Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Long overdue update

I’ve been a bit MIA lately. My home computer crashed, and we’re not replacing it yet. So, I can only write at work – and believe it or not, I’ve actually been busy lately. There’s been a lot going on lately. Let me try and catch up:

DH and I put money on a building lot. We’ve been wanting to build a custom home for a long time, and now seems like the perfect time. He got offered a new job, making double what he was. (We don’t plan on having our payments being too much more though.) Also, because I am a city planner and I’m privy to information that others may not be, I learned some interesting facts about the property in my backyard, and I’ve decided now’s the best time to get out. DH and I have been working frantically to get our house ready to put on the market. Two different agents have told us that our house should sell really well – we just need to declutter. I don’t think that it is even that bad, but I’ve boxed up, donated, or thrown out tons of stuff. My closets and pantry look like store shelves – they are so neat and organized. I even folded my towels with the stripe in the same place and stacked them on different shelves according to the color. I think we are almost ready – its official on Friday. Based on the CMA, we are even asking almost 10 grand more than I’d anticipated. Wish us luck!

I’m so excited about this. Our lot is wonderful: up on a hill, overlooking a lake and the mountains. And, there is a park in the backyard. We do have a builder, and we’re meeting with him on Friday to begin drawing up our plans. He’s completely custom so we can decide (within reason) what we want. We also met with the mortgage guy last Monday, and right now we would qualify for both our current mortgage and what we think our new one will be. So, even if our house doesn’t sell, we are ok. I’m hoping it sells quickly though – I don’t want to be housepoor. We plan to move in with my parents until the new house is finished; the longer we can go without a house payment the more we can save for window coverings and new furniture. It sounds almost too good to be true doesn’t it.

Anyway (in other news): I just returned from Arizona. Gracelin and I went down for my cousin’s wedding. I was kinda worried about traveling with an “almost” mobile baby/toddler who is trying to assert her independence in every way. But, she was an angel. She loved everything, from the pool to the dance floor at the reception. The wedding was interesting. They got married in a Catholic church, but the bride is Jewish, so at the reception they did lots of traditional Jewish stuff. The reception was at her parents’ house – who are also millionaires. It was like something out of a movie. I’m sure the bar bill alone was in the $10,000s range. They served the most gourmet food – I bet they had 500 lobster tails. Everything was lavish and extravagant. Their “yard’ was more like a tropical garden and the set-up was amazing. All the tables were made of plexiglass with a linen covering, but then there was a light underneath so they glowed. Every palm tree had a green spotlight on it. Gracelin loved the lights, the people, and the music. I had her in the prettiest pink polkadot dress and she wore jewelry (which I haven’t been able to take off of her still). She was such a showoff, and truly the life of the party.

She really has been the sweetest thing lately. Her latest phrase is “no no no”. Someone at DC must say it to her a lot, because I only say “no” when she’s doing something potentially dangerous or destructive. Yesterday she was unrolling the toilet paper in my bathroom, and saying “no no no” the entire time. She says it anytime she’s doing something she knows she shouldn’t be doing, like pulling off her socks or playing with the TV remote. What a cutie. Her birthday is next week! She isn’t quite walking yet, but she’s close. She crawls really well, and will crawl after the cat for hours. The cat will lay there until G’s almost within reach, then dart away. It’s actually quite humorous.

Well – I’d better get to work. Yuck. Can’t I just be independently wealthy?

Thursday, March 24, 2005

To spank or not to spank?

My parents spanked. My dad ruled with an “iron fist” and if I stepped out of line, I knew I was “gonna get it” – no questions asked. I know there is a lot of controversy surrounding spanking, and what it does to a child. I didn’t grow up to be a mass murderer and I still love my parents (in fact we have a great relationship) but I obeyed out of fear. I was a fairly well behaved child and teenager. I was afraid to step out of line, and rarely did. I can only count a handful of times that I truly misbehaved or even talked back. I knew better. Even in high school I rarely stepped out of line (I waited for college for that! LOL) I was too afraid of my dad to do anything wrong. Was I abused – no. Definitely not. But I do believe that spanking can be abuse, depending on the degree of hitting.

I have been thinking a lot about how I’m going to discipline Gracelin when the time comes. Right now she is just so perfect that I cannot imagine her ever misbehaving. But, I’m sure she will. Because the main form of discipline that my parents used was physical, I don’t know anything different. But, I really don’t want to spank. I do not believe that it is consistent. I will teach her not to hit others, but what does that say to her for me to spank her. I really want to parent with positive reinforcement rather than negative reinforcement. At the same time, I want to teach Gracelin to respect others – especially other adults like teachers.

DH and I had a long conversation last night about how we are going to discipline. He doesn’t want to spank either, but that was his parent’s main form of discipline as well. He was spanked and even hit with other objects on occasion – his mother one time broke a broom over his backside. Spanking caused him to rebel against his parents, and he still has issues with his parents today.

I guess I’m just worried that we won’t know how discipline our children because we grew up with corporal punishment in our homes. I don’t want to revert to spanking out of frustration, which is likely for me to do. I have a short fuse and can have quite an explosive temper when provoked. I love Gracelin so much, and never want to make her feel hurt/scared/afraid. I also want to teach her to behave appropriately.

I know the best way to teach is by example, which is a problem. I’m not perfect. It is unrealistic to think that she’ll never see me do or hear me say something contrary to the way I want to teach her. I yell. Sometimes I get so mad at DH that I want to kick him hard (I never do though). But I do work hard to be the best person that I can. I want her to see me working hard. And I do try to be a good and honest person. I hope too that by treating her with love and respect, she will learn to do the same for me.

Even now, I’m trying to teach her every day. I try not to be negative. Instead of telling her “no”, I try to redirect her. Instead of saying don’t do this or that, I try to give her something new to do instead. I also try to teach her to express her feelings. I never tell her to stop crying for example. Instead I hug her and say “its ok to cry when you are sad. But, mommy’s here and she loves you”. I think the structure that we follow helps with discipline, and even now she is learning her routine and what comes next. She knows now that after she gets dressed in the morning that she goes to lay with Daddy while she drinks her bottle. As soon as her socks are one, she wave at the door and ask for Daddy. I believe consistency is key.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Resolving old issues

I think I may be the world’s worst blogger. I read other’s blogs, and they seem so much more interesting. I’m going to try harder to update mine on a regular basis, in the hopes of being interesting. Along with that, I also notice that I introduce a topic, never to resolve it. So, I’m going to try and do better with that as well. So, here’s my attempt at resolution:

Organic milk: Recently I brought up the subject of regular-old cow’s milk vs. organic milk. I decided that organic was best for Gracelin, if for no other reason than the fact that it’s better for the cows. I found a local delivery service that will bring it to my doorstep once a week – and it’s over $1.00 cheaper per ½ gallon than it is at the store. They also bring cheese, bread, eggs, etc. And, I’m buying from a local dairy. I love it! I’ve begun the transition from mommy’s milk over to moo milk for Gracelin, and other than a bit of “plumbing problems” for her, its going well. I’m hoping to have her weaned by age 1 (only 5 weeks away . . . sniff)

RSV baby: She seems to be feeling better, but I don’t think her lungs have fully recovered. She still gets out of breath when she’s playing, and she occasionally wheezes/coughs. Last night she was wheezing pretty badly, but she wasn’t retracting and her respirations weren’t too high so I assumed she’s ok.

My “nether regions”: Everything is peachy down there. I made an appoint clear back when, and it is finally next week. I don’t really have “those” issues to discuss with him anymore, but I want to talk with him about why I’m so tired all of the time. And why my muscles are so sore.
Ok – I’m outta time now, but I’ll try and update more tomorrow

I want an extreme makeover

I didn't watch TV before Gracelin, but lately it seems I'm so tired at night, that all I can do is veg in front of the TV. I saw Extreme Makeover for the first time Monday night, and ever since then, I've been looking at myself in the mirror and wishing I could have an extremem makeover.

There are a few features of myself that I like: my teeth are perfectly straight and all the same size and I have beautiful skin. But aside from that, I am a complete mess. I need a brow lift and eye lift - something to make my eyes less saggy. My nose has a weird bump on it, so a nose job is definitley in order. My chin is slight, and I could use some lipo underneath it. I also need lipo on my flabby arms and back fat (where'd that stuff come from?), my inner thighs, and calves down by my ankles. I'd like my boobs to stand at attention instead of looking down at the ground, so maybe an uplift. And, lets top it all off with a tummy tuck.

I've been so unhappy with my body since having the baby - this show just made it worse. Why do they put such terrible stuff on TV?

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Am I failing?

Sometimes I feel like I’m failing as a mother. The problem is that I use my own mother as an example, and I’m nothing like her. She grew up with a mother that was a schizophrenic, alcoholic, drug addicted, abusive, crazy person. Instead of letting that be an excuse to be a messed up person, my mother decided that her children would never live that type of life. My childhood was truly golden. Mom cooked us breakfast every morning, and had cookies baked when we came home. My clothes were always washed and put away. She vacuumed the house every day, cleaned the bathrooms every day – her house was immaculate. She taught aerobics, was the PTA president, and volunteered in our classrooms at school. We had a home-cooked dinner every night as a family. Needless to say, she was a saintly woman – the type of wife/mother I have always wanted to emulate.

Granted Gracelin is only 10 ½ months old, but I’m already losing it. I can’t remember the last meal that I cooked (unless micro waving something frozen counts). I’m so behind on the laundry – it isn’t uncommon to have to get clean underwear from the dryer instead of the dresser. There are seriously parts of my house that I can’t remember the last time they got vacuumed. There is so much dust on my furniture that I can write my name it.

I do try hard. I love my baby with all my heart. The days I work, I only get to spend an hour or so with her, but during that time, I play with her as much as possible. She also gets a bath, a massage, and a story read to her every night before bed. I sing to her, dance with her, and try to teach her things. I am also still breastfeeding her. I feed her healthy foods. I dress her in clean clothes (that sometimes do come straight from the dryer).

I’m just so tired at night. I can barely force myself to do the things that have to be done. But, after that is done, I usually just crash. I’d like to have the immaculately clean house that I grew up in. I’d like to be able to workout every day. I’d like to have time to work on my scrapbooking, or to read a book. And obviously I’d love more time with my baby and my husband.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

My poor, sick baby

G's been so sick. She started with a runny nose and slight cough on Friday, but didn't seem to mind. I just thought she had a cold. But, on Sunday morning when I went to get her out of bed, I could hear her wheezing from across the room. DH and I ran her to Urgent Care, where they did a chest x-ray, gave her a breathing treatment, and sent her home.

She seemed to do better for a few hours, but by 1 pm she was having a difficult time breathing. Her respiratory rate was about twice what it should be and she was retracting. This time, I took her to the ER. They again did a chest x-ray and gave more breathing treatments, but this time they also tested for RSV. The culture came back positive. The doctor told me that she was borderline for being admitted into the hospital, but told me he felt comfortable sending me home with her. So, back home we went.

But, a few hours later, she was bad again, so we went back to the hospital. This time they admitted her. They put her on oxygen and the pulse oxymeter. Every hour, they would come in with this long suction tube and put it down her nose to suck all the junk out. I think it was going down into her lungs. Poor baby.
RSV is so bad, because there really isn't any medication they can give that helps. It is just a wait and see thing.

She came home from the hospital yesterday, but by last night, she was taking short, shallow breaths and her fever was up to 104. Every muscle in her body was rigid - I think because she was trying so hard to breathe. Back to the ER we went. This time, they got her fever down to 101, gave her another breathing treatment, and sent her home.

She wouldn't sleep last night unless she was in my arms. Poor baby. We actually did sleep pretty well though - I think because she and I were both so exhausted.

This morning she seems worse again. She can't even breathe well enough to eat. I finally got her to sleep by driving around the neighborhood. She's been sleeping for almost 2 hours. I have a follow-up visit at 2:30 - I wish it was that time now. I just feel so helpless. I know I complained when she was getting ear infections all the time, but at least they were easy to treat. After 24 hours on the antibiotics, she'd be back to her happy self. I wish I could make her feel better.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

My aversion to "Pooh"

Personally, I hate all Disney Characters. I have never really liked Disney movies, but I especially hate the little reproductions from the movies. On the top of my all-time hate list, is Winnie the Pooh. Even as a child, I despised Pooh. (I mean, what the hell is a “pooh” anyway, and where are his pants?) But, now that I am an adult, my Pooh hate is rooted deep. It especially bugs me that retailers put his face on perfectly good clothing. I hate it so much, that the Pooh outfits I got at showers either went back to the store or are still hanging in the closet! That being said . . .

I also got a Pooh toy at a shower. It is a stuffed Winnie sitting on a green Heffalump who is also a rocking horse. When you squeeze the Heffalump’s trunk it plays a selection of children’s songs while moving forward with a rocking motion. This toy has sat on Gracelin’s shelf since the shower I got it as a gift. But, DH decided this week that G needed to play with it. She was sitting on the floor as he pulled it off the shelf. Her eyes lit up. She could barely contain the squeals as DH took it out of the box. And then, as he put it on the floor and squeezed the trunk, she started clapping wildly – she was so excited. Guess what her new favorite toy is!

Doesn’t she know that the hated of Pooh is in her genes?


Tuesday, February 01, 2005

9 month birthday update

Gracelin turned 9 months old yesterday – her babyness is ¾ of the way over. It is really sad to me – she’ll be a toddler before I know it. Some days I miss the little baby. She’s so much fun now, but it is rare that I can get her to cuddle. She is getting to be such a big girl. Gracie loves to eat, and really the only food she doesn’t like so far has been peaches. She’s also getting ready to crawl – she’ll leap forward from sitting onto her hands and knees, and sit there rocking back and forth. I’m sure its just a couple more weeks before she’s all over the place. Already she’s so busy, and I’m afraid its only going to get worse in the months to come.

Something has happened to my good little sleeper though – she’s up at least once (but usually twice) during the night all of a sudden. After months of sleeping though the night, I have to hope this is only a phase that passes soon. I’m exhausted. My sil told me that she ready it is typical for babies to adjust their sleeping around 7-9 months old, as they are developing so much right now. We have also been trying to teach her sign language. She’s learning milk and eat right now. Apparently babies can learn to communicate through sign before they can talk. I do think she’s going to talk early though. She doesn’t just indiscriminately babbly anymore – she has definite sounds (if not complete words) for several objects. She’s got “words” for daddy, mommy, bye-bye, bottle, and uh-oh. She’s such a cutie!

My defiant girl

Gracelin and I had our first fight yesterday. She was playing in the living room when she suddenly dove forward and began licking the carpet (that hadn’t been vacuumed in about a week). I called her name, and she looked up with a tongue covered in fuzzies and a cat hair on her chin! Ewwww! I told her to stop – which I’m pretty sure she understood. But, she just went right back to licking. I again asked her to stop – this time in a more firm tone. She looked up again, and went back to licking. She was intentionally being defiant. I went over and picked her up to get her to stop licking, and she got upset. What a mean mommy I am to stop her from LICKING the carpet! Sheesh!

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

TMI about my nether-regions

What is it about childbirth that completely destroys your body? I was totally fine before I pushed her out, but now I've got all sorts of problems. The worst one: hemorrhoids. They didn't show up until I acutally gave birth, but it seems now they are here to stay. And that was 9 months ago. I've been too embarassed to go to the butt doctor so I've been suffering. Every time I poop, I cry and bleed. I know I should break down and go to the doctor, but I'm too embarassed. Finally, last weekend I talked to my mom about that. She had the same problem after giving birth and she told me what to do. (Warning: extreme TMI). When in the shower/bath, you soap up your finger and push them back in. Apparently sitting around with your finger up your butt can be productive. It is actually working. Today I didn't bleed at all when I pooped! Yay!

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

What is it about sleep?

I swear - the first question that most people ask me when they meet Gracelin is, "Is she a good sleeper?". I always answer affirmatively. Yes! She is a good sleeper. And I feel really proud of that statement. I mean, she has been sleeping through the night since she was 5 weeks old. And she goes to sleep on her own. She still takes 3 daytime naps around 1-2 hours each, and sleeps around 12 hours per night.

We have a very structured bedtime routine. After dinner, she takes a well-deserved bath. Then, she gets a baby lotion massage and her jammies on. I take her into her room and read her a few books. When I notice her rubbing her eyes, we nurse for a few minutes, and then I lay her down in her crib. She'll look up at me and smile, and then drift peacefully off to sleep.

Well - that's how it's happened most nights - until the past week that is. Suddenly my "good little sleeper" has been replaced by devil-child. Nothing has changed with our bedtime routine. She doesn't appear to be sick, and I don't think she's getting any more teeth. But, something is wrong. As soon as I lay her down, instead of "drifting off peacefully to sleep" she wails like a Banshee. I'm not talking about crying - this is full-on ear-pearcing screeching.

I've tried everything to get sleep to happen. I've gone back in and rocked her, I've taken her bottles, I've given her Tylenol. I've even tried to "Ferberize" her, and she calms down when she hears me coming in. But as soon as she knows I'm leaving, her demonic nature returns. I know she's tired because she can barely even keep her eyes open. But, she fights going to sleep.
I'm almost convinced that it is psychological, because she is still sleeping just fine at day care. I think somehow she doesn't want me to leave her for the night, so she thinks that by prolonging things she'll spend more time with me.

Even knowing this, I did the unthinkable last night. I let her cry it out. I made sure her diaper was clean, she wasn't hungry, or in pain (as far as I could tell). And then I left the room. It took over an hour. At first, she wailed like a Banshee. But after a while, she calmed down, and it was more of an intermittant moan. Eventually, sleep won her over. This morning, she was her smiley, happy self, so I know that I didn't scar her for life. In all reality, I'm probably more scarred than her.

I want my "good little sleeper" back.

Monday, January 03, 2005

NYE was a bust

The New Year just came and went for me with no fanfare. DH’s cousin plays in a band, and they were performing in a concert for NYE that he wanted to go to. Considering the fact that I could barely breathe as it was (I’m still not better) the last thing that I wanted to do was go and sit in a smoky bar. And because we hadn’t ever finalized any plans, I’d never gotten a baby sitter. So, he went without me. I hung out with my brother, sil, and some other friends. We all had kids, including 2 other babies. We played Trivial Pursuit and then watched Napoleon Dynamite. Someone noticed during the movie that midnight had passed – I didn’t even get a kiss! Its so funny how my life has changed with the baby. I’m so not into dressing up and partying like I once did. I think a lot of it has to do with my chubby mom body. I think I’d feel more like doing that stuff if I looked better.

I did have fun on New Year’s Day. My mom, my sister, and I went shopping to the Factory Stores in Park City. There were so many deals on baby clothes, and the stores weren’t crowded at all. I spent less than $100, and got her about 10 outfits at Baby Gap and Children’s Place. Of course she won’t be wearing most of them until next winter! I suppose it doesn’t hurt to plan ahead.

DH and I have been talking a lot about when to TTC #2. Initially I wanted to start around December/January so that they would be at least 18 months apart. Well – that is NOW! And I have no desire to TTC. G is a great baby, I just feel like she deserves more of my time. I barely have time with her as it is. During the week, I see her for about an hour a day. I don’t want to have to share my time with her and another one. I’d really like to be able to stay home when I have #2, and we still aren’t there yet. Day care for 2 would be over $1,000 a month! That’s more than my house payment! Now, I’m thinking that TTC#2 this time next year is a better plan. That gives me time to work on my weight loss goals as well. I’d like to drop 20 pounds before I get pregnant. Maybe by then DH will have gotten a promotion too.

I’m thinking that weaning is coming soon. She is getting more interested in solids and gets really distracted nursing. Lately, she is too impatient to wait for letdown and I’ve had to resort to bottles of EBM. And, she has started biting. Twice in the past week she has drawn blood. I’m sad to think that my days of nursing may be numbered. I was hoping to go for a year. She is over 8 months old, and I have at least enough of a frozen stash to get me until around the middle of February. I have done great though, and I shouldn’t feel badly about my efforts.

I have another doctor’s appointment for myself this afternoon. I was in last week for a sinus infection and bronchitis, but I’m wondering now if I don’t have pneumonia. I’ve been on the antibiotic for a week and still feel like crap. I just want to rest, but I can’t. I can’t miss work, and when I’m home there’s no chance of relaxing. I’m so behind on my housework and laundry. I probably shouldn’t admit this, but I have about 6 loads of clean laundry to put away. I have been putting it into G’s PNP, and it is nearly FULL! DH commented that I have upgraded to the “JUMBO” size laundry basket! LOL