Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Avocado didn’t go over so well tonight. She’d still open her mouth to eat it, but with each successive bite, the contorted faces became funnier and funnier. We finally gave up after less than ten bites, and we’ll give it another try tomorrow night. I think part of the problem tonight was that she was pretty tired, so just not in a mood to try something new. We ended up giving her two cubes of sweet potatoes, and she enjoyed that just fine.


A dash of hodge and a pinch of podge

Monday, July 30, 2007

*Baby B had her six-month checkup this morning, and it went well despite some crying when the doctor was checking for teeth (none ready to pop anytime soon) and when she got her shots. She didn’t quite laugh at the nurse after her shots this time, but she calmed down fairly quickly.

*I had to answer a series of questions at the doctor’s office about Baby B’s development, most of which I could answer easily (“Can your baby roll over both ways?”), but there were a couple that threw me for a loop. My favorite was, “Can your baby see items that are as small as a crumb?” Holy crap, I have no idea!

*Yes, we sometimes do really call her Baby B…it’s not just a blog moniker.

*The dirty diapers have started to change now that we’re feeding her real foods. Let’s just say the sweet potatoes look exactly the same as they did going in. Everyone warned me that the consistency would change, but people neglected the smell would change, too. Not that it was rose scented before, but ewww.

*Baby B loves the sweet potatoes. She’s very eager to take each bite and always seems disappointed that it’s gone when she’s done.

*Next up: avocados beginning Tuesday night.

*Appointment details:
Height: 25 3/4 inches (50th percentile)
Weight: 14 pounds, 15 ounces (25th to 50th percentile)
Head circumference: 16 5/8 inches (25th to 50th percentile)

"Baby B’s parents are so cool!"

Sunday, July 29, 2007

The above sentence was said by one of Baby B’s daycare teachers over the weekend, and it pretty much made my day (well, that and Serenity’s good news). Her daycare had a rummage and bake sale, and we made chex mix for them to sell (in addition to donating a bunch of items for the rummage sale). When The Husband packed up the chex mix, he put cute little animal stickers on the containers, as well as decorated labels that said “Baby B’s Chex Mix.” The teachers were tickled to death about our efforts, and that’s why one of them said to us, “Baby B’s parents are so cool!” They really seem to adore Baby B there (I truly suspect she’s their favorite kid in the class right now because she’s so happy and content all the time, and her fussy moments really aren’t all that fussy…I know I’m biased, but I really do think they think this), and they also seem to like us a lot, too! Yay! πŸ™‚

The other day it hit me that there’s going to come a time in the not-too-distant future when she has to move to the next room around the time she turns a year old, and she won’t have these same teachers, and that makes me a little sad to think about. We still haven’t been called back by that #1 daycare choice that’s a block from our house (we’ve been on the waiting list since early or mid-November), which we were going to switch to once there was an opening. At this point, I’m not sure if I want to switch even if we do get into the other center.

Good people deserve good things

Saturday, July 28, 2007

I am ecstatic to announce that Serenity at Serenity Now! received good news from her doctor’s office today when she found out the beta following her second complete fresh IVF cycle was POSITIVE!!!!! Check out her blog to offer support as she embarks on this new, sometimes scary (but ultimately worth it) journey.

A very merry unbirthday to you

Friday, July 27, 2007

Happy six months, Baby B! You have turned our lives upside-down in the half a year that we’ve come to know you, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. We love you so much and can’t imagine our lives without you. We are so fortunate to have such a happy baby, and we can’t wait to see what the next six months–and beyond–brings!

Love you!
~The Mommy and The Daddy

Minutes old:

One month:

Two months:

Three months:

Four months:

Five months:

Six months:

Mission: Mommy Milk

Thursday, July 26, 2007

When I decided to breastfeed, I went into it with an open mind, saying that I would give it a fair shot and if it didn’t work out, then I wouldn’t beat myself up for having to switch to formula. In reality, it doesn’t quite work that way, and there’s a lot of guilt associated with even thinking about having to switch to formula, let alone actually doing it. We struggled with nursing in the first week–more than I let on here–because it was very painful as we were both learning what to do and how to do it correctly and efficiently. I would scream and cry in pain each time she latched on, only to have to break her latch with a quick, sharp head pull that made it feel like I had razor blades inside my nipples. Add to that her desire to feed every hour or two in the beginning, and it was not a scene I would like to repeat anytime soon. I am, however, stubborn, so I kept up with it because I didn’t want to see myself as a “failure” even though I rationally knew that wouldn’t have been the case.

In order to get through that time, I set a series of breastfeeding goals for myself. In the beginning, just nursing for one more day was a feat worthy of celebration. I made myself look no further in time than that current day. I kept reminding myself that each additional day I could offer my milk was better than not having that day. Once we got better at it and the pain went away, I started looking at a little more long-term goals. My first goal was to nurse for the three months I was home on maternity leave. Check. My next goal to was continue for three more months until Baby B was six months old. As of tomorrow, I will have completed that goal, as well, and I’m very proud of myself for that, as it is not an easy task to complete, especially with working full time.

So, as long as my supply cooperates, my next and ultimate goal is to continue nursing for the first full year. I can tell my supply has dropped since I started working–I now get about half of what I used to pump during the day–but I have a very good freezer stash, so I think even if my milk dried up completely today, I’d still be set for most of the next six months. I am thankful each day I was able to persevere through the beginning difficulties and have stuck with this. I like nursing more than I imagined I would, and part of me really dreads the time I’ll have to wean. (I know I could nurse beyond a year, as many moms do, but for a variety of reasons, I don’t think I want to do that. I officially reserve the right to change my mind about that at any given time.)

Book learnin’

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

I’m a little ashamed to admit this, since I have a journalism degree and I read for a living, but we didn’t start reading books to Baby B until a couple months ago. I’m the kind of person who likes to know that someone is paying attention when I’m talking. (My nightmare job would probably be a high school teacher that has to still teach lessons despite kids falling asleep and talking in class. I would go nuts.) Unfortunately, I would just get too frustrated with reading before she could sit still and would do it maybe once a week at best. But now that Baby B has been able to pay attention to the books and my reading, I’m enjoying it a lot more, and we do it at least once a day, sometimes more.

I think I might be at the beginning stages of a serious book addiction, however. Because children’s books are so short, we typically read two or three books in one sitting. I know kids like the repetition of the same books and end up with favorites because of this, but momma needs at least a little variety. I started an Amazon.com wish list in Baby B’s name in order to keep track of the books she doesn’t have yet. And that’ll be great to have ready for when people ask what they should get her for Christmas or her birthday. Of course, that’s if I don’t end up buying all the books myself before then!

The mom un-haircut

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

It happens all the time…a woman has a baby, then soon after heads to the salon to get her “mom haircut” to signify the beginning of a new era; it almost seems like it’s a required task in order to get your mom license. (It’s that and buy mom jeans, I think.)

But is there such thing as a mom un-haircut?

I last got my hair cut two weeks before Baby B was born. At first, I didn’t go get it cut again because I didn’t have a lot of time to spare. Then it just became a matter of my hair not really bugging me all that much, as that tends to be when I know it’s time to get it cut…when it starts to annoy me and starts misbehaving. So far it just hasn’t reached that point. Either that, or I just have too many other things to deal with right now to notice that my hair is bugging me.

In either case, the point is that my hair is getting long–the longest it’s been in years (I generally keep it just above my chin in a bob style, and it’s well below my shoulders now). I think I’m close to getting it cut, though. I’ve had several people comment on my hair being long recently…but it’s not really been followed by “I like it” or “you should keep it like that” or anything like that. The Husband likes it when my hair is longer, so he was of course disappointed to hear that I’m thinking about getting it cut soon. However, getting it cut does not mean a special mom cut for me…just the usual chin-length bob. There’s no rush on the mom haircut, anyway, since I don’t have any mom jeans in my closet.


UPDATE: Night 2 of rice cereal went even better than the first. I’d say I ended up making about twice as much, just a little thicker than last night’s concoction, and she finished every bit of it. She’s funny because in between bites, she’ll make this low grunting sound that you might think means she isn’t enjoying herself, but it’s only because she wants us to give her the next bite faster! Once the spoon reaches her mouth, she loves it, then she gets a little frustrated again that her next bite isn’t at the ready. It’s so funny to see this new side of her through this experience. Hopefully she tones down the grunting eventually because otherwise restaurant experiences are going to be quite attention-grabbing. I can already tell that bath night will be an every night event very soon. Right now we do it just every other night, but with food ending up in places you’d never imagine, I think a bath will be incorporated into the nightly routine.

You’ll love the new menu at Restaurant Mommy

Monday, July 23, 2007

Tonight was another one of those milestones that make you realize just how much time has passed. We gave Baby B her first solids tonight. Well, I guess “solids” should be in quotes since it’s not like she was gnawing on a carrot stick or popping Cheerios like candy. (That’s what I always think of when I hear solids.)

Things did not start out on the smoothest note. I decided to heat up the first batch of rice cereal to take the chill off the milk that had been in the fridge. I walked away and heated it too much, and it would’ve taken too long to cool down. That batch went into the trash.

Take two. I mixed it up, a little thicker than the first time since that was a bit too runny, and got it to just the temperature I wanted. I set the bowl on the dining table, and The Husband made a comment about needing to move it farther from Baby B so she didn’t knock it over. He pushed it out of her reach, but we forgot that she has super-extender monkey arms, and she still managed to knock it over, spilling it on her and on the carpet, much to The Dog’s delight. (“Rice cereal? Yes, please,” he exclaimed.)

Okay, take three, then. We got it right on the third try. Good consistency, good temperature, and this time it stayed in the bowl until it was time to put it on the spoon.

After all that, I was a little nervous about her actually eating the rice cereal. But from the very first bite, she was very into it. She’d reach out for the spoon and pull it closer to her. She’d open her very mouth wide. We didn’t have any problems with her not knowing how to swallow the food. (Maybe all these months of Zantac have helped teach her that? Have I mentioned before that she loves Zantac time?) So, all in all a success (well, once her incompetent, fumbling parents got started). We’ll do rice cereal all this week, then this weekend I think we’re going to dive into sweet potatoes. We’ll definitely have the camera at the ready for that and many more adventures to come!

Weigh more time left

Saturday, July 21, 2007

I perused the Pack N Play user’s manual again last night to confirm the weight limits, and I was very pleased to see that I was wrong about the changing table. The weight limit for that is 25 pounds, so we still have a while to go (she’s still just under 15). It turns out I was thinking of the bassinet part, which has a weight limit of 15 pounds, but we don’t really use that anyway except to hold the diapering supplies caddy.

Welcome to the world!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Congrats go out to Alli, who delivered a healthy baby girl on Monday. Be sure and send her some extra encouraging words, as her husband was deployed to Iraq in June and will not get to meet his daughter for a while. Your family is in my thoughts, Alli. Enjoy that sweet gal of yours.

Pass the baby

Thursday, July 19, 2007

When we’re around acquaintances and they’re playing with Baby B when she’s with me, I’m never quite sure whether to offer to let them hold her. I personally don’t mind if they hold her, but I hesitate to ask in case they really don’t want to. I realize that some people aren’t completely comfortable holding babies, and that’s fine. I just don’t want to make them feel pressured to do it, and I’m afraid they’ll feel obligated if I mentioned it. Yet I know some people don’t want to ask to hold a baby in case the mother does have an issue with it. Still, I tend to err on the side of caution and don’t want to force her on others. But seriously, how can they resist? πŸ˜‰

Diaper direction

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

I have to confess something a little funny here, which I may have mentioned briefly before, but I’ll go into it more now.

I have trouble changing Baby B’s diapers and clothes when she’s facing left to right (or right to left) horizontally in front of me. For optimum changing conditions, she needs to be facing me vertically, with her head at the top and her feet near my legs.

I’m sure if I practiced changing her sideways, I’d get the hang of it in no time, but we decided not to get a standard changing table for a couple of reasons, the biggest one being that her nursery is pretty small, and I preferred to keep our futon in there instead of putting in a changing table. So far I have not missed having a regular changing table, as we’ve used the changing table attachment on the Pack N Play–on which you place the baby vertically. She’s about to reach the weight limit of that, and we’ll start using a contoured changing pad on the futon in her room once it’s time to switch.

Anyway, this whole thing is relevant because when I have to change Baby B in public, all of the bathroom changing tables are (understandably because of space constraints) the kind where you place the baby horizontally instead of vertically. I’m already a little self-conscious changing diapers in public because I want be quick about it–what stranger really wants to share in our dirty-diaper extravaganza?–but then I end up fumbling around, and having to contort myself to change her makes me look and feel even sillier! Some of these changing tables are positioned so you can stand on one end or the other and solve this dilemma, but many of them are not.

So, no real point to this other than to laugh at myself a bit. I figure no one can get through this new-mother thing sane without having a good sense of humor, and I definitely have that!

Get your updates "ear"

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Baby B is doing much better today. She was a lot more like herself last night, and the same goes for today. She doesn’t seem to be bothered when I lie her down, which made her cry before, probably because of the ear infection, so I’m guessing that’s on the upswing. Her chest is still congested, but not nearly as much as before. She probably could have gone to daycare today, but we felt better keeping her home one more day so she doesn’t infect the other kids (and thus end up with a slightly different strain and go through this all over again). I just hope other parents are as considerate of our child as we are of theirs when it comes to keeping other kids from getting sick. So, The Husband and I are taking shifts today so neither one of us has to miss a whole day of work. I’m taking the morning shift since I have to attend an afternoon meeting, then he’ll come home at lunch and take over baby duty during the second half of the day.

I had to take a rectal temperature for the first time yesterday. I was a little squeamish about it at first, but we have a five-second digital thermometer, so it really wasn’t that bad. Not a big deal at all, especially when I was so impatient that the under-arm temperature was taking too long. It was easy, but certainly did result in a dirty diaper within half an hour, which I heard was often the case.

Contrary to the norm lately, Baby B woke up during the night for the first time in a long time. Around 12:30 a.m., she woke up, flipped herself over, then couldn’t get back to sleep because she had upset herself. We tried everything else first, then I fed her and that calmed her at first, but she still didn’t want to go to sleep in her crib. We figured she was having a lot of drainage, from both her chest and her ear, so she may have been uncomfortable from that. She went to sleep within minutes of being put in the swing, and she slept there fine the rest of the night (all the more reason I think she was having drainage issues). I looked back at my feeding/diapers log (yes, I’m still keeping track), and it looks like the last time I had to feed her during the night was April 11–when she was 2 1/2 months old.

That was three months ago.

Yes, we are extremely fortunate, so I cannot complain about her waking up one time during the night when she’s sick.

Ear all about it

Monday, July 16, 2007

Sunday wasn’t any better for Baby B; in fact, it was probably her worst day so far. She threw up again in the morning before I went to work (again after taking some medicine, this time Tylenol), and she continued with an off-and-on fever, constant chest congestion, cough, and an occasional runny nose. But most of all, she definitely didn’t seem like her usual happy-go-lucky self…she had a nearly constant whimper that made it obvious that she didn’t feel well, and she wasn’t smiley at all. In fact, it took a lot of effort just to get a half-smile out of her. I had to work, so The Husband was in charge of taking care of her all day trying to alleviate her symptoms and make her as comfortable as possible. Thankfully she’s still been sleeping like normal during the night and she’s been eating just fine.

We got up early this morning and I got ready in case we needed to see the doctor. Baby B was still congested, though her spirits seemed a little better, she seemed a little more playful, and she didn’t have a fever. Still, I figured I should call the doctor to get her in just in case it was something more serious, plus I was off today and might as well do it while I don’t have to take time off work. I called the office when they opened at 7:30 this morning and they could get us in at 8:30, so off we went.

The doctor said it sounds like she has a chest cold, but there’s not much we can do about that other than what we’ve been doing. He did say she has an ear infection in her left ear, probably the cause of the fever, so she’s started amoxicillin for that. He said if she doesn’t show improvement by Thursday to call back. I kind of hate that we have to put her on antibiotics at such a young age since I know they’re often overprescribed, but an ear infection isn’t something you want to mess with because of the potential for serious complications, so she’ll get “the pink medicine” (as we always called it growing up) as directed by her doctor. I just hope this isn’t the start of a constant battle with ear infections.

Just for the record, she weighed 14 pounds, 10.5 ounces today.

Oh yeah, and happy 2nd anniversary to The Husband!

How she tricked us into two baths in one night

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Poor Baby B! She started with a slight cough late on Thursday night, which continued into Friday. She was still acting normal, so we were hoping it would just go away. During her bath on Friday night, I noticed some slight congestion in her chest, but she still didn’t seem bothered by it. I cranked up her humidifier and gave her some medicine to take care of the cough before bedtime on Friday night.

Unfortunately, she woke up today with a very congested chest, a cough, and an occasional fever. She had a runny nose a couple times during the day (literally I had to use just two tissues), but most of it seems to be in her chest. She wasn’t acting like she was miserable, but you could just tell she wasn’t feeling like her usual self. We did the 6 p.m. nursing session just fine, and she got her last bottle of the night with combined milk and formula. However, that bottle (and more!) came up when she was on the changing table for what was supposed to be the last time of the night, right after she’d gotten a dose of the cold medicine, which I guess didn’t sit well on her tummy. She threw up all over herself, repeatedly, so we had to give her a second bath to get her cleaned up.

Since she had nothing on her tummy anymore, I went ahead and nursed her again, and we finally got her to bed just after 9, about an hour late. She went to sleep immediately. She seems to be sleeping okay so far, so I hope that’ll keep up through the night. I’ve been trying to wake her up at her usual time on the weekends so we keep a consistent schedule, but I’ll probably let her sleep as long as she needs to tomorrow so she hopefully feels better. I’ll call the doctor on Monday if she’s not improving, but keep your fingers crossed that she kicks this quickly.

Reaching out

Friday, July 13, 2007

In the past week or so, I’ve noticed a significant increase in the number of things that Baby B is actively reaching out for. She just recently started reaching up for the fish that “swim” in a circle above her swing, and I was pouring water over her for fun during her bath tonight and she reached up for the cup in my hand. She always wants to grab the book during storytime, she reaches out to touch The Dog, and she tried reaching for my water bottle tonight when I was feeding her (probably thinking it was one of her own bottles).

But you know what I’m so eager for her to do? I can’t wait for her to reach up with her arms to indicate that she wants me to hold her. Sure, after a while, that may become tiring for me, especially when she gets to the point of wanting to be picked up all the time, but right now my heart warms when I think about it.

Along those same lines, I cannot wait for Baby B to kiss me back. I smother her with kisses daily, and she puts up with it quite well, but I can’t wait for her to understand what it is I’m doing–and for her to do it back to me!

Family renovations

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Warning: I know some people who read this blog are still struggling to bring home their first child, so if you’re sensitive to the subject of trying for an additional child, then it’s probably best to skip this post. I won’t be offended.


I started writing this post almost two months ago, but I never felt very good about it. The gist of it was trying to justify the idea of possibly stopping with just one child, despite wanting two for as long as I could remember. If you’d asked me then about wanting another child, I’d probably have said, “No way in hell.” Two months later and I’m still not fully swayed in the other direction, but I’m coming around to at least being receptive to the idea in the future. Not anytime soon, but sometime in the future. I’ve got a mess of thoughts in my head, plenty on each side, so I’m going to use this post to sort them out as best I can right now.

As I said, I’ve always wanted two children; I grew up with one sibling, which I loved, and the world seems to be made for a family of four. But several things make me hesitate about trying for another one. One, of course, is the knowledge that trying for a baby doesn’t automatically equal a baby nine months later. Possibly going through another miscarriage is a daunting thought to me, especially now that I really know what I’d be missing with that child since I do have one of my own now.

Going through another pregnancy is a mental block at this point, too, for a couple of reasons. I know each pregnancy is different, but it’s hard for me to imagine enduring the constant, severe morning sickness I dealt with before–but with having to take care of a young child on top of it. So many days I was completely incapacitated and it was all I could do to drag myself to work, so it’s exhausting to think about going through that again with more responsibilities on my plate. Looking back, I think my gallstone attacks during pregnancy were worse than the great labor and delivery experience I had (no epidurals are available for gallstone attacks!), so the increased risk of such attacks makes me nervous. However, the second half of my pregnancy experience, as well as my labor and delivery, were very easy compared to what they could have been. I never got any swelling. I didn’t get huge. I didn’t tear or have an episiotomy. I didn’t require a c-section. I had to push for only 30 minutes. Nursing, while difficult in the first two weeks, turned out to be a successful venture. However, there’s no guarantee that I’ll have it that easy next time around.

Baby B has been a dream baby so far; she’s so happy it’s almost unbelievable, and we’ve been so fortunate with how good of a sleeper she is. But what if the next one is a “terror” (again, on top of having to deal with Baby B)? What if the next one doesn’t sleep as well as Baby B has since the beginning? Would Baby #2 always be measured up to Baby B and never quite be able to fill her big shoes? All very valid questions without answers.

Then there’s the idea of two children, especially if they’re close in age. Would I be able to devote enough of my time to both of my children, especially since I have to work and already have just a few hours with Baby B each night as it is? I wouldn’t want to neglect Baby B, of course–that’s not fair to her–yet a newborn requires so much attention. And the thought of two kids in diapers at the same time is a little intimidating. And could we afford daycare for two?

But I can’t help but feel uneasy at a decision to not have another child. If it turns out this is the only baby we’re able to have, I would eventually be 100% okay with that, as I do not take Baby B for granted and thank the universe every single day that I have her. But something deep inside tells me I’m not done, that things are not yet as complete as I’d like. Growing up with a sibling teaches you so many things that you just cannot learn elsewhere, not even from a daycare or school environment. I think I’m better for having grown up with a sister (especially one so close in age; we are 18 months apart), and I know Baby B would be, too. And you know what? Sure, having two young children would be a challenge, but I’ve always embraced the thrill of a challenge in other areas of my life, so the fear of the challenge shouldn’t be enough to keep me from trying to take that path.

Of course I know that no decisions need to be made right now. The Husband and I will probably re-visit the subject periodically so we can make sure that whenever we do reach a decision to try to add to our family, we’re on the same page about it. As of right now, having kids approximately three years apart sounds ideal, but give it another month, six months, or another year, and that opinion will likely change (likely several times…and probably in both directions). In the meantime, I really try to make the most of my time with Baby B, taking in all the little joys of being around a young infant, just in case this ends up being my only child, either by choice or by circumstance.

She’s not just the president, she’s also a client

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Ever since Baby B was born, she has been a genuine, card-carrying member of The No-Hair Club for Baby Girls. Well, okay, she was born with the tiniest bit of dark brown hair, and then that all pretty much fell out over her first month of life, leaving just the barest of fine sprouts that have passed for hair the rest of the time. Just recently, though, she has started growing a little bit of hair–this time it seems to be light brown like my hair, unlike the dark brown she had before like The Husband–though let’s just say it’s far from pigtails. Actually, I have to admit it’s been kind of nice because we haven’t had to worry about tangling her hair during her baths yet, though we have to be extra careful that her poor bare head doesn’t get sunburned when we’re out.

On a semi-related note, it looks like she’s most definitely going to have dark brown eyes. They were fairly dark (definitely not blue) when she was born, but they would look different colors in different kinds of light, so we thought there might have been a chance (thought not a good one) that they’d change. They’ve indeed changed, but only to get even darker brown. It’s funny how light she makes my own brown eyes appear when I look at the two of us in a picture or mirror.

We’ll take "Flying with Babies" for $800, Alex

Monday, July 9, 2007

Because I used up all of my paid time off during my maternity leave and because my HR screwed up my hours and I returned to work with a negative vacation balance, that’s left traveling with Baby B not much of an option lately. And of course that’s complicated by the fact that I do not have consecutive days off, getting Saturdays and Mondays away from the office, and requesting Sundays off is a difficult task because that’s the day our magazine goes to press.

Now that I’m barely–just technically–above a zero vacation balance and will start earning time again soon, we started to look ahead at times we might be able to travel to New England (east-central Connecticut, specifically) to visit The Husband’s family, many of whom cannot make the trip down here to meet Baby B. Driving that far (from Kentucky to Connecticut), while possible, isn’t realistic since it would take at least two days of driving; we did it in one day each way a few Thanksgivings ago, but it was exhausting for just the two of us, and that was without Baby B in the picture. So, we decided we’d have to fly, though recent searches of flights were not very encouraging, especially since we’d prefer to purchase a seat for Baby B instead of holding her in our laps even though both options are available. Call me cheap if you want, but I refuse to pay $800 per seat on a flight that keeps me in the same hemisphere, but that’s what flight prices were looking like (at least for the times that would possibly work for us) until recently.

Because of my work issues, bumping up a trip against a holiday makes the most sense, because that would give me an extra free day to work with. Labor Day weekend wasn’t possible because The In-Laws weren’t going to be in town (and we already have plans that weekend, though we could’ve canceled if that were the only weekend that might’ve worked). I tried to get flights for Thanksgiving weekend, as we’ve spent a few Thanksgivings up there with them before, but I still can’t get those prices and/or flight times to work out at all. I don’t really want to go up there for Christmas because that would mean flying back on Christmas Dayt this year since I have to work on the 26th.

Looking at New Year’s weekend, however, it seemed like it might be a viable option, so I searched a little further and found a GREAT deal flying out of our own city, as opposed to driving an hour and a half to one of the two bigger airports, and into the city that’s closest to The In-Laws. I should mention that flying out of our city is always, always, always much more expenseive than driving to one of the other major airports, so to find this deal was huge. The next step was to make sure The In-Laws were going to be in town and up for visitors (check) and that I could get someone to cover for me on Sunday, December 30 (check).

So, we’ve got tickets purchased to fly up there on Friday, December 28 and return on Tuesday, January 1, giving us three full days of visiting time. I’m pretty excited, as I love to travel but we haven’t been able to do it much lately because we haven’t had the flexibility to do so, both because of my work stuff and because The Husband doesn’t have a ton of vacation time available since he’s still relatively new at his job. It’s hard to believe what a different person Baby B will be by then…she’ll have just turned 11 months old when we go up there, so it’s quite possible that she’ll be learning to walk and maybe saying a few words. She’ll be twice the age she is now! How in the world is that possible?

I have to admit, though, that I’m a little nervous at the idea of traveling with an infant. I just don’t want to be that parent with a kid that screams for the duration of the flight without the hint of calming down. But, you know, if it happens, it happens. I’m sure things will go much better than I think, though, and obviously it’s not enough of a fear to make me hesitate making the trip, but it’s just one of those things that makes me a bit anxious. I’m so excited go, though, and I just wish it weren’t six months away!


Sunday, July 8, 2007

Yesterday was a gorgeous day here, so we decided to take Baby B to the pool–a real pool–for the first time. Naturally she had quite the dirty diaper that I had to clean up when we got there, though thankfully it was before we made our way into the pool, so I was able to rest easy knowing it was unlikely she’d have another dirty diaper while in the water. After cleaning up (while she giggled) in the bathroom, we headed to the water ready for fun. We first went to the huge shallow (at most, about three feet deep) kids’ pool, complete with a huge pirate ship with spewing water in the middle. (This is certainly not the kids’ pool of my generation! We just had a small 10-foot-square pool with stagnant, pee-laden water to swim in. And we walked uphill both ways in the snow to get there. And we liked it.)

This pool has a gradual, sloped, beach-style entry, so there’s shallow water that laps up onto the “shoreline” of the pool. We sat down with Baby B in the inches-deep water and let her get used to everything around her. She was very curious about all the people around, and the most fun she seemed to have was when other people, especially kids, would come up to her and talk or make funny faces. We walked her around this pool, closer to the pirate ship, for a while, then sat back down at the “shore” and splashed around. She wasn’t quite her normal giggly self, but she also wasn’t crying like I saw several babies her age doing when they’d get in the water.

We decided to move to one of the adult pools where we could more easily do things like let her float and jump up and down with her in our arms at chest level. She was still really intent on looking around at everything and everyone, and so many people made comments about how cute she was. We got out after a while and dried off, having spent about two hours there. I thought we’d be lucky to last a full hour, so I’m very happy with how her first pool trip went.

It was fun to look around at all the kids that seemed to be about the age Baby B will be next summer and see that there’s even more pool fun in store for us. I’d like to make maybe one or two more pool trips this year (hey, might as well while she’s free!), and in the meantime, she’s still enjoying her little baby pool at home.

On the outside looking in

Friday, July 6, 2007

There’s something about playgroups that’s always bothered me a little, but I haven’t ever been able to put my finger on what it is that bugs me. Maybe part of it is that I don’t consider myself an outgoing person among a group of strangers–though I’m fine once I get to know people–so the thought of being comfortable in a group of people I don’t know is a little laughable.

However, I’ve started to realize that my interests and priorities are a lot more different now than they used to be, so maybe it’s time I make some additional friends who can relate better to what I’m going through. I’ve gotten good support in this arena with a couple of my online message boards, but it’s just not quite the same as personal, in-the-flesh interaction.

However, after searching online for some playgroups in my area, I’ve come to the realization that nearly all of them are 1) religion-based through a church (no thanks) and/or targeted toward stay-at-home moms (which does not include me). So far I’ve not found a single playgroup that meets at a time other than when I’m at work, so that leaves me shut out of the exclusive club.

Our libraries even have storytimes for young children, and I thought that might be fun to attend from time to time, but those groups meet on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Naturally there are no programs for infants on Mondays when I’m actually off work and could go during the day. I understand it’s probably easier for the library to schedule these storytimes during the day for a variety of reasons, but I wish they had perhaps a Saturday morning program that rotated throughout the month (infants on the first Saturday of the month, 1- to 2-year olds on the second Saturday, etc.) to give those of us who work a chance to participate in such activities and make connections with others in our local community.

I’m glad that at least Baby B is getting some good social interaction from being at daycare–probably more than I could realistically expose her to if I did stay at home–but makes me a little sad that it means that I miss out on that social interaction with other moms myself.

Swimming in smiles

Thursday, July 5, 2007

We wanted to take Baby B to the swimming pool for the first time yesterday on our day off, but the weather didn’t really cooperate for us. It wasn’t actually raining during the day, but the wind was blowing and the leaves were turning over, so it looked like it might rain at any minute, and I didn’t want to pack up all of our stuff, get there, then have to turn around and come home. So, we decided to take a raincheck on that plan and instead got out the little inflatable baby pool I picked up for her earlier this week and let her play in that. She can’t quite sit up reliably on her own, especially in a slippery pool, but we just took turns helping support her while she played with some of the new bath toys we brought out.

Also, because it’s one of my favorite recent pictures, I wanted to post this one, taken on Tuesday night. I can’t believe how much her personality seems to come out in her pictures. This girl has the biggest smile, and as her daycare teacher said today, “She’s even happy when she’s fussy. It takes a lot to really get her upset.” We are very fortunate.

Thumb therapy

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Baby B has really taken to sucking her thumb when she gets upset and/or when she gets tired and needs to go to sleep, and it’s been a very effective way of calming herself down. I know a lot of people have issues with babies sucking their thumbs or fingers, especially once they start cutting teeth (no updates on that front, by the way), but I think I’d rather her lean more toward her thumb than a pacifier if I have a preference. It is thought that this behavior is at least partially hereditary; I was a thumb-sucker, and The Husband was a finger-sucker. If she hadn’t ended up with this behavior, I would have been very surprised. And, I have to admit, it’s awfully cute when she does it.

Think fast

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

I realized recently that I spend a lot of time regularly calculating in my head exactly how old Baby B is, because there’s nothing like feeling like a bad mom when someone asks you how old your child is and you hesitate, stammer a bit, and have to think for a while about the answer. Sheesh, I mean, the next thing you know, people will expect me to remember what day she was born on!

Tummy time, nighttime version

Monday, July 2, 2007

So it looks like Baby B has discovered the joys of sleeping on her tummy. I’ve found her sleeping on her stomach when I woke her up the past two mornings, and I’ve had to flip her a couple times before I’ve gone to bed. I know most experts say that stomach sleeping is okay if they flip themselves to that position because that usually means they’re able to turn themselves if there’s a problem. Still, I can’t help but be a little nervous about it since all the research points to sleeping on the back as being the most safe. I can’t blame the girl, though; I can’t stand sleeping on my back and find myself much more comfortable on my side or stomach.