Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Advice to my future self (and other Mommas to be)

Now that Evie is a year and a half old, everyone in my life (except for me) seems to think it's time for me to get knocked up again.  I've been thinking about what I would do differently next time (if there is a next time).  Honestly, there isn't too much that I would change.  Like all new parents, M and I did the best we could with what we knew at the time, and there's nothing we can do to change it now.

M with Evie.  She was about 3 hours old.  Oh, if I only knew then what I know now!!
But anyway, here is my list of advice to my future self, should I decide to do this all over again someday:
  • Stay away from all books written by Dr. Sears, Harvey Karp and Elizabeth Pantley.  Actually, don't read anything at all.  Do what feels right, because if it feels right, then it probably is.  (Caveats can be made for people who are truly clueless, which I totally was before Evie was born...but don't take the things you read too seriously, everything must be adjusted to work for you, your baby, and your situation.)
  • Don't worry that the baby is sleeping too much during the first few weeks.  (Yup, I was actually concerned about this!)  Enjoy the quiet because it's not going to last for very long.
  • Stay calm during baby meltdowns.  Really, you're just making it worse by getting worked up too.  The baby will be fine.  Hold her tight and let her know you care, but don't flip out if she doesn't stop crying immediately.  
  •  Take other people's advice with a grain of salt (kind of like the reading thing).  Even if it's someone that you completely trust and respect, what worked for them may not be the best thing for you.  
  • Lastly, be cool, calm, relaxed and confident.  Taking care of a baby is hard work, and you're doing just fine.  :)  (Wow, that one made tear up a little...maybe I need to follow my own advice right now.)
This mom thing is quite a roller coaster.  You're going to screw up...but you're also going to have the best reward in the world when your little boy/girl says "mommy" for the first time, or gives you a kiss when you drop him/her off at daycare.  Try to cherish those moments when everything else seems to be going to hell.  ;)

This was written as part of the Toddle Along Tuesday blog hop.  This week's topic is advice for Mommies to be.  Click the button to link up at Growing up Geeky!!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Sick Baby = Sad Mama

Over the weekend we had a few "firsts" at our house.  Unfortunately, they weren't the good kind of firsts. 

Saturday night, Evie vomited for the first time.  I mean like real puke, not spit up or drool with some leftover food in it.   Real, grown-up barf.  She doesn't have the flu, but she's had a cough for about a week now.  She actually coughed so hard that she threw up.  It was about an hour after she went to bed that I heard her coughing.  Sometimes she sleeps through it, but this time she started crying.  I could smell it as soon as I walked into the room.  (Eeeeeewwwwww!!!!) 

M and I have a deal that he takes care of all vomit situations (baby or dog), so he cleaned up her bedding while I gave her a bath.  She even had it in her hair.  (Double eeeeeewwwww!!!!)  After everything was cleaned up, I called the nurse on-call line to see if there was anything we could give her or do for her.  We gave her a little honey and stood in the bathroom with the hot water running so that she could breathe in the steam.  It actually worked pretty well and she slept the rest of the night. 

Yesterday she was lethargic all day.  Last night we took her temperature and it was 102.4.  This is the first time she's ever had a fever.  M stayed home with her today and she was feeling much better by tonight.  I'm going to send her to daycare tomorrow with strict instructions to call me if she seems even a little out of sorts. 

This is the first time that she's been sick this winter, other than a little cough back in December.  I forgot how much it sucks.  I hope she gets over it soon. 

Any tips to help her sleep with the cough????  PLEASE share...I'm willing to try anything to make her feel better!!!!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Holy Cow! 18 Months!!

I am having a hard time believing that Evie is really 18 months old.  She is truly out of the "baby" stage and in full-on toddler mode.

At 18 months:
  • Evie weighs 23 pounds and 7 ounces. (35th percentile)
  • She is 32 1/2" long. (65th percentile)
  • She is wearing mostly 18 month clothing, but the pants are getting too short on her.  She still has some 12 month clothing in the rotation too, but her belly is starting to hang out of that.  I actually bought her first pair of 24 month pants today.  They seem huge, so we'll see what happens!
  • Evie loves: grilled cheese sandwiches, blackberries, kiwis, seeing her friends at daycare (seriously, she doesn't even say goodbye to me anymore, she's so focused on running to play with the other  kids...I know that this could be much worse), playing peek-a-boo, "scaring" people by quickly uncovering her face and saying boo, trying to dress herself, *trying* to help around the house by throwing things in the garbage (this was cute until she tried to throw my cell phone in the trash), trying to play in the toilet, and unloading all cupboards and drawers in the kitchen/bathroom.
You can see bibs and random utensils laying all over my kitchen floor.  As soon as I put them away, she pulls them out again.  It's not worth the effort most days!!
  • Evie hates: being told no, when we take anything away from her (she usually scolds us), cottage cheese, napping (at home, she does fine at daycare), having her diaper changed, having lotion put on, when we dress her because she'd rather try to do it herself, and shoes.  
I can't believe that she's now closer to 2 years old than 1 year old!!  She is such a little person now.  It's hard to believe that she was ever any different, but she has changed and grown so much.  I can't wait to see what each new day brings!!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Top 5 Laughs of the Week

This week was SUPER hectic at our house...late meetings for both me or M depending on the night, and the end of the semester for me, which is always crazy busy.  We did manage to have a few laughs in the meantime though.  :)

In no particular order...

- Evie has started saying "good" when you ask her how she is doing or how her day was, etc.  M figured out that she'll say good to any question that starts with the word "how."  So, he has spent the week trying to come up with goofy questions to ask her so that she'll answer "good."  It's cute to watch!!

- Evie loves to try to dress herself.  She is INCREDIBLY bad at it.  For the most part, she just manages to get the shirt over her head so that her face is peeking out of the head hole.  This morning, M was eating a bagel, and he tried to share it with Evie.  The shirt was covering her mouth, but she tried to push the bagel piece in her mouth through the shirt.  She just ended up with a mouthful of shirt.  We were both laughing pretty hard.
Example of Evie's excellent dressing skills
- M won me over by making me laugh, and he continues to do it pretty much every day.  The other night "Footloose" was on TV.  Of course, I had to watch it even though I've seen it about a million times.  (Who doesn't love Kevin Bacon, seriously?!?!?!!?)  It was the scene where they play chicken on the tractors, and M, being the farm boy that he is, said, "He'd be able to go a lot faster if he unhitched the corn picker."  He said it so matter-of-factly, I just about died laughing.  Only he would think of that!

- Evie has figured out that she can sit in "big people" chairs, and now that all she wants to do.  She likes to sit in our glider rocker in the living room with a pile of books on lap and her baby doll with her.  It's so cute to watch her "reading" to her baby.

- Last weekend in the Dells, M's company paid for a fancy dinner for everyone who was there.  Several of M's coworkers had brought their families, so there were quite a few kids there.  However, there were also quite a few people that did not have young kids, so it was an interesting mix.  The families with young kids designated some kids tables right away when we arrived at the restaurant.  Immediately, all of the moms moved the candles to other tables, moved the silverware to a big pile where none of the kids could reach it, and rearranged the chairs to maximize space for the high chairs.  I thought that it was funny how quickly we all reacted, and it was so apparent how much life has changed in the past 18 months....we used to be the couple that headed straight for the bar.

Hopefully next week will be a little less crazy and we'll be able to enjoy a little more time as a family.

Linking up my top 5 laughs with Melissa over at The Mommyhood Chronicles.  Click on the link if  you'd like to link up too!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Weekend in the Dells

  Sorry for the bad qualilty...Evie and I are the ones going down the slide!!

Last weekend we were fortunate enough to have a free weekend getaway in Wisconsin Dells!!  M's department reached a sales goal for the end of 2011, so, as an incentive, his company put us up at a HUMONGOUS indoor water/theme park for Friday and Saturday night.  They also bought dinner both nights and we had free waterpark passes for Saturday and Sunday. 

I was very angry with myself because I thought that I had forgotten the camera.  Then, on the way home on Sunday, I found the camera in the console of my car.  AARRRRGGGHH!!  M was able to get a few pictures and videos on his phone (hence the crappy quality), so at least we have this.

Evie LOVED the water!!!  The resort had a great play area for little kids with plenty of tame waterslides and fun water squirt-y things to play with.  It was so much fun to see Evie enjoying herself.  She always says "wheeee" when she goes down a slide, but she was so excited that she just walked around the kiddie pool repeating, "Wheeee....wheee....wheee..."  It was so cute!  :)

Hopefully we'll have the opportunity to go back to the Dells sometime soon!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

An Ode to Yogurt Bites

O, yogurt bites, you are so delicious.
Freeze-dried yogurt
Somewhat nutritious (?)
You calm Evie down 
When she'll eat nothing else
The world is a dark place
When you are not stocked on the shelf

The flavor doesn't matter
Strawberry, tropical, and peach all cause a clatter
God forbid we should ever run out
Evie would surely scream and shout
Without you I wouldn't be a happy mother or wife
Almost every day you save Mommy's life

Yes, I am so lame I just wrote a crappy poem to freeze-dried yogurt.  Seriously though, these things are a life saver.  Evie is usually a pretty good eater, but I always have these on hand for days when she refuses everything else.  This most often happens at restaurants (of course) or in the morning when I'm in a hurry to get to work and she won't eat her usual breakfast (fruit, cereal, or real yogurt).  

Evie likes the Gerber brand and the Up & Up (Target) brand too.  I like that they are not messy and they can be carried anywhere. 

I have to hide them in the deepest recesses of the diaper bag when we go out because otherwise, if Evie sees the packaging, she throws a fit if I don't give them to her.  I will admit that I kind of like them too...even though it's a little strange how they melt in your mouth.  Evie and I may or may not have finished an entire bag in one sitting...ok, fine, we did...on several one occasion.... 

This post was written as part of the Toddle Along Tuesday blog hop.  This week's topic is "Your Favorite Thing."  Head over to Growing up Geeky to link up!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Weekend Getaway!

M's company won a sales incentive, and as a result, our whole family gets to spend the weekend at a resort in Wisconsin Dells!!  It's one of those awesome ones with an indoor water park and the whole works.  Evie loved swimming in her tiny whale pool last summer, and I can't wait to see what she thinks of this. 

Fun with the whale pool!
We're leaving this afternoon after work.  The only downside is the huge snowstorm that is also supposed to hit us this afternoon.  Oh well, the Dells are only an hour away...and let's be honest, I'll drive through pretty much anything to get a free weekend away!!! 

Hopefully I'll have lots of wonderful pictures to share next week!!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Donate Blood

A family member recently passed away from esophageal cancer.  To say that it's a hard time for his immediate family would be a gross understatement.  My extended family is very close-knit, and I know that this closeness will help everyone through this tough time.

After his diagnosis, he survived 11 months.  This was well beyond what the doctors originally imagined.  Blood transfusions were the major factor that extended his life.    

I used to think that blood transfusions were just for victims of accidents or people who had surgery.  Every day donated blood saves the lives of thousands of cancer patients, as well as those affected by other diseases.

I hope that anyone who is able to donate blood does so on a regular basis.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The perks of having a little girl

So, I've written before that I was scared to death of having a daughter.  I was so sure that I wanted a boy so that I didn't have to deal with all of the "girl" stuff (friend issues, periods, boyfriend issues, Barbie dolls, etc.)  Obviously, now that I have a daughter, I've gotten over it for the most part.  All of that girly stuff still scares the bejesus out of me, but we'll get through it.

One of the major perks about having a girl is all of the absolutely amazingly cute clothing out there for little girls.  I frequent Target and Kohl's (mostly for the prices), but I have also been known to make a pretty big dent at Old Navy.  Here are a few pictures of my favorite of Evie's outfits from the past 18 months.  Captions include the brand/store where they are from.

Dress from Kohl's
Dress from Target
Dress from Target
I realized that I don't have many good pictures of some of my favorite outfits from the past few months.  I've been really into leggings and boots.

Boot from Target, Shirt and pants from Kohl's
 This is the best picture that I have of "the boots."  (She likes to try to climb into the fridge whenever it's open.) 

I enjoy dressing my daughter up much more that I thought I would while I was pregnant.  I was horrified by all of the pink clothing back then, and the boots probably would have made me feel a little vomit-y.  I'm not a super girly-girl...but oh, how the whole world changes once you have a child!!  ;)

Want to link up your cute/favorite outfits??  Link up with Mama G at Growing up Geeky!

Friday, January 13, 2012

How a toddler is like a drunk person

Disclaimer (wow, my second disclaimer this week!):  I'm not advocating allowing a toddler to drink alcohol, nor am I advocating allowing drunk people to care for a child.  This comparison is merely for fun.  If it offends you, please lighten up.  :)

The other day M and I were talking about how, since having a baby, we don't really deal with drunk people anymore.  Our friends are kind of a rowdy bunch, and middle of the night mayhem was not uncommon at our house even a few years ago.  I also bartended for a few summers after I graduated from college, so dealing with drunk people was literally part of the job. 

Then, we really got thinking about it, and Evie sometimes reminds us of when we had to take care of intoxicated friends back in the day.  So, we decided to make a list of all of the ways our toddler reminds us of a drunk person.

She falls down a lot.

She babbles incoherently.

She is hilarious to watch.

Clothing is confusing to her.

She should not be left unattended.

She makes a mess in the kitchen.

She can be incredibly belligerent. 

She does not know how to properly operate a vehicle.

And my favorite comparison:
they think they're always right.  

Yup, Mom, you know I'm right!!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Check Out My Guest Post!

I have the honor of guest posting at "Educating Miss Amber" today!!

Amber is getting married on Saturday and I thought it would be fun to share all of the wonderful (and maybe not-so-wonderful) advice you received before your wedding.  

Head on over to her site to leave some great tips or to just wish her well on her big day!!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - Self-portraits (of Evie, not me)

Evie loves to play with the camera.  (Yes, I let her play with it.  Naughty mommy!)  She has figured out how to turn it on, and how to take a picture.  She's actually pretty good at it, except that she always wants to put her thumb in front of the lens.  :) 

Enjoy some of Evie's self-portraits narrated by Evie!

What happens when I push this button??

Holy cow!!  That flash was bright!!

Better take one more, just to make sure I get a good one!

Monday, January 9, 2012

How "Go the F--- to Sleep" makes me feel like a better parent

Disclaimer: If the f-word (among other swear words) offends you, stop reading.   

For Christmas, my aunt gave me a copy of the book Go the F--k to Sleep by Adam Mansbach.  I had heard of the book before, but I had never actually seen it or read it.  I used to cruise the message boards on the bump all the time, and I know that it caused a major ruckus over there about its appropriateness when it first came out.  I'm personally all for it.  It's written like a children's book, but it's obviously not for children.  I'm not the type of person to get all worked up over stuff like that.

Anyway, I've documented a couple of times (here and here) that Evie does not nap for me.  She still doesn't.  I fought with her over my entire Christmas break to take a nap.  One day, she was up from about 5:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. with only a 20 minute nap in the car at 9:00 because she would not go to sleep for me that afternoon.  Of course she naps great at daycare (still 2 naps, each for about an hour and a half). 

I know that I am not alone.  I know that she's manipulating me (she also naps pretty well for M).  I know that every child goes through phases like this.  And so on, and so on until I want to punch the person in the face who continues to tell me all of these things.  I've heard so much advice and tried so many things, but this book makes me feel like a better parent.

When Evie won't nap for me, and I fight with her over it, I get really down on myself.  I just make situation worse, and I beat myself up that it's obviously something I'm doing wrong.  Upon reading these lines, I actually felt less stressed. "The flowers doze low in the meadows/And high on the mountains so steep./My life is a failure, I'm a shitty-ass parent/Stop fucking with me, please, and sleep."  M even told me that he thought of me when he read that page.

I'm trying to loosen up about the whole nap thing.  In reality, the time of Evie's life where she takes a nap is just the blink of an eye.  When I've become frustrated in the past couple of weeks, I've remembered the book, and in the loudest voice my mind can yell, I said "Go the F--k to Sleep."

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Best Day Ever

In keeping with two of my  new year's resolutions, I had a very busy day.  M's family had one last Christmas celebration back in him hometown today.  It kind of came up last minute due to some health issues with his grandma (nothing serious, she just couldn't host everyone last weekend like she had originally planned.)  Our house was a wreck and I had a ton of school work to do.  M mentioned on Friday night that I should just stay home today, rather than spending 3 hours in a car round-trip, plus however much time they spent at his grandma's.

So, just to shock everyone in our house, I decided to take him up on the offer.  I spent about 6 hours in my home today, just me and the dog.  This is the longest amount of time I have been in my house by myself since July 23, 2010.  The 3 other times in the past 18 months (I'm not exaggerating, there are really only 3 other times since Evie was born) that I have been home alone have been for no longer than about 30 minutes.  That took care of one of my resolutions...I took some time for myself, and I didn't feel guilty about it.  :)

The other resolution was keeping the house decluttered.  In the 6 hours I was here by myself, I spent 3 and half of them cleaning.  I put away Christmas decorations, cleaned out the microwave (boy, did it need to be cleaned...yuck!), cleaned the showers and tubs, reorganized Evie's room, and did a once over of the rest of the house.  

While I may have made some MAJOR progress with 2 resolutions, I took a step back with another one (losing a little weight).  After I got done cleaning, I felt like I needed a reward for all of my effort and I ate my favorite meal from college.  I used to eat a noodle side dish as a meal more often than I'd like to admit. I never do this anymore; I actually ran over to the grocery store to pick this up because I had a craving.

That's right, I ate the whole thing.

I ate the entire box from one of my favorite bowls, which I still have from my freshman year of college.  It is huge and I used to fill it to the brim with cereal.  I may have indulged, but it felt so good to sit on my couch, without a toddler pulling at my leg trying to steal my food, while watching a Lifetime movie on TV.

Best bowl ever.  Yes, I have an emotional attachment to a plastic bowl.

When M and Evie got home, I felt like a new person.  I am a better mother when I take some time for myself.  I've always known this, but today really reminded me that I have to do this more often.  Here's to keeping my resolutions for a little while longer. ;)

P.S.  I've been hearing a lot about flylady.net lately.  Does anyone use her program?  Have you had luck with it?  It seems like something that could work for me, so I'd like to hear some reviews!

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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Wordless Wednesday - A year in review

I know that I'm probably a week late for this, but oh well, here it goes (in no particular order).

Brewer game in August

The holidays 2010 at my parent's house (with my sister)

Playing at the park in July

Playing in the backyard in June

Reading books in August

Crazy bathtub hair in September

Goofing around with pigtails in November
These are just a few of my favorites from the past year.  I can't wait to see how much she grows by 2013!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Breastfeeding Page

Now that I have completely weaned Miss Evie, I decided to compile all of my breastfeeding posts into one convenient place.  I created a new "Breastfeeding" tab at the top of the page for anyone who is currently breastfeeding, thinking about breastfeeding, has ever breastfed, or is just plain interested in the topic.

Most of my posts are in the latter stages of breastfeeding because Evie was 10 months old when I began this blog.  However, I also posted links to some of the websites that I found most helpful when we were first starting our breastfeeding experience. 

Evie and I were very lucky that, overall, breastfeeding went very smoothly for us and was a great experience.  I'm more than happy to share any tips, etc. with anyone who is nursing right now.  I guess I just miss posting about boobs breastfeeding.  :( 

Anyway, check out the page and let me know what you think!!

Monday, January 2, 2012

So I never make resolutions....

That's not entirely true.  I usually make New Year's resolutions, but only in my head, so there is no fear of ridicule if I don't follow through.

Well this year will be different.  I am announcing my resolutions publicly in hopes that it will help me follow through.  Resolutions are really just goals in my opinion.  I'm good about keeping goals in my professional life, but it's time to make a few changes in my personal life.  

So, here are a few of the things I'd like to accomplish in 2012:
  • Lose 9 pounds - I'll start with the one that's totally cliché.  This is the amount of weight I gained since I began cutting back on breastfeeding Evie in September.  Nine pounds is not life altering, but my jeans will fit much better without it, and I know what I have to do to lose it....(EAT. LESS. FOOD.) 
  • Keep my house in better shape - We're not dirty, just cluttered...I'd like to become uncluttered in 2012.  
  • Spend more quality time with M - We hit a rough patch through late fall and things are definitely better, but I don't want us to go through that again.  
  • Spend more quality time with myself - I am the classic case of "mother must do everything for her child and forget that her needs exist."  It's taken a toll on my mental health (and my marriage, see above) in the past few months.  I am going to take people up on their offers to help out and I'm not going to stress about it.  This goal will definitely be the hardest one for me to keep, but probably the most important one too. 
 So there you have it.  I think that I might write a few check-in posts about these, just to keep myself honest.  2011 was a year of crazy ups and downs at our house.  I was 2012 to be more ups than downs.  I think that these goals will help make that happen.

Of course, everyone is determined on January 2nd.  ;)

Does anyone out there make resolutions?  Have you ever kept them??

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