Saturday, May 31, 2008

Leapin' Lizards!

In case you don't know this about me, I HATE lizards, turtles, frogs, snakes, alligators, Komodo dragons, etc. Okay, I don't actually hate them, but I REALLY do not want to have to handle them. They are fine with me as long as they stay outside and away from me. However, there must be an inordinate number of them here in Mississippi, because I have had to touch and deal with more lizards here than I ever have in my whole life! I worked at Lowe's before I had Bear and there were always lizards in the propane tank cages and they were often found on the sales floor. One of my cashiers called me one day to let me know that she couldn't work at the returns desk anymore because there was a lizard on her register and she was scared of it. I had to catch it and put it outside...which I did not like AT ALL. But, I did it. I thought it was a rare occurrence and they were just coming in because the doors were open a lot at Lowe's until the lizards started COMING INTO OUR HOUSE! I had a friend visiting when the first one showed up--I was pregnant with Bear and was showing my friend the progress on the nursery and right as she was about to step into the bedroom, a lizard ran across her foot! Well, she's not as grossed out by them as I am, so she just caught it and put it outside. Then, not too long after that, there was one in the master bathroom one day when I was trying to get ready for work. Those things are hard to catch as it is and it ran into our closet. I thought about just leaving it, because it kept running away from me, but then I knew that I would worry that it had gotten into my clothes. So, I caught it (FINALLY!) in a cup and put it outside. Also, we have found a few dead ones or just the tails in the house, we think due to our cat. All of this leads up to what I hope is the big finale of the lizards--yesterday, there was a chewed up, bloody, mangled one IN THE LIVING ROOM!! I carried Bear out of his bedroom yesterday to put him in his bouncy seat in the living room, when I noticed one of our dogs dancing around something on the floor. I assumed it was a bug (MS has a lot of those, too!), but when I looked closer, I realized it was a stinking lizard. Apparently one of our animals brought it inside. I'm not really sure how it got there, but I knew I had to clean it up. Upon closer examination, I found that it's guts were OUTSIDE IT'S BODY and it's tail had not just been snapped off, but CHEWED OFF and was all meaty looking. Ewww. Anyhow, I grabbed a bunch of toilet paper, planning to flush this nasty dead thing, when it started to crawl UP MY ARM! Well, of course, I yelled, which really got the dogs excited. The cat, who I assume brought it inside, just yawned and went back to sleep on the couch. Well, it couldn't run too far, because as I mentioned, it's insides were actually outside. I eventually got up the nerve to catch it again and flushed it to put it out of its misery. UGH. I hope that the lizard stories are over now, but the summer has just started, so I'm not so sure. Are there lizard exterminators?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Park day and shopping

Bear and I just got back from the park with the MOMS club and he seemed to have a good time. We went to Friendship Park, where they have swings, so he was able to participate a little. Previous park days that we've attended were at parks with no swings, so he pretty much just watched the other kids play. He fell asleep in the swing--so cute! He just kept hunching further and further down and his eyelids kept getting heavier and heavier until he just passed out. I took him out of the swing and held him while the other kids had a snack. When he woke up, he didn't scream or cry (surprise!), but he just looked around at the kids playing. We then ventured to Walmart, where I was just sure he was going to have a meltdown. I was wrong though...he was perfect! He only cried once, and that was because he was hungry. I brought a bottle with us, so he was satisfied to sit in his seat in the cart. He can't quite hold himself upright, so I propped him up with my purse and his little bottle cooler on each side. He is much happier sitting in the cart than in his car seat. He fell asleep again on the way home. I think I wore him out! Maybe we should go out more often. Yes, that is a dog crate that his car seat is sitting on top of. It's in the kitchen and is a convenient place to set his seat that isn't in the way.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Short post due to short sleep

Well, Bear slept in his crib all night, but it sure did wear Momma out. He woke up at 2:30 am fully expecting me to take him into our bed or to the couch. I would not do it and he was MAD. He cried every time I tried to put him in his crib and the cries escalated to screams in a very short time. I just kept rocking him and comforting him (I could not do the crying out thing, if you read yesterday's post.) until he fell somewhat asleep and then put him back in the crib. It finally worked on the 5th time. I felt accomplished, until I woke up everyone else in the house, including the dogs. I thought it may be a little chilly in Bear's room, so I decided to turn the thermostat up a few degrees. When I was reaching for the hallway light switch, I accidentally grazed the top of a glass candle holder with my hand. It hit the kitchen's tile floor with a very loud smash, which led Max to come running out of the bedroom. Our bedroom is right off of the kitchen and there were little broken glass pieces ALL OVER, so I warned him not to come out there. I swept up the pieces, which had spread into the dining room, the hallway and the kitchen. It was a little bitty candle holder, but it made a HUGE mess when it broke into about a billion pieces. Two funny things about last night: 1)Max slept through all of Bear's screaming, even though I left the monitor on. He didn't even realize I was missing from the bed until I broke the candle and was surprised to learn that I had been gone for nearly two hours. 2)Bear, who had a terrible time falling asleep, slept right through the candle incident. Go figure.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day...but still no sleep

We had a lovely Memorial Day today! It's really hot and humid here right now, but Max still wanted to try making ribs on his smoker. He spent the early afternoon doing that and we took them over to a neighbor's house to enjoy. The neighbors have 2 daughters that are 3 and 1 and I swear Bear gets worn out just watching them play. He got so worn out, he had to take a short nap in the 1 year old's crib. He woke up after just a little bit, though, and we got out their doorway jumper and he went to town jumping and dancing in it. I still wouldn't feel safe not supervising him in one of those, so I'm glad we have the horsie one that sits on the floor, but he appeared to be having a good time.

I hate where we are with the sleeping thing right now. I have exhausted all my energy trying to do the right thing for my son, and I just don't know what to do anymore. He was sleeping for a good part of the night in his crib and then waking at about 6 am to sleep with me on the couch for a couple more hours. I was fine with this arrangement, but the time that he woke up and wouldn't accept the crib just kept getting earlier and earlier. He changed it to 4 am for a few days and then last night, he decided 1 am was the time to sleep with Momma. This is not good. Not good at all. So now, we are trying letting him cry it out. Actually, we are trying this as I write, which is not making for a very relaxing post, but anyhow, we are trying. I just don't know if this is going to work. I don't know if I have the strength to let him keep this up for hours, which is how long people tell me it could take. He seems miserable, but is he? I know he doesn't understand what we're trying to accomplish, but something has got to change soon or I will go nuts. I already hurt my back trying to accommodate him on the couch. I just can't do that anymore. I don't care right now how many times he gets up per night, but darn it, he just has to sleep in his crib. We did this a little earlier this evening and he stopped crying after about 20 minutes. From what I understand, if I go and get him after a certain amount of time, I ruin the entire thing and confuse him. We'll see if I or Max can wait it out with him without feeling like horrible parents. Right now I feel like a very mean Momma! If anyone has any suggestions or even if you just want to tell me to deal with it for a while, feel free. Wish us a good night!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Of course, I was WRONG

Apparently it was the shots that made Bear so sleepy. We followed the exact same ritual last night as we did the night before, and it did not work nearly as well. Bear fell asleep at about 8:30, but woke up again in about 15 minutes. I rocked him until 10 and then he did sleep, but only until 1:30, when he wanted to eat. He woke again at 3:30 and I could NOT get him back to sleep. At 4:30 I gave up and put him in his swing where he slept until 6. Not a good night for Momma...I'm pretty tired today. We'll keep trying, though! He's got to start sleeping through the night at some point!

One good thing about being tired and up for half the night--Max volunteered to make dinner! He actually makes dinner for us quite a bit during warm weather. We both love grilled food and he really likes to cook on the grill. Here in MS, you can actually grill for about 80% of the year, because it's hardly ever too cold. I think his plan is to make stuffed peppers for us, which he's made once before and they were very good. The ones he made on the grill before were a side dish, but tonight he's going to add meat for a main dish. I'm looking forward to them! Well, them and a nap!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Could've been the shots...

Bear SLEPT THROUGH THE NIGHT last night! I couldn't believe it when I woke up at 5 am to what I thought was a crying baby, but was actually our cat yowling to go outside. Bear stayed asleep from 10:30 pm to 6 am and is taking a nap as I write. This is serious progress, but he also had his 4 month checkup yesterday, which involved several vaccinations, so I suppose that could have been the culprit. What I'd like to believe, however, is that the doctor's suggestion of feeding him cereal right before bed and using Tylenol for his teething pain is what did the trick. I suppose we'll know better after tonight. Please, oh please, oh please, let it be the cereal!!

Here is a picture that we took of him last night for his 4 month birthday. He now weighs 16 pounds, 14.5 ounces and is 26 inches long.

Just to compare, here he is at 3 months. Has he changed much?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Uh oh...

I was just bragging to everyone about how Bear is getting so grown up and has this great schedule now when...BAM!...he decided to make me eat my words. I was even foolish enough to try and give someone advice about babies who seem to hate sleeping (Hi Lauren!). Last night was pretty much awful and it reminded me of a couple of weeks ago when Bear refused to sleep in his crib. He acted like his crib was on fire last night! Every time I got him to sleep, I would try and put him in the crib and he would SCREAM. Don't get me wrong, he always whimpers a little. I mean, who wouldn't rather be held by me all night?? However, the whimpering I can fix with back rubbing/patting. The screaming...not so much. So, last night was pretty crappy for me being that some of it was spent in my own bed, some on the couch, and some in my bed again but while holding Bear. I don't know what to do except just get through it again like I did a few weeks ago and hope that he'll come around again.

Something happened last night that may have triggered the not-so-good sleeping: he rolled from front to back for the first time. He's been rolling from back to front for a couple of weeks now and the first time he succeeded at that seemed to coincide with the last bad sleep episode. Maybe it's just that the physical development that he's going through won't let him sleep. You'd think he'd need the sleep from working so hard during the day, but apparently not. The bad news about him rolling from front to back--I missed it! I was making dinner and Max was in Bear's room playing with him. Max ran into the kitchen to ask me if he'd ever done that before and I told him that he had not. On one hand, I was sad that I didn't get to witness it, but on the other hand, I am so happy that Max was the first one to see him do this. Max has been at work when Bear has hit most of his milestones, so I'm really glad for him to get to experience this with his son.

Even though he didn't sleep much last night, he sure was happy this morning!

Monday, May 19, 2008

I miss my mommy!

My mom is teaching a class in Ireland over the next couple of weeks and even though we live 6 hours apart, I miss the heck out of her! We typically talk on the phone every day and I miss all of our chats. On the plus side, our house is probably a little cleaner and I probably play with Bear more, but still...I want my mama! We usually don't even talk about anything important, just daily goings-on, but I apparently need that outlet, since I'm really missing it. I could call my MIL or my grandma or my dad or a friend...but it's not the same, dang it. She's been emailing me fairly regularly and has even called once, but I think pretty soon her class will be moving on and she won't have easy computer access. Calling is an option, but I don't really need to. It's expensive and the time difference makes it inconvenient. Oh well, she'll be back soon and we can talk our hearts out then, right?

To keep with the title for today, I have been thinking of joining a gym and taking Bear to the childcare room there. I really need the exercise...I lost 30 pounds before I got pregnant with the boy and have lost most of that again, but I could stand to lose some more. Plus, I know I feel better if I exercise, it's just the effort that it takes is sometimes more than I can muster. Anyhow, I feel ready, but I don't know if Bear is ready to be left with someone else yet. Also, I'm not sure if I'm ready to leave him. He's about to turn 4 months old and I know plenty of moms have had to leave their babies with someone else by this age, but I haven't had to yet and I am not sure how attached we are to each other. My fear is that I'll join the gym and I'll never get to use it due to the fact that he cries when left with the childcare workers. The gym I'm thinking of joining has really great employees and I think they would take good care of him, but what if he won't stop crying? Won't they just come get me? I guess the only way to find out is to try, but I'm just not sure. Does anyone have any experience with this or leaving a young baby with someone else for any reason? I am open to any suggestions that might make it easier (for both of us!).

Friday, May 16, 2008

I will probably eat these words later...

I know I'm probably going to regret saying (well, writing) this, but Bear's schedule has become so predictable over the past 2 weeks and I am LOVING it. I am a person that likes schedules and routine, so this has been a wonderful change in him. I like to know what is happening and when it will happen and I am much happier when things go as planned. Prior to the last 2 weeks, he was unpredictable as far as when he would sleep at night and for naps. I never was sure if he would have the desire to eat a lot or a little or no cereal at all. But, it all just seemed to fall into place recently. Sadly, it is due to no action of mine. I think his little body just decided to get it together finally. The only thing I have done is to try and stick to the schedule he has worked out for himself. Not that anyone besides me is going to care about this, but this is how his day typically goes for now:

6:00 am- Wake up for about 15 minutes
6:15 am- Fall asleep with Momma on the couch until about 8:00 am
8:00 am-Have a bottle, play with Momma, get dressed
10:00 am-Nap
10:45 am- Have another bottle, play some more
12:00 pm- Nap
12:45 pm- More bottle, more playing
2:00 pm- Eat baby cereal/fruit/vegetables
3:00 pm- Watch Golden Girls with Momma
4:00 pm- Nap
4:45 pm- Bottle time
5:30 pm- Play with Daddy
6:00 pm- Watch Momma and Daddy eat dinner
6:30 pm- Take a walk with Momma
7:00 pm- Bath, rocking chair with Momma until bedtime
9:00 pm (or so)- Bedtime

What's really cool is that I can take him somewhere (grocery store, park, etc.) and he will still stick with the schedule for the most part. I am so happy this finally happened and I really hope he sticks with it for at least a little while. It makes life much easier for the both of us (and probably for Daddy, too, since I'm a little less of a grouch!).

On another note, this kid is seriously growing! I tried to dress him in a 6 month onesie this morning and it was TOO SMALL! I had to get out the 9 month clothes! I can't believe it...he's not even 4 months old yet! It's only the onesies, though. I think he's just too long for them and that's what makes them tight. His pants and shorts are still 6 month size.

Here he is enjoying his Jumperoo Horse:

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I wanna hold your hand...

One of my favorite things about Bear right now is how much he loves me. I know that he'll more than likely always love me, but how long will it be until he gets mad at me for the first time? When will I disappoint him? How much longer will all the decisions I make be the right ones (in his mind)? When is it exactly that momma will no longer be his favorite person to hang out with? I am eagerly anticipating and dreading the day that he decides there are other people he'd rather listen to, look at, be entertained by and love. I'm excited about it for him, because it means that he'll be growing up and learning how to be a great person. I'm dreading it because I know I will no longer be his entire world. Being someone's everything is exhausting at times, but it is also exhilarating. I've never been loved this much and looked to for the answers to everything before. He's not even able to talk yet, but I'm the one that he looks to when he's confused, upset or hurt. He never asks for anyone else's opinion or argues with me. Just about everything he learns in the next few years is going to come from me. Is that love or what??

I guess I'm just realizing all of this because Bear is becoming more aware of his surroundings and it suddenly matters who's holding him and who's feeding him his bottle. Sometimes I'll be feeding him and watching television at the same time and I'll hear a little gurgle come from Bear. I'll look down at him and he is just grinning at me! It's so sweet and I can't get enough of him loving me. I especially like when I'm holding him (usually at bed time) and he just holds onto my wrist or one of my fingers (hence today's title). His hands are so soft and it's almost like when a kitten kneads on a mama cat while nursing. I hope to hang on to his love for at least a little while longer. I'm very appreciative of it and want it to last. Just writing about the fact that it will diminish makes me tear up. I'm getting to know my soon-to-be 4 month old son better and I'm loving him more than I did when he was a tiny baby. I didn't think that was possible, but then again, I'm not really someone that took one look at her newborn and "fell in love". Of course, I loved him immediately, but I was still too shocked by the actual delivery of him to really know him and love him. I just don't think you can truly love a person until you know him or her, even your own kid. Anyhow, he and I are still getting to know each other and I keep wondering: will the love just keep growing or does it taper off at some point? Will I be able to love a 2nd child (if there is one!!) as much? I've been assured by my mother that I will have enough love to go around, but then again, I've always known I was her favorite. (Just kidding, Mom...if you're reading this!) Now that I've read over what I just wrote, I realize it'll probably be sort of boring to anyone else. Oh well, I feel overwhelmed with love and affection for my son and I wanted to write about it before he fills up a diaper or cries for two straight hours and makes me forget that I felt this way for a minute.

Bear using both hands--a recent accomplishment!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

Just a quick post today...Bear is whimpering to get out of his swing and I hear Max playing MarioKart and I'd like to join him. I wanted to post though, because this has been a really good day. I sometimes get down and don't feel so appreciated since I became a SAHM. I mean, there's no employee of the month award and I don't constantly have a higher up telling me that I'm doing well. That kind of confirmation is nice, but the kind I got today from Bear and his daddy has been much nicer and means a lot more to me. It started last night: I went to bed kind of early (9:30 or so) and Max stayed up playing video games. He came to bed around 1:00 (I think) and almost immediately Bear started crying. Well, I started to get up to feed and rock him, but Max beat me to it! It may not sound like much, but since he has to get up for work in the mornings, I almost always get up with Bear. Max has actually conditioned himself to sleep through the crying on the monitor, so it would be of no use to wait for him to wake. Anyhow, Bear slept really well last night and didn't wake up until 9:00 this morning!!! He must have known it was Mother's Day somehow. Then Max and Bear gave me a gift (a baby sign language book and DVD) and took me shopping and out for lunch. It was just a really nice day and although it's not over yet, I feel safe in saying that I have felt really appreciated by Max and haven't gotten pooped or peed on or even really been subjected to one of Bear's moods! I hope I can make Father's Day as nice for Max.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Tee hee hee

This post falls under the category of things that I absolutely do not want to forget. Bear has started giggling at the most random things. There are 3 examples that I really want to remember:

The first time it happened was the first time I decided to sit him up in his baby tub. His tub had a reclining option, but he kept getting nervous in that position and crying during bathtime, so I decided it was time to sit him up and just hold him so he didn't tip over. Well, we have one of those rubber ducks that tells if the water in the tub is too hot, so I tossed that in the tub with Bear. He instantly started giggling and kept it up for a couple of minutes. Every time I moved the duck, he would giggle some more!

The next time, I had him sitting up in his highchair waiting for me to get his food poured into a little bowl. His baby food comes in packaging that has a foil top, so I tore open the foil top and noticed that his peaches smelled pretty good. I wondered if they tasted as good as they smelled, so I stuck my finger in the food stuck to the lid and licked it. I didn't even realize Bear was watching me, but he started giggling! So, I did it a few more times and he giggled some more, which made me giggle with him. We shared a good laugh!

Just yesterday, we had an active day. The moms club had an open house for prospective members at a local park and Bear got so exhausted there, he fell asleep on the way home. I took advantage of the nap and took a detour to the grocery store, only to have him wake up about halfway through the store. Anyhow, he was still really good for the rest of the shopping, even though he thought it appropriate to umm, number 2 while we were there. I brought him home and cleaned him up, but could tell he was still pretty wiped out. I decided to just sit with him on the couch for a while while I had a snack. I was munching away on my crackers and watching Golden Girls when he started another giggle attack. Again, I didn't even know that he was watching me, but lo and behold, he was staring right into my face while I was eating. I ate another cracker and sure enough, that was what made him laugh! Apparently, me eating is too funny for him!

I loved all three of those moments and just thought I'd share. I can't wait for more!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Oh, that Bear!

It seems like I'm always blogging about Bear's sleeping habits, but this is what's on my mind usually, so here I go again! This rolling over thing that Bear has started is getting ridiculous! It's almost like he can't get in his crib without rolling over and then he gets so frustrated that he starts crying. This happens about every half hour and I get so tired of getting up to reposition him, console him, feed him, hold him, etc., that I have ended up letting him sleep with me for the past 2 nights. Bad momma, I know, but I just want to get some snoozing in before he wakes up at 6 am. One night we slept on the couch (= hurt neck for Momma) and the next night in our bed (= not so happy Daddy + sweaty Momma). Who knows what's going to happen tonight? I'm hoping that this stage in his life, like all the others have, will only last for a few days and then he'll be cool with his crib again. Also, I just need to accept that some kids don't sleep well until they are like 5! All these crappy nights do not mean I am a bad mom or that Bear is a difficult kid!

Bear, with the okay from his dr., has been "tasting" rice cereal since the ripe old age of 2 months. We introduced him to eating from a spoon at that age, but he wasn't so good at it. He ate some cereal (well, mostly formula) from the spoon, but he also spit quite a bit out. We moved on to pureed foods a couple of weeks ago and he is just starting to REALLY get it. He is opening his mouth wide for more food and is even swallowing most of it. It is just unbelievable to me how much he changes in just a few days! He'll go from not being able to quite roll over one day to being able to roll like crazy the very next night. Or like with the eating, he went from spitting a lot out and me having to throw quite a bit of baby food down the disposal to eating everything that I introduce to him and no more food wasting.

I'm happy about all of these changes that are taking place in him, but I see why many people say that they don't remember much about the early months with their kids. It happens so fast that you don't even remember when they couldn't do things like crawl or open cabinets or feed themselves. Oh, Bear's not to those milestones yet, believe me, but when he is, I'm sure the time will just fly by. That's one of the reasons I wanted to blog about our lives right now. I don't want to forget! I want to remember for when (and if!) I have more kids...I want to remember in case I forget to write it down in his baby book...I want to remember when other moms ask me when he did certain things...and most of all, I want to remember when he's got kids of his own and wants to compare them to himself. Max and I find ourselves doing this so much and we are both lucky enough to have moms who kept good notes in our baby books and then sent them to us. I'm just pretty sure that with all this sleep deprivation that I am bound to forget the little details and I don't want to. Right now, it seems like I could never forget them because they are what I deal with all day every day, but I know I won't remember how he's doing some serious cooing in his swing right now (and NOT CRYING for me to come get him). I get so excited by those little things and it will be nice to maybe make this blog into a book someday for him and for me and his daddy.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Rollin', rollin', rollin'

Bear has started rolling over! He looks so cute--when we lay him down to go to sleep, he starts jerking his legs until he just sort of falls over to the side. So I guess he's a side sleeper for the time being. He rolled to his stomach last night and then started crying, so then I got nervous. Maybe I'm being overprotective, but I know that the greatest danger of SIDS happening is between 2 and 4 months. He's in the middle of his 3rd month, so I really want him to sleep on his back. Once he gets to his stomach, he can't really do anything but root around on his mattress. Max thinks he's only a day or two away from being able to roll from his front to his back, but I don't know. He REALLY hates being put on his stomach, so with any luck, he'll cry every time he ends up that way. I have gotten up to check on him more than usual, just to make sure he's not face down on the mattress and he's been on his side every time. Everyone tells me not to worry, because he's strong and would probably lift or turn his head if he got into a situation where he couldn't breathe, but I know that he's a deep sleeper sometimes, too. Besides, I'm a momma. Isn't worrying in my job description?

Other than worrying about Bear, I also worry about myself. I worry about my lack of confidence to tell people what I really think sometimes and I really want to work on getting over this. I've done this pretty much all my life and you'd think I'd get better about it as I've gotten older, but no, I've just gotten better at avoiding the truth in many situations. I guess I don't want to hurt people's feelings or make them think anything bad about me, so I'm not completely honest about things. For example, yesterday, I had a friend call to ask if Bear and I wanted to go to the park or something. Well, during the same phone call, my friend also told me her kids had been sick with fevers/colds/ear infections, but were feeling much better now. Well, Bear is only 3 months old and I do NOT want him getting that stuff yet if he doesn't have to. Rather than telling my friend that, I told her that I was too busy cleaning in anticipation of my mom's arrival. It just wasn't the whole truth. I was cleaning, but I could have taken time out if I wanted to. Why couldn't I have just told her that I don't want Bear around sick kids? It's stupid, is what it is. I'm not scared of my friend, I just didn't want to deal with the argument that they are not contagious, they are acting like themselves, blah, blah, blah. Because I know that's what would have followed, due to previous experience with the same friend. She's just been a mom longer than I have and I worry more about stuff (when it comes to my kid) than she does. Plus, nothing against her daughter, but the little girl just keeps on kissing Bear on the face. It's sweet, but I know I wouldn't be able to get her not to do it just because she was a little sick. And dang it, I don't want to deal with a 3 month old with a cold! I know he's going to get sick at some point in his life, but why make it sooner than it has to be? Anyhow, I wish I had just told my friend the truth. It'll probably come up again at some point...maybe I'll be honest then.