15 Months of Mommyhood

I really am awful about this whole blogging thing…and then a milestone hits and I’m like oh yea…I was writing about this stuff…ughhh.

All-in-all we still pretty much have a jackpot child. Seriously, a few rough nights here and there but this gorgeous little being we created is a pretty easy specimen from what I have witnessed and been told of others her age.

Her 15 month well baby was a few weeks ago and her “medical” stats were as follows:

Weight: 23.2 lbs (58%)   Height: 30 inches (44%)   Head: Big Fat ? She freaked when they tried to put the measuring tool on her. So that one is just a mystery. Haha.

She is currently at 14 teeth and I do believe 15 and 16 are coming through…she is chewing her fingers in that area of her gums an awful lot. It is so crazy to see that full mouth of teeth on such a little girl. I think it has helped with her eating for sure though. She almost never “chokes” anymore. When she has too much in her mouth she just takes it out and eats a smaller portion.

The big talk of children: sleep. We had a few nights last week and one this week where she woke up for a little bit in the middle of the night and I think that was due to a cold and the teething. Another new thing we have going on, that we are not fond of, is waking up at 5 am. What in the heck is up with that?! Again, I really hate to complain, she goes to bed at 6:30pm. We have started adjusting her schedule to see if that helps. We pushed back dinner and bath by about 15 minutes in hopes of getting her to stay awake until 7pm. We are slowly getting there. Tonight was about 6:45pm. She just gets so grumpy because she is sleepy and it really isn’t worth messing up her amount of sleep to me!

A few big changes we have went through is weaning the bottle and milk. I was really nervous about this. She was still getting one bottle right before bed each night (straight milk) and it was what would really get her into the sleep zone. The idea was to switch to a sippy cup of milk and then wean her off that to no more milk before bed. The doctor (and most things you read) really encourage the weaning of milk right before bed as teeth come in to avoid cavities at such a young age. Well to my surprise the first night without a bottle she didn’t want a sippy cup either. She pushed it away while we were in the recline and just closed her eyes and went to sleep. It was amazing.

Now I know many people will think we are crazy but she still isn’t “sleep trained.” And honestly at this point I do not have any intentions of really forcing it until what we are doing no longer works. After bath time I snuggle her in the chair and within five minutes she has heavy eyes and I lay her down in her crib while she is just slightly still awake. If it took us hours to put her to bed-I would definitely start working on the cry-it-out method. We just do not have those issues with her. She is more than ready for bed 90% of the time so in my opinion there is no reason to stop the 5 minute snuggle that helps her calm down for bed.

The next big step we will be working on with her is saying goodbye to her pacifier. I do not have a set time we will start working on this but I feel like with her getting so many teeth I am going to wait until she just finishes because I know the sucking can help soothe her. At the rate she is going she will have all her teeth well before two years old and that is absolutely when I would not want her to use it anymore but the “goal” is closer to 18 months.

This blog got long! I will do a follow up one with our daily routine, eating habits, and talking! I also plan on doing a 15 month postpartum blog about myself. I know that is always a curious topic! Until next time…hopefully not 3 months!

Diaper Rash, Teething, and a Bumped Head…

…what a way to spend the first week at home with the baby! Whew. As I have mentioned…our baby is a pro sleeper. 11-12 hours a night without waking up. Well, I think all of that finally found a way to be a negative. Yesterday morning I went to change the baby when we first woke up. Well at 545am I do not turn on too many lights in the house but I could tell she had pooped. What a way to wake up, right? That is a lot to handle before coffee 😉

Well when I went to wipe her she cried out in pain. The day before she had pooped three times and started getting a little red on her bottom so I had been using rash cream throughout the day but didn’t think much else about it. I think she must have went to the bathroom shortly after we had put her down because it was pretty dried up. I think that is what caused the rash. Well I got her cleaned up but she cried the whole time. It was SO red down there! I can say that was one of the hardest things I have done since being a mom. Inflicting pain on your child is in no way fun!

I monitored it throughout the day and when she would pee I would just dab her dry and used cream but she still cried in pain each time. Well the dreaded poop came. Nick had got home by this time and he sat at the top of her head while I cleaned her up as gently as possibly. Then we noticed the rash was bleeding and immediately made her an appointment to see the doctor.

In the meantime I did what every first time mom does-I googled. Many results came up. What we decided to do was let her soak in a bath in warm water. After that I let her air out for about 30 minutes or so. I then put A+D cream on her and then put baby powder over that. This morning it was SO much better. We still kept the doctors appointment though just to verify no infection was present. There was no infection! The doctor recommended using neosporin, a lot of air dry time, and no wipes. If she pees just let it air out and if she poops just use a wet cloth to clean her up. The doctor also took a look in her mouth and saw her 9th tooth popping through and swollen gums around a few others. She said teething can often cause some diarrhea which then leads to diaper rash.

To top off the night…she managed to knock herself over the head. Her walker is packed up and she was pushing her stroller around like it was a walker and it fell down on her right eye. She has a little bruise now. At first I thought she landed on the back of her head and I was so freaked out.

We did end the night on a good note, though! I was washing her bottles and I hear something and I turned around and she walked to me from the other room! She has only walked back and forth between the two of us previously so this was a big deal! So much excitement, so little time.

Babies and Dogs

As the baby comes up on being the big one (NOOOO) I have been posting a lot of pictures of her “playing” with one of our dogs. Let’s be honest, people always love pictures of babies and pets. It also raises the question of: how did you introduce and adjust the dogs to the baby. Let me tell you how we did it!

We have two larger dogs (60 and 70 lbs), Gilly and Rosie. Gilly was adopted from an animal shelter and Rosie is a legit rescued dog. As in, abandoned in the woods and I brought her home. For this reason, Rosie is our lover pup. She wants to be pet and loved on ALL the time. Gilly is very aloof and la-di-da.

I think a misconception is that the adjustment happens immediately. For us, that was not the case. Until the baby started moving I don’t think the dogs cared either way. Well, they did look a little stressed on the days she cried a lot 😉 but that wasn’t often. A lot of the pictures I have are with the baby and Gilly. This is because Rosie usually immediately runs away if the baby comes after her. I think if the baby could pet her, it would be different.

There was one time the baby went to Gilly while she was sleeping and Gilly jumped up and growled. We can neither be mad at Gilly or the baby for this! What we do now is if we see the baby going for either dog we immediately say the dogs name to wake them up and then they decide whether they want to run or not. Rosie gets up and leaves 95% of the time. Gilly will usually hang out and see what’s going to happen.

When the baby is near either of the dogs we try to stay right there with them and pet the dog and reassure them with “good girl, Gilly” and pet them while the baby is crawling on them. Generally, the baby squeals at them, gives them a few pats, and moves on.

We try to make sure once the baby is in bed (or playing) we give the dogs plenty of attention. I have had Gilly for almost 7 years and Rosie about 5.5 years so it’s important for them to not feel forgotten.

Rosie is a licker. It is very bad. We will let her get a few licks in and then usually have to force her to stop. She would lick that baby raw if we let her!

What we did/do is really fairly simple. Both of our dogs do really well with the baby and we have a GREAT and easy baby. If it seems the dogs are irritated with her we simply move her, give her a new toy to play with, and again verbally assure the dog that they did nothing wrong.

I will say, if the dogs are eating or have treats we do not allow the baby anywhere near them. Other than that we really try to let the dogs decide whether they feel like dealing with her. Once the dogs walk away the baby rarely chases them down. She just finds something else to terrorize 😦

I imagine the relationship between the baby and the dogs will change drastically over the years. At this point I just have no idea how! I do believe that Rosie will like her a lot more when she is actually able to pet and play with her!

An Accidental Stay-at-Home Mom

As most of you know, the military recently relocated us to Japan. We are extremely excited for all the changes that come along with this move. One of the big changes is that I am currently not working. I am applying for jobs and hope to be working soon. Until then, my job is wife and mommy!

For those who are stay-at-home moms and infant childcare givers-you are amazing. After working for the last 14 plus years this is a really big adjustment for me and for our family. The biggest thing I am making sure to do is enjoy this while it lasts. While I have no intentions of staying at home permanently, I know that there are a lot of moms who would love to have this opportunity. I even recall bawling on the way home from picking her up from daycare those first few times. So I know I would have loved to be a stay-at-home mom at one point.

More than anything-I am terrified. Since she was 8 weeks old I haven’t been with her 24/7. Of course I have had her on my own many times. Weekends, days off, etc. The weather is still decent and there is a playground right outside of our building. I am excited to try that out! I may also seek some mom groups. I feel so ridiculous even saying that! I used to think that was so snooty. Moms meeting at the playground to gossip while their children play. Now I realize how important socialization and interaction with other children is. I get the feeling about once a day that my daughter is SO bored with me 🙂 As a mom I want to make sure I am giving her every opportunity to grow and develop as I can. I know she will not get that by sitting at home with just me all day, everyday!

I will, obviously, keep you posted on our mommy/daughter adventures. She has this thing where she crawls in my lap to sit and play. That is the picture below. She brought her little crab and a picture of herself along today. She is waving-that is the blurriness around her hand.

fullsizerender-9

If any of my stay-at-home moms have some tips-I welcome them!

September 11th-Where were you?

I remember my mom used to talk about the blizzard of 1978. She remembered so many details and could go on and on about that blizzard. It was always strange to me that she could just say blizzard of 78 and everyone knew what she was talking about.

Then September 11th, 2001 happened. I was a senior in high school. It happened right before I walked into Algebra. September 11th is my blizzard of 78. It is my when John F. Kennedy got shot. It is the day I will be able to remember for the rest of my life. It is what my daughter will hear me talk about like it happened yesterday.

My sister was already enlisted in the Air Force and was barely out of Basic Training. I remember talking to her and her saying she was fine but they were not being given a lot of free time. She just called to let us know she was okay and not to worry.

My husband has been watching the History channel all night as it pays tribute to those moments and days after the World Trade Center and Pentagon was hit. One of the closing comments before a commercial break was “the city has ordered 30,000 body bags.” I asked him how in the world he could keep on watching the heart breaking stories. His was response was “I  just can’t stop.”

Since becoming a mom I can’t handle sad. I can’t handle hate. It is just too much for me.I know this piece of history is important. I do not deny that. I also never want to disrespect those who lost loved ones during this act of terrorism. But the stories are just. too. hard.

As I was thinking about it all tonight I could not help but think of those individuals boycotting showing respect during the National Anthem. I have been associated with the military (active duty, a reservist, and military spouse) for 13 years. I have been at a funeral of a fellow service member while TAPS played and his wife and children wept in inconsolable grief ridden pain. Our American Flag does not represent racism. It is a direct representation of those men and women who voluntarily signed a contract that sent them to war against those exact terrorist who caused September 11th, 2001 to no longer be one of the 365 days of the year. You are not standing up against racism. You are telling those military members and their families that what they have done for this country means nothing to you.

I am pro expressing your right to protest. I just wish some people would consider what their actions represent when they decide to kneel when our flag is being honored.

Where were you on September 11th, 2001?

My Last Birthday

Today I had my last birthday.

Well, the last birthday as I currently know them. You see, Nick and I go all out for birthdays. We did not do a lot to celebrate birthdays in my house growing up. Naturally one would probably think I’m making up for a childhood that was lacking (nice try, I’ve had a a lot of psychology classes) but the truth is-there is something about finding that perfect gift. You know-the one that you remember someone mentioning months before in a random passing and you buy it for them and they are completely shocked…that’s the perfect present I like to buy for people.

For the last four years of being together Nick and I have been blessed and fortunate enough to go completely all out and crazy on each other for birthdays, anniversaries, and oh man-do not even get me started on Christmas. Most people would be appalled at what we spend on each other. But we did it anyways. And we enjoyed it. This year was no different. I got my awesome husband a fancy, super comfortable recliner for his birthday a few weeks ago. Today I got a gorgeous pair of diamond earrings for my birthday.

I woke up and got to go to breakfast with my husband. Then we went to a place called Apple Hill which has hay rides, a pie house, a fudge shop, and just an all around fall festival feeling. It was amazing. On the way home we stopped at the mall and I got some fancy make-up from Sephora and a perfume I have been out of for months and kept meaning to get a new bottle of. I got to finish my day off with some birthday pizza. It was, on all counts, perfect. And the last birthday of its kind.

On our way home from all of our events Nick and I talked about how amazing it has been that we have been in a place finacially that we have not wanted for anything and have been able to spoil each other rotten on holidays. But the truth is, that needs to stop once we become parents. For several reasons. The most obvious is money. From my limited experience while getting baby stuff ready and from everything I have heard…apparently kids are expensive 🙂

The real, less obvious reason, is this: I don’t want my child to be spoiled or expect things they do not need. I know, that may sound hypocritical since I just said we have spoiled ourselves for the last four years but hear me out. I desire to have a child that knows what money means and that material things are not what define who we are as people. It is truly amazing how much this little, unborn, 4 1/2 pound person has made me think about the way I live my life and how much it should change while raising a child.

When our little girl gets here I want to be able to focus on her and teaching her to be a person of high morals and value. To me that includes not buying things that she will see as reasons to be entitled. So, for now, I have enjoyed my last birthday as I currently know them. Next year I will have an 11th month old blessing that I hope learns to see birthdays as a celebration of life and love and not only expensive presents that are purchased.

So here is to a new form of birthdays. I can’t wait!

Why My Husband Is Not the “Best Husband Ever.”

I know that title is a little startling. Who in the world would ever say that?! I would. Let me explain why. My husband is not the best husband ever…because he is my husband.

I know, I know, what does that even mean? On almost a daily basis I see Facebook posts about reasons why husbands are the best ever and it is always interesting and amazing to me. I do it too. I come home to flowers for no reason and I post a picture and brag about my husband. Which is fine. We are all entitled to that. But then I also wonder-are we making it seem like if our husband does not do those things there is something wrong? Is our marriage void of something? No, it is not.

My husband is the best husband ever, for me. Not for you. Not for anyone else. That is the point of marriage. Finding someone who completes you as a person and knows just what you need on those bad days.

A specific situation comes to mind. Some of you may or may not know-I am obsessed with Christmas. I mean obsessed. It is the most amazing thing in the whole world to me. Last year around Christmas I was working on a weekend and I went to go get lunch and I was shocked to find the entire inside of my car decked out with Christmas decorations. It was perfect. I had lights, garland, and ornaments! I remember telling someone about it and they had this blank look on their face and said something along the lines of “that is a little weird.” Well it might be…to you. If you don’t have my love for Christmas then of course it would be weird to you if your husband decked out your car for Christmas.

It goes the opposite way as well. My husband is always posting the sweetest things about me on Facebook. It is amazing to me and a way he shows his love. Even just this morning I woke to a note on the fridge that says “It’s Almost Your Birthday!!!” I cannot tell you how many times I have heard “he is so sweet. I wish my husband was like that.” Do you really? Yes, it is nice to see what married people do for each other but should we really wish our husbands treated us differently based on what someone else’s husband has done for them?

I love seeing the posts. You know the “Came home to ice cream. I’m the luckiest girl alive!” Awe! That is awesome. But I don’t want ice cream (well…I’m almost 35 weeks pregnant-I always want ice cream). Your husband bought you a motorcycle? That is amazing-for you. I certainly would not want one!

I do know this. I am thankful to have my husband exactly as he is. He knows what I need on my good days and even more what I need on my bad days. I also know that as we raise our little girl she will see and know exactly how a man is supposed to treat a woman and that is the best feeling in the world. So to all you wives out there I just encourage you to take all those posts and comments as comfort in knowing what is making someone else happy is not what is required to make you happy. We should not be comparing our marriage to each others but rather building a foundation that makes it the best marriage for ourselves.

Strive to have the best husband and marriage ever, for you.