Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Bad Days

We all have our bad days.  Days where nothing seems to go quite right.  Days where everything seems to go absolutely wrong.  Stress takes over our bodies.  We feel despondent.  People tell us everything is okay, but we don't believe them... maybe we don't care.  We are inconsolable.  We know that tomorrow is a new day, so we just hold on.  And if we can, we turn to that one person who knows us better than we know ourselves.  Maybe we confide in them, maybe we just seek comfort, maybe we just need to be held close and feel secure.

Babies have bad days too.  They don't "know" that tomorrow is a new day.  They try their best to communicate.  They want to be held tight and feel the strength of our love.  I try to remind myself of this on days when her fussing becomes overwhelming, even borderline annoying.  When my brain is screaming for five measly seconds to myself so that I can go to the restroom, eat lunch, or breathe.  Being a mom is hard, but being a baby is hard too.  I think we forget that because they seem so small and their needs so simple.

Tonight, when all I really want is my mom, I try to imagine what that emotion must be like to process for such a tiny, new person with such limited means of self expression.  I take a deep breath, and I feel perspective.  I can be there for her the way I wish my mom could be there for me.  Right now.  In this moment.

In this moment, and for every moment to come, I will be there.

Monday, October 28, 2013


Why Is My Baby Awake? BINGO--it's the hip new game that parents everywhere are playing! Because no matter what type of parent you are, chances are you wish you were the kind that was getting more sleep.

What do you have so far today/tonight?  If you have an idea for a square I'm missing, post it below!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Taste the Rainbow

What I failed to mention on our walk down to Electric Avenue was the role Mom Logic (almost) played.  Whereas my husband and friend felt they could adequately asses the extent of the damage sustained simply by my daughter's behavior, I knew there was only one way to truly know the degree of trauma she had experienced: I, too, was going to have to suck on the laptop charger.  While on the phone with hubby, holding baby in one arm and the laptop cord in the other, my voice deepened.

"Should I lick this thing and see how bad it shocked her?"

"What? No!"

"It's the only way to know."

"It shocked her.  There is no reason that you BOTH have to go through that."

"But I need to know how bad it hurt her, and there's only one way to do that."

"Please don't suck on the laptop cord."

I sat baby down and gravely looked down the barrel of a soggy, angry power cord.

"Are you there?" A deep sigh echoed through the phone.  "Is the laptop cord in your mouth right now?"

No, it was not.  But I'm not going to lie, folks, it still makes complete sense to me.  If you're so sure it wasn't that bad, then go ahead buddy, man up and take a swig.

Electric Avenue

My daughter who can eat neither dairy nor soy, not bananas or avocado, decided that today was the day to try her hand at something a little more... advanced... That's right folks, step right up to see the amazing, electricity eating baby. And much like everything else I have tried to feed her, the electricity did not sit well. I joke, but rest assured that when I came charging into the living in response to her cries, my heart nearly stopped and I went into full on panic mode.

I held her and tried to comfort her while dialing my husband's cellphone. When he answered, I calmly asked him if he thought she would be okay. It went something like this.


Husband actually answers the phone here.


Let's all have a moment of silence for whatever sanity my husband thought was left in our marriage.

After he reassured me that if she wasn't crying, and she wasn't comotois (comforting, huh?), she was probably fine, we got off the phone. Only, that wasn't good enough. I was still panicking while she had long since crawled off to play with something that wasn't at risk for killing her. So I called the only person who can make you feel better in this kind of situation. A fellow mom.

She was logical. Patient. Reassuring. She told me the only thing that will make you feel better in this situation (other than the baby being okay), and that is: "You are only human. My daughter has gotten into terrible things too." And then she started laughing at me, and she continued until I started laughing at me too. That's when my heart finally believed my head, and my blood pressure started to regulate.

The thing about babies is... they are unstoppable. It doesn't matter how hard you try, they will eventually get into something they shouldn't. And our biggest hope is that whatever they finally get into will be low enough on the totem pole that they won't actually injure themselves. Baby proofing will not prevent all accidents. Baby proofing prevents most major accidents. But they are sneaky, clever little things, these babies, they are infinitely resourceful and they will find a way to explore their environment.

And though I'm still shaking as I type this, I'm writing it so that other moms who are feeling immensely guilty because their baby finally outsmarted the system in a way that was real and scary will know: It's okay. My daughter once tried to eat electricity. And I'll hold you in my heart just like my friend did me, and I'll let you know that we all make mistakes. I'll laugh as I tell you about the story because she was okay. And if you are really having a rough go, I might mutter under my breath:

The other day I was fixing baby's bath and turned around to find her gleefully clinking two razors together like a maniac.

And you won't judge me because guess what? You'll know, even if it's only in the back of your head, there was a day when your baby tried to do __________.  And it scared the shot out of you too.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Unidentified Non-Mommy Object (UNMO)

I think someone sneaked in last week and hard-wired my daughter to all the doors and baby gates in the house.  The minute I pass the threshold, the alarm goes off.  Nothing but the proper code (return immediately and pick her up) will disarm it.  If the alarm is not disabled within 60 seconds, the system overrides into Panic Mode, locking the keypad for up to 15 minutes.  Panic Mode will shut itself down when it has established Mommy Contact for an undetermined amount of time.

The new security system also seems to have come with state of the art face recognition stranger detection software, but it only works intermittently.  I would like to contact the manufacturer to discuss these new features, but there doesn't seem to be any contact information on the unit.  I found the paperwork that came with Baby, but it seems to insinuate that Hubby and I are solely responsible for all maintenance.  

That hardly seems fair, we don't know the first thing about security alarms.


Any other 10 month olds receive this latest security update?

Monday, October 14, 2013

A Day of Natural Disasters

The thing about Texas is: it's always go BIG or go home.  So when it rains, it pours. And it's been pouring here nonstop since about midnight. And that's when my day started. 

I was up feeding the non-sleeping baby that visited last night, and after I got her all settled back in her bed, I started to hear the pitter patter of rain. There was a time in my life where I might have sighed and enjoyed this sound.  There was a time when I loved rainy weather.  But ever since the big hail storm that busted out our skylights two years ago, one of our dogs has gone nuts during rainstorms.  Like scream-bark all night long no matter what you do nuts.  It's stressful and frustrating and exhausting, so now when I hear the rain, I hear a giant anxiety-ridden hellstorm brewing.  I tip toed out of the bedroom and into the living room to turn on some relaxing music.  I hoped that it might drown out the rain, and I could go back to sleep without the loud, high pitched screeches that shortly follow (or precede)  the arrival of any storm.  Too bad that turning on the music actually woke her up, and she instantly knew something was amiss.  She started barking at me.  I calmly told her she was fine, and she needed to go back to sleep.  As you can imagine, she listened intently, curled up, and went back to sleep.


Sunday, October 13, 2013

DIY Disaster

I emptied the Pringles can at lunch and had the great idea to make into a toy for Baby.  I poured some lima beans into the empty can, taped the lid shut, and brought it into the living room where she was happily playing.  I was feeling pretty clever, you guys.  Yes, she was going to love this, and I was an amazingly resourceful mom.  Baby heard the rattle as I entered the room and immediately started crying--full throttle complete crisis crying.

I sat down next to her and smiled.  It's okay, Baby.  It's just a new toy.  She crawled into my lap and I sat the Pringles can on the floor.  She held my shirt tightly as she glared at the Pringles Man.

What's your problem, kid?  Millions of Americans LOVE me!

Baby absolutely loves faces, so I thought for sure this fellow would win her over--but she just stared at him, knuckles white, unconvinced and unimpressed.  I moved the can closer and she tentatively picked it up.  It rattled and she started crying again.  Yes, things were going just as I had planned.

I sat the can on the coffee table and re-grouped.  I smiled and told her that the Pringles meant no harm.  We read a book and had a tickle fight.  She seemed calm and started to play with her other toys.  Starving, I stood up to fetch the lunch that I had just finished preparing prior to The Pringles Meltdown of 2013: a turkey sandwich complete with a stack of the last few Pringles.  Okay, there may have also been bacon.  WHAT, DON'T LOOK AT ME LIKE THAT.

I don't know who I was fooling, I couldn't make it two steps away without Baby having a total meltdown, sobbing hysterically as she chased me across the floor.  My "brillant" DIY moment was repaid over the next hour and a half with Baby glued to my side, creeping cautiously around the room, always one eye on the Pringles man and one eye on mommy.

Every once in a while, she would burst into tears, and I would hold her close and apologize again.  So, congratulations, Pringles Man!  You have successfully buried my victorious Mommy Moment underneath an avalanche of your original flavored and deceptively delicious chips. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Toy Stories: The Caterpillar of Abandonment

Days of Our Lives. All My Children. One Life to Live. Growing up, I can't remember being home on a week day without one of of these shows playing in the background.  Sure, I rolled my eyes and  groaned, but pretty soon my cries of "there's nothing on TV!" turned into a loud hiss of "SSH! I'm watching my stories!"  Ah, the transformation was complete.

Then came The Daytime TV Reckoning of 2011, and even though I keep the TV off during the day, something feels wrong...  It's quiet where someone would have otherwise been accusing their husband of sleeping with their best friend, who we all know is actually her long lost sister believed to have died in an ice skating accident 10 years earlier, freshly awakened from a coma and who believes herself to be pre-tongue Miley Cyrus.  Sigh.

Well friends, imaginative play is not just for children.  So, when today, after an intense round of peekaboo with Caterpillar, Baby picked up both Caterpillar and Pink Elephant and started shaking them at each other and babbling emphatically, I turned on the Soap Opera filter and soaked it up.

Caterpillar: DO WHAT?

and scene.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Solids Sleuth

Last week, Baby's sleep was terrible.  It took forever to get her down for naps.  She stayed up way too late at bedtime.  She woke up several times all night long, frequently refusing to be put down.  Then she woke up early.  It was a beat down.  I hoped whatever phase it was, it would quickly be over.

Things finally started to improve on Friday.  She went to sleep a little faster for her naps.  She slept a little better at night.  Thank goodness, I thought.  We survived it, I cheered!  I was proud that I had really held it together. I was patient.  I was flexible.  I was calm.  I didn't lose my patience or my temper until Thursday night.  I'm only human.  I patted myself on the back.

Saturday as we were preparing lunch, I had a thought.  "What if she was sleeping so poorly because of the avocado?" I asked my hubby.  "Oh no, I don't think so?" he responded as he placed a bowl of avocado next to Baby's oatmeal.  We shrugged at each other and sat down to eat.

Now, it seemed unlikely that the avocado was really causing all these issues because she only ate it on Friday.  The other avocados ended up being bad, so she went a week and a day without any more encounters of the delicious, green kind.  So I figured we were probably fine to feed it to her again.

The nap battles and horrible night that followed begs to differ.  Apparently, it was the avocado.  And so now we are in another week of Notorious Naps. (Dun dun dun.)  It's strange, though.  The banana caused a definite reflux reaction: rasping, spitting up, hiccups, arching.  But the avocado caused a reaction--though extremely mild in comparison--that is similar to what happens when baby has even the slightest trace of dairy: general discomfort that overwhelms her when distractions fall away and it's time for sleep, resulting in massive sleep battles, frequent wakings, and extreme nighttime discomfort that prevents her sleeping at night without being constantly soothed.  Oh, and hiccups.  Now that I think about it, there was some rasping as well, but I thought it was just because of the cold we were all fighting.  Sickness always seems to exacerbate her reflux.


The battle to feed baby solids continues...

Monday, October 7, 2013

How to Turn a Nap into a Baby Party

Any good nap resistance starts with heavy eyelids. It's important that mom thinks you're about to drift peacefully off to sleep before we begin.  Frustration is the essential foundation for a good Baby Party.

Once you have given the appearance of falling asleep, the festivities can commence.  It is customary to lift and hold your leg in the air to declare your intentions.  Now, start waving it around, and then lead into kicking--slow at first, then erratically and frantic. Like the lever on a wind up toy, keep waving and kicking until you've built up a good momentum. Now, slowly drop your pacifier or mom's nipple, throw your eyes open, and start talking. Some self induced hyperventilating is a good way to get the blood flowing. Turn your head and twist your torso to break free of your mom's arms. It may not work at first, but keep trying. If she attempts to replace your pacifier, hold it in the corner of your mouth, and chew on it like a cigar.