Monday, September 29, 2008

The Story of Sick Amanda

I am starting to feel like I am one of those people who gets sick easily! Yep, I'm sick again. I have yet another cold and I just cannot believe it. This is the third one in a matter of six weeks or so. I have also been on antibiotics three times over the last six weeks, twice for sinus infections, once for a UTI (sorry if that's too much info!) that I didn't even know I had but was discovered at a routine checkup. I think I've taken enough for now, so I'm going to let this cold go for at least a week before I visit a doctor again. According to the online research I've done, it's really hard to distinguish between a cold and a sinus infection. Antibiotics won't do anything for a cold, but they are needed for sinus infections. I'm not convinced that the last two colds I had were really sinus infections, but I was prescribed antibiotics anyway, I guess to be on the safe side. I don't want my body to get immune to the antibiotics, so I'm going to try to wait this sickness out and hope for the best. Thank goodness Bear doesn't have it yet and hopefully he will not get it.

I skipped a lunch the moms club had today, which I hated to do, but I don't think I would have been very good company if I kept blowing my nose at the table. I got a little stir crazy, though, and decided to venture out to WalMart to pick up a few things. On the way, I got really thirsty for a diet coke, so I went to the drive through at McDonald's. The drink I was handed was filled way too full, so it spilled all over the front of my shirt when I picked it up to take a drink. A year ago, I would have headed back home and would have probably ended up skipping the WalMart trek. But ever since I had a baby, stains on my clothing just don't phase me as much. Imagine that! Anyhow, I still felt a little gross, so I just hoped I didn't see anyone I knew. Of course, I did, though. I ran into a fellow moms clubber with three of her four boys, none of which could I remember their names. I can remember the 4 names of her boys, but I always get the actual kids all confused and call them the wrong names, so I didn't even try today. I bought some cute fall stuff at the store, hoping that it would make me feel a little perkier if I decorated the house for the season (even though the temperatures here are no where near fall temperatures!).

Bear is especially needy today, but I think he's teething. He's been crying more than normal and hasn't been eating as much. He's sleeping a little more than usual, too, but I think that's a product of our busy weekend. He attended his first birthday party on Saturday and we went to our community's German Fest on Sunday. We had to leave both events earlier than we planned because Bear was not in a very good mood. It was okay, though. I didn't feel too good, either!

One cool thing about today: Bear was doing this whiny cry thing that he does when he's overtired and he said something that sounded an awful lot like "Momma". He's done it about five times since then, too. I don't know if he's actually crying for me or not, but it sure sounds like it. He's made lots of "Mmmmm" sounds for a while, now, usually when he's crying, but also when he's just playing. He hasn't made any consonant sounds yet like "da da" or "ba ba" like lots of babies do at this age. I'm sure that's coming soon, but it'd be pretty cool if he wanted to say "Momma" first. I'll think it's awesome no matter what he says first, though, so it doesn't even matter what it happens to be.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

My Rowdy Bear

I haven't had nearly as much time to blog lately! It's not just that Bear and I have been busy, it's also that Bear is so active recently that I just don't have the time. I have to wait until he's sleeping or until he's ready to be plopped into his exersaucer or jumperoo, which is getting less and less often. He wants to be on the go constantly and gets frustrated if I try to keep him in one place. He LOVES to stand up and try to walk, but honestly, he isn't very good at it yet. Just now I had to stop typing and help him up off the floor. He was attempting to cruise along the couch, but he tripped over his own feet and went down. He fell onto his new train that his Grandma J. just sent to him and the smokestack got stuck in the leg of his diaper! It just kept making animal sounds as he rolled to get up. I laughed, which probably made him even more frustrated, but hey, it was funny!

There are things that he's getting into and places he's crawling that I just haven't anticipated. I fully expected him to get into the dog food, open cabinets and drawers and get anything off low shelves we have, but he surprises me nearly every day. I think it's going to be a while before we are fully childproofed, simply because I have to learn (through trial and error, mostly) what needs to be moved or protected. Yesterday, we went to the park with the moms club that I belong to. I was sitting on a blanket with him for the majority of the time, but he kept eating the woodchips that line the playground, so I picked him up and sat him on a piece of playground equipment that was about as tall as my waist. He sat there for the longest time, watching older kids and exploring the little holes in the base of the climbing equipment, when all of the sudden, he took off crawling along the steps up to a slide. I freaked out and jumped up on the steps to grab him. I must have looked panicked, because all the moms asked me what happened. It probably wasn't a big deal, but there aren't rails or anything on the edges of the steps to keep him from toppling off, so I was more than a bit nervous.

Something else that he got into the other day that I wasn't expecting--our wine rack! When he first started crawling, we emptied low shelves, but didn't really do so in the dining room. We hardly ever use that room and I didn't even remember that we had a wine rack in there. I was emptying the dishwasher and Bear was crawling around the kitchen floor behind me. I saw him crawl into the dining room, but I didn't think too much of it, because he had done that so many times before. He usually just crawled through and went into the living room. I can see the living room from the kitchen, but I cannot see the dining room from there. I kept expecting him to show up in the living room, but when he did not and it was very quiet in the dining room, I decided to go check. Bear was very close to getting a bottle of merlot off the wine rack! I envisioned red wine, broken glass and a hurt baby all at once and I yelled "NOOOOOOO!!", which of course scared him and made him cry. I got it away from him in time, but I'm sure that there are other things I'm not thinking of that he'll break before I get there or before I can anticipate that he might get into it. Like I said earlier, I guess it'll just have to be trial and error. I try to be one step ahead and think about things from his point of view, so low on the floor, but I can't fathom everything! He's a creative little boy and I'm sure he'll continue to surprise and amaze me, which, in a way, I love. I don't want him to get hurt, obviously, and I don't want him to break our things, but his personality is really starting to show and we think he's going to be a mischievous little guy!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

It happened right before my eyes!

Bear is turning into a big boy and I just cannot believe it. So much is happening so fast! I sort of want to slow it down, but I also was ready for a change. Just a month ago, we were still getting up with him three or four times a night and now he pretty consistently sleeps through the night, as long as nothing's wrong (like teething). As a matter of fact, he's still sleeping right now (at 9:00 in the morning!). I've already showered and am ready to start the day, but I'll let him sleep until he's ready to get up. He only ended up taking one nap yesterday and then tried to go to bed at 7:30 pm. I, being the smart momma that I am, knew that would not work, so I woke him up at 8:45 and let him stay up until 11 or so. We've realized over the past couple of weeks that it is ideal for Bear to go to sleep around 10, because I prefer to get up around 8. And, let me tell you, you can't get a baby to sleep longer than he wants to! My mom has told me many times that it never seemed like I slept as much as other babies did and I think Bear may have inherited that gene. Oh well, I mostly like our time together anyhow.

More than just sleeping habits have changed around this house lately, too. Over the course of the past month, Bear has learned to sit up for long periods of time with no support, to crawl, to pull up on furniture, and to entertain himself for periods of about 20 minutes. Just in the past week, he has begun to learn which furniture it is safe to pull up on and he's now getting down by himself. I was having to frantically run behind him to make sure he didn't fall after he stood up, but now, he'll start to stand up, realize it's not a good idea and bend back down all by himself. Also, last night I sat him in a chair to take his 8 month pictures, and do you believe he let me take a few pics and then GOT DOWN OUT OF THE CHAIR BY HIMSELF??!! I was completely floored! Of course, I was right there to catch him in case he fell, but I don't understand how he knew what to do. He first went from a sitting position to lying on his back in the chair. Then he rolled over onto his stomach and edged his feet off the end of the chair until they hit the floor. He then just stood there for a few seconds, probably trying to decide what to do. He completely surprised me by then bending down to the floor and crawling away! I guess he was done with the picture taking!

I hear him waking up now, so I'd better go get him, but I just wanted to take a few minutes to write all this down. Things are changing so fast and I don't want to forget anything!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Busy week

Oh, how things have improved since that last post! I was just rereading it and I sounded exhausted! Apparently, that was just a bad night for Bear. He's been mostly sleeping through the night for almost a week now (with Tuesday as an exception, obviously). I'm hoping that this is becoming his new routine. We've had to work on it, but honestly, not that hard. We decided to let him start crying it out and we've never had to let him cry longer than 20 minutes. I had heard stories that horrified me--from parents that said they just couldn't take the screaming to parents who were proud that they'd made it through a four hour crying spell. I was so worried that I wouldn't be able to stick it out (and there was no way I was going to let him cry for hours), but luckily, so far, I haven't really had to. I suppose that means Bear was ready to start sleeping through the night and just needed a little help getting there. We do, however, have to keep him up until 10 pm, which is not exactly ideal to me. If I had my way, I'd put him in bed by about 8, but if we let him go to sleep much earlier than 10, he wakes up incredibly early and I'm not a very good momma when it's not light out yet. Bear sleeps about 9.5 hours uninterrupted and I'm really happy with that. According to some of my mommy friends, he may start sleeping more later--as he gets more active and as he drops some time off his naps.

I went to the doctor yesterday to get a physical, but also to hear the consensus on my tailbone. If you don't know, there was a possibility that I fractured my tailbone during childbirth. It has been hurting on and off since I was pregnant and it's gotten to be a real annoyance. Anyhow, it's not fractured and I don't have a cyst or any fluid buildup or anything like that. According to my doctor, it probably just got injured during pregnancy, further injured during childbirth and just keeps getting re-injured or bruised. Basically, I just have to wait it out and it'll get better on its own. My main concern was that we'd like to have another baby in the not too distant future and I don't want it to make me ridiculously uncomfortable during the pregnancy. My doctor seemed to believe that getting pregnant wouldn't make it hurt any more than it's already hurting, but I'm not sure I believe him. I mean, it hurts most when I rise from a sitting position when I'm holding Bear. My thought was that it was the extra weight of Bear that was irritating it, so wouldn't being pregnant and having even more extra weight further damage it? I just don't know. I guess I'll talk to my OB/GYN about it and see what he thinks and go from there. Even if it's going to hurt some, I probably won't let that stop me from having another child. I'm just really worried that if it hurts too bad, I'll have to be on bed rest and then who would take care of my boy?

We've been very busy this week. We've been to the gym a couple times, to the park, to the doctor, out to lunch, out for coffee, and on lots of walks. The weather has been pleasant and optimal for evening walks. Now if I could just get all the mosquitoes to go away, it'd be perfect. I seem to be a walking target for those dang things. They always get me and my legs are usually covered in bites all summer long. I don't like using bug spray, because I'm afraid Bear will lick me (which he often does!)when I have it on. It's poison, so I assume it's not a good thing to ingest. But I digress...my point is that we've been busy! And today, we have a playgroup to go to where we'll be celebrating Bear's little friend Kaitlyn's 1st birthday. I know he won't know that it's her birthday, but maybe I'll let him taste a cupcake. I love watching Kaitlyn and all my other friends' babies grow up...it just lets me see what's in store for Bear and I get so excited for him!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Worst night ever

I'm pretty sure I had the worst night ever with Bear last night. Just now am I regaining the energy that was sucked out of me over the past twenty four hours. He's been sick with a cold, a sinus infection and some sort of stomach mess, but never has he had a night as bad as last night...not even as a newborn!

It started off okay--Max went out with a friend to watch Monday Night Football and I stayed home to enjoy some much needed mindless television. Bear had dinner and a bath as usual and after his jammies were on, we played in the living room for a bit. He started to get very sleepy around 8:00 and all I could think was Awww crap! You see, the prior two nights were blissful. He slept approximately 9.5 hours each night, without waking up AT ALL, IN HIS OWN BED! However, he didn't actually go to bed until 10:30 or 11, which is fine with me. I should have known it was too good to be true. So, at 9:15, I just could not keep him awake anymore. He fell asleep in my arms and I put him in his crib, where he slept until 10. I rocked him for a just a few minutes and he quickly fell back to sleep. I thought everything was good, but he woke up again at 11. I tried to rock him again, but it was a no go. At 11:30 when Max got home, I was still trying. I tried for what seemed like a very long time and at 12:30 I decided to just let him cry for a bit. He was very obviously tired and going nuts from not being able to sleep. Everything seemed to distract him, including me, so I just laid him in his crib and turned on the monitor. He cried, then screamed for a little bit. After about 15 minutes, he started coughing. After a tiny coughing fit, he went back to screaming. In the past, the screaming part has not lasted for long, so after about 20 more minutes, I decided to check in on him. I am so glad I did, because he had vomited all over his bed! It was in his hair, in his ear and even in his eye. It was all over his pajamas and got all over mine in the process of picking him up. I cleaned him up in the sink and attempted to put him back in his crib. He was having no part of that! I ended up taking him into our bed at about 2:00, where he slept very soundly until 6:45 when he got up for the day. And yes, that was all the sleep I got. The night was complicated by the fact that Bear thrashed around so that Max ended up spending some of the night on the couch. That, in turn, confused the dogs who normally sleep with us. They weren't sure where Max was and they wanted to sleep next to him. I had to get up a couple times to let them in and/or out of the bedroom.

Who knows what tonight will bring?! I'm going to attempt to keep the boy awake until at least 10, when I feel like he'll sleep better. I hope I'm right and I hope I can stay up that long. I'm pretty tired since I slept all of 5 hours or so last night. I did take about a 30 minute nap while Bear napped. He took 2 naps today, which is normal for him, but they were much shorter than usual. I've got my fingers crossed that tonight goes better than last. I certainly don't see how it can go any worse!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Goody two shoes

I decided it was time that the boy had some shoes. It's warm in MS for a LOOOONG time and up until this point, he really hasn't needed them. Now that he's wanting to stand all the time, he and I are constantly battling about the fact that he wants DOWN. RIGHT NOW. I don't want his bare feet to touch certain things like the floor at playgrounds at places like Chick Fil A and McDonald's, outdoor playgrounds, restaurants or shopping malls. I don't really care if his feet get dirty, because I can always wash them, but he tends to put his toes in his mouth when I'm changing his diaper or when he's bored in his car seat. Anyhow, I bought him some CUTE shoes at a consignment store this morning!

This pair was an especially good find to me, mostly because we have 2 black and tan dachshunds, but also because I'd been looking for a pair of these leather booty type shoes for a while and the brand name ones are $25- $30!! I paid $10 for these, which retail for around $25.


These are just classic and I knew I'd buy some for my child before he even existed. However, they retail for around $20, and that's a little steep for shoes that probably won't get much use since he can't walk yet. I got these for $8. I love good deals!

Friday, September 12, 2008

The list

  • Bits of dead grass
  • The dog's tail
  • Pieces of cardboard
  • A piece of tape
  • Daddy's shoes
  • The dog's foot
  • A spoon
  • Momma's t-shirt
  • Pages of a magazine
  • A spider web, with a dead spider still in it!
  • Dust bunnies
  • String
  • Dog toys
  • The wire screen on the fireplace
  • Random fuzz found on the floor
  • Momma's hair
  • Fringe on a blanket
  • A table leg
Yep, that is a partial list of things I have either wrenched out of Bear's hands before he ingests them or that I have had to dig out of his mouth before he swallows them. Reading over that list, I realize that it sounds like I never clean my house, but I promise, I sweep every day! Bear just has a particular knack for finding things that the broom missed. And that is all from this week! He can't even crawl that fast yet! I think I'm in trouble.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Crybaby

I decided to try something new with Bear last night--crying it out. I've always said that I didn't want to do this, at least not the true definition of it, but I was about at my wit's end last night. Bear has been sick and has been falling asleep and waking up with no pattern at all since Friday night. And he was waking up a LOT! Now, when he was actually sick, I understood. He couldn't breathe well, was coughing and just generally didn't feel good. He usually seemed like he just wanted to be held, and I was all for it when he was at his worst. Now, though, I am feeling seriously sleep deprived. Last night, he fell asleep at a decent hour (9:00) and slept for a few hours until about 12:30, when he proceeded to wake up every 60-90 minutes. This is how it has been since Friday and it doesn't seem to matter if he's in his own bed, in our bed or in the dog's bed. Okay, kidding about that last one...we've never put him in the dog's bed, promise! Anyhow, when he woke up at 4:00 last night, he was in our bed. He was inconsolable--writhing around and crying. I could tell he was still tired, though, so I got a bottle and a fluffy blanket for him, rocked him until he was pretty close to asleep and I laid him in his crib. He cried, yes indeed, he cried! He expected me to come get him, and why wouldn't he? That's been the status quo for the past 7 months, but no more! I am ready to work on him sleeping through the nights! I turned the monitor down but not off, that way I could still see the lights on it that indicated how loud the sound in his room was. The lights stayed on, so apparently he was crying, for at least 20 minutes and I don't know what happened after that because I fell asleep! I woke up after he'd been alone for an hour, though, and he wasn't crying anymore. This feels like at least a small victory to me! Now that I know I can stand the sound of his crying (much easier after he cried so much while sick, by the way) and that he WILL fall asleep, I feel much better about trying the "crying it out" deal. I always feared that he'd never go to sleep and just cry and cry or that he'd need something and feel like Momma wasn't there for him. Now I know the difference between a hurt cry and a mad cry, so I'm more comfortable. I'd like to try it again tonight, since we got a little head start last night. The plan is not to just let him cry for hours and hours, but to go in and just let him know that we still exist after 10 minutes, then 20 minutes, then 40 minutes...as necessary. There are a couple of things I'm not sure of: 1) How long do we let him go on crying before we decide it's not working (hopefully we won't have to figure it out) and 2) If we pick him up to console him at 10 minutes, 20 minutes, etc., are we ruining the whole thing? I just want him to realize that he doesn't need me at night. When he's feeling good, all I do when he wakes up is rock him back to sleep. Since I'm not going to college with him to do that, it's time he learns to get back to sleep on his own. I hope it works and that we're doing the right thing!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Bad Momma

I had yet another bad momma moment today. Lately these moments have been occurring when Bear falls, and even though I'm right there, I don't react quickly enough to catch him. His cry is very accusatory, by the way. Today was different, though. A fellow mom friend called to ask if we wanted to go to The Play Place today, which, from what I understand, is a place that has all these different toys to play with for a flat fee (Bear would have gotten in for free). There's a dress up station and a little kitchen station, among other things. We've never been, but there are apparently things there for a kid Bear's age to play with and it sounded fun. Bear had several little coughing fits last night while he was sleeping--nothing bad enough to wake him up, but nevertheless, he was coughing. So I let my friend know that we should probably skip the activity for today and maybe try again later this week when Bear might be feeling better. I was feeling like a good mom for making this decision. Bear needed rest and I didn't traipse him all around town so his nose could run on other people's toys. Anyhow, when he woke up this morning, he seemed to be in a great mood. He ate a little, he played and just seemed generally like he was feeling better. Since we'd already canceled the Play Place trip, I decided to make a trip to the gym and leave him in the child care room. He was just fine when I dropped him off, but an hour and fifteen minutes later when I went to pick him up he was anything but fine. They had him in a swing and he was all humped over with his nose running into the tray of the swing. He was sound asleep, which never happens at child care, because he's usually too busy playing or getting attention. He woke up when I stopped the swing and he just stared off into space. The woman working there handed me a tissue so I could catch the nastiness that was coming out of his nose and I asked if his nose was running the whole time. Her response? "Yeah, A LOT." Well, that made me feel like crap. I stammered something along the line of "Oh, I'm so sorry! I thought he was feeling better, or I never would have dropped him off here." Then I made the mistake of asking if he cried at all before falling into the deep stupor he was in when I arrived. Again, she said, "Yeah, A LOT." Crap. I hate being a bad momma.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

My sick baby

Well, no doubt about it, Bear is definitely a sick boy. When his temperature reached 103 yesterday, we decided it was time to call our pediatrician's after-hours clinic. We were the only patients there, so it was a quick appointment, thank goodness. The doctor says my Bear has a sinus infection. Go figure. His momma had a little trouble with that recently! So now, we're shoving some mixture of antibiotics, decongestant and Tylenol in his mouth every 4-6 hours. Let me tell you, he loves taking medicine. Okay, that was a lie. He's so grumpy and I can tell he wants me to fix it, but I just can't. He's had a couple tiny illnesses in the past, but this one kicks all those in the hiney. He's not interested in sleeping, eating, playing or having his nose wiped. He's mostly concerned with me holding him. Last night was pretty bad--probably the worst night we've had since he was a newborn. He and I slept on the couch for much of the night, because it seemed better for Bear to sit up a little. We made it to bed around 4 am, when Bear finally conked out for 3 solid hours. And let me tell you, I treasured those 3 hours. Anyhow, the fever is mostly gone, so hopefully this sickness is on its way out with it. I'll let you know in 10 days when we're done with the antibiotic!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

This too shall pass, right??

Poor Bear! He's not feeling so great today. Last night was one of those dreaded nights where he woke up every hour or so. And then, woke up for good at 6:45, which is a little early for us. So, I'm sitting on the couch, with a sore back from trying to maneuver around the little boy in my bed almost all night, while Bear is playing in his Exersaucer and watching (somewhat) Sesame Street. I don't like just parking him in front of the tv this early in his little life, but I'm too tired yet to chase him all over the floor. I thought he was teething last night, since there's a nice white line on his gums where an upper front tooth would be, but he's coughing a little this morning. He went to his first playgroup yesterday and I'm hoping he didn't pick up the sniffles from one of the babies there. It seems like lots of kids always have a runny nose, so it's hard to determine who's actually sick. I wouldn't be surprised if he has a second little cold--he's been to the gym child care room a few times this week and then there was the playgroup yesterday. I hate for him to be sick, but it's not too big of a deal for him to have a little cold every now and then, I suppose. He's at least building immunities, right? I just don't want him to be too big of a grouch today. My mom's here and I want us to have a good time with her. I'm sure if we feel like we need to stay home, we'll still have fun, though. He's getting pretty grumpy being confined in the seat in his Exersaucer, so I suppose I should stop writing and tend to him before he wakes everyone else in the house! Maybe we'll go play with the new music and learning table that his grandma brought him...

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Trip recap

Well, our travels were better than I ever imagined. The whole way there, Bear slept. He woke up every few hours, so we'd stop for a bit. Whenever we headed back out, he would just fall asleep again. He got a little cranky near the end of the trip (14 hours!!), so I hopped in the back with him to keep him entertained. He was such a good little traveler!

We did so much and visited so many people while we were there, and luckily, Bear was happy to do anything we wanted. We got lots of comments about what a good baby he was and how he was very UNLIKE his mother. Apparently, I was not such a good baby. I tried to tell all my relatives that Bear was a good boy because of my parenting skills, but they knew better. He's really gotten happier and more relaxed in the past few weeks, actually. I think it's all because he's able to move around on his own now.

And guess what???!!! He started crawling while we were at my grandmother's house! It blew me away! I was very glad that Max brought the video camera. My grandmother said something about him crawling to get a toy, and I thought she meant he scooted on his tummy like he had been doing for the past month. Then I actually saw him crawling and I got all excited. My grandma didn't realize we'd never seen him do that! He's now started pulling up on furniture and he's already fallen many a time. He hit the back of his head pretty hard yesterday, so we decided that we should move our coffee table out of the living room until he gets better at balancing. It's just too tall for him to pull up on and we couldn't get him to stop. Our living room looks like a day care center for the time being. It's full of toys and little rugs for Bear to play on and it's only going to get worse! My mom is coming to visit tomorrow evening and is staying through Sunday, and I'm sure Bear will acquire some new loot during her stay. We're also planning on buying a foam play mat in the hopes that most of his falls will occur on that. I know kids have to learn to balance on their own, but I hate to see our boy hit his head so much. We just don't have a lot of carpet for him to play on.

The way back wasn't as ideal, but we were all tired of being in the car, so I completely understand Bear's semi-meltdown on Sunday night. It wasn't all that bad, when I think back on it, but he was upset for a couple of hours and did NOT want to be in his car seat any longer. We ended up driving for just a few hours on Sunday night and then spending the night in a hotel. Bear was in a much better mood on Monday morning when we took off again. I can tell he's glad to be back home and back to normal. Me too!

Here are a few pictures from our trip:

Bear and his Great Grandpa Poziwilko


Excited about crawling!!


Watching the boats in Lake Michigan


In front of my favorite lighthouse with Daddy


Not sure about this sand and waves business.


With all of his great grandparents


He loved my cousin Hanna and she loved him!


See? Look at all that love.


Swinging at Great Grandma Pullins' lake house


This lake is cold!!


He loved this little motorized car! And so did Momma--it was powered by a pole on the back.


Getting ready to take off on his first boat ride. He's not a fan, by the way.