I don't know how to tell you all just how crazy this life feels

Archive for October, 2012

14 months, 7 days

I’ve heard lots of people say they wish that kids came with instruction manuals. I don’t need a manual quite so much as a daily agenda. I would like FrostedBaby to inform me if he is intending to nap and how long for, if he’s going to bother to eat or throw it on the floor instead, if he’s going to be cheerful or cranky. Mostly the nap though, since that always foils my plans.

The past couple of weeks have been very trying. After a few weeks of not napping and not showing any ill effects, he suddenly started getting really cranky in the afternoon. Then it was obvious that he wasn’t feeling well – not eating much (though nursing well so at least I knew he was eating something and wasn’t getting dehydrated), very clingy and whiney, although he didn’t have anything obviously wrong with him. Then that night he was up every 1-2 hours I was debating taking him to the walk-in (because naturally this was on a weekend) and I was talking to my mom about how I didn’t think he had a fever since he wasn’t hot, but then she said that they can have one without feeling like they do to the touch. So I whipped out our thermometer and took it and it read 100F. We went to the walk-in and the doctor checked his ears (I suspected an ear infection, but they were clear) and his throat (which was a bit red, though maybe from crying a lot) and took his temp (he didn’t mention anything, so I’m guessing it was normal). He took a throat swab to rule out strep because of the red throat, but didn’t think it would come back positive, he thought it was just a virus that needed to run its course.

So we brought him home and I gave him soup for lunch, which he seemed to like and ate a fair bit of. I tried some mint tea but he wasn’t a big fan of that. I put him down for a nap and he actually took one for about 40 minutes then I brought him down and he slept for another hour or so on me. After that he seemed to be a bit better, more cheerful and like himself. He ate a good dinner and went to bed at his usual time despite the nap and was even better the next day. He’s napped almost every afternoon since then, though I’ve made sure to wake him up after about an hour to make sure he goes to bed at a decent time. There was one strange day, where he refused to nap despite being super cranky and obviously exhausted and went to bed early, but woke up after 45 minutes and then stayed up until 9. And the other night he woke up at 12:30 (just as I was getting to sleep) and had a screaming fit and then stayed up for two hours running around (luckily husband was home and I went to bed). Then today he refused to nap. He didn’t seem that tired and didn’t have those big circles under his eyes, but I tried anyway and he talked to himself for the hour and then I got him up. He was cheerful all the way to bedtime, but when we got him ready he went down really easily and (so far) hasn’t woken up since.

So…… I have no idea. Was he only napping because he was recovering from not feeling well? Is there some complicated algorithm that I need to figure out for how many days a week he needs to nap in order to get enough sleep? I’m fine with him napping, I’m fine with him not napping, but it’s a little hard to make plans when sometimes he does and sometimes he doesn’t, and I definitely don’t want to be sticking around and not doing stuff so that he can nap if he’s not going to. All I know is that I feel like I can’t win – if I don’t put him down, he seems tired and I’m ignoring his cues and needs. If I put him down (and he actually naps), he goes to bed later and I get less Me time. My mom put it well – it’s like he’s at a point where one nap is too much but no nap isn’t enough. Although he seemed to be okay with not napping up until he was maybe coming down with something, so maybe if he’s better he’ll be back to being okay with not napping at all. Or maybe I’ll have to set certain days as nap days and other days as not. Or maybe he’ll do something completely different starting two days from now. Babies. They be crazy.

So, what’s new? I’ve started teaching him how to use utensils to eat with. Not formally or with any pressure, but I’ll get him to hold it and I’ll guide his hand and then make a big deal when he eats off the fork/spoon. He gets the idea of the food on the fork/spoon going into his mouth but hasn’t quite gotten the hang of how to get the food onto it by himself. Forks he hasn’t gotten at all, but today I gave him a spoon and some yogurt and he was doing everything himself, except he would just hold the spoon over the bowl and then bring it back to his mouth. And he was so excited at first that he was moving it too fast and totally missing his mouth. By moving the bowl around he was able to do everything himself, and I also did a lot of guiding his hand. He seemed pretty pleased with himself and I’m glad he’s interested in doing it and I think he did really well for his first time.

He is getting more and more steady and has started standing up on certain things and moving his feet around like he’s figuring out walking. I keep expecting that one day he’s just going to do it, but so far that obviously hasn’t happened. He’s on his knees and reaching for things on the table and he loves when I hold him and he stands up and then he dances and bops up and down, it’s pretty adorable.

We put up a new baby gate in the large entrance to the kitchen. We have an open concept house, so the kitchen/eating area leads to the living room. There’s a post or small piece of wall where the sink island is, so it forms a small doorway (that a regular sized pressure gate fits well) and a large doorway that’s probably 8 feet wide. Those gates are expensive so we’d been making do with pushing the playpen against the coffee table and blocking the way that way. But it’s only so long before he realizes he can push the playpen or can crawl through the table (it has a shelf so he can’t just crawl under it). I managed to score one of the long baby gates for $60 (they’re $140 new) so we put it up and it’s been so much nicer. We put the playpen downstairs since we don’t use it much for cooping him up and it’s opened up the living room so much. It’s one of those gates that has mesh fabric on the panels and he looks at the cat through the mesh and talks to him. He’s realized he can throw his toys through and then get them back, and he can reach around and play with the cat bowls as well. Funny baby.

My pottery class has been fun. I’m not expecting to make a masterpiece (maybe a messterpiece, haha) but it’s been a nice break for me to meet new people unrelated to being a mom and spending two hours a week totally not thinking about him or doing anything that I usually do during the day. I got on the wheel last week and I feel like I was getting the hang of it and then wrecked my pot. But I feel like maybe next time I’ll get to that point faster and maybe beyond. I kind of wish it were more frequent than once a week since I feel like everything I learn or figure out is forgotten by the next week, but that would be really hard for babysitting when Husband is away. He was supposed to be missing three days and my dad was babysitting, but his trip this week was cancelled because of the hurricane coming, so he’ll be around after all. That’s good since that would have been two weeks in a row.

Last week’s class was on my birthday. It was going to be a pretty boring day since Husband was away, but we went to the playgroup I mentioned in my last post and my closest friend had organized decorating and she got me flowers and made cupcakes and a card that everyone signed and they all sang (and then FrostedBaby clapped his hands) and it was really nice to be thought of.

I think there was something else I was going to say but I can’t recall and it’s now bedtime so I’m heading off.

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1 year, 1 month, 3 weeks, 5 days

I set up a new ticker so I wouldn’t have to do math every time I updated, but this is just getting ridiculous. Plus all that means nothing to me – 13 months and 26 days is a bit more meaningful, although I think we’re getting to the point where just the months will suffice. I might have to start thinking up real titles soon, the horror!

FrostedBaby now says “baby” and “kitty cat”. He also said “gorilla” when we were at the Zoo last week, but hasn’t said it since. He’s been making a purring noise for the past couple of days, like blowing through his lips but not a raspberry, there’s more soft voice behind it. He’s also saying “bwee” a lot with a ruffle of his lips.

Our trip to the Zoo was different this time, in that he was really interested in the animals and made his “I see an animal!” noise (he has a similar but slightly different one for cats and another specific one for our cat) and he was actually watching them. The otter startled him though – we were watching it do laps at the underwater window and he was looking in a different direction when it appeared out of nowhere (well, not really, but from his perspective it did) and he jumped and then cried a bit. He was interested when he was watching it and it wasn’t leaping out at him though. We went into a few more of the indoor exhibits, which we have tended not to when it was warmer and crowded because they get really hot and I really hate crowds. We haven’t seen the gorillas before and they were right by the window. We went up to watch them and he said “Dada” first, hahahahaha 🙂 Then I was telling him they were gorillas and said, “can you say gorilla?” like I usually do, not expecting an answer and he said, “gorilla!” and then refused to say it again though I keep trying.

He hasn’t napped for two weeks now aside from half an hour one day and an hour and a half on Monday. He seems to be getting tired in the early afternoon, but then he stays up a few hours later so I’m torn between putting him down for a nap or keeping him up but him going to bed early. One the one hand, if he stays up then we can do stuff and he goes down early and I get the whole evening free. On the other, I get a bit of a break in the middle of the day and he gets to sleep when he’s tired. But then I get less of the evening free, though it means we can eat dinner together, and it means that we can’t get out in the afternoon. He’s not usually super tired or whiney or anything if he doesn’t nap, but he is quite ready for bed by 5 or 5:30, which is really nice. He’s super easy to put down, I can make my dinner and eat it in peace, and I get the whoooole evening. And he regardless of what happens during the day, he tends to wake up once during the night (after 10ish hours, given or take) and then is up for good at 8:00. The time he did nap, he was incredibly whiney in the afternoon which was why I did it. Otherwise I spend the time putting him down and staying home and it’s all for nothing. So not really sure what the best thing to be doing is. I guess if he’s super whiney then he naps and otherwise we’re free to get out and do things, which keeps both of us happy.

Case in point, we went to a weekly playgroup that we’ve never been able to go to because he was always napping. It’s a couple of the moms in the group who borrow a room in a church and there are toys and stuff and the kids run around and the moms get to socialize. I expected that it would be an environment where FrostedBaby would need to hang back with me for a bit to warm up before he’d join in and I wasn’t sure how he’d be with the other kids, most of whom are walking and are generally more body-aware than he is. To my surprise, he was already saying hi to everyone when I sat him down to take his jacket off and then he was off playing and crawling around and interacting with the other kids (well, as much as kids do at this age). He did come over for a hug a couple of times, which is normal for him – he likes to reconnect or reassure himself that I’m there or something, but after we hugged, he was off again. He’s so much more confident and so much less sensitive (in a good way, he’s still very sensitive but mostly in good ways these days) than he used to be, I’m so proud of him. It was also great for me to get out and see a lot of moms who I haven’t seen in a long time because of our schedules. We’ll definitely be joining them again and I don’t think even if he starts napping predictably again that he’ll be doing it in the morning anymore, so yay!

My pottery class started last night. I dreamt the night before that I went to it and it turned out to be a math class instead. Luckily, that did not happen. It was fun. I have no illusions that I’m going to produce anything good, but I’m looking forward to learning things I didn’t know before and the other members of the class are friendly and we had a good time. Our first thing was doing a sculptured bowl and mine was turning out lopsided so I turned it into a wobbly sided bowl and I’m hoping that eventually we’ll be able to paint them and I’m going to hopefully paint it some funky colours. I had a good time and it was really nice to spend time with people apart from being a mom, which was the whole point. It was also nice that even if FrostedBaby wakes up and won’t go to bed until I get home, I’m not out super late so unless there’s a super emergency, I really am off duty for those few hours I’m out. That’s pretty much the first time since he was born, since I know that Husband or my parents (who will be babysitting when he’s away for a couple of classes) will be able to keep him calm until I get home.

I wrote this yesterday or the day before and then forgot to post it. Really need to stop doing that.

FrostedBaby got his second haircut yesterday. He had this great curly mop of hair in the morning right after his bath but then by the evening they were weighing themselves down and he was starting to look terrible, so now his curls are back and he is SO CUTE! You know, because he wasn’t so cute I could die before.