Friday, August 31, 2007

Fun Was Had By All

Last night we met some friends for dinner at my favorite Mexican restaurant, El Mezcal, to celebrate two birthdays - one 27 year-old (me) and one 21 year-old (T). I had one margarita, and I must say that since my drinking has been severely limited over the past year and a half, I've become a severe lightweight! Not that I was ever a 'heavyweight' to begin with, but after not drinking at all for 9 months, then only having a rare occasional drink since then, I notice the effects of alcohol really easily. Thankfully because my metabolism is a bit boosted right now from breastfeeding, the effects go away quickly as well. I'm just glad I didn't do anything embarrassing...

DTTF got me a 2 GB memory card for my camera. That's right. 2 GB. I popped it in my camera last night and squealed with delight when it came up saying I could take 2,128 photos! Over 2,000 photos! ON ONE CARD! I'm going to have to invest in rechargeable batteries...

He also got me the first season of Heroes on DVD. I kept catching every other episode or something, and then I'd catch the same episodes over and over again on re-runs, but I really WANTED to watch the show! So, now I can! At my leisure! Which means I can start watching an episode, and when Tree Faerie demands my attention, I can pause it. And rewind it. And fast-forward it. I'm in heaven!

My birthday was a very pleasant one right up until about 11PM. I was already in bed fast asleep when Tree Faerie once again just started screaming. I have no idea what was wrong, but I finally had to fully wake her up to get her to calm down. Once she woke up fully, she was fine. We talked and snuggled for a few minutes, then we rocked for a while until she went back to sleep. She was fine after that. Before I laid her back down, I imagined a white cocoon surrounding her and whispered the description to her, which is something I used to do myself when I'd have nightmares. I used to have a lot of recurring nightmares, most of which I can still remember in vivid detail today. I'm really starting to think these are night terrors, not separation anxiety. The way she screams really just tears my heart out. I don't know what to do except to make her as comfortable as possible and let her know I'm here and I love her.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Passing of Time

(imagine this sung to a Caribbean beat)
Happy Birthday! To me! *butt shake*
Happy Birthday! To me! *butt shake*
Happy Birthday! To me! *butt shake*
Happy Birthday! To me! *butt shake, butt shake, butt shake*

As of 1:15 PM EDT, I am 27 years old. 27. To my dear husband, who will be 38 on Sunday, I'm still a baby, but 27 is a big deal to me. That's only 3 years away from 30!

I've noticed my perceptions regarding different aspects of life have changed dramatically over the last few years. Time seems to move much quicker now. When thinking in terms of the future, a year doesn't seem so long, a month seems merely a breath away, and a week passes in a blink of the eye. I remember not too long ago it sometimes seemed that a week was nearly for-ev-er!

My perception of emotion is different now, too. I still have the same emotions, and while their strength has not changed, I now have more experience in dealing with my emotions, so they don't seem so grandiose. The example I use is when you're 6 years old, all the adults seem REALLY TALL, but once you're a teen, most of them don't seem so tall anymore. Well, when you're a teen, all your emotions seem REALLY BIG, and sometimes you just know you're not going to survive this one. But most of us do, and by the time 10 years have passed, we usually know we'll survive yet another broken heart or embarrassing moment. The emotions are still as strong, but they're not so overwhelming.

I've been asked several times this morning, "Do you feel any older?" My answer has been the same every time:

I don't feel any older than I did yesterday, but compared to ten years ago, or even a year ago, I definitely feel older. Thankfully I also feel a bit wiser.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The Sanctity of Marriage

On my way to work this morning, I heard a commercial by a Catholic marriage group that asked, "What have you done for your marriage today?" The commercial was pointing out that the little things you do for each other in the marriage count just as much if not more than the big things.

I fully agree. DTTF is my second husband. The first marriage ended for many reasons that I won't go into today, though some of those reasons were caused by those little things. With DTTF, I try to make sure he knows daily how much I appreciate him. It takes a conscious effort, but because our relationship is so important to me, it's definitely worth the time and effort.

I try to spice things up a bit by telling him in different ways how much I love and appreciate him, though some things are also routine. I ALWAYS kiss him goodbye in the morning, just in case that's the last time I see him (we'll go into my mortality and morbidity issues another time). I always try to remember to kiss him when I first see him in the evening, though there are days when we're both running so fast that we forget. As soon as we remember, we make sure to share that moment. Sometimes I just make him stop and I give him a huge hug. Sometimes I rub his feet. Sometimes I send him an email for no reason other than to tell him how wonderful he is.

He reciprocates the attention, so it's not just one-sided. He does little things for me to let me know how much he loves and appreciates me, as well. All the things listed above work for me, but he'll also suggest Mexican for dinner sometimes because he knows just how much I love El Mezcal, the local Mexican restaurant we frequent. Recently he's started occasionally taking care of Tree Faerie for an hour or so after her first nap on the weekends, during which time I get a nap. That is one of the greatest things he could do for me right now. He's not the type to buy flowers, but he gets me other things, like books, movies, music, shirts, video games, and other things that he knows I'll love.

By showing each other on a regular basis how we feel, we keep our relationship fresh and whole. We make sure to take time out to talk on a regular basis. We can tell if we've gone too long without sitting down and talking because our schedules will start to veer from each other. This is also his second marriage, so we're both trying to keep ourselves from repeating history. So far it's working beautifully. I love DTTF more than I thought was possible, and that love keeps growing more and more every day, even after 6 years. I'm looking forward to spending many, many more years with him by my side.

*****

Switching gears... Tree Faerie slept last night, too, only waking at 3 and 5 before waking for good just before 7. There was no screaming. I did a bit of research yesterday after posting, and it is very possible that it is a form of separation anxiety, but it could also be night terrors. Treating it as separation anxiety, I'm combining several of the suggestions I read yesterday. One suggestion was to make sure to spend plenty of snuggle/cuddle/affection time together between picking her up from daycare and bedtime. Another suggestion was to help her develop an attachment to a snuggly, or to help her find comfort in other things.

Last night was DTTF's first night of classes, so it was just the two of us. We had dinner and nursing and playtime galore. Lots of snuggles, kisses, and giggles were shared. We had a bath then started our bedtime routine. Just as we got to the point of turning out lights, DTTF got home, so we stayed up a little longer to give them some play time. 20 minutes or so later, she was expressing her desire to go to bed. While I was nursing her down, we snuggled with a flannel receiving blanket, and when I put her in bed, the blanket went with her. She slept with it all night long.

I got the idea to use the receiving blanket because I send one with her to daycare every day that has my scent on it because she's breastfed. If they don't hold the blanket while feeding her, she just doesn't take her bottles well. When they lay her down for a nap, she snuggles that same blanket. When she's at home, we have several of these blankets in use for playing and snuggling and such, so I just used the one that was already in her bed. I usually keep it in the corner of the bed and cover her with it if it's chilly. She plays with it when she wakes up, and the night before last, she fidgeted and wiggled around until she was on the blanket.

The other great thing about using several different blankets is that I should ALWAYS be able to have one handy. I've got my fingers crossed that this works out, and hopefully it's not actually night terrors.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Is it really only Tuesday?

This morning we had Tree Faerie's follow-up appointment for her ear infection. The good news is that it's completely gone. The bad news is that it's not the cause of her (or actually - my) lack of sleep. The doctor thinks it's separation anxiety. I'm not so sure.

The reason I'm not so sure is because Tree Faerie doesn't seem to be fully waking up during these screaming sessions, and she continues to scream even after I pick her up. Sometimes she'll go ahead and settle back down after a moment, but usually I have to nurse her, though sometimes she's not even interested in that. She flings her head back and arches her back when she screams. I keep thinking she's in pain, and I don't think it's just teething because it happens whether or not I give her teething tablets. She has yet to cut her first tooth, though.

Last night she actually slept. She had one of her screaming fits about 10:30 or so (she'd only been in bed for about 30 minutes), which DTTF tried to console her because I was in the bathroom at the time. I ended up nursing her again, and even then she was still fussing at first. Once I got her back asleep and in her bed, she slept until about 3:30 before waking up to nurse. She woke without screaming this time, though, and she was actually awake to nurse. Sleep came quickly, though, and we were soon back in bed. I didn't sleep very well because I'm so used to her waking often that I just didn't sleep very deeply. I would definitely call last night a good night.

Any help anyone has to offer, please, PLEASE feel free to throw advice my way. I'm listening.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Color of Life

This weekend had a lot of highlights and colorful moments. My friend KH came over and helped me finish painting Tree Faerie's bedroom, so now I just have to do a couple of touch-ups and hang the border before we can furnish it. Technically, she did most of the work. I wrangled Tree Faerie a lot. I greatly appreciate her hard work, though, otherwise it would have taken me forever to complete. I plan to move us all upstairs before the end of the year, so I need to get on the ball with finishing things up. Once I move us upstairs, Tree Faerie will be in her own room instead of ours. I think that separation will be harder on me than it is on her. I may not get much sleep for the first few weeks.

Granted, it's not like I'm getting much sleep NOW with her in the same room. Her follow-up appointment for her ear infection is tomorrow morning, and I'm not sure that it's gone. I didn't get to give her the last 3 doses of the antibiotic, though, because I threw it in the floor Friday night. It was a complete accident - I forgot I'd already shaken it and had the lid unscrewed but still on top of the bottle. I was talking to DTTF and picked up the bottle to shake it, and somehow it ended up in the floor, pink stuff everywhere. I even found a drop in the dining room! Needless to say, there was enough for that night's dose, but no more. Tree Faerie is still really fussy at night, though. She keeps waking up screaming, or at least she's waking me up by screaming. I don't think she's fully waking up.

Tree Faerie is clapping now. It's really cute to watch her. Last night DTTF was playing a clapping game with her where she was actually mimicing his claps. She stopped when he tried to show me, though. My little girl is famous for NOT doing things on command. She's very headstrong.

Blowing kisses is another new thing she's doing. She doesn't use her hand or anything, just makes the kissy-noises like DTTF and I do. Her kisses, even the blown ones, are categorized under The Sweetest Things in the World.

She's also pulling up on the furniture more and beginning to navigate the room that way. She doesn't go far, but she's doing very well. She even stood holding only my pinky finger for stability last night. I was amazed! I'm constantly amazed with this child, though.

DTTF thinks Tree Faerie is spoiled, which in a way I can agree, but I don't really see it as such a bad thing. I'm working on only picking her up when she's expressing a need, not a want, but the child is attached to me a lot. I always want to be able to provide her with the security she needs from me, though. I know she'll have to be secure within herself, too, but that feeling of security has to start somewhere. And I kind of like having her attached to me most of the time. The weekends are the only days I get to spend ALL day with her, and this weekend I didn't have her attached to me as much because we were painting and such. I feel like it was a bit incomplete, like something was missing. I didn't get enough snuggle time, I guess.

Apparently she did, though, because this morning when I dropped her off at daycare, she refused to give me a kiss. She didn't mind me kissing on her, and she even blew me a kiss before I left, but I didn't get any wet smooches like she usually gives me. Maybe she's saving them all for this afternoon.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Fabulous Friday

I feel great today! I’m finally in my pair of pre-pregnancy khakis and look good! I’ve been able to put them on for about a month now, but they didn’t look good. Now they look good. These are my last pair of pre-pregnancy pants I had to fit into before allowing myself to go buy new clothes, because I simply was not going to buy anything bigger than my pre-pregnancy clothes. I need to go buy about 3 new shirts – a black, a red, and a white. I wouldn’t mind a new pink one, too, and maybe a new pair of pants (which would give me 4 pairs of work pants). I really want to stop wearing the maternity shirts, though, but right now I don’t have enough regular shirts that fit the breastfeeding chest to be able to do that. I also need to go through my clothes again and get rid of the things I don’t see me wearing anymore, which would be a lot at this point. My criteria – must be comfortable, unstained, and can fit me now, plus I have to WANT to wear it. That’s going to GREATLY reduce the amount of clothing I have.

*TMI warning on*
Tree Faerie woke me up at 5 this morning, and I've been awake ever since. She woke me up because her body is trying to re-learn how to have a BM. When she was exclusively on breast milk, her BMs were always loose. Now that she's eating a lot more solid foods, her BMs are considered "normal" but much, much thicker than she's ever experienced. I feel so sorry for her when she's having trouble with it. This morning, she just keep screaming at me occasionally like she was saying, "Mommy, fix it!" In between the screaming moments when she was actually awake, she'd give me kisses, which was really sweet but very confusing. I finally put her in her Bounce Bounce Baby chair. Her little face turned almost purple, but she finally went and wasn't screaming about it. I actually brought the chair into the bathroom with me while I took a shower. Usually she sits in a pink bouncy seat while I take a shower, but I received a bit of information yesterday from her daycare teacher about bounce chairs and babies' BMs, so I figured I'd give her time in the chair.
*TMI warning off*

Tomorrow morning, my sewing buddy KH is going to become my home improvement buddy. She's coming over tomorrow morning to help me finish painting Tree Faerie's room. I have all the stuff, but I just haven't had the time/energy/help/gumption to finish it. We did paint one coat of Kilz and one coat of paint when we first picked up the stuff to do her room, but that's as far as we got. I'm looking forward to getting it done, because I plan on having her moved into her room and us moved upstairs next to her before the year is out. We won't be working on it too late, though, because she and I both have other plans tomorrow evening.

I have not started actually writing the story, though I have a lot more worked out in my head. I just actually have to put it down in pixels.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Let's Talk Numbers For A Moment

Forgive me for a moment, but I work with numbers daily, and sometimes those numbers help me see things from a different perspective. :) Sorry. I'm a geek. Or a nerd. You pick.

I started this blog on 7/2/07. In that time, I've written 33 posts. Those 33 posts, including titles, come to 16,275 words (I copied them into Word and made it count them for me). That averages out to about 493 words per post. I'm impressed and surprised. It may just be that easy to write a book! Granted, I write about a different topic every day, and I usually only post during the week.

Jess Riley commented that if you write a page a day, then you'll have an entire book in a year. If you figure that the average page is 400 words long, then I've already written almost 41 pages. Another way to look at it - the average book (young adults and adults) is about 50,000 words long, which means I've already written 1/3rd of a book, or 32.5%.

I guess I'm trying to convince myself that this is really possible to finish. I know there are thousands of writers out there, and they all finished their books, but it's a bit different when you're looking at yourself wondering if you can actually write a book.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

When We Grow Up

What did you want to be when you grew up? Are you doing it? Antique Mommy has a great post today about that exact thing, and it, with a little help from Manic Mom's post, inspired a lot of thinking.

I've ALWAYS wanted to be a mom, but that's the only thing that I've consistently wanted to be. And now I'm a mom. I love it, just as I knew I would and despite the lack of sleep and lack of personal time.

The other thing I wanted to be that I still have the desire for - a writer. When I was a kid, I used to write short stories, poetry, and even started a novel when I was 13, though I only wrote about 7 chapters. I wrote it in pencil in a wide-ruled spiral-bound notebook, and my handwriting is so atrocious that by the time I was working on the 7th chapter, I couldn't read the first.

Well, now I type. I type MUCH faster and, of course, more clearly than I write with a pen. What's stopping me from writing a book? I can type almost as fast as I can think and still be able to READ what I typed, whereas when I'm writing by hand, if I'm on a roll, it takes an interpreter to figure out what I wrote. Seriously. And even then, they're guessing.

I have a couple of book ideas rolling around in my head. I might as well spit them out, let them have a bit of water/sunshine/love, and watch them grow just to see what they become.

What's stopping me, you ask? Laziness. Fear of failure. Fear of success. Fear that I won't complete yet another project.

I use the excuse that I don't know how to start writing a book. That's B.S. I know how to start writing. First, I have to get the idea out. I just don't feel like I know where to take it from there. I've done copy-editing, so I know that most books go through many changes before being published. I am just afraid that I won't be able to get it to the point where it can even be SUBMITTED to a publishing company.

Okay, now that I've exposed my fears, maybe seeing them in black-and-white will help me overcome them and get motivated enough to start writing...

*****
Other things I've wanted to be when I grew up (in no particular order):
Actor
Singer
Musician
Dancer
Marine Biologist
Medical Doctor
Librarian
Veteranarian
Massage Therapist
Naturopath
Lawyer
President of the United States
Herbalist

The ones I still have interest in are blue, and those are things I can still do while writing. You know what's not on there? My current profession. Nor is the profession I was going to get a degree in. I chose the degree to persue based on practicality, not what I want. I chose the degree because it's safe, and there's always a need for it, which means job security. I think I'll still get that degree because that degree can easily lead into other degrees, but I think I will also go ahead and start writing.

Bounding, Binding, and Bonding

My friend from Upward Bound will not be coming to visit this weekend. This is the second time we've cancelled this little visit, but apparently it's just not in the stars yet. We talk through email all the time, but it would be nice to get some face time in.

She and I did some wild and crazy things when we were together. I've already mentioned the gluing quarters adventure. We also went skinny-dipping by The Belle, tried to get blown away by a tornado, and took a road trip to Raton, NM, to visit her cousins. I probably wouldn't have done any of those things if it hadn't been for her.

I remember when we first actually met face-to-face. It was the summer after our sophomore year in high school, and we were slotted to be roommates for the 6-week summer Upward Bound program. We had seen each other at least once a month for the past 10 months, but we never actually talked. In fact, when I was told the names of my roommates, I had no idea who they were, but I was one of the "lucky" people who had 2 roommates instead of just one.

When I was lugging my stuff up to the room, my roommates were nowhere to be seen. Their presence was only evident by the mounds of stuff already taking over two of the three beds. They had left me the bed by the door.

After my mom left and I was getting settled in, they came back up to the room. Introductions were made all around (BJ - my current friend, and BP - the other girl), and I found out they went to the same high school, so they already knew each other. Now, I'm a people person and normally very cheerful, and when I get nervous, I tend to rattle. I was really trying not to rattle at them, but they kept exchanging looks that were hard for me to decipher, so I became even more nervous.

The time came for the welcoming barbecue (can you tell I grew up in the south?), and as we were heading down the stairs, BJ asked me, "Aren't you a cheerleader?" I laughed and told her, "No WAY*! What in the world would give you that impression?"

"You're just so peppy and cheerful, we just figured you were a cheerleader," she said. I think she and BP actually relaxed a bit after that, because we actually held a real converstation for the first time on the walk to the barbecue.

From that moment on, BJ and I developed a great friendship. For a few years after I left for college, we didn't talk much, but I found her on MySpace, and we've been talking ever since. Of course, we've been talking through regular email because I'm rarely on MySpace. BP and I didn't develop a close relationship, though we did have fun hanging out.

*No offense meant to any cheerleaders, but I was a band geek and didn't want to be a cheerleader.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Family Ties that Bind and Sometimes Bunch

Last night, Tree Faerie slept like normal. I think she fussed around 11, but all I had to do was pick her up and rock her for a few minutes and she was back out. I didn't even fully wake up. The next time she woke up was after 4, and she just wanted a snack, then she woke up at 6:30 as happy as a bug in a rug. She woke me up by saying "Hey" in her own special way. I guess I use the word hey a lot, because she says it EXACTLY like I do. So, things are better in that regard today, but it seems to vary day-to-day. I FEEL better, anyway. At least, I'm not as grumpy.

As soon as I finish the fashion panel (which won't take long once I actually get the chance to do it), I promise to post pictures of the mei tai carrier since several of you have asked. Here's the pattern I modified, in case you're interested. I only made minor modifications to the straps, but otherwise I followed the pattern pretty closely.

In other news, I talked to my oldest little sister last night for the first time in like 5 years or something crazy like that. I was just scrolling through my phone book and decided to call on a whim. I got her number from her mother several months ago, but her mother told me to text instead of call because my sister worked crazy hours. Well, I don't text. Period. So I called.

I actually have 2 sisters; both are half-sisters by my biological father and both are younger than I am (I'm the oldest of all my siblings). We didn't see a whole lot of each other growing up because my father was in the Air Force and was limited on his time off and such. I haven't seen my youngest little sister in about 14 years, and I haven't seen my oldest little sister in about 9 years.

I have their mother's contact information and occasionally email or call her to catch up on the girls, but I've admitted before that I'm really bad at keeping up with long-distance relationships of any kind. I don't talk to our father because I'm done with trying to build a relationship with someone I honestly don't like as a person. He doesn't try to contact me, either, so it's a pretty equal relationship. I did send him a Yule (Christmas) card this year, but I didn't get a response. Thankfully, I didn't expect to.

Now that I'm thinking about it, I wonder if he's still married to the last wife I knew he married. She was his 5th wife, I think. She may have been his 6th. Anyway, she finally birthed him a son, whom I have not even met yet. I guess the boy would be about 6 years old now. I'd like to meet him someday.

To get back on track - I talked to my oldest little sister last night, and I must say, it's almost like talking to myself. We have almost identical voices and tonal inflections. We even use some of the same phrases. We're both Wiccan, and I discovered last night that we're both tattooed and pierced (the only ones I have left are the ones in my ears). We grew up in entirely different worlds, yet we're a lot alike. We even look almost identical and always have. One of my mother's favorite stories about that is when my father got back from Desert Storm, he brought my sisters up to visit me, and my sister was sitting in my chair facing partially away from my mom, and she really thought it was me and kept trying to get my attention. Only when Mom walked over to my sister did she realize her mistake. I still find that funny, especially since my sister is not her daughter.

We hung up last night with her promising to call in the next few days to exchange email addresses. I guess if I haven't heard from her after a week, I'll try again. It would be nice to reconnect.

Monday, August 20, 2007

So Much for Sleep...

I'm glad I got plenty of sleep on Thursday night, because that's about the last good night of sleep I got, with last night being the worst in the past few days. Tree Faerie was up screaming every 45 minutes last night. EVERY 45 MINUTES, folks! I'm wiped today!

I think her tummy hurts from the amoxicillin she's on for the ear infection. Last time she was on the amoxicillin, she ended up throwing up after the 4th day of taking it, so we moved straight on to the shots. Well, this morning's dose counted as the 4th full day of doses (8 doses total). We'll see how she does today. I don't like holding my child down to give her this medicine, but if I don't hold her down, she spits it all back out. She's even figured out how to spit it out while on her back while I'm holding her head! It sprays up and out when she does it. My new goal is to try to get her to swallow before she can move it to the front, but I'm having the hardest time finding "the spot" under her chin that makes her swallow. I hit it sometimes, but most of the time it takes forever. Also, if I squirt too much medicine in her mouth and it goes back, she gags on it, which I do not like, but if I squirt too little, there's not enough to make her NEED to swallow.

DTTF has been wonderful with helping me administer the medicine. Last night, though, as he was holding her arms so she couldn't push me away, he was hiding his head behind me. I thought he was just having a hard time because she was screaming mad at me and he was still having to hold her. This was not the case, folks.

DTTF was hiding behind me so that when she spit it back out, it wouldn't get on him.

What a trooper. It did make me laugh when he told me, though, which actually made the medicine-giving-torture-treatment go a lot better.

I did actually accomplish things this weekend, though not many. I finished sewing the main part of the mei tai carrier I'm making, which meant I could actually try it out. I LOVE it! I tied it on the front and inserted Tree Faerie, and it was comfy! I slid her around to my back and tied it, and it was still comfy! Then last night while I was fixing dinner, Tree Faerie decided she'd had enough "Off-Mommy" time and wanted "On-Mommy" time, so I tied her on and slipped her around to my hip, and it was STILL comfy! I still have to make a "fashion panel" or two, but the fashion panel doesn't offer much more than decoration. It made me feel really good when DTTF said that it looked like a professional made it.

Tree Faerie has now tried all of the Stage 1 foods, so we're moving on to Stage 2 as soon as I go to the store. She really seemed to like the squash, and I mixed it with rice cereal and water. It was a lot thicker than the other Stage 1 foods, and even when I added the cereal and water, it was still thick. She didn't seem to have a problem with it, though, so I feel better about moving on to Stage 2. Just a couple of weeks ago she was gagging if her cereal was too thick, but I guess since I've been having her daycare give her fruit and oatmeal in the morning, she's gotten used to it.

When Tree Faerie was eating the squash last night, she was actually opening her mouth for more before I offered more. I made the comment aloud that she really seems to like the squash, to which DTTF had to chime in from the living room something along the lines of we're ganging up on him. See, DTTF is not a big fan of vegetables. In fact, he would probably be insulted if anyone insinuated that he was in any way a fan of vegetables. He'll eat corn and mashed potatoes. I discovered recently that he loves watermelon. He's not the type of person who'll go out of his way to include vegetables in his meal. (When I talk about veggies, I'm referring to the green, orange, or red stuff, not potatoes.) In fact, there are many veggies that he simply refuses to eat right now. I've put a rule in place that will be enforced with the time comes, though. The rule is that whatever I tell Tree Faerie she has to eat at least 3 bites of, he has to do the same, and he can't drown it in A-1 sauce, because that's just as bad as drowning it in catsup.

He's agreed to the rule, but just laughed at me when I suggested that he go ahead and try to eat the veggies I make so that he can get used to it. :)

Friday, August 17, 2007

I <3 Infant's Motrin!

I actually got the equivalent of 8 hours of sleep last night! I don't know what to do with myself! Here's what happened:

After DTTF helped me give Tree Faerie her antibiotics and the Motrin, she nursed for a bit before I gave her a bath. After the bath, we did the Baby Rub, story, and then nursed to sleep. I had her in bed by 10 PM, and I was in bed by 10:30. At 10:40, Tree Faerie woke me up and was sitting up in her bed fussing. I picked her up and rocked her, but she kept throwing her head back. I tried nursing her, but she threw her head back. I tried everything I could think of in a span of 5 minutes, but she just kept throwing her head back. Finally I just put her back in her bed, and you know what? She was OUT! I have no idea what that was, though I discovered the other night that I have a sleep-crawler. Maybe I have a sleep-fusser, too? There's no surprise there, since both DTTF and I were sleepwalkers, and I still talk in my sleep.

After that, she slept until 5:30, then after a quick nurse, she slept until 7 AM. I could hardly believe it!

Needless to say, we're both feeling great today, and we're currently sitting here waiting for the AC inspector people to show up. (Yes, it's still working, but the state has to come inspect it. Cross your fingers for a green sticker instead of a red one.)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

It's the Ears Again

My munchkin has an ear infection. Again. At least this time I caught it before it got bad. She had a runny nose, but that's cleared up. On Tuesday night, I noticed her lymp node under her right ear was swollen, so I gave her Tylenol and planned to call the doctor on Wednesday. Well, when she got up on Wednesday, it wasn't swollen anymore, so I didn't call the doctor.

Yesterday afternoon when I picked Tree Faerie up from daycare, I could tell it was swollen again and she was fussy. I gave her Tylenol again and we went off to Taekwando. She was fussy every time she got still or bored, but otherwise she was fine. The swelling did not go down, though.

After we got home from Taekwando, I attempted to put her to bed. I nursed her to sleep and put her in her bed, then grabbed my portion of the delicious thin-crust DiGorno DTTF had popped in the oven while I was putting Tree Faerie to bed. I was 3 bites away from finishing when I heard her call out.

When I got into the bedroom, she was sitting up and waving her arms. I rocked and nursed her back to sleep, then went back to the living room to visit with DTTF. A few minutes later, she was back up. This time I tried just rocking her back to sleep. She'd doze off for a few minutes at a time, but each time she woke back up fussy.

Now here's where I need to tell you that I have a wonderfully happy baby. Tree Faerie's scale of fussiness cannot be compared to a 'normal' baby. She just doesn't get upset easily or very often. She may protest some things, but as long as she's entertaining herself or being entertained, she's fine, even when you KNOW she's in pain.

It was getting close to the time when I could give her another dose of Tylenol, but when I've got swollen lymph nodes, I prefer to take ibuprofen instead of acetaminophen. I called the after-hours nurse to ask her about it, because I've never given Tree Faerie ibuprofen. We were given the okay, so I gave Tree Faerie her dose with DTTF's help, then I settled back down to rock her. When I'm trying to rock her to sleep when she's not feeling good, I put her in my lap facing the television. She takes after her daddy, because it doesn't really matter what's on, but the TV distracts her enough that she can go to sleep. DTTF is pretty much the same way.

Once the ibuprofen kicked in, Tree Faerie slept for 5 1/2 hours! She hasn't slept that long in weeks! And she seemed to feel much better this morning. I still took her to the doctor, and the doctor confirmed she had an ear infection.

But get this - her ear infection is in her left ear, but it's her right lymph node that is swollen. Who knows...

Anyway, we've got the amoxycillan prescription and will be picking it up this afternoon. We'll also be watching for a sensitivity to it, because last time she either had a stomach bug or a sensitivity and was throwing up, so we did the shots last time. And we also have instructions to give her the ibuprofen before bed for a couple of nights until the antibiotics have kicked in.

Wish us luck.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Tuesday's Truths

So, I never got around to posting yesterday. I've got a lot going through my head, and I think I'm just afraid to see some of it in black and white.

This weekend I actually managed to watch a couple of movies, get about 75% of my mei tai carrier sewn, and wrangle in a visit with the MIL plus nookie! (not at the same time, of course) Tree Faerie is actually sleeping better, too, ever since I started giving her teething tablets before bed. Apparently when she's up during the day, there is usually enough activity around her that she doesn't really pay attention to her gums, except that she is constantly chewing hard on everything. She still doesn't have any teeth showing, but it's not for lack of trying. After I get her to sleep and she's no longer chewing on things, apparently that's when they hurt the most. So, since I've been giving her the teething tablets before bed, I've managed to get more sleep. It's still hard to drag myself out of bed in the mornings, but at least it doesn't take nearly as long for the fuzziness to clear from my head.

My kiddo has become more mobile, which seems to go hand-in-hand with bumps and bruises. Last Tuesday at daycare, she was crawling on the tile portion of the floor and one of her arms just kind of gave out and she bumped her head on the floor and got a bruise. This is completely believable since I've seen her do it on the carpet at home so many times. It's like she's trying to move her arm forward but doesn't realize it's the one supporting her weight. Then on Friday at daycare, she was pulling everything off the bottom shelf of the short bookcase when she slipped and bumped her head in the middle. Still believable, but that was two incedent reports in one week. I was starting to get a little worried, but really tried not to show it yet. I prefer to analize the situation before reacting so that I'm not just flying off the handle for no reason.

Friday night at home, we're hanging out in the living room watching Doctor Who and Tree Faerie is trying to pull up on the couch. Of course she slips and bonks her head on the other side! Poor baby! Not 30 minutes later, what does she do? She bonks her head on the same spot as her first bruise last Tuesday!

So she now has a crown of bruises. And it seems like she'll continue to have a crown of bruises because just before I got to the daycare yesterday afternoon, she hit her head on the carpetted part of the floor there. She was still upset when I got to the classroom, and of course there's a bruise there now.

I'm beginning to wonder if maybe she's developing another ear infection, because she has had a runny nose (clear, not green or yellow) for over a week, and she does occasionally pull on her ear. I know that some bumps and bruises are normal, especially since she's crawling and trying to pull up, but seriously, enough is enough. Her entire forehead is just going to be purple forever! I'm going to give it a few more days before I do anything more. Her ear isn't red when she's not pulling on it, so I don't know... I'm just trying to cover all my bases.

And I really don't think it's abuse or neglect or anything at the daycare, because they really don't seem to be trying to cover something up, and I'm usually really good at picking up on those types of things.

Speaking of picking up on those types of things, I'm currently struggling with how to tell a friend that his choices are what got him into this mess, and now he needs to buck up and take responsibility for those choices, ESPECIALLY because there are children involved. Granted, I'm beginning to think that the best thing for those kids would be for someone else to take care of the kids besides the parents. I don't know how to say that, either, without just coming out and saying, "What the f... were you thinking?!?"

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Friday, August 10, 2007

Zombie

Brains! Brains! (They're coming to get you, Barbara...)

Once again, I'm suffering from sleep deprivation. Last night I had Tree Faerie in bed by 10 and I was in bed by 10:30 and fell asleep within moments. Several times Tree Faerie woke up fussing, so I would get up, nurse her for a moment while I dozed in the rocking chair, then put her back in her bed and I'd fall into mine. DTTF stayed up watching a documentary on old punk music, and when he came to bed she started stiring again. I remember thinking, "Please don't fuss. Please don't fuss. Please don't fuss." Apparently I was actully whispering it, because as I started to get up to pick Tree Faerie up, DTTF stopped me and suggested I wait for a few minutes to see if she'd go back to sleep on her own.

Well, I didn't bite his head off or rip his balls off. Instead I lay there and listened to her steadily get more fussy while I became more and more awake. When I looked at the clock, it was only 11:59PM!

And Tree Faerie was just getting louder.

I picked her up and she was still fussing. As more and more of my cognitive thinking skills woke up, I realized she's throwing her head back like she does when she's teething. We fumbled our way to the kitchen and I shook out two teething tablets. Usually she'll open right up for the teething tablets, but she wasn't fully awake, so she kept turning away from me. I finally managed to get the first one in her mouth and pressed on her gums.

She immediately stopped fussing! She even opened her mouth willingly for the second one and chewed on my finger for a moment. Then she laid her head on my shoulder and went back to sleep. I very carefully put her back in her bed and fell into mine next to my dear hubby. I told him thank you for making me wake up, because that's how I realized what the actual problem was. That's also when I realized I'd been up 5 times in an hour and a half! Because I wasn't fully waking up before, I thought she was at least sleeping 45 minutes to an hour before waking up. Nope. She was waking up more like every 15 to 30 minutes!

She slept for about 3 1/2 hours before fussing again, Then another 1 1/2 hours, then an hour. I finally convinced her to go ahead and wake fully up a little after 7 AM, which is about the time she usually gets up anyways. Once she was awake, she was happy!

I dream of the night I get 6 straight hours of sleep again. She's let me have a few since she was born, but not many.

In other news, my sewing buddy KH came over yesterday evening to help me with making the mei tai. This is my first sewing project since Tree Faerie came along, so KH is helping to make sure I actually get the project finished, which I GREATLY appreciate. She brought over her cutting mat, guide ruler, and rotary cutter to make things easier, and boy, did they! I now have three new things added to my wish list! All my lines are straight and even! Everything is nice and neat! I'm spoiled now!

Tree Faerie, on the other hand, was worse than my cat Storm! Every time I've ever had a sewing project, Storm would always take over my fabric while I was laying it out or chase the measuring tape and try to escape with it. It definitely made the projects more interesting.

Well, last night, Storm was hiding, but Tree Faerie was more than willing to take up the slack. She wanted the fabric. She wanted the rotary cutter. She wanted the instructions. She crawled into the center of the cutting mat, grabbed the tape measure, sat up, and started chewing on the tape measure. It would have helped if we had not been on the floor working on the project. (I need a dining room table!)

We got everything but the panel piece cut out before Tree Faerie's bedtime. We figured we'd save the sewing for another day. I'll probably work on it some this weekend, depending on whether or not I get any sleep, but it will have to be while Tree Faerie is sleeping, napping, or in the play pen. I'm looking forward to having it done, because I'm hoping I'll be a lot more productive if I don't have to do everything one-handed.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Drawing a Blank, Then Total Randomness

I've shared this joke from TTQ's blog last Thursday with the Famn-Damily because that's exactly how I feel today.

Oh, and my sewing buddy is coming over tonight so we may tackle making a mei tai. I may have delusions of grandeur, but I have been fantasizing about being able to strap Tree Faerie to my back when she feels she must be attached to me.

Speaking of Tree Faerie - yesterday I had the best surprise when I picked her up from daycare. Every day when I walk in the door, she grins and cackles at me, and if I don't pick her up immediately, she demands my attention. Yesterday, I walked into daycare and was standing behind another mom, so Tree Faerie hadn't seen me yet. I peeked around the other mom and said, "Psst! Tree Faerie!" in a loud whisper.

She whipped her head around so fast I thought she was just going to keep spinning! She grinned and squealed, then immediately started barrelling towards me as fast as she could crawl, right over the other mom's foot! She raced right up to me and attempted to crawl up my leg. When I picked her up, she cackled loudly then gave me several big, wet kisses. It was the sweetest thing!

Later yesterday evening, I left her playing in the living room floor with DTTF nearby while I started dinner. I heard her making the something-is-not-going-my-way noise, and when she didn't stop, I went to investigate. Apparently the thing that was not going her way was that I was not in the room, for once again she raced towards me. I didn't pick her up this time, partially because dinner was not ready and partially because once she got to me, she seemed pretty content to just play with my foot. When I walked back to the kitchen, she followed until she got distracted by DTTF's taekwando belt and pads.

I did eventually have to pick her up for a few minutes, then DTTF had to actually server dinner, but we're getting better at getting things done. I am so thankful for my wonderful husband and fabulous daughter.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

And She's Gone

As of this morning, the Random Faerie Family is heading back to Denver, and while the parting last night was a sorrowful one, for some reason I actually feel closer to them. Specifically, I feel closer to Random Faerie.

When they left for Denver the first time a year and a half ago, I was afraid our relationship would cease to exist. I had a thousand reasons for this fear, including my lack of ability to keep up long-distance relationships. I figured she would be in a new city making new friends and wouldn't have time to talk to me. During my lowest self-loathing points, I thought she may even be glad to be rid of me.

We occasionally emailed back and forth, but conversations seemed strained. I would write her a long email to which I would never receive a response, so later I would write an email just asking about the main point of my email. I would usually get a response to that email and we would carry on a short conversation. I finally got to the point where I stopped trying to initiate email conversations unless I had specific questions. Each time they came to town, they always made a point to see us, but when 1,000 miles were between us, we could have been separated by an entire hemisphere.

I realized over the course of their visit many reasons for this feeling of separation. For example:

Reason 1: I would wait until I had a lot to say, then write a really long email including many topics, points, and questions. She, in turn, would begin a response to my novel-length email, responding to each topic, point, and question. Inevitably during the course of her response, she would have to walk away from the computer, often simply saving it as a draft to finish later. Because life is what it is, the draft would often never get finished. She would sometimes even think she'd sent it and wonder why *I* hadn't responded. Thus, silence ensued.

Reason 2: Because my emails were often met with silence, I stopped writing to her unless it was a specific question or point. I didn't want to seem bothersome, especially because I didn't think she missed our conversations as much as I missed them. From some of her statements over the course of her visit, in some ways I think she felt the same way.

Reason 3: We each figured the other was too busy.

While she was here, I found out she really has missed me and missed our conversations. This new-found knowledge inspired me to find ways to fix this feeling of separation. First off, I will start emailing more often as the news happens or as the thoughts occur, and she'll start sending the emails signed off with, "More later," instead of saving them as a draft. I won't worry about being bothersome anymore, either. I won't let life get in the way of keeping a highly-valued friendship strong. I will find a way to go visit her, as well.

She and her boys were here for about 10 days. We saw each other several times during their visit, and each time I relished in the comfort of our relationship. With no other female friend have I ever been so comfortable to just hang out or so free to say whatever is on my mind. It was amazing how quickly the old comfort came back.

When we said our goodbyes last night, it was all I could do to hold the tears back. As soon as their vehicle pulled away from the curb, I started losing my grip on the reins. When DTTF and I were safely back in the living room, I pulled him close and sobbed. After I cried for a few minutes, I felt better having simply let it out. He asked me several times if I was okay, and I could honestly answer that yes, I'm okay.

The difference this time is knowing that she really does miss me, which gives me more resolve to keep the relationship strong. It's no longer just for me, just my needs.

It's for both of us.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

7 Months

Dear Tree Faerie,

Yesterday was your 7-month birthday, and it seems the older you get, the faster time flies for me. I really wish sometimes that it would slow down some to make it easier to savor the moments, but I'm also looking forward to the years ahead.

This month you've mastered crawling and have started pulling up. Now I can no longer put you in the living room floor and walk away because you are no longer contained by the furniture. You have figured out where the escape route is and use it regularly. You chase the cat. You chase your daddy. You chase me. I chase you to keep you out of things you don't necessarily need to be into.

With your new-found freedom, I have to stop myself sometimes and evaluate whether or not you're actually in danger. With some things it's very clear why I will not allow you to chew on them, such as electrical cords. Other things, like your daddy's sparring pads, I think, "Ewww! Gross!" but I let you chew on them anyway because I know he keeps them clean and he didn't take them away from you, so apparently he doesn't think you'll damage them.

Also with your new-found freedom, I've learned to put you in the spare playpen when I need to get something done, such as laundry or cooking. You're usually pretty content to play in there for at least 15 minutes, sometimes 30 if I keep proving to you that I'm right there. I'm slowly starting to get more organized and a little more on top of things because of it.

You've had several new food experiences recently. I must say, since I had your daycare start feeding you cereal in the morning, it's been much easier to feed you your new foods at night. You've had sweet potatoes and watermelon, and last night you tried green beans for the first time. I'm not sure if those are going to go over well, though, because this morning at 5:30 AM you had a tummy ache. After passing really stinky gas, you felt better, but you were still a little fussy. I find it amazing you can fuss without being fully awake - asleep enough that you only fuss every other minute, but awake enough that I can't put you down. At least you're willing to try the new foods, though.

Speaking of sleep, we discovered this month that you don't sleep well when you're too warm. Our air conditioner was out for several weeks, during which time you only slept an hour or two at a time. I was very zombie-like from lack of sleep. Thankfully you have a wonderful daddy who was very forgiving of my attempts to eat his brains.

You've also been going through a bit of separation anxiety. You're fine without me as long as you know I'm nowhere nearby, but if you know I'm there, you want to be on me. I've decided to go ahead and make a mei tai, specifically this one with a few modifications, so that I can put you on my back instead of my front. I currently have a Jeep (tm) front-pack carrier, but when I wear you on my front, I still have to do things one-sided to keep you out of whatever I'm doing. I think being able to put you on my back might make some things, like vacuuming or washing dishes, a bit easier.

Oh, and you've had your first 'swimming' experiences this month! People keep suggesting I just let go to see what you'll do, but I'm afraid. I know how to teach toddlers to swim, but I don't know how to 'teach' a baby. They say you'll do it all on your own, but I'm just too afraid it will traumatize you, and I really want you to love the water as much as I do. So far, you're doing great. I don't want to mess it up.

You have definitely been a joy. You're daddy will do almost anything to get you to cackle at him. And what a cute cackle you have! It often comes easily. I can pull you into my lap and smoogle you all over, and you will start laughing so hard I stop just so you can catch your breath. You're absolutely wonderful!

I'm looking forward to the next month's-worth of experiences - the foods, the pulling up, the sleep, the fun. I just really hope you're not walking by 8-months!

I love you, Tree Faerie!

XOXOXO,
Mama

(Pictures will come soon)

Friday, August 3, 2007

I'm a Peeping Tammy

I realized on the way to work this morning that I've been practicing a form of voyeurism daily for the past year and a half or so, only it's not sexual gratification but more of a social gratification. I've been looking through windows at people's lives without them knowing I was looking, at least until recently.

In my own defense, those windows were often left open on purpose so people could look in and see what was happening on the inside. If those windows had not been left open, I would not have stopped to look inside! Now I feel almost as though I'm addicted to this form of voyeurism. I look through several of these windows every day, just to see if anything changed.


I've been a lurker. I've been reading various different people's blogs daily without letting them know I was reading. These were not people I knew personally (except Random Faerie), but people I had come across through various means provided by the internet. They've opened the windows to their lives and their thoughts, and I gave in to the temptation and watched the goings-on inside.

It wasn't until I started a blog of my own that I started showing myself more. I feel almost shy about announcing my presence to some of these people because I've been watching them for so long and know so much about them, yet they barely knew of my existance if they even noticed at all. They don't know how much they helped me not feel so lonely during my pregnancy, or how much they helped me cope with the hormonal fluxuations, or how much they distracted me from my own self-pity when I'd feel at my lowest.

Now I'm starting to come out of my shell more. It helps having a place to expose my own inner-workings so that it becomes an exchange of secrets instead of a peepshow. I never even realized I felt a bit guilty for watching but not showing myself until I started coming out of my hiding place. I was afraid I would be shunned but instead I've been welcomed with open arms, which makes me appreciate those people even more.

To those of you I've recently 'exposed' myself to as being a Peeping Tammy, thanks for not calling the cops!

Just kidding!

Thanks for welcoming me out of the closet!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Airhead and the Randomness That Ensues

After dropping Tree Faerie off at daycare this morning, I found a great new place this morning to air up my tires! Next to one of the gas pumps, there was an air compressor where you put in 50 cents, enter the PSI that you want your tires inflated to, and start airing up your tires. It does an initial pressure check, then checks the pressure periodically while inflating your tire. When your tire tests at the PSI you entered, the machine beeps to let you know it's done! I aired all four tires up to exactly 32 PSI for 50 cents in less than 5 minutes! It was quick and stress-free! There is no doubt about it - I will be a returning customer! Especially since I originally put my 50 cents in the compressor by the car wash and then found out it was broken, so the guy at the register gave me my 50 cents back WITHOUT me asking for it and proceeded to give me instructions for using the new machine. It was awesome! After my tires were all perfectly inflated, I went back in the store and bought a V8 just to show my appreciation, not to mention I was thirsty.

(For those living in the Memphis area, this wonderful air compressor is next to pump 7 at the Shnuck's Express at the corner of Cordova Road and Germantown Parkway in Cordova. Go check it out, but please, please don't break it!)

In other news, my downstairs AC is still broken. It is now blowing warm air again. I've called the repair people again and will be meeting them this afternoon to see what the problem is. At least my upstairs unit is still working, so we do have SOME cool air that keeps it from being 100 degrees in the house - literally. Today's high is 96, and Saturday's high is supposed to be 99. Of course we have plans to spend the day outdoors at the Summerland Grove Lughnasad (Lammas) festival. Thankfully, there is access to air conditioning at the location, so I don't have to try to breastfeed in 100 degree heat, especially since I have to cover Tree Faerie's head when were around other people to keep my nipple from being abused from her popping off to look around.

More randomness: My best friend from Upward Bound is planning to come up for a visit the weekend before my birthday, and we have just made plans to glue quarters down and watch people try to pick them up. We used to do this in the Commons until one of the church camp kids was smart enough to figure out how to pry them up consistently. It was a lot of fun, though!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

To My BFF Random Faerie

Happy 27th Birthday to you!

When we first met 6 years ago, I thought it was great that you were a new mom and still sported bubble-gum-pink hair, but for some reason I didn't connect you with the same person I was talking to about pagan parenting and about having family-friendly get-togethers. It wasn't until after we started talking at Festival of Souls a year or two later that I made the connection. We made plans to start hanging out and actually kept those plans!

I remember being so nervous at first because I tend to attract the same types of friends over and over - either the oh-my-god-no-one-knows-the-shit-I-go-through-every-day-to-make-life-better-for-everyone-you-should-be-utterly-grateful-to-have-me-in-your-life-worship-me-now type or the I'm-in-desperate-need-of-a-friend-oh-you're-listening-to-me-you're-my-bestest-friend-in-the-whole-world-really-I'm-not-nuts type. Thankfully, you were neither.

It has been the most refreshing, stress-free friendship I've ever had. I've always been able to talk to you about anything. I never felt like you were judging me, even when we didn't agree. It was really easy to be honest and open with you, even when cancelling plans.

When you moved to Colorado last year, I was devestated. I don't keep up long-distance relationships of any kind well. Just ask my brother! The only long-distance person I talk to on a regular basis is my mom! Then when I got pregnant, I felt even more alone because you were also my favorite mom friend, and my second-favorite mom friend had also moved away. We saw you and your boys (hubby included in the 'boys' part) very briefly in October, then saw you briefly in May. But how does one catch up on months worth of stuff, especially when it's difficult to remember one's own name?

You and your boys are back in town this week, and I must say, it's been very refreshing to see you, even if all of our plans haven't worked out. It just makes me feel better knowing you're only a mile away instead of 1,000. I am still just as comfortable as ever around you.

Thank you for being such a wonderful person, for having a wonderful family, and for letting me, my hubby, and now my daughter be a part of your lives. You and your boys are the reason my hubby decided it might be okay to have kids, so essentially I need to thank you for Tree Faerie as well.

I hope the next 27 years bring you as much (if not more) joy, laughter, and love that the previous 27 years have brought you. No matter where we both end up, know that you will ALWAYS have a special place in my heart.

XOXOXO,
Andrea