Monday, January 30, 2012


The events of last week really got me thinking about the concept of pain.

Now that little monkey is moving and grooving all over the place---crawling like speed racer after the dog's bone and pulling himself up on everything--we've realized that along with all of the other amazing things babies learn about....they also must learn about pain.

We know what pain is. From headaches to cramps, stubbed toes and hangnails that get hand sanitizer in them, adults understand what pain is and have methods (pharmaceutical and not) to cope with it. It may suck and we may (or always do) complain about it. But we get "it".

When LM tips over and lands hard on his squishy diaper butt, there is that moment in his eyes where you can see him wonder what that sensation is. Often times, it isn't enough pain to warrant a reaction, and he moves on. Other times, when he lands on his side/a toy/his head/my head etc, the pain is too much and the tears start.

Oh...and that awful, gut-wrenching pain cry. That cry slices the heart like a million shards of glass. You know exactly what it is when you hear it....and it kills you too. Having to learn what pain is, especially when your world is warm, safe and build to keep you safe, must be confusing and upsetting to babies. I can't imagine what it's like to feel that sensation and not know why it hurts so bad--especially with their minimal understanding of cause/effect. They don't get that letting go of the chair leg and crashing into the table leg will hurt. They feel that pain course through their body, but do they really understand what is happening? Or does it just scare them?

At some point, you learn what pain is and how to avoid it (mostly). I don't like saying that I'm looking forward to LM getting to this point because I know how much pain he'll have to go through to get there. But, when I think about how confusing it must be to them, I realize that I'm glad it doesn't last forever (and hopefully not too long...please please experienced mamas out there!).

There's so much pain in life (physical and emotional). It's hard to imagine being a blank pain slate. How greatly the different pain experiences we go through must affect and shape all of us. I want to protect him from as much pain as possible...but I know I can't. Wouldn't it be nice if we were born with an understanding/ability to cope with pain as natural as the sucking reflex?

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Looking forward to Monday

Yup...I said it. I'm looking forward to tomorrow. We need a fresh start. Last week--sucked.

On top of the normal teething, cold, work, husband who I swear somedays just met me, we had our first real heart-stopping moment.

Tuesday progressed like any other day--children running amuck (I mean, learning), meetings to attend, colleagues to try not to flick between the eyes. That is, until I glanced at my cell phone in the early afternoon and saw 5 (FIVE) missed calls.

My heart dropped.

Long story short--they were all from my husband who had checked his phone upon returning in from recess and saw a text from our babysitter. LM had been pulling up on a speaker in the main playroom (their family room) and had fallen backwards. It had tipped and landed on him---the top edge hitting him right across the bridge of his nose, cutting him. Even though he had calmed right down when she picked him up and drank a bottle, she wanted us to know what had happened--especially since she through his eyes were dilated more than normal.

Because I had been out of my room making copies and picking up my kiddos from library, I had missed the texts and his calls to my classroom. He called his brother-in-law (a doctor) who said that even though it wasn't probably a serious injury at all, we should be safe and get him checked out. So, the building sub took over his room and he went to get LM.

As I'm hearing all of this, I feel the panic spread through my body. It's like that rush of adrenaline you get when someone jumps out and scares you. TH is on his way to pick him up and we decided to let him assess his general demeanor before deciding where to take him. I fly to the office and promptly tell both the principal and vice-principal that I need to leave....and then burst into tears. I explain what happened and they shoo me out the door to get on my way (after offering to drive me home themselves). I grab my stuff, thank the para who got pulled to run my room, totally freak out my kiddos on my way out the door in tears and head home to meet TH and LM.

Upon arriving at her house, TH said very little to her. She mentioned that he might end up with two black eyes but said little herself as TH had surprised her (we didn't answer back that he was coming). She woke him up from his nap.....I'll say it again folks...HIS NAP. Seriously...because isn't a nap a perfect thing to take place after a baby hits his head and you're worried. He calls me on his way home and says that he's got a good-sized cut on his nose but seems to be acting okay. At this point, I felt like I could breathe again. I drove home...totally obeying the speed limits and not passing cars on the right...and swooped him up in my arms. As much as he loves mama kisses, he wasn't too happy to has his play interrupted...another good sign.

Our BIL (who happened to have the day off), swung by the house and did a quick exam of LM himself. He didn't see anything wrong with him (and suggested that the pupil dilation she noticed was probably an adrenaline reaction of his own and since they weren't different sizes, it probably was nothing) and played with him for awhile himself. He told us what to keep an eye out for and said that we could probably forgo any trips to the doctor/hospital unless something changed. Thank goodness for doctors in the family (especially ones with three little ones under 7).

Now that the panic had subsided, TH and I started discussing what had actually happened. Since LM is not the only little one she watches that have been there when they started becoming mobile, we had made the assumption that things were baby-proofed appropriately. Now, I get that we never should have assumed. We asked the woman a million and a half questions when he started going there, but that stuff didn't come up at the time. However, who has giant (at least 3ft fall) 80's style speakers in the main play room that aren't mounted. Especially, since there are times that she has to be helping little one's in the restroom etc. She puts up gates to keep them from wandering and we had made the assumption she had thought of other things.

We were wrong....and pissed off.

(Okay, I realize I said long story short but....sorry!)

We talked for awhile and realized that we were going to have to talk with her that night about it all. Not only did I feel her attitude about it needed to be adjusted, but certain baby-proofing things needed to be in place before I could leave him there in the morning. I just couldn't worry about him all day long. So, I texted her and arranged for a time to come by. TH and I talked about what our expectations for her were and I steeled myself to be willing to pull him completely if she couldn't/wouldn't accommodate them.  I knew her main argument/excuse would be that it had never happened before with any of the other little ones, but that just wouldn't fly with me. I don't need him to be the guinea pig.

I don't do confrontations well. I hate them. My dad thrives on them and I grew up being embarrassed and uncomfortable with them. So, this wasn't something I was looking forward to. I gave myself a mom pep talk and headed over.

Turns out, she really was horrified that it had happened. When I got there, her husband was already working on mounting the speakers to the wall. We chatted about what else in the room/house needed to be baby-proofed---including, as it turns out, the kitchen. Who the heck runs an in-home daycare, serves breakfast and lunch out of their kitchen and doesn't have the kitchen childproofed!!!! We talkd about how I have no problem with her putting him in a PNP or something when she needs to be out of the room...I'd rather him be angry than hurt. I made it very clear that I wouldn't/couldn't leave him there if I was worried about it. They were very accommodating and repeatedly said that they would do whatever they needed to do and that they were open to any suggestions...they admitted it was a learning curve for them as well. So, I left there feeling ok about that part of it all. AND--I was thrilled that I didn't have to pull him...he adores her.

My concern at this point is that I worry that they didn't think of it first...I thought some of it should be purely logical if that is going to be your career. I'm a first time mom...I'm learning as I go so I can't use experience to help me look out for him in some cases. I can use intuition, information and a little luck to help guide our decisions but I need to be able to rely on those around me who are the "experts". I know accidents happen....I get that he'll fall and crash into things as this stage in his life. But--I also expect him to be doing the falling...not objects around him. We're staying there for now as I think we've resolved our issues. But gives me a lot to think about.

As for the rest of the week, there was lots of awkwardness (especially when one of their speaker mountings failed as she showed it to TH the next afternoon) and educating on our parts (we shared with them products that we've used to mount things---including some FABULOUS mounting ties if any of you are interested). The rest of the week went was just long.

And I'm so glad it's over. As I'm sure you all feel about this lengthy post!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

I've got a fever..

A little bit of fever.

Four women in my message board mommy group are pregnant already---some planned, some surprised and one miracle.  While I'm not ready for a baby yet....and not even sure I want makes me start to yearn for feeling belly kicks, seeing ultrasound pictures and snuggly newborn days. I want that joy and feeling of anticipation.

Though...not enough that I'm ready to "try".

Not that we're preventing....but, last I checked, if you want to get knocked up (without dr's of course!) you have to actually have sex. And, because you love to know intimate details of my life, that happens oh so infrequently. We're both not ready for another baby--so we should be preventing, but I think that deep down we know it won't happen again without help.

I go back and forth about whether we want to even have another. I'm basically an only child (very large gap between my half sister and myself and step-siblings that came around during college) and I loved the experiences I got to have because it was just me. I love being able to give him my undivided attention when I come home from work....and I see how hard it is (from watching friends and family) to give as much attention as needed to all little ones. I know that love can't be quantified or measured, but it's how I feel about it.

And then....well then there's the issue of whether we should.  We agreed to pursue medical intervention to have LM.  But, now that we have him, is it selfish of me to do it again to have another? Should I just be happy to be blessed with my one baby when so many people cannot? Do I agree to let it happen if it happens on its own? What if after agreeing to that, it doesn't happen and I lose out?

Why can't this one decision just be an "easy" one? Why can't it just be about whether we want another monkey and when instead of IF?? Why can't fertility not be an issue? Maybe my baby fever comes with a side of jealousy....that these women in my group not only knew what they wanted, but could also get it easily.

Maybe I'm scared to make the decision about a baby....because if we decide to try again (on our own or with help)...maybe this time, it won't work. And that pain will be back.

Maybe I should just be happy with having the most amazing baby in the world. But how do I know?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A birthday

Today is my birthday...the last one before the big 3-0.  TH and I were talking last night about how different things are from this point last year.

January was a blur of baby showers, doctor's appointments, organizing and starting to slow down. We began trying to "fit in" all the things we knew would be more difficult once LM arrived.

Being able to have my darling little one wake me up by singing to himself in his crib was a great start to today. It is a great reminder that my life is no longer mine. Instead of the normal what do "I want" on my birthday, we still have the normal baby things to fit in. My SIL offered to babysit so we could go out if we wanted...but honestly, if we go out to eat, I want to take LM. I don't need anything fancy or elaborate this birthday...I just want to spend it with my family. Because this year starts something new and special.

Birthdays tend to be milestones or, to some people, negative reminders of getting old. What I realized this morning, is just how special a birthday really is. I get now while it was so important to my mom to see me on my birthday and make it special...because it was to her. I get it now. It's not about a "me day" or the presents. I see why it truly is a special day.

It also doesn't hurt that TH is changing all of the dirty diapers today :-)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Where does it come from? This intense pressure that I feel for LM to do things and change. I'm not talking about things like crawling....for some reason, these kinds of milestones don't seem to upset me if he's behind. I trust that he'll get there--especially the gross motor ones since he's my chunky little monkey and it'll take more time.

But there are these random things that I find myself feeling pressure about things like sleep and food. The pedi mentioned that with the natural transition to more food and less formula, he would naturally drop a feeding. There was already one feeding that was feeling forced, so we stopped that bottle and added some more food at dinner (the bottle was a 5pm one). It was working...but then he stopped sleeping well and I felt so guilty about giving him that bottle again. I am because he's hungry and wants it. And, with what I expect is an upcoming growth/milestone spurt, I want him to have it. But--I feel like he's going backwards. I know he's not. Rationally, I get this. But--I worry that I'm holding him back somehow...that he's drinking too much and not eating enough. I read about babies his age in my mom group that are eating multiple jars of baby food, plus table food in a day...and sometimes he just doesn't want to eat that much. I don't want to hold him back....and I'm sure he's not.

But--I worry that I'm babying him. Ironic--I know.  I worry that he can handle eating more--especially table foods. That he wants more types of foods, bigger pieces, bigger quantities etc...and I'm holding him back, so he gets bored and wants nothing to do with it. There's no guide to this whole motherhood thing...I get that. But--i am SO SICK of hearing that I should just do what is best for my baby. How I am supposed to know this?????? I need to hear more specific plans/experiences that people have used to transition. I'm tired of just guessing (and by guessing, I mean reading a ton of things and make a semi-informed decision). I'm tired of TH relying on me to figure it out. I'm tired of him assuming that I know what I'm doing when it comes to decisions. Ugh.

I'm just tired of it. Speaking of tired...sleep is the other area. If one more person asks me whether he's STTN...and then gives me a "look"...I will punch them. Guarantee it. I know sleep goes in cycles and that with new things/spurts/life, sleep changes. You ladies have been more than helpful in this area. But--I still feel so frustrated. TH thinks that I'm causing some of his bad sleep habits. And--it's possible. He likes to hold my hand through the crib slats as he falls asleep, rubbing on my fingers. He doesn't NEED to...and sometimes, like tonight, he falls asleep on his own anyway. I also can't handle him crying and tend to go to him quickly to give him his paci or, if he's really upset, to pick him up and rock him. I know know know that he is capable of self-soothing and that it is counter-intuitive to pick him up. I can't handle CIO...and I've yet to figure out what "method" I want to use. I just need something....ugh.

Actually (to those of you still reading), what I need is to back the F off myself. I'm creating the pressure. No one else (except TH, who really only argues but has no follow thru to help fix it and really doesn't know what to do either so I don't have to do what he thinks!) is pressuring me to make him eat or sleep more "normally".  It's all about some arbitrary goal I set for myself....and for him....and it needs to stop. He won't drink bottles forever and I don't see a ton of kids waking up all I know in time it all passes. I just need to give myself a break.

Thanks for listening.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Ten Months

LM is 10 months old!! I don't get where the time goes...we started talking about what to do for his first birthday party. It is either a testament to how cool my husband is or how bad he thinks my cooking is--but he suggested catering in Qdoba since we have so much (picky) family. I'm thinking about doing a The Very Hungry Caterpillar theme (more on that later).

Stats (right before Christmas at pedi)--
Weight--21lbs 10oz
Height--29 3/4

New Things--
He started army crawling this week---and he crawled a few "steps"? today. He's SUPER close to crawling but still prefers rolling or army'ing to get places faster.

He's started exploring more parts of the house. Today he maneuvered himself under the jumperoo and played with the toys hanging off of it and pushing the bouncy part up with his feet. It's so much fun watching him look at things from a new perspective.

He waves hi and bye. Well....he does that and then again, he always waves at his toys, the dog, the car...he just loves loves loves to wave. The one consistent wave he does is waving "night night" to Daddy at bedtime. Then, he gets excited and claps for himself. So cute.

The personality that is emerging at this point is so amazing. I love watching him think and process and then try something new.

He cut his fangs right before Christmas and I think/hope/need desperately for his top teeth to come through soon. He's not sleeping well right now--waking up to eat again, as well as several other crying fits. The brief hiatus of waking up that we had totally messed with my head and now I feel ever more impacted when he wakes up. I'm hoping it's a growth/developmental/teething thing and it'll pass soon.

He's slowly eating more table foods--he had his first grilled cheese today, along with some veggie soup veggies. I need to focus on keeping up his food intake as I think it helps him sleep better at night. It's just hard during the weekend because we don't get up as early so he ends up dropping a bottle. I'm hoping that as his gag reflex gets better, he'll be able to explore more foods and eat more.

He changes so much from month to's so hard to keep up in the changes. I can't believe a year has almost passed. For Christmas, we gave the grandparents a photo book that had our favorite photos chronologically--seeing him change so much nearly brought me to tears.

I wonder what next month will bring.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Two weeks off + sleeping in later than 515+ napping when LM napped at least every other day+ LM waking up every 20min from 9pm-1am last night+a headache+school starting again today= 1 cranky mommy, teacher and wife.

TGFW (thank goodness for wine)

Sunday, January 1, 2012


Welcome Creme de la Creme visitors! I'm glad to have you here :-) Please enjoy reading about the journey I have been embarking on. I hope it goes without saying that if you realize you know me in real life, this blog is a private place for me to share my thoughts--please don't mention it out the "real world"!

Hope to see you again soon.

MIrror, mirror

The start of a new year is a common time for self-reflection. We look back on what went well or oh, so very very wrong in the last year. We make resolutions and promises about what we're going to change and how we're going to do it. Often, these are the same ones we optimistically made (and failed at) last year. That doesn't stop us from reflecting every year when the ball drops.

Self-reflection is part of who we are. We think about whether we can take another year like last or what we're willing to do to get what we want. Sometimes, your year was amazing. Other times, it was heartbreaking. This time of year we reflect much more than the other 11 months.

But--in reality, we do it all year long to some extent. When something bad happens, we reflect on the "whys" and "hows". We plan how we can make ourselves better so it can't happen again. When something good happens, we reflect on what we did to make it happen and how it has changed out lives.

I've had my share of "why me" moments of reflection. This year was different though. This year--we got what we had been hoping for for so long--little monkey. Reflecting this year was much, much different. It wasn't about negative things. Last night, as I lay next to LM's crib, letting him play with my fingers through the slats as he tried to fall asleep (yes, bad habit I know...but you do what you need to do), I listened to him start giggling to himself. I wasn't tickling him and he wasn't playing with his lovey. Then, I realized---he was remembering. He was thinking about when we were watching the dog play and run around the living room and he was laughing hysterically (LM, not the dog). He laughed and laughed until he got the hiccups. Shortly after this, he went to bed. As he lay there, he was reflecting on his day and laughing at his memories.

And that's what this year is to me---memories. Good ones. Not a list of bad things that happened to me that made me want to make changes---changes I usually fail at actually following through with. I realized that this is the difference this year. The resolutions I made were not about changing what was happening to me but they were about making me a better mom, wife, teacher and friend. When I didn't focus on all of the bad things, I felt the impetus to make changes that I think I can follow through with. When I was focused on what I didn't want to happen again, nothing I did to change things worked.

Hopefully, this year, I will be able to follow through on the things in my life that I want to improve upon...not change.