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when does it count as walking?

2012/05/23 3 comments

i’ve been silent for a bit because, well, BUSY.

what have we been up to? let’s see…

a bit of light reading now and again…

trying to find ways to make being mobile even!more!fun!

swing, swing, swinging!

climbing on EVERYTHING

enjoying plenty of picnics in the park…

… and then climbing some more!

also: walking. well, maybe? sort of?

when do you consider it walking?

for the past 2ish weeks, meeka has been standing holding onto something, then turning, and walking anywhere from 1-6 steps on her own towards wherever she wants to go (sometimes making it, often not). do you consider this walking? hmmmm…

 

also: the husband has taken his test! woohoo! he arrived back at 3am last night (this morning) and we’ll hear if he passed on friday (but he feels good about it, so… YAY!)

 

also: my application for a new job is complete! fingers crossed, wish me luck! it would be a huuuuuuuge change for all of us – not just what i’d be doing (for a year), but also location (for a year). but i think it would be good for us. it might just be what we need. a huge shake-up, for sure.

 

also: well, no. no more also. i just felt like i should try to put one more thing 😉

Categories: the mommy thing

fragments

2012/03/28 1 comment

Thanks so much for all the advice and suggestions! I’ve tried one recipe from Annabel Karmel and Meeka (and I!) looooooved it… tonight we’ll attempt recipe #2! On the sippy cup front, there hasn’t really been any progress. Upon checking our options at home, I found we already DO have a Nuby sippy cup (which she loves to throw on the floor, but drinking out of it? Eh. Not so much) – so. Yeah. However, in the past few days, what she HAS been doing is trying to drink from MY cup (obviously NOT a sippy cup, heh!) – she’ll reach for it, I’ll hold it and tip it gently, and then she’ll drink from it. Not *quite* the same as a sippy cup, but I’ll take it! (And need I say that I’ll only allow this when it’s water in my cup? Not that she doesn’t try for the coffee, but this little one has enough energy without it, unlike mommy!) (And at least I’m not feeding her mouth-to-mouth like a baby bird!)

On a food-related note, I just got the book “How to get your kid to eat – but not too much” by Ellyn Satter – and though I’m only a chapter in (because a certain little one has decided she wants to get up an hour earlier in the morning!) I’m loving it so far! I heard about it through Amalah, and like pretty much all of her baby-and-kid-and-life-in-general advice, I found it spot-on for my own general life philosophies… And if any of you are looking for an interesting baby-related read, I thought I’d pass the recommendation along 😉

Now for a totally unrelated topic with absolutely no segue – Meeka has been pulling up on EVERYTHING for quite awhile, started cruising moments thereafter and transferring at the same time … but she hasn’t seemed to have any desire to actually walk in a forward direction. Until last night. In an effort to get out some of her excess energy, we went to the building playroom – and all of a sudden, one of the toys she’s ignored up til now suddenly became oh-so-fascinating! Oh, yes – she found a (broken) baby walker:

And it was like a light bulb suddenly switched on – she pulled up, and then was off! She walked back and forth across that mat a good dozen times … though I will admit, about half of those times she was “walking” on her knees (which was also utterly adorable). The other parents in the room were all “oooooh”ing and “aaaaah”ing – and then telling me that she’ll be actually walking in weeks. To which I say, please, no. It can take a little longer. She can cut a terrific swath of destruction as it is! (And then they wanted to know how old she was, and couldn’t believe she’s only 9 months… because this baby? is 1. gigantic, and 2. super coordinated for her age… oh, and 3. very adventurous and VERY headstrong!)

(and sure, I may be bragging on her a little bit, but that’s totally my right as her adoring #1 fan, no? also, in the interest of full disclosure, she’s always been advanced on the physical milestones and dead average on the verbal ones. so. yeah. not exactly super baby over here, just average normal utterly adorable Meeka)

photo-and-memory purge

2012/03/16 2 comments

Meeka is 9 months old. She is different today than she was just a month ago, and will be a month from now. Here are some memories from now…

Meeka loves picking up a toy, playing with it for a moment, then holding it out for you to take while you say “Thank you!” … before giving it right back to her. To wash, rinse, repeat. Ad nauseum. (At least she’s learning to share? And/or manners?)

This little girl is such a daredevil. She LOVES to be thrown/spun/turned upside down. (Also to climb, explore, and bash her head into things)

Sometimes she takes this pause, and you can just SEE her thinking. My little smarty-pants!

OK, this one is just funny. Total stink face here.  (Also baby faux-hawk. Any chance they go together? Meh)

Baby girl loves her food. Also feeding herself. She’s just… creative… about finding her mouth

Loves to read her Peekaboo books. SO.EXCITING!YAY! She pulls them out and squeals when we start. Adorable!

She’s waving and clapping – the typical baby stuff, I know. But she’ll wave and smile to EVERYONE. She’s quite the social butterfly. (Which she totally did NOT get from me, I’m shy now and was much worse when I was younger…)

Climbing and pulling up on everything? Check. Slapping every surface to make loud noises? Check.

She does this thing where if she’s put down on a mattress/pillow/soft surface, she’ll flop forward to lie belly-down on it… Just to test its softness, ya know? She’ll stay there a moment, smiling up at you, then get back up and go on her way.

(Side note: got a report from daycare yesterday that she did this lying down softness-check on another baby’s tummy. Which? So cute! Because we all know baby-tummies are the softest, squishiest, bestest head rests ever!)

She loves to explore (i.e. grab) everything around her… watching her figure things out for herself is possibly one of the greatest things about being a mommy. That and the cuddles. And her smell. And the cuddles. And, oh yes, the cuddles! 😉

Egg

2012/02/14 1 comment

On Friday I got that call from daycare that you always dread… You know the one.

“Don’t worry, Meeka isn’t SICK. She just, you know, well. She crawled into the couch and now has a bruise covering her entire forehead.”

Indeed.

My baby, the daredevil.

What? I’m *NOT* supposed to run into things head-first?!?!

This picture was taken a day later, when most of the swelling had gone down, and her forehead was a tad more symmetrical; the day before, let’s just say “goose egg” was indeed a fitting description.

This baby girl, she does indeed take after me.

I had many a goose-egg growing up.

My brother hit me in the head with a hammer when I was two.

I was again hit in the head with a baseball bat when I was a little older – perhaps 6 or 7? – which was especially notable because 1) no one saw it and I didn’t tell anyone (I was batgirl at a little league game, was hit by a player who was warming up on the side), and 2) I was wearing a baseball hat that I didn’t take off – and then COULDN’T take off, due to the swelling!

I was also a competitive gymnast, with all the bumps and bruises that entails.

You know how your parents always chuckle when they tell you “I hope you get a child just like you, some day” … I think that wish came true

Who, me? (And a photo-bombing dog hiding in the background!)

Nah, I’d *NEVER* do something silly like run full-tilt into an immovable object… or try to dive head-first off the bed… or climb up the ladder on the slide (and make it up two steps, indeed!)… or chase around after any and every big kid I see… No, not me!

Cute

2012/02/07 1 comment

It’s a good thing she’s so cute, because between the teething (almost to 4 whole teeth now!), the illness (back to the snot –> cough –> puke routine… and mommy’s shirt is still the puke receptacle of choice), and the frustration with not being able to navigate forward (we’ve gotten to the 4-5 “steps” forward via crawling point, and she’s pulling up on everything and trying to take real steps as well…) – mommy’s gotten VERY little sleep these past few days, and boy, is she feeling it today!

you are…

2012/01/29 1 comment


I write this as you lie on the mattress on the floor in front of me, sprawled on your stomach with your arm above your head. No matter how you start the night – no matter how I lay you down – you flop yourself into this position within moments, then dream the night away.

On the weekends, you take your naps in my arms, a warm weight on my lap as your little head flops back, into the crook of my arm, the mix of our sweat staining your hair where it lays in my elbow. Your perfect little bow of a mouth gaps open as you breath, then twitches into a smile that takes my breath away.

I try to get up before you on the weekdays, in an attempt to get a few things done that are easier performed without a baby in my arms, as well as to have a few moments to myself. I bring the video monitor with me, and often wind up sitting with my cup of coffee, watching you slumber. You are so peacefully perfect.

Today we went to the playroom downstairs for a change of pace and space, and as you bounced and laughed, you would look at me with the smile in your eyes, and reach out your arm to pat my face.

Just before you fell asleep tonight, we lay on that mattress face to face and you stared into my eyes. And then I tickled your tummy, and you giggled infectiously. It’s a giggle that has been coming fast and furious these past few days, and it makes my heart skip a beat every time I hear it.

You cry each and every time I leave you, though I have it on good authority that you are back to your wonderfully smiley self within minutes. And your face lights up with a smile every time I come back, as your reach your arms up and then cuddle into my side, and then refuse to let me go for the rest of the night (or at least an hour or two).

You are moving all over the place these days, in all directions but forwards. You scoot and you crawl backwards, move from sitting to tummy and then back to sitting once more. You can get yourself from one side of the room to the other in the blink of an eye, but your favorite place to go is still pulling yourself into my lap.

You still bury your face in my chest and shoulder whenever you get tired, and still try to suck on my arm whenever you are hungry. And you still invariably laugh whenever my hair tickles your face, and then try to grab it for yourself. And then you grab for my necklace, the one with your initial, the one I never take off… and you never get tired of.

You still wake in the middle of the night, needing me to come for you. And then we sit and cuddle as the world is dark around us, and often fall asleep together, you a warm and welcome weight in my arms.

Each laugh, each tickle, each stupid repetitious rhyming song I sing to you; each spoonful of peas, each bath full of bubbles, each nightly struggle into your pyjamas; each load of laundry, each daily packing of bottles, each morning application of Aquaphor; each of these is simply, solely, singularly because… you are my heart.

Categories: the mommy thing

line, crossed

2012/01/06 2 comments

I like to think that I am a fairly laid-back person, and that I extend that approach to my parenting. What this means is that I won’t judge your parenting (out loud) and hope you won’t judge mine. If you do something differently than me, I’ll (try to) see it as just that – different. Not worse, not better, just different. This is fairly easy for me to do in regards to your children, though slightly harder when it comes to my own – that is, if you choose to do x,y,z for your child, go you! If you choose to do it for mine, when it’s not something I would do for her? Well… Depending on what we’re talking about, I’m usually able to take a deep breath, smile, and go with the flow.

The key phrase up there? It’s “depending on what we’re talking about.” Because there are certain things that I will, indeed, judge – out loud. Anything that affects the safety of a child – yes, I truly do believe there is one way to do it, and that is the safe, responsible way. And if you don’t do this? I will indeed judge you. And say something. ESPECIALLY when it comes to my child.

The problem arises (of course you knew there would be a problem) when the person who is showing that questionable judgement is related to you. Or perhaps, to your husband. They are family, anyways. Someone inextricably liked to your life, and your child’s. What do you do then?

I never thought I would be asking myself this question. Because I truly never thought it would arise. Everyone in my family – both sides – are wonderful, smart, thoughtful, caring people. People who I thought might, true, do some things differently than I – but the little things. The things that don’t cross that invisible line. For example, when I leave my 6 month old with them for an hour or so in order to get some errands done (laundry, etc), and they might decide to entertain her by sitting in front of the TV and letting her watch and play with the remote. NOT something I would ever choose to do with her, and not something I particularly want her doing, but also not something I am going to explode into mommy-bear territory about. For this, I can take a deep breath (or two), tell myself to relax (and that they’ll be going home soon enough), smile, and just go with it (after all, they’ll be going home soon enough… right?)

But.

Then there are the things that do, in fact, cross over that line. That do call for that explosion of protectiveness. And that do – or rather, did – also occur this past week.

For example, the first day I went back to work; we’d arranged to split the day with my daughter in daycare for the morning, and spending time with her grandparents all afternoon so that they had plenty of time to spend with her, since they’d come such a long way. I was a little anxious because she was still sick, getting over the rampant virus that had ravaged her daycare the week before the holidays; she was still snotting and coughing and often, vomiting as well. But I swallowed my anxiety, knowing they would all have a good time with each other, and knowing that this time with her family was precious. And, indeed they did have a good time. But. BUT. While having this good time, it turns out, my daughter was refusing to drink. Anything. AT ALL. In daycare they’d managed to get her to take 1 oz, which was pretty good considering she’d slept all but 45 minutes of the time she was there. But that afternoon? In their desire to play with her – to spend “quality time” – they allowed her to continue to refuse all liquids, kept her up to play instead of nap, and then gleefully told me as I arrived home that “she was so great! AND we didn’t even have to change any diapers!”

Um.

What?!?!?!

Yes. Indeed. Somehow, they didn’t see it as a problem that not only had my daughter not had ANY fluid intake ALL DAY, she also had not had ANY wet diapers. In their desire for fun time, they managed to keep overlooking the fact that my daughter was, indeed, still sick – and might need something other than continuous play time. That there might be something wrong with this situation.

After I lifted up my jaw from the floor where it had dropped in shock, I lectured them about dehydration. And the fact that they had, in fact, just allowed my daughter to enter that territory. And that she might now need to go to the hospital. After less than one day in their care.

I didn’t even get into the fact that they should have called me when she was refusing to eat – see if there was something I could suggest or do. First, they needed to recognize that this was a problem (which, mind-boggling-ly, they DIDN’T). I figured we’d get that straightened out first. Then work on the steps to do after that.

That night was an agonizing time of watch and wait – if she had a wet diaper, she was OK; skirting dehydration, but not quite there yet. If not, I’d be taking her in to the doctor in the morning, likely for some lovely IV fluids. Luckily, she had that wet diaper. Not her usual saturated overnight underoos, but still. Something.

After my lectures of the day before, I decided to try once more. Same schedule once again, with very precise instructions on feeding, calling me, etc. Is there any way to misconstrue “Offer her fluids every 10 minutes – it doesn’t matter if she only takes 1 sip, at least it is something. Keep offering. Every 10 minutes. Call me if she doesn’t drink enough, or doesn’t have any wet diapers. And make sure to keep offering her plenty of fluids!”??!?! (You’d think not) They’d watched me feed her some banana the night before at dinner, and asked if they could try to feed her some in the afternoon; I’d allowed that they could, but made sure to emphasize this was not a substitute for fluids. Again – fluids, fluids, fluids.

She slept through most of the morning at daycare again, and ate 2 oz there. She then went home. And what happened? I am not exactly sure… Except I never got called (I myself called mid-afternoon to check in, and was told she was “fine” and napping, no need for me to come home to try to feed her). But at the end of the day? She’d eaten… drumroll… a total of 3 oz (two of them in daycare!) and had only one wet diaper (also in daycare). And what was I told when I arrived home? “She didn’t really drink that much, but that’s OK, we got her to eat some banana!”

W.T.F.

At this point, I am beyond livid. This is not one of those childcare things where people can all make different choices, and I can bite my tongue and live with it (even if your choice is not the one I’d make). No. You are actively endangering my child. AND YOU DON’T EVEN SEEM TO REALIZE THIS.

I closely monitor for dehydration again, she manages to skirt it (barely) yet again.

We have 2.5 more days with them staying here with us. They are family.

What can I do?

The next day, I bite my tongue – hard – and again, it’s daycare in the morning and time with them in the afternoon. This time, with me running home over my lunch break to make sure she eats. It works. And I keep biting my tongue.

Same the next day. She’s slowly, oh so slowly, creeping off the brink of that scary precipice, her diapers becoming a little more saturated, though still nowhere near where they should be.

Final day (half day, really), and I am ready to breathe my sigh of relief.

But. BUT.

Turns out there is one more surprise in store for me.

As I go about my morning, listening in to them playing with my daughter but allowing them this last time together before they leave, I hear this… sound. ??? I step closer, listen harder, and hear it again. They hear it, too, and laugh and clap and cheer my daughter on, telling her she’s so funny! Oh my!

I don’t laugh, or clap, or cheer. Because that sound? Was inspiratory stridor – a.k.a. my daughter struggling to breathe. YES. My daughter is trying her hardest to get some air in, and they think this is just a funny little noise she is making. How long was this going on? I can only imagine, days.

I swoop in, yet again, and rush my daughter off to take a steamy shower to open up her airway (which works wonders, by the way). They seem, yet again, completely oblivious to how close to harm my daughter has come. How far across the line of “different childcare decisions” into “endangering child” they have crossed.

I bite my tongue as hard as I can for the rest of the morning, so we can end this visit on a pleasant note. Because they are family. They are her grandparents. Because they are inextricably linked to all of us, for the rest of our lives. Because I truly do know that they want the best for my daughter – they just have no idea what it is (or rather, now “not the best” their time with her has been).

They’ve gone now, and I’ve struggled for days with how to process this past week, how to talk about it or write about it or even think about it. Because, on the one hand, they certainly crossed the invisible line into areas where I feel free to judge – areas where their actions (or lack thereof) certainly endangered my daughter, or came very close to – and I am aware that it is only through luck that they didn’t. But on the other – family.

If they were not related to me, I surely would cut all ties. But I cannot. And so, the question is, what to do?

They love my daughter with all their hearts, of this I am sure. They also endangered her life this past week, by being unable to see what she actually needed instead of what they wanted (and also? If I may say it? A distinct lack of common sense).

We survived this week. And are certainly unlikely to have another like it. However… unlikely is not impossible. And that curious blindness could easily translate over into many other areas in the future. I know they would never intentionally hurt my daughter. It is the unintentional harm that I am worried about.

I will never again be able to leave my daughter in their care without worry. I don’t know that I will be able to at all (at least for a very long, long while)…

I wish there were an answer to this problem. A way to go back in time and keep them from crossing that line. A way to repair the damage this has caused – to our relationship, to my peace of mind, if not, thankfully, to my daughter. I wish… I wish. But.