Thursday, October 29, 2009

Is It Wordless Wednesday?

No? It's not?

Oh. Cause I kinda think these photos speak for themselves...

(I love how the "hood" is a little askew in the last one...just like my boy...just a little off...)

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Very Brave Boy

I know a lot of people who, when describing their children, use phrases like, "Man, that child is fearless!!"

We have never uttered those words in our house.

My boy is most decidedly NOT fearless. In fact even after I spent hundreds of dollars signing him up for a gym class, for the majority of the class he did his own thing and often told the teacher, "No tank you, I watch" when prompted to join in the class. We spent much time in occupational therapy classes trying to build his muscle tone and got frustrated as the child refused to do anything that did not involve both of his feet being firmly planted on the floor.

He does not like the dark, he does not like loud noises or surprises and for the most part he doesn't even enjoy spontaneity. He was always the kid who sat quietly in the sand when we went to a play ground, ignoring all the brightly colored play structures. And whenever we were invited to a birthday party, the parents inevitably told me, "There will be a bouncy house there, he will love it!" I just smiled and told them that for the most part, they weren't his thing. And in my head thought, "There is no way in hell that my child will ever set foot in one of those things."

A couple of weekends ago we took The Boy (and The Girl) to a Pumpkin Patch. One of their cousins is a little boy who LOVES Halloween because he loves Haunted Houses. So when we all went to a Pumpkin Patch with a Haunted House his cousin asked, "Will [The Boy] go in the Haunted House with me?" I smiled and told him that he could ask him himself but in my head I thought, "No way in hell." Sure enough The Boy refused his request and I ended up walking through the house with my nephew. As I came out I said, "Yeah, there is no way he would go in there." It wasn't overly scary, but there were lots of skeletons and lots of black lights and I just didn't assume he would be into it.

Much to my surprise, about a half an hour later he asked to go into the Haunted House. He made me hold him when going through but he did it! I was SO proud of him. And then he wanted to go through AGAIN. He did it several times and each time letting me get a little further away from him. The last time he went through he went through alone with his 4 year old cousin. I could not believe it. I was so proud of my little dare devil. Then just this past weekend we went to a little Halloween Carnival. There was another Haunted House so of course he wanted to check it out. This one was much scarier but he ended up loving it. His previous cohort in his 4 year old cousin was even too scared for this one once they started shooting off cap guns, but my boy held strong. Even the 6 year old cousin didn't want to go through, he was the only one out of all of his cousins that did it. And he did it twice!

And then? He officially blew my mind. He asked to go into a bouncy house with his cousins. He crawled inside and held on for dear life to the netting on the side. Then he crawled back out. And back in. And back out. Finally he did a few little jumps while holding onto the side before crawling out the last time. But he did it. I cannot believe it. It might be that he is just getting older and more brave, or it might be that he is feeling peer pressure to be like his cousins now that he's older and can understand these things. But whatever it is, I am SO proud of my little dude. I couldn't get photographic evidence of the Haunted Houses because, well they are dark and stuff, but here is proof of the bouncy house. Complete in his Spiderman costume. He told me afterward, "Mommy I am a very brave boy." Yes you are my little dude.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Saturday Bullet Points

  • Today is the last day of the 9 days without my mother. I have proved to myself that I can take care of my two children COMPLETELY by myself (The Ex was even in New York all week long so it was seriously JUST.ME.), although it is so exhausting I am not sure I could keep it up long term. But that being said, both kids were fed well, were bathed every other day and in general survived.
  • My Mommy arrives home tonight at 9:05pm and it is not a moment too soon.
  • One of the fish in our fish tank died last night. When The Boy noticed it today he told me he was so sad that "Charlie" was gone but that it was okay because he was "one with God." Huh? Apparently that is what they teach them at school about death because those words have NEVER come out of my mouth. But whatever, works for right now.
  • Today marks the first time I have ever heard my Boy speak with masculine and feminine definitions. He told me that I wasn't allowed to draw a Spider (so sad about that!) because girls don't like spiders. They only like Princesses. I nearly fell off my chair before he got a rather long lecture about how ALL girls don't necessarily like Princesses and how some girls DO actually like spiders. Good lord.
  • The Boy is still firmly entrenched in his love of all things Spiderman. I am MORE than done with this phase. Bring on the next phase. But it doesn't show any signs of stopping. Currently he is coveting all the "bad guys" from the Spiderman series. Here he is with a picture of Doctor Octopus, or as he is known in this house, "Doc Ock." (Note the Spiderman shirt and the Spiderman bed spread in the background...sigh...)
  • The Girl is growing up WAY too fast for my liking. She can already sit up and here she is on all fours rocking away, getting ready to crawl. I am NOT happy about this. Seriously. She is already scooting backwards all over the place. Leave her alone for a few minutes and you come out to find her wedged underneath the couch or the ottoman. It is too soon. Plus, I never had to actually baby-proof the house for The Boy. You just told him no and he went on his way. I am pretty sure that is NOT going to be the case for this one. She is everywhere. Even now if you hand her one of her toys, she chucks it across the room and reaches for the remote/iPhone/glass of water etc. She is a handful.
  • She had her 6 month well baby checkup a few days ago. Here are her stats: 16.2 pounds (a little over the 50th percentile), 25 1/2 inches (a little under the 50th percentile) and her head was 43 1/2 cm (around the 75th percentile). I know I have said this before, but it is just so weird to have a child that is right around "normal." I don't know what you are supposed to talk to the doctor about at the visits when this is the case. It is fabulous, but just so...out of the ordinary for me.
  • I need some advice, internets. Either I don't remember The Boy doing this, or else he just never did. One of the other "cute" new things The Girl is doing is blowing raspberries. She puckers up those little lips and lets the spit fly. It's charming. EXCEPT, of course, when I am feeding her. If I am attempting to feed her anything besides apples or pears (which is not a well rounded nutritious lifestyle) she puckers up those little lips and blows. Food goes everywhere. She thinks she is hysterical. I don't remember what the protocol is at her age. Right now I am telling her a firm "NO" and then pushing the spoon against her lips so she can't blow as well. It isn't working so well. Anyone have any other ideas on how to make her stop and just eat the damn food? Here is exhibit A of her last night after my attempting to give her green beans with rice cereal. Note the splatter of green everywhere, and also note the big ass smile indicating that she thinks she is a comic of epic proportions. Any ideas?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Happy 6 Months Old Peanut

Dear Peanut,

I really cannot believe that you are six months old. That's an entire half of a year. It just seems crazy. I know all mothers say this, but it really does just go so fast. Too fast. And you're my last baby! So can you do me a favor and slow the hell down a little bit? I would appreciate it...

It seems as though the changes from five months to six months are just huge. It is like in this last month you have become this "kid." I mean I know you're still a baby, but you are most definitely out of that helpless/just laying around/only milk drinking phase. You have things to do and places to go! And you want to touch it all. And put it ALL in your mouth. You are affectionately known as "Grabby McGrabberstein" in our house. If you can reach it, you are taking it and promptly putting it in your mouth. And those toys? The ones that are actually meant for your mouth? Well, you aren't so much interested in those anymore. You would prefer to grab my iPhone, the remote control, the fork...anything and everything that I would prefer you leave alone. Something tells me you are going to be a bit more of a challenge than your brother was. But that's okay. I am up for the task.

The biggest change this month has been the addition of solid food. Much to the amazement of everyone who knows me I am actually making all of your baby food. I know, right? I have found that it lessens the sadness of my not being the only thing providing you with nourishment anymore. If I have a hand in everything that goes into your mouth then somehow I am still providing for you. You liked food from the start but were a little confused at the concept that you actually have to open your mouth to get it in there. But we have passed that hurdle and you now open like a champ. You are pretty indifferent to rice cereal (although I force it on you at every meal because I want you to get the iron) but you LOVE you some apples and pears. You have also tried peas (didn't mind the taste but Mommy couldn't get it smooth enough for you so you don't love it) and sweet potatoes (again not thrilled with the consistency but will eat it if it is mixed with enough rice cereal or breast milk). I also made you a potato/broccoli puree this weekend and again, you don't love the thickness of it, but will eat it when mixed with something else. But right now nothing beats those apples and pears. You swoon over them!

You are still nursing and we have successfully made it through six full months of only breast milk. I am so proud of both of us for accomplishing this. I love our breast feeding relationship and am sad that it is getting less and less face time, but you are growing up. And this is what happens.

Your daily schedule right now begins with nursing once in the early morning (around 5:00am), and then you blissfully go back to sleep. You wake up and nurse again around 8:00am and then hang out with brother playing with toys until around 10:00am when you go down for a nap. Once you wake up you get your first solid food of the day, usually rice cereal and either apples or bananas. Then we usually leave the house and run errands or have lunch and you are always completely charming during these outings. Everyone I interact with constantly says to me, "Is she always this good?" Yes. Yes, you are. We have a nursing break at around 1:00pm and then continue whatever it is we are doing for the day. By about 2:30 or 3:00pm you are pretty tired and we usually nurse before you go down for your second nap. Sometimes you take a good nap, but usually not so much. You aren't the greatest napper in the world my little one. But you make up for it in other areas. If we get a good morning nap usually the afternoon one isn't so hot. Around 5:00 or 5:30 you get your second serving of solid foods for the day. Usually rice cereal and a veggie. Then you stay in your high chair and chill with your brother and me while we eat dinner. Then bath time. And at 7:30pm we begin the process of going to sleep. I change your diaper and put you in your sleep sack and take you out to the living room and nurse you in the dark. Then we rock in our rocking chair for another 10 minutes or so (you used to fall asleep during this time but now you look around and arch your back and play) and then I put you in your crib. I turn on your mobile and white noise and leave you to dreamland. You always chat in there but never fuss and are always asleep within about 10 minutes. You usually stay asleep until around 5:00am but sometimes wake up in the middle of the night for a binky replacement, or if you are starving, sometimes a snack around 2:30 or 3:00am.

In terms of milestones, you have hit a few this month. You can sit unassisted for about 30 seconds. You haven't yet mastered rolling from your tummy to your back, but if placed down on your back you immediately flip onto your stomach and start reaching for things. You are already up on all fours and "scooting" backward. Please stop this immediately. I am NOT prepared for you to crawl. Seriously. Cut it out. Really not ready.

Second to your Mommy, your brother is still your most favorite person in the world. You love to be near him and to hang out with him. He watches out for you too. He checks on you all the time and is always there to just "have your back."
Here you are showing off your sitting skills. And the bib? That's for the drool. Oh, the drool. It is everywhere. No sign of teeth yet, but man are you the drool master.
You went to your first Pumpkin Patch this past weekend. And when I tried to get the mandatory cute photos of you, you were far too busy shoving hay and dirt into your mouth to look up at me and the camera.
Here is an example of the trouble you get into with your brother. I have no idea how you made it inside his tent. Perhaps you "scooted" there, perhaps he dragged you. But either way you were not unhappy about it. As I said, you love being part of his action.
And finally, here is your monthly bean bag shot. That smile, my beautiful daughter, that smile could light up a thousand skies. You smile with your eyes and your entire face. You really mean it when you smile. It is physically impossible to not smile back at you. I have proof. I have yet to see someone NOT smile back at you when you flash this beautiful grin.
I love you more than words can say my little Peanut. You are the best addition to our lives anyone could ever ask for. These last six months with you have been more fun than I ever could have imagined. I can't wait to see what the next six month brings. Happy half birthday my love!

My Life in Pictures: 6 Months Old

Today my little Peanut is 6 months old (monthly post to follow). But since she is a half a year old I thought we should take a little stroll down memory lane and check out her "bean bag photos" since she has been born.

Here she is on the day she came home from the hospital: April 23rd, 2009:
And here she is on her one month birthday: May 20, 2009:
And here she is on her two month birthday: June 20, 2009:
And here she is on her three month birthday: July 20, 2009:
And here she is on her four month birthday: August 20, 2009:
And here she is on her five month birthday: September 20, 2009:
And here she is this morning, her 6 month birthday: October 20, 2009:
I love you more than words can say my little girl. I am so proud of the baby you are growing up to become. Here's to many more!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

It Was Supposed To Be A Happy Little Video...

It started innocently enough.

I have about 10 of those little mini cassette tapes that you use to record video from your camcorder from when The Boy was little. Back before I was smart enough to have an iMac I had NO IDEA how to get those cassettes onto my computer and eventually onto a DVD that I might actually sit in my living room and enjoy and eventually show my children. So they sat in his memory box until I knew what to do with them.

Now, a couple of years later, I was making a video of The Girl and thought about how sad it was that I had a ton of footage, but no videos of The Boy (except for his birth video). I thought about how he would really get a kick out of seeing himself at the age that The Girl is now. And so I decided to put the old footage of him onto the computer so that at the very least he could see it on my computer, but at some point he could see actual videos of when he was a baby. So I spent all afternoon on Thursday putting the footage onto my computer. No biggie, right?

What I thought of as just a "housekeeping" chore has turned into a real emotional mind fuck. I am not sure if I am going to be able to express what I mean by this but I am going to do my best. Maybe the best way is to explain what physically happened and when.

I went to upload the video of The Boy eating rice cereal for the first time. Since The Girl had just gone through it a week before I thought it would be amusing to see The Boy go through it. Well it wasn't amusing. Not even one little teeny tiny bit. Until I physically sat and watched that video I had NO idea that The Boy had suck/chew/swallow issues that young. No clue at all. He was my first baby. I thought everything that he did was normal. So there I sat with a grin on my face watching the three year older version of myself put the spoon to his lips. I shoved a little in his mouth and that's when my smile faded. Immediately his face contorted. He gagged within 2 seconds of it being in his mouth. And there I am in the video, laughing along with his faces and joking that he just "needs to get used to the texture." I kept shoveling it in. And he kept gagging. His face turned red and he coughed a couple of times. And then gagged some more for good measure. Clueless about anything, I kept putting more into his mouth even though now it is clear that he had never even swallowed what was first put in there.

After having so recently fed The Girl for the first time I was able to see this video with perspective. The Girl never once gagged. She looked at me funny and she stuck her tongue out while trying to process the new texture, but her face never contorted, she never gagged and she never turned red and cried. All of those things my boy did. And that's when it hit me.

This kid had serious issues.

And I didn't even know it.

I thought for the longest time that he was perfectly healthy until he was 9 months old when he got a nasty stomach flu where he barfed for 4 days straight. Things were never the same after that flu. The weight he was when he got that flu? He stayed at that weight for another year and a half. I blamed it all on that flu. I had no idea that the issues had been there from the get go. And there it was. Right in front of me. The proof that I never knew I needed or that I wanted. And it broke my fucking heart in half. I looked at the me in that video, blissfully ignorant of what was to come in our journey together. I looked at him, that precious little face trying to show me that this was tough for him. Trying to show me that he needed help. And I had no clue. I really cannot express how hard this was for me to watch.

It didn't get any better. The following videos, the ones of how I proudly taped him rolling from tummy to back. Laughing over and over again because even though he was young, he simply would NOT stay on his tummy. He immediately went onto his back. And how when he was learning to crawl...he didn't get up on all fours like The Girl does even now. Just watching those videos I wasn't able to blissfully look at my precious baby anymore. All I could see was MUSCLE TONE ISSUES, and suck/chew/swallow issues, and "no wonder he needed OT." "He was really screwed up." And then I cried some more. Because seriously, what kind of Mother thinks those things about her own baby?

Of course it didn't help that I was also watching my face. My face of three years ago when my marriage was breaking up. When I was trying so hard to keep a happy face for my 6 month old baby but inside I was weeping. Weeping for the life I wanted so badly but wasn't ever going to get. Weeping for the fact that my son would never even remember having his parents together. Grinding down the anger I had at The Ex for letting me believe that I was going to have the happily ever after and then ripping it out from under me when my baby was only 4 months old. All of this was going on while my precious little boy was developing. And I didn't even see what was going on.

I know it was a good thing that I didn't know then what I know now. There has not been one moment where my son has needed help and he didn't get it. We caught everything REALLY early. Early enough that he got help as soon as he was able to. And because I had no clue what was going on, it wasn't nearly as scary. I handled everything as it was thrown at me. I never had time to "what if." I never had time to mourn the loss of a perfectly healthy little baby that developed normally. And because of that, I never once treated him as if he wasn't a perfectly healthy little baby. And that is the best gift that I have ever given him. To this day, my boy has NO CLUE that he is at all different from the other kids. He was never treated differently and he never felt less than. I do give myself kudos for that. So you see, it isn't guilt that I am feeling. It is a sadness. A sadness for what never was. I sadness for that little dude that he had SUCH a tough road. Sad that neither he nor I should have had to go down that road. But we did, and we are who we are because we did. But damn, it breaks my heart.

And now, watching The Girl grow up I am finding it hard to just enjoy in her "normalness." Everything she does that The Boy didn't is a testament to me of something that was wrong with him. And that makes it hard to enjoy her. She clearly doesn't have suck/chew/swallow issues. She clearly isn't going to end up with muscle tone issues and OT. And god love her for that. But everything that she does right makes me feel like we are somehow pointing out that which he did wrong. And that makes me cry. He is the most amazing little boy on the earth and he has come through SO MUCH. I am so proud of him it makes me swell. When I look back on the journey we have gone through I am amazed that we have made it out as well as we have.

But why the hell is this killing me so much now? What was meant to be a fun activity to give my son some videos of himself as a baby has taken a knife and jabbed it through my heart. Why is that? Is it because The Girl is now the age that he was then? Is it that I am now dealing with the heart break of just how truly hard some of this shit was? Is it because at the time I was so consumed with my own breakup that I didn't allow myself to feel it at the time? Why am I having such a hard time right now? I need to get over it. I need to enjoy the hell out of my healthy daughter. I need to squeeze my now healthy son and smile because of how well we have done. I don't need to go on this trip down memory lane. I really don't. Yet everything that I am living today is reminding me of what was and what wasn't when he was a baby.

Does any of this make any sense?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

My Poor Neglected Blog...

I have a good excuse. I swear.

My Mommy is out of town. And you all know that my mother is my help when it comes to taking care of my kids, so I have been completely on my own. We are doing pretty well, but there is literally no spare time to do silly things like BLOG!! How rude. And it should be noted that my mother is enjoying a wonderful 8 day long vacation to Maui to celebrate her 25th wedding anniversary to my step dad. They SO deserve this vacation and I hope they are doing nothing but sitting poolside and reading books and relaxing.

That being said, man it takes a lot of work managing these two kids completely by myself. Especially over a weekend. I am "on" 24/7 and I have the bags under my eyes to prove it. I went to bed last night at 8:15pm on a Saturday night. Yes, I am a rock star. Try not to be too jealous.

I have so many things I want to blog about. I feel like The Girl is just changing and growing up so fast. She is doing something new every single day and she seems so much more like a real baby now. It is wonderful and sad all at the same time. She turns 6 months old on Tuesday so I will give a full update on what she's been up to in her 6 month post.

The Boy is also growing up. He is his own little person now. He amazes me everyday. Just the other day I was attempting to nurse The Girl before we left for daycare/school. He was doing some dancing thing in front of her and she simply would not nurse. She was far too busy watching her brother dance around and laughing at him. But she needed to eat and we needed to get our happy little butts to school. So I said to him, "[Boy], can you please go play in your room for a few minutes so I can nurse your sister and we can go? You can play with her later."

He put his head down and shuffled his feet as he walked away and said, "But Mommy, that wasn't the point!"

"What was the point?" I asked him to see if he even knew how to use that phrase correctly.

"I want to play with her now, not later. Jeez..."

I guess he knew how to use the phrase. But what kind of three year old says "that's not the point?" He's so funny. Then last night when I was (admittedly) a little slap happy because I was so tired he came in to my room holding up his Lambie (his little lovey thing. His sister has the same one but in pink and hers is a kitty).

"Yuck." He pouted.

"What's wrong?" I asked him.

"[Sister] suck on my Lambie. Gross. She barf on it. You wash it for me?"

I laughed and told him that she didn't actually barf on it but that she sucked on it and sort of drooled on it. I told him it feels just like her kitty so she probably didn't know it was his and stole it.

"Whatever, you just wash it please? It yuck." And he walked away.

He amuses me, that child. But overall they are so damn cute together it kills me. He loves to be a big brother and loves to make her laugh. And she loves to be with him wherever he is. It makes me so happy to see them I can't even tell you all.

Okay I must go and clean up the house in preparation for our Monday tomorrow. I will leave you all with pictures from the pumpkin patch today. Here is The Boy with a pumpkin that he chose because he said it was like Green Goblin's pumpkin (yes, we are still completely obsessed with Spiderman over here...).
And here are the two of them with The Girl shoving as much hay and dirt into her mouth and she could get in there...
Hope everyone had a great weekend. I will be back with a proper post again soon, I swear. And worst case scenario, my mom comes back on Saturday. How many more days it that? :)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

It's Just A Little Rain...

It cracks me up when we Californians FREAK OUT over a little rain. Today marks the first storm of the season and if you happen to go outside you would think it is the end of the world. Power is out, there are huge puddles everywhere, police cars are driving around with their lights going, the traffic is insane. It is sort of amusing. I mean I think about people living in other areas of the United State, and even the world, and they have to be better prepared for this foreign thing known as rain. I mean, it happens every year. You would think one of these times we would figure out how to handle it.

This morning I busted my rump to get myself and two rain-clad children out of the house in time for The Boy's speech therapy which starts at 8:30 and is about 20 minutes away. (I have already complained that his school district speech therapy is inconveniently located at a school almost a half an hour away). So I finally get The Boy to stop jumping in puddles and get them both in the car to pull out of my street and come to a halt. Apparently the stop lights were all out near my house. I live very close to an exit off the freeway and the stop lights not working made everyone forget about how we are supposed to treat it as a four way stop. So everyone just sort of sat there looking at each other. I sat there for almost 20 minutes and had moved literally 10 feet. Okay. No speech therapy for us today.

So I took the kids to school a little early and let The Boy jump in puddles outside. He loved it. The upside to all of this nonsense? Look at how cute they looked in their little winter/rain outfits (pics from iphone so excuse quality...):

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Isn't This Supposed To Be Fun?

I have such a colored memory of life when The Boy was really little. Especially when he was at the same age that The Girl is now. It doesn't help that when The Boy was almost 6 months old I was going through arguably one of the worst times in my life. The Ex told me she thought it might be over when he was 4 months old and she actually moved out of our house on his 6 month birthday. The Girl will be 6 months old on the 20th of this month. So I suppose there is pretty good reason that I don't completely recall exactly what went on at this stage of his babyhood.


I don't think that my foggy memory is only because of what was going on in my personal life. I think we very conveniently forget about some of the crappier stages when we move on to the better ones. I think it is a built in thing that Mommy's experience. We forget how horrible child birth was because we remember seeing that precious face for the first time. We forget how horribly they slept when they were little once they are sleeping through the night. I know this because two of my closest friends have babies that were born 2 months and 4 months after The Girl. So they are going through the stages after we are. And my one friend who is 4 months behind us has a 6 week old and is going through that 6 week old hell stage and I had completely forgotten about it since we are past it. In fact, I had to go back on my blog and look up what was going on during that stage of The Girl's life to remember just how crappy it was.

All of this is to say that I don't remember solid foods to be this annoying. I remember my little baby sitting cutely in his high chair opening his little bird mouth and eating the foods with a smile on his face. I remember him taking his chubby little hands and bringing the little bite size puffs to his mouth and being so excited when he finally got one in the right place.

I conveniently don't remember the very beginning when they don't know how to eat solid foods. I don't remember when they don't even know to open their mouths. And I definitely don't remember actually being frustrated at my precious little bundle and thinking things like, "Okay kid. If we are doing this solid thing, you have got to figure it out! I don't have time for this dawdling..." Granted I have horrible PMS that is contributing to my moods (thanks for coming back monthly friend, I really missed you!) but still...I just don't remember this.

Here is a picture of my daughter, lips tightly locked shut giving me the look like, "I don't know what that is...but it certainly doesn't look like a boob..."
Now once the food gets in her mouth, she seems to enjoy it. She licks and chomps away and looks like she really wants to consume what you have given her. But unfortunately over half of what I managed to shove into her mouth comes back out in the process of swallowing. So I have to scrape it off her face and look for that golden opportunity of when the "door" opens enough for me to shove more in. And trying to get her to open her mouth? Well I am hooting and hollering and choo choo-ing and buzzing, and basically doing anything I can think of to make her smile so that I can shove food into an open gap. Again and again and again. It's exhausting.
And during this time, The Boy is running around like a crazy child pretending he is Spiderman. And in between running from the kitchen into the living room and back into the kitchen he points out that HE is hungry and that perhaps when I am done feeding the baby I might like to give him something to eat. What? You don't want to wait an extra hour for your dinner because I happen to be giving your sister solid foods? What's wrong with you?

Of course every time he comes into the kitchen "flinging his webs" The Girl has to follow him with her head and therefore I can't even GET to her mouth to try and shove food in. So the process takes a lot longer than it is supposed to. And the entire time I am thinking in my head, "Why did I want to give her solid food again?" And then I remember. She was starving. She had gone back to only sleeping 3 hours at a time. My boobs practically have blisters on them. She was going through milk like it was going out of style. She is totally ready for solids. And if I give her credit, she is really liking them. We have done bananas and apples and now sweet potatoes all mixed with her rice cereal. I can tell she is going to really dig this whole food thing once she figures it out. But for now? Good lord, it is exhausting trying to give her a meal. She turns her head, she looks everywhere BUT at me, she refuses to open her mouth, she spits out half of what she managed to get in, she rubs her hands all over her filthy mouth and then rubs her eyes and hair and holy crap, now we have to have ANOTHER bath and... And can we just get to that cute point where she looks at me and smiles and opens her little bird mouth to eat? I'm ready to hit that stage. And in the meantime, she will look at me like I'm nuts because I am trying to document her NOT eating for my blog and she will just laugh in her head and refuse to do anything...EXCEPT grab the camera. That seems like it is a really good idea. Sigh...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Oink Oink

I got a call today from The Girl's daycare. They told me they needed me to bring more milk. "That's impossible," I told them. "I just brought you a bag of 40 ounces yesterday morning."

"Yes, we know. She drank it. She needs more..."

"Wait. Stop. You mean to tell me that in less than 2 days my daughter has consumed 40 ounces of milk?"

"I just looked it up on her chart. She drank 20 ounces yesterday and so far today she has had 16 ounces (it was like 2:00pm), so we have 4 ounces left. That will get her through the next couple of hours but we either need you to bring more milk, or else pick her up early today."

Holy crap.

So I did both. I brought over another 50 ounce bag of breast milk and took the little porker home with me so that I could nurse her.

When I picked her up the daycare ladies said, "I know you are waiting until she is 6 months old, but we think she might be ready for a"

I know everywhere nowadays it is recommended that babies wait until they are 6 months old before introducing solid foods. I tend to agree with that. No need to rush into anything. But I have also read that each baby is different and you should follow the cues of your own baby to make the decision. This gulping of my pumped breast milk at a ridiculous pace coupled with the fact that for the past 3 or 4 nights The Girl has woken up in the middle of the night to eat tells me that it is time. She hasn't woken up between 7:30pm and 5:00am in over a month. The last few days she has gotten up to eat at around 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning and then also ate at 5:30am. She is less than 2 weeks away from being 6 months old, and I believe it is time.

I tried a little rice cereal experiment on Saturday to see how it went and the results weren't all that stellar. And then based on all you smart ladies from the internet, last night I gave her a mashed banana with a little bit of rice cereal. That went over MUCH better. And then tonight? I busted out my home made apple baby food (I am SO not the cooking type so I give myself major props for attempting to make her food) and gave her that and some rice cereal. It appears we have a winner. She loved it. She ate all that I made for her (which wasn't much). And compared to the rice cereal picture, what we have below is a very happy, not starving baby. Behold:
It appears it really is time to feed my baby. I made it almost 6 months giving her all the nourishment that she needed but now it is time to add some healthy food into the mix. This is the beginning of the end of babyhood. Sob! I can't believe how fast it is all going. She is almost 6 months old! S-I-X MONTHS! Dear God at this rate she will be getting her drivers license next week. Slow down my girl, slow down...I need to soak in every last moment.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Generation Gap

My mother is always pointing out the differences in raising children now versus when she was raising us. First there was the breast feeding thing. When I was born apparently it wasn't the "in" thing to breast feed. The popular train of thought was that formula was much better for your baby so you only breast fed if you couldn't afford formula. (At least that's what she likes to tell me when I yell at her for not even attempting to breast feed me). Another example would be that they gave their babies solid food from a very early age. I believe my mother was giving my brother rice cereal at 10 days old. So she continuously laughs at me when I tell her I am waiting until The Girl is around 6 months old to give her solids.

Well The Girl is now 5 1/2 months old and as I plan on making her baby food I went out today and bought the ice cube trays, the blender thing I plan on using to puree her food, a steamer etc. I also bought a box of organic rice cereal. The Boy HATED rice cereal, but we have shown that he is a little wacky when it comes to food so perhaps this was just the start of his food life. So today when my mother was holding The Girl and she was chewing on her fist like it was going out of style I wasn't surprised when my mother told me she was acting like she hadn't eaten in a year. (She had finished nursing about an hour earlier, and you all have seen pictures, my child is NOT starving). So I decided to humor her and told her I would give The Girl a bit of rice cereal. She was close enough to six months and what harm can a little rice cereal bring? So I fired up the video camera and the regular camera, got some pumped breast milk and mixed it up.

It appears she feels about rice cereal like her brother did. She wasn't sure what that disgusting stuff was that I was putting in her mouth. She made the most hysterical faces. And this is a girl who ALWAYS smiles. And there was no getting her to smile for either of the cameras. She didn't cry or fuss, but she also didn't seem to love it. And then about 10 minutes later as my mother was holding her she hiccuped and then barfed up everything she had just eaten. I found the entire situation hysterical. Behold my daughter and her first experience with rice cereal.
Perhaps we should try something else first? Or do I stick with the rice cereal? Maybe a nice little applesauce? Perhaps some sweet potatoes? Or even some oatmeal (that's what The Boy preferred). Tell me internet...why is it that we have to start out with rice cereal?

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Rant and My Big Boy

Can I rant for just a minute?

I have been on the phone for 40 minutes with my damn insurance company because they decided to deny a claim. What was the claim for? My routine blood test on the very first OB appointment I had with The Girl (who is now 5 months old). So I have been getting $1,500 bills from the lab for the test. I called insurance and asked why they denied it. They said because I had to have my doctors claim medical necessity. So I called my OB's office and asked them to fax them proof of medical necessity. "What do they want?" they asked. "This is just a routine pregnancy blood test. Do they want proof of a positive pregnancy test?" "I have no idea what the hell they want. Just give them something so that they will pay the damn claim!!!"

I have spent countless hours dealing with this and it is still not taken care of. And I supposedly have really good insurance. Really good insurance that decides to deny random claims of completely mandatory and regulation blood tests. It is the most frustrating thing on the planet. I could go on and on (in fact I did...for about three paragraphs but I made myself go back and delete it because I know you people don't want to read about my insurance woes) but I will spare you. But man, I f-ing HATE insurance companies.

Okay onto other things.

1) The Boy has now gone three nights in a row wearing big boy pants to bed at night. He rules. I would venture to say we are pretty much completely potty trained. I can't remember the last time we had an accident (of course now that I said that he will come home and have one today). I had been putting him in diapers at night (mostly just to use up the ones I had left) but he has been dry for like 3 weeks. So a few nights ago he told me the diapers were itchy and wanted to keep his undies on. So I said sure. And we haven't looked back since. Go Boy.

2) We all know The Boy's eating and weight issues, right? So lately he has been looking overly emaciated to me. I don't know if it is in comparison to The Girl, or what, but man does he look skinny. You can count every single rib in the bath tub. His little knees and elbows are so bone-like. He has absolutely NO meat on his little bones. Plus I happen to know he has lost weight again recently (he was weighed for his surgery and was down a couple of pounds) so...shit. BUT! On a fluke I decided to see if maybe he had a growth spurt. And guess what? He did! He grew almost two inches since May. He is 37 inches tall now (yes, I know that it still quite short considering he will be 4 in January) but he was only 35 inches in May. So maybe that is a small explanation as to why he looks so skinny again. But hey, he needs to get taller, so I will go with that right now. And we will continue my life-long (or so it seems) battle with him over food.

3) I promised pictures of his newly organized bedroom and I am here to deliver. It still gives me a chubby every time I walk in there and see how neat it all is. He loves it too. He knows exactly where to find all his stuff and we have a great time putting things away before bed every night and before school every morning. He loves it. Check it out:
Things to note: His planets hanging from the ceiling in the upper right hand corner. He is obsessed and can recite the entire solar system to you. His red and blue DVD holders on top of the right dresser. Below that the little basket/boxes contain his matchbox cars, his bugs and spiders, his Spiderman paraphernalia, and all his cars from the movie Cars. Then all his books are in his two bookshelves on the left. And before you yell at me that my three year old has a flat screen HD TV it should be noted that this room used to be the playroom. It should also be noted that my step dad has an obsession with getting the newest and greatest TV's. So The Boy just gets his hand-me-downs. Once The Girl came it had to become The Boy's room. And I loved having a DVR that just has all his programs on it and a separate place for him to go and watch his movies OVER and OVER and OVER again. But even though it is now in his room, he watches no more TV now than he did when this was the playroom. He watches a total of about an hour and a half a day. And that is about an hour of PBS in the morning when I am getting ready for work, and now a half an hour before bed while I put The Girl to bed. He gets to watch movies sometimes on the weekends as a treat.

And now, since my mother is enjoying a day in Napa, I am off to pick up my children. Hope everyone is having a good week!