Friday, July 30, 2010

The only time matching outfits are acceptable

is when they're accidental. Prepare to be bowled over by cuteness.

Remember the fiasco/joyous time that was the cabin I told you about? It involved two other babies. The only thing cuter than my child is my child surrounded by OTHER babies (I'm a little partial over here.) When we all realized that we had independently bought the same outfit for our children, in 3 different colors (thank you Carter's for spamming the world with your clothing) the natural conclusion is a lineup. We really should have given them numbers.

And then, on top of it, our neighbor the photographer shone his talents on our daughters. Naturally, my favorites are the ones with MJ front and center, but they're all pretty darn cute.

We already have a rent-a-cop keeping the boys from entering our block without an escort.

See my child in the back there? This is one of MJ's favorite poses. Tears don't convey enough of the dramz, the backwards head flail really seals the deal for her. This is because we just took away her cell phone and told her her boyfriend can't spend the night. 

But, thankfully, the offense was quickly forgotten. Happiness, smiles.

This is the face she makes when she's about to kiss Baby Boy S. It works for now but once she has braces she may go for a more subtle approach.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Cloth diapering... what I wish I'd known then

This is an update to my last cloth diaper post.  A few things that have changed, or not changed, since then.  Nothing dramatic, mind you.  Still very happy with our cloth dipaers and our laundry methods.  Just a few notes.  I'm not claiming I wasn't told these exact same things.  But when you discover it for yourself it seems like you were the first one to discover it.  So here's some cloth diapering realizations I've been pondering lately...

1.  They really do reach an age where they can take the diaper off.  And it turns out it's easier to take a velcro diaper off than a snap one.  If we keep some sort of onesie on her it's fine.  And I suspect that once she figures out how to take the onesie off then a snap on diaper will be no match for her either.  For this reason, and the fact that the velcro on our one-size diapers is fraying a bit, I've started rethink my velcro-love-snap-hate stance.  I still prefer velcro, hate putting a snap-on diaper on her (she's far too squirmy for the extra 3-seconds it takes.)  Would I change my original stance?  Probably not.  But if I had a less active child I might.

2.  We've rediscovered prefolds thrown in a cover.  They are great.  We have again started using our orange-edge newborn prefolds from months after I retired them.  They actually work better just tri-folded than they used to, because the covers that fit MJ are now large enough that the preolds easily fit in the cover.  Furthermore, since MJ is mostly on solids, she doesn't pee boatloads like she used to and these easily contain all the fluid.  If she wasn't in daycare we could easily survive on these prefolds and thirsties covers.  Cheap and just as easy as our fancy-pants bumgenius.  Maybe a few others for night time.  But that's all it would take.

3.  The nasty poop that happens as they transition to solids is only temporary.  It gets better, I promise.  There were a couple months of sheer grossness from her half-liquid half-solid poops.  I dreaded spraying her diapers.  Now it has gotten better.  As a side note, if you hate spraying diapers as much as I do, these diaper liners are a great compromise.  Oh yeah, and we've had to start washing on hot.  Turns out her poops have gotten smellier.

4.  Who knew that diaper laundry would become my husband's favorite chore?  He sees it as saving money every time he does them, and gets immense joy out of it.  Pass this along to any husband doubters.  Secrely, it's one of my favorite chores too, but I'll let him have this one.

5.  That's it for now.  We've been cloth diapering for 10+ months now and figure we have made our money back.  Every time we put a diaper on her now it's like putting money in the bank.  And I say this as someone who has a huge stash (I think we could go 6 days without washing if we wanted to, not that I recommend it.  Just sayin.)  And we have expensive diapers, too.  And we're not hauling boatloads of trash to the curb.  And MJ isn't sitting in chemicals all day, every day.  To anyone thinking of taking the plunge, do it.  Give into peer pressure.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The return of MJ

So nice to have you back.
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Monday, July 26, 2010

We have all survived.

It was one of those weekends, preceded by one of those weeks, which was also preceded by one of those weekends.  It was a relentless string of difficult moments, and we have all come through it unscathed. 

Last weekend DH worked, leaving me to solo childcare.  He recently finished his residency, meaning he recently entered the realm of people with more normal, less hellish work hours.  Meaning I have recently discovered how much easier it is to have a child when you have the help of a spouse.  I'm certain being a single mother is more difficult than this past year has been for us, but much of the time I've come close.  The combination of having a spouse who works all the time and having no family nearby makes for exhausting weeks.

Since June, DH has had a more normal schedule.  And I have been soaking in the luxury of a 2-parent household.  Last weekend was a brief return to having him gone all the time, and a reminder of how much easier our life has become. 

On Monday, after DH had been up for 15 hours, MJ had a fever, forcing us to keep her home.  Since last week was my last week of teaching, and I had gotten nothing done all weekend, he had to stay with her.  This was followed by the week of sick.  MJ was in and out of daycare, after we thought she was better and it turns out she was not.  Tuesday evening took me to the ER, for fear of appendicitis that turned out to be an unfortunate combination of unrelated symptoms.  I didn't get admitted, but I did get Dilaudid.  Can't say I understand the appeal. 

Thursday brought a 104 degree fever to MJ and a concerned visit to the pediatrician.  She had an ear infection.  We started her on antibiotics.  We joined our neighbors at their cabin, somewhat regretting the decision when MJ spent two-thirds of the weekend screaming and I continued to recover from the stomach pains that landed me in the ER in the first place.

But on Saturday night, the calm returned.  Or the beginning of the calm.  Not really calm, exactly, since that hasn't existed in 10+ months.  But joy.  I finally felt better.  Yesterday, MJ returned.  We remembered what it's like to have a happy kid.  We really did have a glorious weekend, if you discount the screaming.  We feel so lucky to have met such fun people, who live so close, whose children are so close in age to MJ.  Who will not be leaving in the near future to follow a string of post-docs, as so many of our friends are going to soon start doing. But the return of our joyous, happy, rambunctious child was really the best part.  And the fact that DH and I got through this hellish week with few arguments and even some fond memories. 

Saturday, July 17, 2010

My daughter, the flirt

There is no greater feeling in the day than showing up at daycare and being met by the hugest smile MJ could possibly fit on her little face.  Even if she's in the middle of a woe-is-me fest, she will stop so that she can express pure joy at seeing me.  No matter how my day has been, that moment is all that matters.

A few weeks ago I walked into daycare and noticed that MJ was sitting in her high chair separate from the rest of the babies. She was not particularly bothered by it and was far more interested in her Cheerios.  (She is alwas far more interested in her Cheerios than anything else going on around her.  THANK GOD FOR CHEERIOS.)  But are you as curious as I was?  Why? WHY WAS SHE SEQUESTERED IN THE CORNER?

It turns out that she had been so preoccupied by smiling at baby boy S, that she could not be bothered to eat.  So they had to move her to where she could no longer see S so she would focus on eating.  Did I mention that she likes her Cheerios?  A lot?  That Vito could waltz by wearing firecrackers while singing Lady GaGa and MJ would not bother to look up from her Cheerios?  And what distracts her from her Cheerios?  A boy.  A boy. 

S is the only other baby in the room who is also mobile, so they love to play together.  But last week, one of the daycare staff informed me that she had to intervene when she caught them going in for an open mouth kiss.  Moms of babies, you know the kind of ::nom:: I'm talking about.  Less of a kiss and more of an open- mouthed-attempt-to-eat-your-face-all-the-way-off.  Still. 

And I saw it with my very own eyes this week.  MJ was standing, playing with a plastic fish, and S kept pulling on her ruffles and causing her to fall.  Eventually, MJ turned around and went in for the full-on face plant.  The scary part, though, is that she looked like she knew what she was doing.  It looked intentional.  My little girl is already smooching on the boys.

Here she is, practicing kissing the mirror and pretending it's S.

Friday, July 16, 2010

We have a walker.

10 months and 4 days.  Only ~3 steps, but she repeated it 3 times.  I've been told after those first initial steps they become a "walker" very quickly.  And I'm also told that everything forever after changes.  I must confess, I'm skeptical.  She can already pull herself up on everything and has been for months now.  She already gets into everything she can possibly reach.  As far as I can tell, the only thing that will change is that she'll move faster (a negative, mind you) and that I don't have to carry her all the time in public.  Because a baby crawling around on the floor of a restaurant is inappropriate, but a baby running around is simply annoying.

I've been negligent, apologies.  I guess you could say I've had writer's block.  Or, alternately, you could just say I've been happy.  I tend to use this blog for two things: to commemorate MJ's life, and as a place to vent.  I haven't felt much need to vent of late, and MJ keeps me too busy to spend much time reflecting.  As in, really, really busy.  It is vindicating when even her daycare talks about what an extremely high energy child she is.  She's great at entertaining herself, if I let her entertain herself the way she wants.  But once she sets her sights on something, all hell breaks loose.  Like, say, her love of baths.  Meaning if she gets a peak at the bathtub she puts all her energy into climbing into it, eating the soap and grabbing for my razor.  And screams bloody murder if I interfere with her.  I've been told that parenting at this age is mostly about distraction, but she is not easily distracted.  Headstrong, as my mother in law put it.  Very, very headstrong. 

It helps that she's such a loud child.  I can be in another room and hear exactly where she is and what she's doing.  And my saving grace (on rare occasions) is the happy squeal she lets out when she sees something that is not supposed to be available to her is.  Like, if the door to the downstairs is open, or the lid is off the dog bowl.  The gleeful squeal is unmistakable, and I then know to run to wherever she is.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

When you go on vacation...

... for the first time without your little one, and your mother-in-law sends you this picture, your heart just melts.