully tell you what the elephant, monkey, kitty, puppy, fish and chicken say.
  • Blowing bubbles in the pool or bathtub
  • Her first ER visit. Poor baby has had croup for the past week and was having a lot of trouble breathing on Sunday, hence the ER visit. Thankfully it was brief and uneventful. A new round of steroids from her ped seems to have done the trick.
  • Her dad's baseball, which she has commandeered from the study. She is constantly asking for the other baseballs on the shelves (which are autographed), and he hasn't given in to her. Yet.
  • And, yes, the ball in general is still number one. Along with Izzy and Izzy (actually, Addie is now referring to Mia as "meow" since she can say what the kitty says)
  • I can't believe I've never mentioned the "shaky shake" game as one of her top likes. This consititutes shaking anything that makes a noise, accompanied by the "shaky shake" song, coined by her very talented Grammie.
  • Playing with fabric samples, which we call "iggy biggy boo," because that's seems to be what Addie says when she plays with them. Grammie has, of course, also made up a song for this game.
  • Opening drawers and cabinets and removing EVERYTHING. She has several specially designated drawers and cabinets throughout the house.
  • Peekaboo. She loves to initiate games herself, sneak around a piece of furniture or doorway to play or even pull her own shirt over her head to play.
  • Waving at anyone and everyone. When we're at the grocery store, I'm constantly hearing giggling behind me because Addie's making eyes and waving at whoever is back there. She loves to make friends wherever she goes.
  • Looking at pictures of herself (and saying "baby") and of close family members and identifying them.
  • Bringing books to us to read and getting in our laps. She likes to shove a book in my face and say "mama  mama mama mama," which I think means, "hey lady, read this to me right now." She loves to turn the pages in books, usually before we're done reading them.
  • Stacking blocks or cups
  • Bubbles. Particularly when her dog chases and bites the bubbles.
  • Going shopping. Unless it's for 10 minutes or less and there are a lot of really interesting people to look at and talk to.
  • Anyone whose name isn't mama when she's unhappy or sleepy.
  • Ear drops.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Addison Mae - 11 months

T-minus one month until baby girl is a whole year old. Where has the time gone?! I know Jordan and I are biased, but we're pretty sure our girl is a genius. She's talking up a storm and getting pretty much anywhere she wants to go. Her teachers at Starbright are amazed at how well she's talking, eating, drinking from a sippy cup, napping, playing, interacting ... and just in general being happy. I love when they tell me how she's progressing because, clearly, I've never done this before and have nothing to compare it to! It seems like every day Jordan and I or my mom and I are saying to each other, "did you know she could do this or say this?" I will admit that this girl of mine wears me slick, but there's nothing I'd rather be doing.

Weight: approx 18 pounds
Length: approx 28 inches

New things this month:
  • Crawling up on her knees, as opposed to the army crawl.
  • Standing on her own for a few seconds. When this girl starts walking, we're all in trouble.
  • Saying pawpaw, baby, night-night and something that sounds a lot like Addie. She loves to repeat, or try to repeat, what we say.
  • She also loves to sing "na-na na-na," which developed from Jordan's post-bath song to her ... "Who's that girl? Na na na na na na na na na na na. Addie's that girl. Na na na na na na na na na na na." As soon as the bath water starts draining, she starts singing.
  • Grabbing her hair when we ask where her bow goes.
  • Showing that she knows where your nose is by trying to pull it off. Also pointing to her teeth and toes when asked.
  • Following directions, when she wants to, like sit on your bo-bo (in the bathtub where she prefers to stand), put the ball in the cup, give Izzy a hug, can I have a kiss, put the hat on your head, throw the ball to me. If the directions include the word "no" it's guaranteed she won't listen. It's still amazing how much she understands what we're saying!
  • Trying to make elephant and monkey sounds when we ask what they say. I make a mean elephant and monkey so I can see why she'd want to repeat it
  • Putting hats on her head. Or someone else's head. Or even better taking hats off someone else's head.
  • Getting ear tubes. She acted like it was totally no big deal. Hoping these make a big difference for her and we can leave behind the awful ear infections and antibiotics.
  • The ball is still number one. Followed closely by Izzy and Izzy (aka Mia)
  • Eating. New favorite foods have been blueberries (which she calls balls), taco meat and pinto beans and peas
  • Dancing and bouncing to music. And singing as mentioned above
  • Swimming. Although she does not want to be in a float or encumbered in any way. She also loves to stick her face in the water.
  • Drumming on anything. Maybe she's going to be musical, although I am not sure how she would be considering who her parents are ...
  • Her night-night bunny
  • Her pillow pal, aka Lambie
  • Throwing food off her high chair tray for her dog, or to tell us she's done, or just for fun. She hears no a lot about this one.
  • The blinds. Another reason she hears no a lot.
  • Throwing toys at other children's heads. We've witnessed this and her Starbright teachers have, too. I think she's trying to teach them to catch.
  • Ice cubes
  • Drinking from a straw
  • Being interrupted when she's doing something important
  • Being constrained in any way
  • Sleeping in her own bed between the hours of 4 and 7 a.m.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Family Bed

Let me be quite clear. This is not a post about whether babies should or shouldn't sleep in "the family bed." To each his own. This is a post about my last hold out, the last sliver of myself pre-baby, the last thing I said I wouldn't do that I actually hadn't ... until now.

One of my last posts was about all the things I swore I'd never do, of which I've now done all. Jordan and I had a very short, very clear-cut discussion when I was pregnant about whether we'd have Addie sleep in our bed. The answer, from us both, was a resounding no. Mostly because we were afraid we'd squish her. And as someone who's had a lot of experience sleeping in a bed with Jordan Page, let me tell you, he'd squish her. He's a thrasher and an arm-flinger. And a ridiculous snorer, if you want to know. Several times very early on in our marriage, I woke to him putting his pillow over my head and then lying on top of it. All in his sleep, or so he claims.

And then beyond the squishing fear, we clung to the fact that it was virtually the only baby-free zone in our house. We REALLY like our sleep. And that was the one place we wanted to actually be able to enjoy our sleep. Or for at least one of us to enjoy sleeping while the other was trying to convince the baby to sleep.

We put a twin bed in Addie's room for this very reason, and we've both spent more nights than I'd like to count sleeping with her in that twin bed. Especially when the colic was really bad and the only way she'd go to sleep was on her tummy. I've crashed in that bed when I've finally gotten her to go back to sleep in the middle of the night and the 12 steps back to my own bed might as well be 1200 miles.

It started innocently enough. Kind of like when we let our cute new puppy cuddle in bed with us on a Saturday morning. (By the way, that little puppy is now 65 pounds with approximately 12 legs that stretch in every direction when she sleeps with you.) Addie's wake time was getting earlier and earlier. When she started waking before 6:30 a.m., and then before 6 a.m., Jordan would attempt to go in and convince her to go back to sleep. Which clearly would never happen since we could hear her happy little voice singing and laughing over the monitor. So, he started bringing her to our bed and I'd nurse her there. Then we'd all three hang out and play for a bit before we got up for the day. This has become a daily routine that we cherish - a few minutes to delight in our beautiful baby before tackling the day. And drinking lots of coffee.

I think it was during the last ear infection that I officially gave in. When she wakes in the night and is really upset or hurting, she wants me. And she usually wants to nurse. Yes, I'm aware that she's 10 months old and doesn't need to nurse during the night. But I've said before and I'll say it again, if I can give that baby a boob and get her back to sleep in 15 minutes rather than stay up for another hour, I'm choosing sleep. So I hear Jordan trying and trying and trying to calm her down and get her to go back to sleep (Have I mentioned that I have an awesome husband who is almost always to first to go to Addie during the night when she cries? Until I hear him give up by saying "Erin. Boob."). And I know it's not going to work. So I raise the white flag of surrender. And I say it. "Just bring her in here." I nurse, she goes back to sleep. In our bed.

And you know what? We don't squish her. And she snuggles with us as she sleeps. And makes sweet little noises. And says her favorite word, ball, and smiles, in her sleep. And she thrashes a bit and flings her limbs (yep). So I don't get much sleep. (Snore-y McSnorerson can saw logs through anything). And I hardly even care. When she wakes up, she's so happy and sweet and says ma-ma, da-da like she's so delighted and surprised to see us there.

So we've repeated this scenario a handful of times. And I have discovered how sweet it is to snuggle with my precious, sleeping girl, who prefers to take over my pillow and most of my side of the bed. As my friend wisely pointed out to me this weekend - "You haven't completely given in. You're not starting out with her in your bed every night. And really you're just trying to get some sleep for a few more hours and save some sanity." So true.

So you know how I like to have morals to my stories. WHO CARES what I said I was or wasn't going to do? It's nice to have an idea of what you'd like to do and not do as a parent. But you have to give yourself the flexibility (and permission) to change your mind when you're in the middle of it. And who has time to worry over it or beat yourself up about it? I don't know about you, but I've got a baby to chase.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Addison Mae - 10 months

This baby girl spent 10 months (approximately) in my belly and has now spent 10 months making my life complete. The best way to describe her is ... everywhere. She is on the move constantly. Even when she's nursing, she is doing toe-touches, pulling on my necklace, looking for the dog and talking (yep). Speaking of talking, Addie has about 4.5 words thus far. The one she uses the most, that she starts saying the moment her eyes open in the morning, that I swear I've heard her say multiple times in her sleep and that she must say about 876 times per day is BALL. But it's more like ball ball ball ball ball ball ball ball ball ... With a few inserted "Izzy"s every now and again. My favorite is when we go outside and tell Izzy to get her ball and Addie says Izzy ball Izzy ball Izzy ball. The girl has beach balls, bouncy balls, plastic ball-pit-like balls ... they're her favorite toy by far. In addition to her two favorite words, she says ma-ma and da-da and sometimes hi and bye. The past month has been absolutely incredible watching her hit one milestone after another after another. She also hit her fourth (maybe fifth?? I can't remember) ear infection - another double one. We've got an appointment next week with an ear/nose/throat specialist and are hopeful that will give us the go ahead to get tubes in her ears. Our ped told me he's never seen a mom quite so insistent on getting tubes in her baby's ears (I'm sure he was trying to say that nicely :)), but it just pains me so much to see her in pain, and the antibiotics practically cause more harm than good to her. So, yep, bring on the tubes. Speaking of tubes, remember that one in her eye? Yeah, she pulled it out a bit so we had to go in and have it removed completely. Thankfully it seems to have done it's job and her symptoms have disappeared. When our doc said about 5 percent of babies pull their tubes out, Jordan and I looked at each other and said that will be our girl.

When I look into Addie's sweet face, it looks more and more like a big girl and less like a baby. Exciting and sad all at the same time. Though we miss little things about her being a tiny baby, Jordan and I are just holding on for dear life and trying to enjoy every moment while we look forward to all the fun times ahead.

Weight: approx 18 pounds
Length: approx 28 inches

New things this month:
  • Perfecting the army crawl and occasionally crawling up on her knees. She looks like a baby sea turtle. And she is FAST
  • Pushing herself from tummy to a seated position.
  • Pulling up on everything. And cruising around the furniture. Sometimes pulling up on our pant legs. Sometimes pulling up and letting go of everything and forgetting she can't quite stand on her own yet.
  • Saying ball, bye, hi and, finally, da-da
  • Looking up and pointing when we ask "where's the fan?"
  • Clapping. So very cute.
  • Waving. With both hands. At herself. Even cuter than the clapping.
  • Sticking out her tongue and/or blowing raspberries when we ask where her tongue is. Baby girl's got tricks!
  • Sleeping with her bottom sticking up in the air. Be still my heart.
  • Wanting to eat anything and everything we're eating.
  • Clearly developing a stubborn, I-want-my-way streak. We have no idea where she got this ...
  • The ball. Any variety or size. And she wants to talk about it a whole lot.
  • All four-legged friends. Whether they want to be her friend or not, and that includes the two she lives with. Any and all four-legged friends are named Izzy.
  • Eating. New favorite foods have been pineapple, hamburger and brisket.
  • Playing pattycake. Especially since she can now clap.
  • Dancing and bouncing to music.
  • Swimming. She is crazy about being in the pool.
  • Playing peekaboo with her own shirt.
  • Typing emails. Well, really she just likes to punch all the keys on my computer.
  • Watching videos of herself.
  • Other babies. She's just started to really notice other babies when we're out and about, and she'll strain and wiggle to watch them as long as possible.
  • Giving slobbery, open-mouth kisses. And getting slobbery, open-mouth kisses from Izzy
  • Her mom and dad. It never gets old that she likes us so much. She's been reaching for us to pick her up for quite awhile, but it's much more insistent now. And if we're not paying attention or she really means it, she crawls over and pulls up on our legs.
  • Riding in the backseat alone. We have made this a little easier by putting a carfull of toys in the backseat with her.
  • Being interrupted while playing for something ridiculous like a diaper change or meal or nap.
  • Her stationary jumper. Much too confining for a girl who can crawl everywhere (hence why we want to put her in it ...)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Everything I swore I'd never do

It's so easy when you aren't a parent to say, "well, of course I'll never do that." Even when pregnant, I read the parenting books and thought of course I won't rock my baby to sleep because she'll become dependent on that, of course I won't let her play with a plastic sack because she could suffocate, of course I will take the pacifier away no later than 8 months, before she can resist very strongly. How very little I knew ...

Before my OB released us from the hospital, she looked us in the eyes and said, "Remember, you guys are in survival mode. Whatever you have to do to get through the day is OK." I'm pretty sure she just meant this in reference to our first few weeks as parents, but it has become my mantra for all time.

When I'm rocking/nursing/singing my baby to sleep instead of letting her soothe herself to sleep, I'm feeling incredibly guilty that I'm doing exactly what the "experts" say not to do. Especially because I was so sure I would listen to those experts. I do like to follow the rules. When Jordan or I have made our 12th trip into her room in the middle of the night because she's crying, I'm pretty sure we must be crazy. But here's the thing. I think back to a really difficult day when Addie was about 5 or 6 months old, when we thought the colic was gone for good and then it came back with a vengeance. I was letting her "soothe" herself to sleep, which meant she was screaming bloody murder, when it hit me. I am her mom. Those "experts" in those parenting books aren't here. I am. When you live with a baby who has colic, who cries and cries and cries for hours and there's literally nothing you can do about it, it changes anything you ever thought about the way you would parent. I made a resolution to myself, for myself, that when and if I can soothe her, I'll do it. There have been so many times that she's crying and I can't fix it, so if I can fix it, through rocking or singing or nursing or snuggling, that's exactly what I'm going to do. No matter what those parenting experts say I'm supposed to do.

Several of my friends have confessed to me that they rocked (or still rock) their babies to sleep, not because their babies need it, but because they need it. And isn't that the truth. Some day Addie's going to be 14, and I'm pretty sure not only will she no longer fit on my lap, she'll die of embarrasment if I try to rock her to sleep. Looking into my baby's sweet, vulnerable face as she is about to fall asleep is my very favorite part of the day, and not just because it's the only time of day she will actually hold still.

It makes me feel a little better to know that Addie is perfectly capable of soothing herself to sleep, and oftentimes she does just that. She is back to (usually) sleeping through the night, after battling months of teething, ear infections, etc. that took us back to square one after having a baby who had slept through the night for months before. And (warning: boob joke ahead) if she does wake in the night, and giving her a boob means I can get back to sleep in 15 minutes as opposed to her crying for another hour, take a quick guess what I'm going to choose.

As for that pacifier ... I heard a news story recently about the importance of weaning babies from the bottle at age 1 and from a pacifier at 6 months. My immediate reaction was, "did whoever make these rules actually have children?" Sure, I agree in theory that that makes sense. But , some of the time, theory and reality couldn't be further from each other. If giving your baby a bottle or pacifier past that cut-off age gives you a little sanity or sleep (extremely precious commodities in my book), I get it. (PS don't judge me if my kid still has her paci at age 10).

And about that pastic bag ... I was trying to clean our closet today, while also entertaining the baby, and after she tried to lick her 12th shoe, she grabbed a GAP bag and had the very best time with it. For like 5 whole minutes. It was beautiful. And I was monitoring very closely to ensure she didn't put it over her head and suffocate.

So the moral of the story is: don't judge my parenting skills and I won't judge yours. We're all just trying to survive.

Addison Mae - 9 months

I am so lucky to be this girl's momma. Even though every moment isn't perfect and I have plenty of moments of frustration, anxiety and insanity as a mom, I feel so blessed that God chose Jordan and me to be her parents. Addie's curiosity and need to be BUSY continue to amaze us, and wear us out. Her sense of humor, orneryness and playful spirit are becoming more evident each day. That girl's belly laugh is the best sound in all the world, and I make a fool out of myself multiple times a day just for the chance to hear it. She loves to eat, which she comes by naturally, loves to be the center of attention, ditto, and loves tormenting her animals ... probably also a ditto. She's on her way to six whole teeth, with two more not far behind. Did I mention she can get wherever she wants to go? Her method of army crawling, rolling, scooting and pulling up means whatever that girl wants, she gets. Her new love of remote controls, phones and computers must mean her parents are playing with those toys far too much. Addie had tear duct surgery in late April, which was fairly easy and took less than 10 minutes. Watching her come off the anesthesia was really rough for Jordan and me, but it was very short-lived. Two weeks after she had the tube put in, it had to come back out because she had pulled it out some (imagine that). Thankfully, that happens in many cases and doesn't mean it has to be put back in - her doctor is confident it's already done the job. A week before the surgery, this tearful momma got to go to Mexico with my super amazing husband for his reward for being a top 10 salesman in his company, for the second year in a row. It was so hard to leave our baby, and we missed her like crazy, but we enjoyed sleeping late, eating and drinking, and just lying on the beach. We were anxious to get home to our girl and so glad she remembered us!!

Weight: 17 lbs, 9 oz
Length: 27.5 inches

New things this month:
  • We have a crawler. Her method is more of an army crawl, but she sure is fast.
  • Pulling up. On everything.
  • Saying Izzy, which she says in reference to Izzy herself, the cat and any other four-legged friend. Don't ask Jordan how he feels about her saying ma-ma and Izzy before da-da ...
  • Eating almost all finger foods. Baby food is, clearly, for babies.
  • Swimming! Baby girl went swimming in her Grammie and Pawpaw's pool for the first time and she was wild about it. The diaper was the only downside since it meant her little bottom kept rising to the surface ... and I'm so glad I now know just how much liquid a diaper can hold.
  • Moving up to her big-girl car seat.
  • Laughing when we tickle her. Which we do a lot just to hear that sweet sound.
  • Oh, Izzy and Mia. The best dog and cat around. I've been trying to teach Addie to pat them gently instead of pulling their fur out, biting their ears and pounding on their backs, but she doesn't seem to be getting the message. I've also tried to teach them to run away when Addie comes crawling, but they seem to like her attention.
  • Eating. Favorite foods are avocado, cantaloupe and chicken. She also loves asparagus, black beans, garbanzo beans, pumpkin, apples, pears, green beans ... well, pretty much whatever we feed her.
  • Initiating games of peekaboo.
  • Washing her hands in the sink. It's the little things.
  • Being outside. She squeals when we take Izzy out in the back yard. And squeals even louder when we throw Izzy the ball or she runs all around the yard. Addie will try to wrench herself out of our arms just to see where her puppy is.
  • Riding in her new red wagon. I thought she wouldn't care anything about it, but Jordan insisted we get it and she thinks it's the best thing that ever happened to her.
  • She loves to look around to see if we're watching before she crawls or pulls up - have I mentioned she likes to be the center of attention?
  • Magazines. She loves to go get the mail with me every day, and now she has figured out that's where the magazines come from. She can rip and chew up a magazine in the blink of an eye.
  • Sophie the giraffe. A gift from her Great Aunt Granny and Uncle Pawpaw. Rubbery, made for teething babies and with a squeaker. Think: dog toy. Poor Izzy does not understand why the baby has a toy that looks, sounds and smells like a dog toy, but she has been very good not to take it away. We take Sophie everywhere.
  • Dancing/bouncing/jumping to music. So, so cute.

  • Not getting her way. Where did that come from?
  • Being constrained  in any way, shape or form.
  • Riding in the backseat alone.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Addison Mae - 8 months

When did this baby girl get so BIG? And so BUSY?! I've started calling Addie baby Jordan. If the shoe fits ... She is constantly on the move, wants to know where everyone is and is intent on getting what she wants, even if she can't get there on her own. Now, I realize that sounds more like me than Jordan ... but as babies I was fairly calm and content and he was BUSY. So basically the opposite of how we are now. Addie loves to eat and loves to feed herself. I love watching her sense of accomplishment when she actually gets something from her tray into her mouth. She's figured out her sippy cup, too. She's less and less interested in nursing and her bottle - usually because she has way too many things to do to sit still and eat. The best part about the past month has been Addie saying ma-ma. Whether she actually means it in relation to me makes no difference at all - still the sweetest thing I've ever heard! And the next best has been her giving slobbery, drooly, open-mouth kisses to Jordan and me. She may or may not just be trying to chew on us (see: worst part of the past month) but I'll take it either way. The worst has been those darn teeth. Poor thing has been teething fairly constantly since the beginning of February, but she does have four sweet little teeth to show for it. The other worst part was finding out that she has to have surgery to unblock the tear ducts in her right eye in late April. Though we love the doctor who's performing the surgery and it's a very minor procedure, we are going to be basketcases that day. Thankfully it's a very short (like 10 minute) procedure, but she does have to be sedated. And I'm wondering how in the world I will explain to her that she can't eat before the surgery ...

Weight: 16 pounds, 2 oz
Length: around 25.5 inches

New things this month:
  • Saying ma-ma. :) I don't know that she knows what the heck she's saying, but she does say it a lot around me. And to Jordan, which is rather hilarious.
  • More teeth. In addition to the bottom two, she has the matching top set.
  • A little separation anxiety when we leave the room, she wakes in the night or we drop her at Starbright. And a definite preference for mom when she's sleepy/doesn't feel good.
  • Trying to pull up. Seriously, we're just going to move straight past crawling to running. She pulls herself to her knees with one of her big toys, me and the arm of the couch. She also tried it in the bathtub this week and about gave us a heart attack.
  • A little bit of scooting, mostly backwards instead of forwards. Have to start somewhere.
  • Moving from a sitting position to her belly and then to her back. And then rolling all over the floor.
  • Putting objects into a container, like blocks into a box. Most impressive is that she has a new octopus toy (yes, my baby continues to be obsessed with all sea creatures, octopuses in particular) where you place a ball in his hat or arm and it winds around and drops under one of five shoes. She can totally put a ball in the hat or arm all by herself. And then she smiles and laughs about it like she knows what a big deal she is. I am pretty sure she's a genius.
  • Giving kisses. Or just chewing on our faces.
  • Getting rid of her baby bathtub and taking baths like a big girl. And splashing, splashing, splashing. And occasionally taking a nose dive into the water. She does love to have the faucet turned on so she can put her hands, and sometimes her head, under the running water.
  • A few blessed nights of sleeping 12 hours straight. Hoping to make this the norm.
  • Moving toward longer, less frequent naps. Hallelujah.
  • The octopus toy mentioned above.
  • Any and all toys that make music/sound. The more obnoxious, the better.
  • Our crazy dog and cat. They have a special place in heaven for all the ear pulling and biting they take from her. At least Izzy now benefits from cleaning out the baby's highchair when I'm not looking.
  • Eating finger foods. She loves avocado, banana, puffs, Cheerios, pancakes, sweet potatoes and biscuits. Yum. She asks for her "big girl" breakfast, lunch and dinner much louder than she asks to nurse or for a bottle now.
  • Her sippy cup, which she can occasionally figure out herself. Such a big girl.
  • Spatulas remain near and dear to her heart.
  • Her seahorse toy that plays classical music. A new must-have for bedtime. And nighttime awakenings.
  • Playing peekaboo and pattycake.
  • Any and all animal sounds, preferably made by her super talented mother.
  • Having her teeth brushed.
  • Teething. I think we can all agree that the four teeth she has are plenty.
  • Ear infections. We've had two of those and that is also plenty.
  • Being constrained in any way, shape or form. I think she's making up for spending the first four months of her life swaddled.
  • Having her face wiped, nails trimmed, ears cleaned, boogers removed ... she doesn't want to be messed with!
  • Not being able to get where she wants to go or reach what she wants.
  • Being away from mom or dad.
  • Not being the center of attention. I have no idea where she got this.  

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Addison Mae - 7 months

A little late on this one, too ... I guess we've been super busy the past few months! Addie's seventh month was marked by teething, another ear infection, a cold and a fever ... so it was a little rough on all of us. But in the midst of all that, for the most part, she continued to be my sweet, happy, BUSY girl! She is moving all the time. And starting to get really frustrated when she can't move when and where she wants to. Her little body just can't keep up with her brain! She continues to change so much every day. She'll start a new skill one day and have perfected it within the next two or three. I'm pretty sure she's a genius. I think (fingers crossed) the colic is gone for good.

Weight: around 16 pounds
Length: around 25.5 inches

New things this month:

  • ROLLING! Front to back, back to front and all across the floor. She has figured out that it's an excellent way to get to something out of her reach.
  • Even more babbling and "talking." Loves to explore new sounds and watch our mouths move.
  • Obsessing about where Izzy and Mia are. When we talk about what the dog or cat say (she's very into animal sounds and I am a professional at making just about any animal sound), she looks and looks around for those two.
  • TEETH! Those suckers caused her lots and lots of pain and discomfort. The first bottom tooth came in, followed by the second about two weeks later. Boy were we glad to see them finally poke through.
  • She's perfected sitting up and falls over almost never. She likes to try to sit up while she's nursing. That's fun for me.
  • Reaching for mom and dad. Be still my heart.
  • Starting the Starbright Children's Day Out at our church. This was, to put it mildly, slightly stressful for me. Addie had a bit of a tough time at first but she has adjusted really well and her teachers have been so sweet and patient with her. Her grammie has been missing having her at her house, though.
  • Izzy and Mia win. They are her favorites. Well, Jordan and I rank pretty high, too.
  • Eating "big girl" food, which mostly consists of baby food. We've tried small pieces of banana and avocado, which she likes. Mostly she just slimes them around her tray.  
  • Her puppy piano, which she got for Valentine's Day. I may or may not be able to sing every song, in the correct order, on cue.
  • Blocks. On a day when she was slightly fussy and I was out of idea, I got the block set out of her closet. I thought she was still a little young to appreciate them. I was wrong. She loves when I stack them up and she can push them over.
  • Loves all her bath toys.
  • Crazy about her stationary jumper. Much more fun now that those feet can touch the ground.
  • Swinging! We tried out the swing on our neighborhood jungle gym, and although she was pretty suspicious at first, now she loves it.
  • This girl likes to be BUSY. She wants to know where every noise comes from, where everyone is located and what they are doing at all times.
  • All manner of kitchen utensils. Spatulas are her favorite and now when we pull them out of the drawer she grins because she knows they're for her. And if I was thinking about using it for, I don't know, cooking, it quickly gets relinquished to the queen of my heart.
  • Chewing. On anything.
  • Not being able to get where she wants to go. I think she's going to be running at any point. She is forever acting like she wants to get down when we're holding her, like she wants to stand/walk, etc. She has places to go and people to see!

Addison Mae - 6 months

If you wondered if you missed Addie turning 6 months old, you didn't. I wrote the blog, took the pics, just never posted. So here it is ... just a month or so late!

    I am trying not to get weepy about the fact that my little peanut is six whole months old. How does the time fly by this fast? Addie has changed dramatically over the past month, and we are just trying to keep up. We experienced her first ear infection (boo) and learned she has reflux (double boo) but in general her colic seems to be so much better. We still have episodes now and then but they are fewer and farther between.

    Weight: 15 pounds, 2 ounces
    Length: 25.5 inches

    New things this month:
    • Laughing, squealing, babbling and in general having a whole little conversation with herself or us. We try not to tell her that we have no idea what she's saying.
    • Putting those toes in her mouth. Or her socks will do just fine.
    • Still doing the same amount of rolling as last month and still can't quite figure out how to roll over that shoulder/arm to get to her tummy from her back. Thankfully trying to reach her dog or cat is helping her learn this skill.
    • Sitting up! We've been practicing and practicing since she had to be able to sit by herself to attend the Children's Day Out program at our church. She seems to love her new vantage point of the world.
    • Eating fruits and veggies. The first time she tries something she acts like it's the most disgusting thing she's ever tasted. (Pears and bananas being the exception.) But after a few times she has loved everything we've given her. So far her diet includes: green beans, peas, avocado, sweet potatoes, bananas, pears and prunes.
    • Drinking water from a cup. Now anytime she sees someone with a Joe's or Saturn Grill cup she grunts and reaches until she gets a drink or gets her own drink. She prefers big people cups to her sippy cup.
    • Reaching for toys that are out of reach, transferring toys from hand to hand and occasionally reaching for mom and dad.
    • Paying attention to everything going on around her. I think she has some early-onset ADD. :) She is constantly stopping her feedings to try to see the TV, the dog or cat running by, her dad making noise in the kitchen. All noises need her attention immediately. My favorite is when we're playing in the living room and she hears her dad come in the back door - she looks and strains until she sees him and then grins and laughs.
    • Licking. She seems to have really discovered her tongue, and she loves to lick our faces, noses, the dog, the cat, whatever she can find. I think it's her version of a kiss.
    • Her number one like is still her hands. They are in her mouth constantly. And she likes to use them to grab anything she can get and put that in her mouth, too.
    • She definitely has eyes for her mom and dad. When someone else is holding her, she looks around until she finds us.
    • Watching us eat. She follows each bite from our plates to our mouths.
    • Her stationary jumper. Her feet don't exactly touch the ground yet, but she loves the music it makes and all the toys she can conveniently get in her mouth.
    • Still loves to be read to, especially each night before bed.
    • Her new ladybug nightlight, which projects stars and the moon onto the ceiling. As soon as we turn out the light each night before bed, she immediately looks up to the ceiling for the stars.
    • Crazy kid still loves my singing.
    • I think she likes bathtime more and more every day. She likes it so much she didn't even protest at all during her baptism when the water was placed on her head.
    • Naps.

    Tuesday, January 24, 2012

    Slow-cooker Sunday

    The past two Sunday's I've put together one meal in the crockpot and one on top of the stove, and then I've had to do very little cooking throughout the week. Genius. If I do say so myself.

    Last week, I made my friend Sara's Crock-Pot Chicken and Dumplings. O. M. G. Some of the best comfort food I've had in a long time. Thick and creamy, and the dumplings, made out of biscuits in can, are delicious. Jordan was a big fan of this one.

    I also made my mom's recipe for Doug's Chili Verde #5. I have no idea why it's called that or where she got this recipe. Apparently from someone names Doug who has multiple versions of the recipe. But I do know that it's delicious.
    3-4 lb rump roast
    1 can beef broth
    3-4 fresh jalepenos, seeded and chopped
    1 T chili powder
    1 chopped onion (I probably use about half as much)
    3-4 cloves garlic, minced
    1 C wine
    Cook over low heat on stovetop several hours - I think I cooked mine for about 3-4 hours, shredded it with a fork and then let cook another hour or so. This meat is so tender and is excellent as taco filling, on a tostada, on a salad ... would be great in enchiladas, too.

    For this week, I cooked a pork shoulder in the crockpot. It was around 3 lbs, and I cooked with worchestershire sauce, liquid smoke, a little chicken stock, garlic powder, onion powder and a little chili powder for about four hours. Tonight we had it over corn cakes (cornbread mix prepared according to directions but cooked like pancakes instead of muffins or sticks) with some North Carolina bbq sauce drizzled over the top. Yum.

    My mom made Southern Living's White Lightening Chicken Chili last week and loved it, so naturally I had to try it, too. It was super easy - maybe 10 minutes to prepare and another 10 to cook - and excellent. The avocado-mango salsa on top is a delicious added bonus.

    Happy eating!

    You know you are a parent when ...

    • You don't realize your baby has explosi-pooped out her diaper until you notice something strange on the back of her head ... yep, that's poop, which you then realize is also leaking out both legs of her diaper. You remain bewildered as to how it got on her head.
    • When presented an opportunity to go on a vacation sans-baby, you become manic-depressive, alternating between utter glee at the chance to get away for a while and despair at how in the world you will manage to be away from her for multiple days in a row
    • Getting out of the house to run to Target (especially if by yourself) feels almost like a vacation (and no, that's not the kind of vacation I'm referring to in the bullet above)
    • You are destined to cancel at least one out of three outings or appointments because your baby has gone crazy (or is that just us????)
    • The biggest excitement on a Saturday night is dancing your baby around the house with her singing stuffed duck toy. And you are surprisingly OK with that being how you spend your Saturday nights now
    • You can never seem to find your lip gloss, credit card or gum in your purse, but you are never at a loss for various bows, toys, socks and blankies
    • Instead of your phone being the one thing you can't leave home without (and are willing to turn around to get when almost at your destination), it's now the baby's pacifier
    • Watching your baby sleep is better than any movie or TV show
    • You would sell your own body parts (or better yet, your spouse's) for a cup of coffee or glass of wine, depending on the day
    • When you're exhausted and you've been up to comfort your baby multiple times throughout the night, you start to wonder, could I just fit in the crib with her? (I haven't tried this yet but I contemplate it about every other night. When I mentioned it to Jordan, he says he thinks about it all the time, too)
    • Your entire house has been overrun by baby toys. After you swore up and down that you would never let that happen to you
    • You either dress your baby in so many layers that she's sweating or you don't have enough clothes on her. There is no in between
    • You know you have to stay married forever because your husband is the only one who can 1) get the crib sheets on the mattress, 2) remove those hard-to-reach boogers from the baby's nose and 3) get the medicine successfully from the syringe into the baby's mouth. And he's willing to get up with the baby in the middle of the night - that one is priceless.
    • You contemplate shoving old people who touch your baby in the grocery store line. Yes, I am aware she's cute, but you saying it doesn't give you permission to touch her.
    • You have mastered driving with one hand while the other arm reaches into the back seat to hold the pacifier in the baby's mouth
    • In the evening while watching TV, you hear a cry and are halfway to the baby's room before you realize it came from the TV. This happens to me almost every night. I am over all commercials or TV shows with babies crying
    • It takes you approximately six times as long to read a book as before the baby because you can only get through about half a page before falling asleep at night. And when she goes to bed at 7 p.m., you seriously think about going to bed, too.
    There's a lot more where this came from ... this one is to be continued ...

    Thursday, January 12, 2012

    Parenting: The ultimate guessing game

    I had no idea how absolutely clueless I would be as a parent. And I still marvel that you get to just make up whatever rules you want. There's not exactly a handbook for this job. Most of the time I'm OK with making up my own rules. But the part of parenting where I really wish there was a handbook, or at least a few clues, is our battle with colic. There is pretty much nothing more painful than watching your child in pain and being clueless and helpless for how to fix it. And if your name is Jordan "I like to fix things" Page, it's especially difficult.

    I realized yesterday that clearly I should have gone to medical school like I'd originally planned. Then maybe I could figure out what's really wrong with my kiddo or at least have some more insight into what to do. Although, on the other hand, the doctors we've seen haven't been able to provide much help either. And (no offense to my friends who are doctors or studying to be doctors) I kind of feel like living with a colicky baby for five months might be a little like a crash course in med school. I've learned a lot and I'm completely exhausted. Just call me Dr. Page!

    We have heard that 90 percent of babies outgrow colic by four months. Really helpful to hear when your baby is five months old and still colicky. Thankfully we got to take Addie to a GI specialist yesterday (and we'll never be able to thank Jordan's godfather enough for arranging it, since, apparently it usually takes months to get in) who confirmed there is nothing seriously wrong with her. Music to my ears. Although we were fairly certain that she'd have other major symptoms if something was really wrong, we desperately needed a second opinion and confirmation that she was OK. And that we do not completely suck as parents. The specialist did think that Addie has reflux, too, which could exacerbate the colic symptoms. We've got new medicine to try, which should start to help over the next two weeks. In the same breath, Jordan told me the medicine was pretty expensive but that he'd sell everything we owned, body parts, even our dog (please don't tell Izzy) if it could provide her even a little relief.

    Here's the tricky part. One doctor thinks that introducing food (specifically carbs) into Addie's diet is at the root of the reappearance of the colic symptoms. (Did I mention that we were virtually colic-free for a month? Made the return of the symptoms that much harder.) The other thinks that's basically a load of bull and that carbs could actually help her. One thinks she's has reflux, the other thinks she doesn't. At least they both agree she has colic. And that she's really cute. So I guess this is the part where Jordan and I use our medical degrees to determine which doctor is right???

    All I know is that I'm tired of my baby's tummy hurting. I'm tired of all the answers being "let's try this for a couple weeks and see what happens." And I'm physically and emotionally exhausted from worrying about and aching for her every time she cries as if her little heart would break.

    The good news is that my sweet baby is happy, smiling and laughing a lot of the time. And we have a lot of help and support when she's not. And, as Jordan and I say to each other all the time, things could be so much worse. Hearing the specialist say yesterday that Addie is a healthy, happy, thriving baby practically brought tears to my eyes. Because that's exactly what I prayed our baby would be.

    Monday, January 9, 2012

    Addison Mae - 5 months

    My baby is almost half a year old! Where has the time gone??? Every time I look at her I can't believe how big she is - she's almost too long for some of her 6 month clothes already. I see pictures of her first few days in this world and can't believe she was that tiny. And that I have (somewhat) successfully raised a person for five months. The best thing about the past month has been Addie's sweet little laugh. The worst thing has been the return of our nemesis colic. Have I mentioned that I hate colic?? During the holiday season, we had so much fun sharing her with our family and friends. We love watching other people delight in her. Her little sense of humor is starting to develop and she loves interacting with us.  My favorite part of the day is when I hear her wake up in the morning and then go into her room to see her huge, happy grin, like I'm just the person she was hoping would come get her up. Well, I also really like snuggling with her before bed at night, too. And when I pick her up from my parents' house and she smiles when I walk in like, "hey, that's my mom and I really like her."

    Weight: a little over 13 pounds
    Length: around 24 inches
    New things this month:
    • Laughing!! My favorite sound in all the world. Blowing raspberries on her neck or tummy are the surest way to hear that sweet sound.
    • Grabbing her feet. Now I totally get where the happy baby yoga pose comes from. She does it daily. I'm pretty sure those feet are going to be in her mouth any day now.
    • Rolling onto her side and from tummy to back constantly. If that little shoulder didn't get in the way every time, she'd be rolling from back to tummy, too.
    • Sleeping on her side. Like I said, she likes to roll.
    • An obsession with Mia and Izzy. She loves them and loves to pull their fur, their ears, whatever they will let her grab.
    • Grabbing our faces constantly, especially our lips. And then cramming her hand in our mouths. Or her fingers up our noses. Apparently we are fascinating.
    • Eating cereal, which she really likes, and sitting in her high chair. We've had some trouble with this one, though. Switched from rice to oatmeal and hoping that will help her little tummy feel better. Making the move to veggies soon.
    • She loves to "stand," with help obviously. She prefers a standing position to sitting or lying down. I think she'll be running soon :)
    • Blowing bubbles and spitting. She loves to imitate us or, even better, for us to imitate her. I think she spit fairly constantly the entire time we were in Target on Sunday.
    • Her number one like is still her hands. They are in her mouth constantly. And she likes to use them to grab anything she can get and put that in her mouth, too.
    • She definitely has eyes for her mom and dad. When someone else is holding her, she looks around until she finds us.
    • Watching us eat. She follows each bite from our plates to our mouths.
    • Her stationary jumper. Her feet don't exactly touch the ground yet, but she loves the music it makes and all the toys she can conveniently get in her mouth.
    • Still loves to be read to, especially each night before bed.
    • Her new ladybug nightlight, which projects stars and the moon onto the ceiling. As soon as we turn out the light each night before bed, she immediately looks up to the ceiling for the stars.
    • Crazy kid still loves my singing.
    • I think she likes bathtime more and more every day. She likes it so much she didn't even protest at all during her baptism when the water was placed on her head.
    • One guess. Yep, napping it is. 

    Tuesday, January 3, 2012

    Hello 2012!

    I'm a few days behind, but I wanted to welcome the new year! 2011 was by far the best and most challenging year of my life. In January, Jordan and I saw our precious baby on a ultrasound and heard her heartbeat for the first time. In March, I felt her kick for the first time and we learned that she was a she! In April, we had the awesome opportunity to go to Cancun, thanks to Jordan being one of the top 10 salesmen in his company. All-inclusive resort + pregnant girl = happiness. God bless the sweet lady at the made-to-order crepes station. We got to be good friends.

    May brought summertime and my pretty much constant need to be in my parents' swimming pool. June and July were months of awesome showers for our baby girl and hanging out with friends and family. In late July, we learned when Addie would be born, and on Aug. 8 she arrived! I have said many times that the hardest part about giving birth was the waiting (I did have an epidural, mind you.) Then those crazy people at the hospital just let us bring her home, like we knew what we were doing! We are forever grateful for all our friends and family who brought food for the next month or two.

    In September, we celebrated Jordan's birthday and six years of marriage. That's also when Addie started smiling. October marked Addie's first Halloween (in her precious pumpkin costume, courtesy of my mom who made it for me 28 years earlier). November was my return to work and very difficult decision to leave the job I had loved for five years. Addie made the exciting discovery of her hands. Addie's first Thanksgiving was quickly followed by my birthday (the best one yet!) and her introduction to the beloved Christmas tree. I also started my awesome new job. And Addie started eating cereal. We wrapped up the year with Addie's first laugh and first Christmas with all our family and then slowed things down with a quiet NYE and day at home. So, basically, my entire 2011 was about carrying or caring for this new little person who now owns my heart.

    I don't really believe in resolutions, but my hope for 2012 is that I take time every day to thank God for the amazing life and family He has given me. Being a mom isn't easy. Balancing a marriage, part-time job, house, extended family, friends and a baby is challenging on a daily basis. There are times that I get wrapped up in the little difficulties instead of counting my blessings. I hope to continue to grow into this new person I've become - one who slows down to enjoy all of life's little moments.

    The elusive schedule

    I am obsessed with schedules. Perhaps it's because I don't have one. I had this sunshine-y idea that I would have a baby and she would magically nap and eat at the same time every day. If you have a baby like that, please don't tell me about it. So then I had a baby and realized that whole schedule idea was out of the question. But I kept hoping ... maybe at three months ... maybe at five. OK, so maybe never.

    I love to look at sample baby feeding and sleeping schedules online. These people have babies who take regular hour or even two hours naps. Multiple times. Every. Day. They eat every three to four hours like clockwork. Who are these perfect babies???

    Today, for example, my sweet girl took an hour an a half nap (completely out of character, by the way. I had to keep checking on her to make sure she was breathing), then two 30 minute naps and then refused her last nap even though she was clearly exhausted (also completely out of character - that has never happened). She really prefers to eat every two hours. A couple times today she stretched to two and a half hours and once even to three. And this is not for lack of trying to get her to consider a schedule. We've tried lots of methods to stretch her naps. And I realized that when my baby's hungry, she's going to eat. Period.

    So what's the moral of this story, other than my awe at people whose babies conform to a schedule? I totally thought I would be that parent that created a schedule and got my baby to stick to it. After all, I am the adult in this scenario, right? I also thought I'd be the parent who was completely ready for the cry-it-out sleeping method. I'm tough. Yeah, right.

    As I've mentioned before, Addie has introduced me to an entirely new version of myself. One that, most of the time, I like better. Who knew I'd be totally for a baby-is-the-boss situation? Especially since I really like to be the boss. I'm all for a baby-led routine (and yes, I've selected that word over schedule. Makes me feel better.) For the most part, she eats when she's hungry and sleeps when she's tired. And it works for us. As for that whole cry-it-out situation, we haven't tried it in earnest ... and I don't know that we should. Jordan and I are both just fine with her whimpering or crying in her crib for a bit, but upwards of about five minutes of real crying and one or both of us goes a little Modern Family (Have you seen the episode where Mitchell is trying to "ferberize" Lily to get her to soothe herself back to sleep? Cam keeps sneaking in to soothe her and at one point Cam can't stand it, they have a footrace to her room and Mitchell's ankle gets broken. I would totally break someone's ankle to get to my baby when she is crying.)

    I know God gave me an anti-schedule baby for a reason. And I'm so thankful that Addie has helped me to be more flexible and go-with-the-flow. A lesson that I seriously needed, by the way. (Although I really want to call those people with the perfect babies and rub in their faces that my baby started sleeping through the night a good two months ago. Their schedules say their babies still wake in the night to eat. Apparently I need some new lessons.) Who needs schedules anyway?