Tuesday, July 27, 2010

This evening we went to the grocery store. It was close to dinner time and you were getting tired but I decided to chance it since you were in a good mood.

As usual, you were content with just looking around. You were fascinated by two young girls that were dancing near the deli. So fascinated that I could not get your attention at.all. Not even for a piece of deli chicken. It was so cute. I could see your little mind working, wondering what they were doing, knowing it made you happy, and I could almost see that thought go through your mind of, "I want to do that".

Walking down the cereal isle, we encountered an older man, most likely in his late 60's. I was contemplating what cereal to choose and he was seemingly doing the same thing just a couple of feet away from us. You had an animal cracker in your mouth and as you chewed it up you turned around swiftly and gave this man the biggest animal-cracker-filled smile. It seemed as though you knew him almost, because you don't often treat strangers to this type of smile.

The man responded in the most genuine way. He smiled so deeply right back at you, chuckled quite a bit, looked at me and said, "You have no idea. That just made my whole day". He then shook his head, looking as though he was almost holding back tears of happiness, looked at you again while you were still smiling and said, "You made my whole day kid".

I loved this moment. I instantly replayed the moment in my head and teared up. You truly bring so much happiness to so many people, even complete strangers.

How beautiful is that?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

I'm starting to wonder if I'll ever get used to Lily not sleeping through the night. I continue to put these false expectations of "tonight will be the night that will start the trend", and it just doesn't happen. She will have one or two decent nights here and there but it just doesn't seem to stick.

It's frustrating.

I'm frustrated for her but I am also frustrated for Dustin and I. All we want is a few nights of solid sleep and not have to say, "She did ok and only woke up once during the night". Sure, that's progress from the 12 times a night she used to wake up at 9 months, but we would love for it to be a normal sleep pattern, for her and us. Maybe we're asking too much and not exercising enough patience.

So many of our friends with kids cannot really relate to what we're going through at this stage of the game. Every parent deals with sleep issues at some point but very few seem to battle it continuously for this long. My heart sinks with twisted envy when I hear someone say that their child sleeps 11-12 hours at night and takes a 2-3 hour nap during the day. I'm so jealous of that type of sleep.

I miss sleep.

I realize how selfish this sounds. Me, me, me. Honestly, I have no qualms about how selfish this post is. It's how I feel in this moment.

Somehow though, I feel like I am failing Lily. Like Dustin and I are doing something wrong. I suppose as a parent, you always feel like you're doing something that will negatively impact your child. I honestly don't know what to do differently.

We let her cry it out when we know she doesn't need anything, which at this point occurs about 3 times a night. That's the only option for us at this point otherwise she would be awake most of the night. Co-sleeping doesn't work because our bed represents playtime to her. (We never preferred co-sleeping anyway. We would rather her be independent and in her own space.)

What are our other options? We're at a loss.

As I said a few posts ago...this too shall pass. I'm just wondering how long. I miss being able to function normally.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Yesterday, I was that mom. The one everyone stares at and thinks, "holy shit, will you shut that kid up?!", or possibly, "she should not be bringing that baby into a restaurant".

I have bragged on the blog before about how wonderful Lily is when we're out and about, and usually she is...but there is a first time for everything.

I took her to Panera for lunch since our house was barren (seriously, no time to go grocery shopping these days). I knew I was pushing her by doing this because it was awfully close to nap time. Although she is not in a "schedule" she typically goes down 3-4 hours after she wakes up, which puts her naps around 9am and then 1ish.

It was 12:30pm. Big mistake. Big.

She was loud, and not in the funny, cute way. For the first time, she was demanding that I give her food, as in pointing and screeching, like some sort of animal. The only thought running through my mind was, "I am NOT raising my child to behave like this!".  "Ok, Mrs. Professional Mother, then what the hell do you do in this situation?", I asked myself.

I came up with no answers.
I shhhh-d her a lot and attempted to verbally correct her by saying things like, "Lily! Use your words. 'more fruit, please mommy'. Um, yeah. She's 14 months old. Her words consist of "uh-oh", "nana" (for "banana"), "ma", "da", and some Japanese type language. This IS her method of communication.

My only defense left was to simply keep shoving the food that SHE wanted at her. Fruit and cookies, screw the mac&cheese and chicken. I literally could not cut up her fruit fast enough before she was screeching again.

Placating to her behavior. Lovely.

I could feel the cold stares from everyone around us and those glares that were clearly stating something obvious.

I relent. I am one of those mothers.
Oh, and, lesson learned: no optional outings during the nap window.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Everything is "uh oh". It is your favorite word, by far. You drop something, it's "uh oh", the phone rings, "it's "uh oh", your DVD stops playing,  it's "uh oh". It makes me smile every.single.time.

You said "night-night" today when you and gramma were talking about napping.
You will not walk. You know how to walk but you refuse. Still. You can be quite stubborn. I can't imagine where you got that from :)
You love your reflection in the full length mirror and will laugh for minutes at a time when admiring yourself.

Love this age for so many reasons.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

The past two days have been nothing less than amazing. Why? Because you are healthy. You are back to yourself. You have sunshine back in your eyes.

I even think the teething monster has backed down for the moment. You have just been so....perfect. We've had to let you "cry it out" to get you to sleep at night but that's the worst I can possibly say about these past couple of days.

We went to lunch today with Auntie Nicole, Ty, Cori and Gema. We are so lucky to have friends with babies close to your age. It's nice to share all of this together.

It was so fun to watch you and Gema together since you are about the same age. You weren't sure what to make of her, so, like the lady you are, you stared at her. She, on the other hand, thought you were pretty hilarious. She is a mild mannered, sweet baby, like you. It's funny to think about the two of you in about 5 years. You'll most likely be classmates, heading into first or second grade. What a scary, fun, unbelievable thought, that you will be 6 in 5 years. That doesn't even sound possible.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I just spent about 30 minutes writing a post about sleep deprivation. I decided to scrap it, take a different path and just say...

"This too shall pass".

If you're a parent, you know what sleep deprivation truly is and how crazy it can make you. You also might have had the thought of, "Wow, I can see why some moms go absolutely bat-shit crazy and drive off of a bridge".

This is what we all signed up for and we all deal with it in one way or another. If weed was legal and socially acceptable, I would be burnin one down as I type.

I just pray, to anyone that is listening up there, that my child will not suffer any ill effects from never sleeping enough. She has never been in that "normal" range of sleep. My poor, poor baby.

Please sleep tonight, my angel. We all need it desperately.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The rash has arrived. It is covering her back, her stomach and some of her legs. Roseola it is.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

This post is predictable. It had to happen some time.

Lily got her first nasty virus. We're still not sure quite what it is, even though the doctor diagnosed her with Roseola on Thursday. If you don't know what that it, read here.
The problem with that diagnosis is that her fever has been broken for well over 24 hours and she has no rash. Apparently, the rash is necessary for the diagnosis. I truly wish that medicine was an exact science, not a practice of guessing games.

She started with this virus on Thursday by spiking a fever. The fever seemed innocent enough because she finally broke her eye teeth through. In the morning, her fever was about 100.1, which fit into the teething theory.
By 1pm, it spiked over 103. She had no other symptoms so I, of course, freaked the hell out. A high fever with no other symptoms could not be anything good. We ran to the doctor's with a very sick baby. She was so listless and unhappy.

Here's where I have to interject a bit of a confession: I had a gigantic panic attack on the way to the doctor's. Most will not be surprised, if you know me, but the reason why it's a confession is because I'm actually tasting my not-so-delicious words. Yes, that's right, I'm eating my words, once again, on this whole parenthood thing. Something I've done quite a bit.

My words were something along the lines of, "When my kid gets sick, I really don't think I'll freak out. What's the big deal? Kids get sick and then they get better.".

Here's the real story, I have never felt the amount of worry, anxiety, doom, sadness and helplessness than I have in the past three days. Granted, this virus was of the obscure type, with very few symptoms other than a fever, so I will give myself that, it wasn't the common cold or flu, BUT even if it was a horrible flu-type, I would have probably been just as worried.

Time stood still. It was as if nothing else in the world was happening these past couple of days. "MY BABY IS SICK AND I NEED TO FIX IT RIGHT NOW", was all that ran through my head. I immediately assumed the worst, she had meningitis, or something worse, I was convinced.

When we returned from the doctor, I stared holes through her, just waiting for some kind of change, ANY kind of change.

Thursday night came and went with little change, but uneventful all the same.

Friday, however, was a different story.
Her temperature was between 102-103.5 most of the day, although barely affecting her mood. She seemed a little low key and quiet, but not terribly ill. I was thinking perhaps we weathered the storm and the fever would break at any minute, sure to leave behind the elusive rash. Of course if got worse before it got better.

Later in the evening, I called my parents in tears, barely able to make a sentence, "Ca..ca...ca..can onnne of yyoooouuuu.... cooome.... ovvvver?? Li li li lily's fever is...almost...105". It was 104.8, to be exact. So, like the wonderful parents they are, they came to stare holes in her too until Dustin got home from work. I must have taken her temperature 15-20 times, all that read at least 104.3.

I was certain we would end up in the emergency room. I made a call to the on-call doctor, who left me an unhelpful message (when my phone went straight to voice mail for some reason). I called him back, to no avail. Screw it, my friends know better anyway. I texted friends, all of which telling me that 104 was cause for the ER.

"Ok, we're going", I said, more than once.

My dad was here to talk me off that ledge, convincing me that the hospital would not do much different than what we were able to do. Instead, we cooled her with washcloths and just fed her Tylenol.  Nothing was making a dent in that temperature. I held her, I cried some more, I prayed.

Dustin came home and the three of us laid in bed the whole night. I watched as her little chest was rising and falling so, so quickly, her breathing shallow and fast. God, what I would have given for that to be me instead of her.

I kept my hand on her to monitor the heat, as best as I could, to ensure that her fever wasn't rising any more. We'd drift off to sleep and I would jerk my eyes open, suddenly wide awake, hoping for some change.

From 4:30am-7am, we slept. At 7am, her temperature was 100.7, thank sweet baby plastic Jesus. By 10:30am, it was gone. It left behind some massively bloodshot eyes, a crank monster and a very ill looking little girl.
It's now Sunday and she's still recovering. She's definitely better but very little energy and her little eyes are still so bloodshot. Perhaps she's just milking it now :)

What an incredible wave of emotions.
I realize this is a very dramatic recreation. I am not naive to the fact that this is NOTHING in the grand scheme of things, or how bad it could have been, and we do recognize that this is just the beginning of illnesses and worrying. I just had to capture the "first time" emotions.
Scary shit, I'm not going to lie.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

You are so, so funny. You started having full conversations this week. It's not a language that anyone can comprehend but YOU definitely know what you're saying. You are making complete sense to yourself. I'm saying, you talk for minutes at a time. It phonetically sounds like this...

"fen fen fu fun DADADADADA fen fen fow fow pow bab bab" ::pause to laugh at yourself "pa pa pa fen mow mow"

Possibly a language of the Asian decent? I'm not sure. You even use hand gestures.

Something else you're into this week is Baby Einstein DVDs. You will watch these for an hour at a time if we let you. While you're watching them, or even if the t.v. is on at all, you will go around collecting the remotes and hand them to any adult that is in the room...just in case we need them. Its so cute.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Being a parent throws you into a world of controversy. Although there were a lot of things that I did not expect as a new parent, this was probably one of the most surprising.

There are so many aspects about parenthood that are controversial and leave room for a lot of judgment: not vaccinating or injecting them with autism, "no cry" sleep solutions or "cry it out" and ruin all trust that your baby has in you, schedules or no schedules, discipline or allow your child to "express themselves", breastfeeding or poisoning your child, cloth diapers or ruining the earth, become a stay at home mom or abandon your child...I could go on and on.

Just for those curious on the topics above, we decided:
- Autism is better than dying from a deadly disease.
- Crying it out is the only way we saved our sanity.
- Schedules do not work for us.
- We're stumped on discipline.
- We poisoned our kid from day one.
- We are ruining the earth.
- I have abandoned my child so we can pay our bills.

It's amazing to me how you can never be right about the way you raise your child. Someone is always going to disagree with you. This isn't the type of disagreeing like you would disagree on whether Coke or Pepsi tastes better. This is right up there with abortion, religion and politics. Possibly worse in some cases.

Becoming a parent makes you instantly judgmental. This is evident by the comments I have received intermittently throughout the last 14 months. Things like, "SHE'S ONLY A WEEK OLD AND YOU BROUGHT HER TO A RESTAURANT??", or "Why don't you have a blanket around her?? {when it's June in Florida}"...both by complete strangers in public places.  And I cannot even count the amount of times I faced the looks of pity/speculation/disgust when I said that breastfeeding didn't work for us. Even talking with my closest friends, discussing vaccines is even a topic broached with extreme caution.

Opinions and judgments fly. I think I made my point.

I would love to sit here and type that I am not one of those judgmental new parents, and that I believe that everyone is entitled to how they feel about raising a baby.
I would be lying.
I find myself side eying in a lot of situations. I find it interesting that everyone has themselves so convinced that they are parenting the right way and are so quick to judge others- myself included.
It goes back to the ideology of parenthood being a brand new job to all of us. We've had no training, so what makes us all experts all of the sudden? Just because we read something on the internet that told us to do something one way and not the other?

Take breastfeeding for example. 33 years ago when I was born, it was not the social norm to breastfeed. It was even assumed that new moms wouldn't breastfeed and some were given a shot to deplete their milk supply right after birth.
Now, even when your newborn is still swimming in amniotic fluid, we are all told that "breast is best" and formula is poison. Why? Because research shows it. Similar to research saying on one given day that caffeine is the devil and the next day it suddenly has health benefits. The pendulum always seems to swing the other way at some point. I, by no means, am saying that breastfeeding isn't the most beneficial way of feeding your child. I'm just using it as an example of the contradictions that society sends our way.

When it comes to judging others so harshly as new parents, I believe the truth is that we are all just scared. Scared of fucking up our kids beyond repair, so we judge others. The truth is we don't know how to raise a child, just like our moms and grandmas didn't know. We grasp onto any information that we can by reading, researching, consulting friends and talking to our pediatricians. We identify with the information that we choose to, accept it as our own belief and judge others for not viewing it the same way. That's all we can do as new parents. It's really all we have. This might sound obvious to some but, to me. it's an interesting realization overall.

Now, go get your kids some chicken nuggets at McDonald's after skipping that MMR shot!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 2nd 4th of July, babydoll.

You were unbelievably cranky today. I swear if those eye teeth don't cut through soon I'm giving you to grandma and grandpa until they do!
You barely slept today (nothing hugely unusual since you don't sleep most days). Only 45 minutes of napping total. I put you down for bed at 6:30pm and you were up screaming at 8pm. You were just so uncomfortable that you didn't want to be in your bed.
I held you for a long time and then all of the sudden you got this...second wind, of sorts. You wanted to play, so we let you. Gramma and Grampa were here and daddy had just gotten home from work, so you decided to put on a show at 9:45pm. You were laughing, speaking your own language, loudly I might add, and even petting Bear. It was hilarious. I will add the video here soon because it is just too funny not to.
You are STILL awake in your bed and it's 10:30pm now. The fireworks are keeping you from sleep right now.
I might have to go outside an murder some neighbors in a bit.

Friday, July 2, 2010

5 unassisted steps today. I cannot believe it. I thought it would be another couple of months before we saw that! (You are a little on the "I'd rather crawl because it is clearly WAY faster than walking" thought pattern.)
You surprise me everyday.