Saturday, July 31, 2010

Things I Wish I Knew When I Was Pregnant.

Having been extremely guilty of falling into the first-time mom worry trap, I spent countless hours, days and weeks stressing out about many things while pregnant. Would I end up with a *gasp!* dreaded c-section? Would I meet other moms, or be forever exiled into a life of isolation, seeing as how I had no friends with babies. Hell, I had only a smattering of friends who were married! Would my baby fall into the rigid schedule I swore I'd adhere to, and worse, what if she wouldn't fall asleep by herself, the way all the "experts" tell you to put them down. I lost so much sleep, and boy would I like to have it back now! So here's the deal. I'm going to tell you what I WISH people had told me about mommyhood, babies, and the likes. Although, if you're paying attention, you'll learn the moral of the story is that everyone has an opinion, and yours is the only one that matters. Either way, here's my take.

-First off, the dreaded c-section is, well, not all that bad. In fact (and I know this will horrify many), I have every intention of forgoing the VBAC option during my second pregnancy in favor of a repeat c. You still with me? Have you died of a heart attack yet? Maybe it's just a case of the better-the-devil-you-know, but my c-section went great. Yeah, I had some pain. Big deal. I would've had some pain of a different sort had I birthed vaginally, and frankly, I'll take the trade off. Not that I'm saying there's anything wrong with natural deliveries - quite the opposite. Of course they're preferable your first-time out, and if successful, in successive pregnancies. But I'm a creature of habit, and the fact that I didn't bleed at all past day two after giving birth is a BIG selling point for me. That, and frankly, I've already had a c-section. My scar is teeny tiny, so much so that I wonder how on Earth they finagled her out of there. The point? New mommies who have the dreaded "mommy guilt" over c-sections, and soon-to-be mommies take heed: it doesn't matter how they get here, just that they get here safely. If you wanted a vaginal delivery and it didn't happen for you, you're not failing anyone, or less of a woman, or less entitled, despite what some of the moms in my previous moms group (more on that later...) will have you believe.

-Schedules. Oh, schedules. I was lucky from the beginning that A is a champion nurser. While I still stick to my guns on the whole Babywise principle that babies should be fed "meals" when nursing as opposed to being allowed to graze/snack at will, I won't be attempting to follow a regimented schedule for my second. I'll make sure he/she eats as full a meal as possible, but will I feel like I'm failing if my baby is hungry two, or five, or however many hours later as opposed to the precise three. Nah. Life's too short.

-Sleep. Isn't this just the most hot button issue for new moms? Even with a seven-month-old, sleep is a touchy subject in this house. The one thing I will say is that I spent a LOT of time stressing about getting A on a sleep schedule. When she hit one month old and still preferred to stay up late and didn't have a set nap schedule, I was panicked. But somehow, without any type of coaxing on my part, A has fallen into a very distinct two-nap-a-day (*most days) schedule, and her bedtime has slowly but surely moved itself up to 7:30ish. While I can't guarantee your baby will move up so early, rest assured, it won't always want to keep hours even a vampire would balk at. Know that this too shall pass.

-Not only that, but A doesn't fall asleep alone. I nurse her to sleep still, every nap and at bedtime. It sounds more time consuming than it really is, seeing as how I need to nurse her anyhow, and I'd by lying if I made it seem as though I don't enjoy this time. I lay with her, sometimes - if I'm able - nap with her, and it's a nice reminder to slow down and enjoy this time with her. Experts will tell you what a no-no this is, but hey - if you can and are willing - I see nothing wrong with it.

-Moms Groups. I joined one around 5 months pregnant. While I have met some women I'm very glad to know, most of them - including one of the organizers - I could live without. I find them judgmental to a fault. How is it that moms who are open to extended breastfeeding, babywearing and the like preach about how people should be tolerant of their nursing in public, etc (which people should be - I don't disagree with any of these practices), and yet pass judgment freely on those who formula feed or have c-sections or don't feel comfortable nursing in public. It's such an oxymoron to me. I breastfeed and will agree it's best, and will probably keep it up well past A's first birthday if she wants to, but if you formula feed? More power to you! It's not my business. It's not ANYONE elses business. So, Friday, I joined a new mom's group, one that I'm already feeling much more comfortable in. Ladies - if you feel awkward or left out in your mom's group, chances are there is another one in your area. Give it a try, instead of finding yourself feeling isolated. I wish I had done this sooner.

-PPD. There is no shame in postpartum depression. Let me repeat this, and listen very carefully. There is NO shame in having PPD. I'd like to believe that we live in a society where depression is less stigmatized, but that's not always the case. So if you find yourself feeling more blue than you feel is normal, ask for help. You wouldn't feel embarrassed about being emotional while pregnant - thank you hormones! - so you shouldn't feel embarrassed about being emotional afterwards when your hormones are running amok again.

Basically, and most importantly, if it works for you, it's working. If something doesn't work, change it without feeling guilty. And learn to shut down during the long diatribes on child-rearing you may get from obnoxious strangers. Perhaps like this one :)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Old & New

Some of Miss A today:




Yesterday with her Godfather (who, btw, brought her a Madonna 1987 World Tour onesie - one the many perks of having a gay godfather!!!):



And ones I recently found when we said goodbye to D's truck:



Awww...she's so tiny!!!
Happy Friday, everyone!

Follow Me, Chickadee Friday!

It's that time again - it's been so nice to meet a few new mamas and get to read and explore some new blogs as well :)





The Life of a Sippy Cup Mom!, Mannland5 and The Adventures of Goober Grape and Monkey Man have teamed up to cohost Follow Me, Chickadee Fridays! Each week, simply stop by at any of these three blogs for a chance to link up and meet new and exciting bloggers out on the interwebz!
All we ask is that you follow a few simple guidelines:

Add a main link to your blog each week (Linky will open every Thursday night at 11 p.m. EST and close at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday mornings EST).
Follow the first three blogs in the # 1, 2, 3 spots.
Visit the blog above and below your listing and leave a *meaningful* comment. Something nice and shiney to make them smile. But make sure to tell them that you found them from Follow Me, Chickadee!
You don't have to follow every blog that follows you...but make sure that you follow the blogs that really interest you!
If you want to put the blog hop code or the Chickadee button on your Friday post on your blog, we welcome it!
Family friendly sites ONLY. The linky list will be monitored and anything not family friendly *will* be deleted. We don't want to see random naughty bits or something that would make our families cringe.

Umm...

Just wanted to share that a second ago when I left a comment on a blog and got a confirmation word, it was asses. That's right...asses. Like plural of ass.

Either the blogging universe is trying to talk me out of hitting up Wendy's en route to pick up the girls from camp today, or Blogger has a sense of humor.

Update on PPD.

I'm going to put my thoughts on weaning off my medication for PPD on hold. Here's why.

I've mentioned recently in a smattering of posts that I'm not quite feeling myself. I'd been tired, nauseous, down, emotional. If I didn't know better, I'd have thought I was unexpectedly expecting baby #2 (don't worry mom, I'm not!!!). Then, I realized that - doh! - I forgot to pick up my prescription refill that I'd run out of the week before. Yep, that's right. I forgot for nearly seven consecutive days in a row. Someone get me a personal assistant, puh-lease....

Anyhow, if there was any question on whether or not I felt ready to wean off the meds, that clears it up for me. I'd definitely been feeling much more down and much more reminiscent of those first post-baby days, and that is not a path I'm wanting to walk ever again. Add to that my predisposition towards depression in different times in my life, and it just seems like the best answer for me is to stay on the Zoloft. And I'm totally fine with that - it doesn't bother me or make me feel like less of a mommy at all. In fact, if it can help me function properly and meet my potential to be the best mommy I can be, isn't that all that matters?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

7 Months!

Holy moly, my baby is seven-months-old! That's insane. I mean, seriously, how has it been seven months since this day:


(On a side note, don't judge me for the worst photo of me ever taken. I'd just had a baby, ya know...)

???

How are we closer to Christmas than not? How is it that in five short months, Ava will turn 1! Oh my goodness...

At 7 months, Ava:
-wears size 3 diapers
-weighs 18lbs, 12oz (!!!!!) and is inches long
-wears 3-6 month and 6-9 month onesies (she apparently in short torsoed with long legs?), and 6-12 month pants/pj's.
-crawls further and faster every day, though still is a bit of a slowpoke (thankfully!)
-rolls both ways and has started using this as a means of transportation
-pulled herself to standing on mommy the other day!!
-has had sweet potatoes, green beans, sweet peas, pears, applesauce, banana, mango, squash (this is the only one she hates!), peaches, pumpkin, carrots, oatmeal and prunes. She's a terrific eater! Peaches, pumpkin, applesauce and bananas are her favorites, though!
-eats two cubes at breakfast, and then two cubes and oatmeal at night
-has decided sleeping through the night is overrated, and continues to wake up at least once nightly :(
-and the big news: As of Monday, SHE SAYS MAMA!!!!!!!!! Now I know I may sound delusional, but I'm 100% certain she's saying mama, clear as day. D didn't believe me at first, but I went for haircut Monday night, and he said from 7PM on (normally when she gets out of the bath and nurses) she said "mamamama" while fussing. Awww!
When I called my mom to find out if I could believe my ears, she said that I was an early talker, and by eight months said "mama", "dada", and "baba". By one year, apparently, I was using two-word sentences. Looks like A will be following suit!

Here's some seven-month-pics from this morning/earlier this week:







Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Question.

Is my baby huge???

OK, so here's the back story...

I took Ava to her first birthday party this past Saturday. I was a bit nervous to go, since I knew only two people there - one of which was the birthday boy's mommy, obviously - and so I didn't know how it would go. What I continuously forget when I find myself nervous about these types of situations is that if you're a mom, hanging out with other moms, you instantly have about 1829127 things in common. You have a kid, presumably close in age, and voila! Instant conversation starter. Anyhow, I easily fell into conversation with a couple of nice mommies who complimented Ava on her party dress and being such a cutie patootie. Aww, shucks. All was going fine and dandy, until they up and went here:

"Wait, how old is she? Wow, she's huge!" said one mom.

"Seriously, I would've thought she was 9 or 10 months old at least!" added the other.

Well, boo to you too.

I do not mean to portray a picture of me as one of those moms you'd see on Toddlers & Tiaras, critical of their child's looks or weight or any of that. Ava can be a chunker or a baldy or any manner of descriptive words, and I will still think she's the absolute most gorgeous baby that ever walked the face of the Earth (is she not?). The thing that really worries me is just that I'm either a.) doing something wrong (overfeeding her??? Is that possible on a steady diet of breastmilk and homemade, organic fruits and vegetables? I think not...), or b.) that she's a chubster and that if that's her route in life, that she'll be made fun of by other children. I was teased horribly in school (not for being overweight, but really, kids can find anything, can't they??), and I'm totally screwed up from it even 15 years later (hence the anxiety about meeting new people at the birthday party).

I really don't think she's that big. I mean, yeah, she's tall. She's probably taller than a lot of kiddos her age (hence the upwards of 90% on height usually). And yeah, homegirls got a little chub on her thighs, but babies are supposed to have chubs. It's adorable. And it serves the purpose of providing padding when they inevitably tumble over. Over and over and over. But there was a 15-month-old (albeit petite) that was the same size!!!! No joke.

I can't imagine she's just predisposed to being a bigger than average kiddo, seeing as how D and I are both pretty small people. I'm the tallest woman in my family, and I'm 5'5".

Part of it may be her legs. While she can still sport most of her 3-6 month onesies, her long legs need a nearly 12 month pant in order to keep her from sporting highwaters.

Now that I've written this post, I realize how silly I'm being. Maybe A's big. Maybe that little girl at the party was tiny. Maybe she's going to be a beautiful amazon with long legs, and will make a fortune modeling. Maybe sometimes other parents are dumb and say things that might be hurtful without thinking.

Whatever. She's perfect to me.

Monday, July 26, 2010

So What Do I Eat?

That is, when I'm not spazzing out and shame-eating half a dozen cookies.

I get asked a lot what I do eat, seeing as how I'm limited in my selections by A's dairy-free restriction (and yep, she did react, though not with the intensity or as quickly as normal, so I'm hoping that's a good sign that she's starting to outgrow it???). For any in my same boat, any vegans out there, or those just looking for some new snack ideas, here's a few of my new faves:

*Better Oats! Maple & Brown Sugar Oatmeal
Packed with whole grain goodness and served up in a environmentally friendly package, this is a surefire way to fill up and stay full through the morning. I would say to
do yourselves a favor and skip the sugar free version of this. Yeah, it might be healthier, but man is this oatmeal tasty, and relatively low-cal to boot. Great for breakfast or that after-dinner snack, and for an added bonus? It is rumored to help boost milk supply in breastfeeding mamas, and I would have to say that it does. I've been super-producing recently, and I've been eating this oatmeal on a nearly everyday basis.

*Fig Newton Fruit Crisps
Let me preface this by saying I HATE Fig Newtons...they gross me out. These 100-calorie fruit crisp snack packs, though, are delicious. The apple cinnamon are reminiscent of pop-tarts, though instead of packing in 400 calories, they're a nice, shiny 100-calories. Who doesn't like that? This is one of my favorite things to grab when I'm needing a quick snack and am walking out the door.

*If you happen to be a fellow Texan, head to HEB to indulge in their line of fully cooked products. One I particularly like is the Sweet Chili Chicken Breast. Delicious. I heat one up on the stove until it's a bit seared, slice it and throw it in a whole wheat tortilla with spinach and red onion, and a bit of olive oil and vinegar dressing....yum! If you don't have an HEB nearby (you poor things!), most grocer's carry similar fully cooked products - just look for a flavor that appeals to you.

*I eat a ton of fruit. I make sure to buy things in season, and then slice them up and have them ready to go. Right now I have some cubed watermelon sitting in there, grapes in a bowl where I can just grab them at any time, and an assortment of berries. Grape/cherry tomatoes make wonderful dairy-free snacks also.

*If you're having a snack attack and fruit won't cut it (isn't that the case about 99% of the time), I LOVE the Nabisco Lorna Doone shortbread cookie 100-calorie packs, and they're 100% dairy-free :) Tasty!

*Beans. I seriously eat like a can of beans per day. At least. How I managed to get through 25 years of my life before discovering the tastiness of beans is beyond me. I eat black beans, baked beans, and my favorite, jalapinto beans (pinto beans with jalapenos). TASTY. Plus, they're a great source of fiber and keep you feeling full.

As much as I complain about missing dairy, if it weren't for a few choice items - pizza, sweets and the like - I actually wouldn't mind eating like this. I definitely make some wiser choices and eat less processed foods, which is a major bonus. I sure would like a slice of Austin's pizza and a Mighty Fine milkshake, though!!! Soon enough!

*

Sunday, July 25, 2010

And The Award For Worst Mother Goes To...

...me.

I have a confession. Yesterday, in my stressed out, deprived state, I ate some cookies. Half a dozen to be exact. Yes, I ate SIX cookies. In one sitting. In, like, five minutes, to be exact.

It all started at a one-year-old birthday party. Doesn't everything? ;) Anyhow, we had a great time at the party, with the exception of the dad who was so into his 12-wk. old baby it was laughable. I'm all for excited, present dads, but this guy was over-the-top, recalling with great detail his wife's labor - he may or may not have used the phrase "pushing her out" 100 times - waking the baby up (when will people learn this is a NO-NO!), and just generally being so ridiculously involved I frequently wanted to turn to D and have a good inside joke head nod...except he wasn't there :( A managed to have a great time, get tons of compliments on her party outfit, and swim with a bunch of boys twice her age and yet have a nice, neat little pile of pool toys in front of only her...

Anyhow, we had meant to leave by 5:30 to keep with our nightly routine, but we ended up staying an extra hour to partake in salmon burgers, chips and homemade salsa and delicious sangria, so when I left, homegirl was feeling a bit feisty. Seriously - when am *I* going to learn not to mess with our routine??? Seeing as I was still feeling a bit stressed from the day before and my missing money hangover, and now my baby was fussing the entire way home - I did something no dairy-free mama should do: I ate the bag of cookies sent home for D as a party favor :(

I know it was terrible. I just feel so deprived on a daily basis, unable to eat cheese or chocolate or ice cream or anything I LIKE, and I totally caved, scarfing the cookies like a child hiding sweets from their parents at fat camp. It was not my finest hour, to say the least.

As of right this minute, though, by some miracle of God, Ava has yet to be sick. It's been 20 hours, and no blowout diapers. No poo at all, actually. Could this have been the moment I've been waiting for since the dreadful day we realized her milk allergy back in March?????

On the other hand, however, mommy paid dearly. I was up half the night throwing up, and it surely wasn't from the teensy tiny glass of Sangria I had. I can hardly look at a cookie right now without wanting to hurl all over again, and slept the second half of the night with a trash can by my bed. Either I managed to get food poisoning somehow - which I doubt - or my body is rejecting dairy and punishing the hell out of me.

Better me than A, though!!!!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Not Gonna Lie...

...yesterday was rough. I'm talking, worst day since Ava was born (with the exception of the day Ava was burned and also when I had to hold her down for lab work when she had measles) type of rough.

First, Ava went from crawling a few feet in a matter of several minutes to crawling quicker, farther. In fact, bad mama that I am I sat her down in the living room at the D's while I made lunch for everyone, and next thing I know, someone had their hand on my ankle. Besides scaring the bejesus out of me, I was pretty floored she'd come that far. Baby-proofing this weekend, apparently...

Also, many things went wrong. Not only was I insanely busy juggling three kiddos between Lowe's (for seeds and soil to grow pumpkins for Halloween), the craft store (I swear I make at least two trips here a week between my household and theirs) and the library, as well as making breakfast and lunch for all of us and packing a bag for them for an impromptu weekend at the beach, I also had some terrible luck. I was feeling more than a little stressed most of the day, and then, with A having been a crawler for less than 24 hours, she moved off the carpet onto the hardwoods and face planted. She wasn't hurt, but she sure was pissed! Can't say I blame her!

Then, having recently opened a savings account for little A's college fund, I went to make a deposit for both myself and for her, and the ATM went haywire. As in, gave me a receipt stating I had deposited SEVERAL HUNDRED DOLLARS LESS than I actually did, noting on the bottom of the receipt, "Sorry, there were funds in this transaction that could neither be processed nor returned." W.T.F.?!?!!? Where the hell is my money then? Perhaps ATM limbo? I then had to take my grouchy, refusing-to-nap-all-day baby inside the bank and try to explain what happened, getting "yeah right" glances from the tellers inside. Let me tell you now, bank. If you think I won't withdrawal every last cent and close my accounts over something like this, you've got another thing coming. When the inside manager couldn't help me, citing that their ATM's are on a different system than the inside bank (seriously???), I then had to spend my drive home in traffic with a crying baby on the phone with the world's biggest idiot, who basically, thirty minutes later, gave me this advice: Wait it out to see if it processes overnight. Really? THIRTY MINUTES TO TELL ME THAT??? Geeeeez. Unfortunately that didn't work, so I spent the morning filing a claim with the bank while they search for nearly $500 missing dollars that I don't exactly have to fork over to a machine. Sonofabitch.

The day continued to go downhill from there. D had a farewell happy hour after work, so it was just A and I, and I was...a bit stressed. I fed A dinner and ran her bath, looking oh-so-forward to my own girl's night of drinks and dinner at Vivo a few hours later, when A reached out and grabbed the leg of the over-the-toilet bathroom shelf in her bathroom, bringing it toppling over on me. Thankfully she was spared, but I managed to get knocked in the head by a glass shelf, and then, while cleaning up the broken glass from some of her little containers that broke, sliced my hand open and bled profusely while the water overflowed in her bathtub. If Ava's first words are profane, I'll trace it back to this very moment.

For this, and a few other, reasons, we had to postpone girl's night :( Once D got home and A went to sleep, I passed out at 9PM, not wanting to be awake (and therefore a target for more mishaps) any longer. Thankfully today was much better!

A post on first birthday parties (Ava went to her first today) and babyproofing (how I'll spend tomorrow) forthcoming!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Follow Me, Chickadee Friday!





It's that time again! I've been fortunate enough to meet some great new blog friends through participating in this last week (maybe two weeks ago?? time is escaping me lately!), and so I'm hoping to be participating on a regular basis :)

Here's how you can join the fun:

The Life of a Sippy Cup Mom!, Mannland5 and The Adventures of Goober Grape and Monkey Man have teamed up to cohost Follow Me, Chickadee Fridays! Each week, simply stop by at any of these three blogs for a chance to link up and meet new and exciting bloggers out on the interwebz!

All we ask is that you follow a few simple guidelines:
•Add a main link to your blog each week (Linky will open every Thursday night at 11 p.m. EST and close at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday mornings EST).
•Follow the first three blogs in the # 1, 2, 3 spots.
•Visit the blog above and below your listing and leave a *meaningful* comment. Something nice and shiney to make them smile. But make sure to tell them that you found them from Follow Me, Chickadee!
•You don't have to follow every blog that follows you...but make sure that you follow the blogs that really interest you!
•If you want to put the blog hop code or the Chickadee button on your Friday post on your blog, we welcome it!
•Family friendly sites ONLY. The linky list will be monitored and anything not family friendly *will* be deleted. We don't want to see random naughty bits or something that would make our families cringe.


Happy Friday, friends! And don't forget to check out Ava going mobile below - our first video (I'm getting more technically savvy by the second, y'all!)!!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Ava's Gone Mobile.

video

I can neither confirm nor deny that I may or may not have teared up a bit. Or not. One really can't be sure...

Drop A Love Bomb.

This website is fantastic! A big thanks to Butterbean (who, btw, if you haven't visited her new blog, run click as fast as you can and go check it out!) for sending this to me :)

Also, here's the link to Wrenn's mommy's blog - please stop by and send love and prayers their way!

Mommy's Little Bookworm.

Ava's first visit to the library a couple weeks ago:


Polishing up her reading skills at home:

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wordless Wednesday.

Seeing as how I used up my daily quota of words in earlier's post, here's a wordless (give or take) one for y'all:

This is A's I've-got-some-tricks-up-my-sleeve look...

My three favorite girls :)



"Mom, don't you know it's really trashy to take me around the neighborhood in my diaper? Geeeeeeeeez!"

Bedhog:

Randomness.

Today has been a great day. First and foremost, Ava finally slept through the night, after taking a six plus week hiatus from it. Mommy slept like a baby. So much so I have a kink in my neck, but honestly, who the hell cares. I SLEPT! Isn't it funny how despite waking up earlier today than any other day this week so far (6:15), I still feel like a million bucks just from getting some uninterrupted sleep??
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Yesterday, I took all three girls to the pool after picking up S & P from backyard camp. I had just fed Ava prior to picking them up as to ensure she wouldn't get hungry, but she really only felt like eating from one side.

Anyhow, we're bouncing around at the pool, splashing and having a great time singing some of the songs from swim class (yep, i'm that mama), when I lift Ava up for the "pop" part of "Pop, Goes the Weasel" and what should happen? Out pops the boob A didn't nurse from. Apparently my swimsuit was made for empty boobies, not full ones. Grrrrrrrrrreat.

To make matters worse, the handsome dad - ie. the one that the moms always act a fool around when he makes it to playdates/activities - just so happened to be at the pool. Super fantastic.
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I'm taking Ava and D to meet my entire family in three weeks. We'll be flying direct to San Francisco (thank you, God, for direct flights!) and then making the three hour trip to our home in the Sierra Nevadas. Ay ay ay. While I'm excited to see my family and have them meet A, the trip sucks. I try to only go home once every two or so years because I dread it so much.

All traveling-with-baby suggestions welcome & appreciated! Also, any how-to-ease-your-significant-others-stress-when-meeting-your-dad/extended family-for-the-first-time tips welcome as well. I'm more worried about him (and his incessant complaints about traveling with a baby) than I am A.
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You know what word I hate more than anything? If you're thinking "panties", you're wrong. I know most women hate it, but "panties" doesn't bother me at all. In fact, I think it's adorable. Boyfriend, on the other hand, never fails to irk me. It sounds like something a high schooler would say, not a 26-year-old professional, homeowner and mommy. It just sounds so trivial compared to how I'd define our relationship, as if it's temporary and not to be taken seriously. As such, I frequently relate to D as my partner, instead. I'm pretty sure a lot of random strangers think I'm a lesbian because of this. Better that than they think I have a (gasp) boyfriend. *shudder*
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I can eat goat cheese! Fellow dairy-free(ers), you may be able to also! I read this entire article (can't find the link, dammit) about how some milk allergic/sensitive babies don't react to goat cheese, as it's the closest thing to breastmilk (weird), and so at brunch Sunday I tried out the theory with a tomato and goat cheese omelet. Guess who's still diarrhea-free, three days later? MIRACLE!
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I forgot to send the email I referred to last week. Again. Oops. Can you tell I don't care all that much? You can't sweat the small stuff, friends.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Stranger Danger!

Ava has recently wandered into the not-so-fun territory that is stranger anxiety. In fact, two weeks ago her grandpa came into town to see us and BBQ during the World Cup final match, and she screamed bloody murder anytime he came near her. While part of that was that she was in desperate need of a nap, she still has become extremely wary of strangers.

I know that this is completely normal, and can appreciate that it's healthy for her development (and for later in life) that she recognizes certain people are safe and trustworthy, but is there a way I can ease this? The reason I ask is that in three short weeks we're heading to California so that Ava can finally meet my family (besides my mom, no one on my side has ever seen her!), and I'm worried how the already potentially stressful trip will go if she freaks around strangers.

Any tips/advice? Anyone else going through this??

Monday, July 19, 2010

Oh. So That's What's Wrong With Me.

It's so silly. I don't know how I didn't realize it sooner.

I may not have mentioned, but in a little over a month, my job goes part-time. S, the littlest girl, is going to a Montessori school that she's been wait-listed for a while at and that now has an opening for her. She'll be in school until 2:30 everyday, when I'll go to pick her up and bring her home. Thankfully, though I'll only be working until 4:30 most days (I'll stay late one day to allow them to get extra work done, go out, etc.), I'll still be paid for 30 hours to remain "on call", aka available to them when the girls have a three-day weekend holiday, parent-teacher conference day, etc, and I'll still take care of the grocery shopping/dry cleaning/errands runs.

I've thought that part of what's been going on with me had to do with the stress of needing to find a second job in the next month. You see, families can be really hit or miss. I've worked for some people I've really loathed, and then I've found some gems that I've really loved working for/with. This has never been truer than it is with the D's. And as tears stream down my face as I write this post, I realize that rather than being stressed about our finances when my job goes part-time, what's really wrong with me is that I'm heartbroken over the fact that I feel like I'm losing a bit of my connection with them, despite my continued employment.

I'll no longer get to spend my days alone with S and little A. I won't have those special moments I have on a daily basis where I think how insanely smart and wonderful S is and how glad I am to get to have her to myself sometimes. When I was pregnant and scared about how things would turn out, I let my love for S and how I felt for her guide me in my decisions, knowing that if I could feel that way about her, the possibilities for how I would feel about my own baby were too good to pass up.

The D's have become my family. They are the people I spend holidays with, share photos of Ava with, consider friends as opposed to employers. In fact, they're currently the front runner for who we would leave Ava with if, God forbid, something happened to the two of us.

In short, I feel nervous and scared and more than a little sad that something will be lost in the shift from full-time to part-time. Even more so, the thought of S going to Kindergarten in two years is enough to make me have a nervous breakdown.

Anyhow, sorry to stray off topic in such a sad direction, but in talking to Mrs. D this evening, it hit me what was wrong, and I just wanted a cathartic outlet to get it all out. Now that I have, I'm tired and still sad and I want to go to sleep.

Goodnight, friends.

Grab My Button! (UPDATE)

So I *think* I've finally (weeks and maybe even months later!) solved my blog button issue, thanks to Our Life in a Click and this tutorial she recommended :) THANK YOU!

On a side note, if I haven't fixed it and I just think I did, definitely let me know :)

Update: And also a HUGE thank you to Emily for being the mastermind behind fixing my button. I clearly have a mental block when it comes to blog button HTML :)

**And as always, a huge thank you to Toni over at Hemp & High Heels for designing my button! You rock, girl!

Eh :/

First off, sorry for recently bombarding you all with reviews, as opposed to actual posts. I didn't realize I would be so successful in finding people wanting me to review their products, and so they all kind of came at once, and not wanting to get behind or slack off - I'm never one to procrastinate - I wanted to get them done ASAP. Anyhow, I'm back now with somewhat of a real post, and need some input.

I've been feeling a bit down. In case you weren't tuned in after A's birth, I suffered a bit of postpartum depression. And by a bit, I mean four days after her birth you could've found me, any time of day, crying uncontrollably for no reason. I went on Zoloft on New Year's Day, and made a swift and relieving improvement.

I'd been thinking at six months of starting to decrease my dosage and go off the Zoloft, but with the way I've been feeling the past week, I'm a bit nervous. I have nothing to be down about. I'm one of the luckiest, happiest, most fulfilled people I know, particularly since the addition of Ava to our little family. Yet, for a good chunk of this weekend, I felt like doing nothing but holing up in bed with Ava and just shutting the world, including poor D, out.

Part of it, I know, is exhaustion. For whatever reason, I've been so tired. SOOOOO tired. It could be that I've been the only one waking up at night for 6.5 months, or, judging by the severity of the fatigue, it could be more. Right now I'm trying out a few lifestyle changes to see if that helps, otherwise I may stop in at my docto's office to make sure I haven't gone anemic or I don't have some sort of severe vitamin deficiency due to this dairy-free lifestyle I've adopted.

Anyone with any suggestions for holistic ways to get more energy? I know working out should top my list, but between working full-time (August will be particularly busy with the girls not in camp and not starting school until the end of the month), mommying full-time (a blessing, but tiring), writing part-time, keeping up my house, etc. And while I'd love to loosen up with regards to the housekeeping, I'm anal/neurotic/completely psychotic in a way that just won't permit that. I seriously cannot sleep if there are dishes in my sink or clutter on the tables/shelves. I'm a weirdo, I know.

Also, anyone with experiences weaning off anti-depressants after a bout (pretty severe) of PPD? When/how did you go about it?

As usual, thank you ladies for your stellar advice and input!

Anyhow, hopefully nothing worse than fatigue is going on...I'll keep y'all posted. Hope you guys had a great weekend! I'll add some pics later on when I'm back home :)

Friday, July 16, 2010

All-Terrain Sunscreen/Repellent Review.


It's summer in Austin, which means one thing: it is H-O-T. Not wanting my little one to sustain any sort of sunburn or skin damage, this year I've gone through more sunscreen than in the past five years combined, and it's only July! That's why I sprung at the opportunity to review All Terrain's line of kids sunscreen and insect repellent when it presented itself.

Seeing as how our pool recently opened up after undergoing extensive renovations (sidenote: HOAS - do NOT renovate your pool. In the summer. In Texas.), we've spent four out of the past five days poolside, giving us ample opportunity to try out the sunscreens.

All Terrain sent me two sunscreens: the KidSport performance sunscreen, a non-greasy, SPF 30, sunscreen cream that read "very water/sweat resistant", and the KidSport spray, also SPF 30 and water and sweat resistant. Both are oxybenzoane and paraben-free, both cruelty-free, and both in recyclable packaging - all a huge plus for this green mama. Better yet, they both worked wonders on A's fragile little skin. Not only did they go on easily and non-greasy as promised, but they didn't irritate her sensitive little baby skin, and most importantly, she stayed as pasty as ever. No burns here!

All Terrain also sent me samples of their Kids Herbal Armor, a natural, DEET-free pump spray insect repellent. Seeing as how I'm a magnet for mosquitoes and July in Texas usually means swarms of them, I put this on the other night while we were out in the backyard grilling. Not only did I stay bite free, but I was pleasantly surprised with the fragrance of the spray. Whereas most spray insect repellents have a harsh chemical odor and thick feeling that you want to avoid breathing near, this spray had neither but rather a nice citrus-y smell reminiscent of - you guessed it - a citronella candle. I'll definitely be replacing our OFF! spray with this product.

The last product I tried out was the Kids Skin Soother Gel (clearly these products work for adults as well, they're just kid-friendly also). The Skin Soother Gel is a natural skin protectant gel that helps to protect minor burns/cuts/scrapes, as well as heal dry/chapped skin. It is made from allantoin and aloe, and is paraben-free. Seeing as how I didn't have my Kids Herbal Armor until recently, I suffered some mosquito bites a few weeks back and decided to put this product over them to give them an extra healing boost. I was worried that it would sting, but lo and behold it actually had a soothing cooling effect, and felt nice against my skin.

I would recommend any and all of these products, particularly if you spend a lot of time outdoors or live in an area plagued with mosquitoes or with particularly heavy sun (I'm looking at YOU, Southern U.S. states!).

You can follow All Terrain Co on Twitter, or visit their Facebook page!

For disclosure information, click here.

If you're interested in having me review your product or host a giveaway, please contact me via email at unexpectedlyexpectingbaby (at) gmail (dot) com :)

Flake.

I have a confession to make. Motherhood, in all its glory, has turned me into a big ol' flake.

It's not bad enough that I'm pressed for time in a way I didn't think possible. I mean, yeah, I may be having a hard time continuously adjusting my schedule to incorporate A's shifting schedule, etc., but seriously, if any of you happen to need me to be somewhere, for your own sake and mine, tell me you need me there about half an hour earlier. Then I might have some semblance of a possibility of being there.

Not only that, but I can't remember ANYTHING. I've been meaning to send an email for DAYS, friends, and only now am I thinking about it while sitting at a computer. Sadly enough, without this text to remind me, I'd surely forget again before the end of this post.

Is everyone like this once they have a baby? Is this pregnancy-turned-new-mom brain, or is it me?

It really may just be me. I've been feeling extremely overwhelmed lately, for so many reasons. Between mommyhood, keeping house (I never understood the necessity of housekeepers pre-Ava, but now I'd love to have one, if only so I could spend more of my time at home playing with A and spoiling her beyond belief!), normal relationship upkeep, writing, blogging, cooking, etc - I just feel so insanely chaotic. While I could cut certain things out, I need my down time to blog or write or read or whatnot so that I feel like myself. So much of my life revolves around A and tending to A, feeding A, getting/keeping A asleep, etc, that I need the me time in order to not completely lose myself to my mommy role, ya know? Unfortunately so often that "me time" is granted at the sacrifice of the time I *should* be sleeping. How do you other mommies balance this?

Speaking of, I am going to do a bit of reading and then have an early bedtime. I've been exhausted lately, and am hoping to catch up on some sleep this weekend.

On a side note, any mommies in the Austin area, particularly North Austin? I've met two great fellow mamas through my blog, and love connecting with more! If you're not in the area, feel free to comment/shoot me an email anyhow - I love meeting new blog friends and sharing in this motherhood experience!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Soapwalla Review.


I recently got in touch with Soapwalla, an all-natural, organic company owned and operated by Rachel Winard, that sells face and body products. I was sent a sample of one of her amazing soaps - the almond oil and oats soap bar - and one of their signature products, the Soapwalla deodorant cream.

It would be a lie to say I wasn't skeptical of the deodorant cream. Besides the texture issue (a deodorant cream??), I worried that the coverage and effectiveness wouldn't keep up with my usual deodorant or my super-busy mom lifestyle. Boy, was I wrong. I used the deodorant cream both yesterday and today, and I was blown away by how it held up through hour after hour of errand-running, grocery shopping, wrestling my active little monkey through diaper changes and beyond. Not only that, but application was easy (you just dip your finger into the cream like lip balm, and gently rub it into your underarms), mess-free AND smelled great - no chemical or overpowering smells like with most commercial deodorants! Best of all, no pit stains or embarassing body odor.

I should also note that I have highly sensitive skin. I can't wear Secret, and Degree usually causes me to develop razor burn. I generally use scent-free deodorants such as Almay. This product, however, did not irritate my skin whatsoever! I would highly recommend the Soapwalla deodorant cream!

As for the soap, I was equally impressed. I put the sample in my kitchen, seeing as how I was preparing a meat dish from scratch last night, and used it to clean my hands over and over and over throughout meal prep and cooking. Whereas my usual Bath & Body Works foaming soap leaves my hands feeling dry, the almond oil and oats soap left them feeling fresh, without the need for lotion. My favorite thing about the soap, though, was that it didn't leave any filmy feeling on my hands. So often the soap I use feels like it didn't quite wash off, which isn't ideal when you're handling a baby who inevitably sticks your hand in her mouth all day long. This soap, though, smelled great and washed off clean.

I am definitely going to be shopping Soapwalla in the future!

For more on this company, you can follow Soapwalla on Twitter (@soapwalla), visit Soapwalla's Facebook page, or visit the Etsy shop by clicking here.

For disclosure information, click here

Giraffes, Blocks & Rings - Oh My!

Lots going on around here.

First off, Ava's gotten some new toys, and she LOVES them. Here's a quick pick of all her faves these days:



Notice Sophie the Giraffe nestled in there. Yeah, yeah, I swore to myself I wouldn't pay upwards of twenty bucks for a glorified chew toy, but I'm a sucker a mommy that wants her baby to be happy, and Sophie makes her very, very happy. In fact, expect to see many different shots of Sophie in upcoming pics because, well, Ava and Sophie are attached at the hip.

She also loves the stacking rings, and while she can't stack them yet, she sure as heck can take them off all day long. She's also a rather big fan of the stacking cups, and likes to pretend to drink them all day long. At least we know where she inherited that tendency...

The sorting blocks are a favorite, but not with the top on. They've also led us to discover that I'm passing on my uber anal tidy tendencies to Ava, since if you put the rings in the red blocks box (didn't know you were tuning in for a Dr. Suess book tonight, did you?), she freaks out and takes them out. Apparently only blocks can go in the red blocks box. Yikes.

One of Ava's favorite things to play with in the car is the crunchy book you see pictured. It has no words, just pics, but makes a crinkly sound she absolutely loves, and is great for teething. It also helps me to know when she's awake or not while in the backseat without having to crane my neck to access her mirror. Works for me.

We recently got her a little push car with balls that pop, but she's totally not into it yet. Which is surprising, since look what position she found her way into earlier:

What the heck. It is NOT time to crawl Ava, no matter how adorable your efforts are.

On a less adorable note, here are some recent things we've been dealing with that I'm far less fond of:

-Ava has decided it's great fun to blow raspberries at me during breakfast every morning. While I have no one to blame but myself (I knew it would come back to haunt me, but the laugh she lets out when you blow raspberries at her is just too stinkin' cute to pass up!), it's still a bit obnoxious, particularly this morning when we tried prunes.

-We tried prunes this morning, as previously mentioned, because Ava was super constipated. It's not that she hadn't gone in a while, but she was so obviously straining. I'm talking, grabbing-her-high-chair-and-turning-bright-red type of straining. Poor baby. Anyhow, I gave her prunes and pears, and over the course of the day, out popped SIX poo diapers. Geeeeeeeeeeeeez. The lesson here? Prunes OR pears, not prunes AND pears. Check.

-Ava decided last night that she wanted to party. While she only woke up once, which is fine by me, that one time lasted fro 2:45-5AM. Unfortunately, 5AM was the exact time I'd set in my mind that I was going to wake up David and tell him it was time for him to take over. She fell asleep at 4:57. I kid you not. She then proceeded to sleep in until 9:30 while I got up at 7:30AM to deal with the pest control guy. Oh, the joys of adulthood.

Anyone with any tips on how to discourage the whole spitting cereal and fruits all over mommy thing? I'm not a huge fan.

I am, however, a huge fan of this face:
(note the homemade "Argh, kiss me booty" pirate onesie and baby converse!)

And this one:

And I wouldn't have minded seeing this particular version of Ava at 3AM:


Here's hoping she'll continue to sleep better now that she's been getting some (homemade) oatmeal and rice cereal!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Dyson. Giveaway.

Dyson Giveaway at The Bewitchin' Kitchen!

Need I say more?

If you need any convincing that Dysons are the single most amazing cleaning product in the world, let me tell you how I feel the vacuum lines that Dysons leave on my carpet is like mommy porn. Seriously.

On a sidenote, I'm 26 and just referenced a vacuum cleaner as mommy porn. Wowwww.

Fellow Co-Sleepers, Past & Present!

Had you used co-sleeping in a phrase while talking to me pre-baby, I would've (internally) rolled my eyes. Despite my free spirit and laissez-faire way through life, I still was dumb closed-minded to the idea of co-sleeping, writing it off as a hippie, flower-child brand of parenting. I've never been the attachment parenting type, not believing that babies suffer by being allowed to cry and being put down. And then, I had Ava.

The basic principles that babies, to a certain extent, need to learn to deal with a bit of crying and frustration are still things I believe. So tell me why, six-and-a-half-months past birth, Ava has never been left to cry?

This precise question was raised yesterday while on the phone with my grandma* on the drive home. Since I live so far away, I tend to phone a rotation of relatives on a regular basis - my mom, my grandma, and my aunt - so as to not feel left out or have them feel like they're missing out. It works quite well for us. Or it did, until my grandma and I found ourselves at a stand-off with regards to parenting styles.

Don't get me wrong - there are no hard feelings or grudges being carried or any melodramatic nonsense. But it was made quite clear to me that she feels that us allowing (and dare I say enjoying??) Ava in our beds is a big fat no-no. She made it clear that she feels that babies should be in their own rooms by four months at the latest, and that we're doing ourselves and Ava both a disservice by continuing to keep her in our rooms, let alone bed. I do not agree.

While yes, being a parent has opened my heart and mind in ways that blow my mind on a regular basis, and I now embrace co-sleeping, it is out of necessity, not a shifting view in what my ideal parenting approach and/or sleep situation is. Basically, people, we're just trying to get by. If co-sleeping is the best way for us to all get some much needed rest, to keep Ava feeling secure and learning that sleep is a peaceful, enjoyable state (as well as keeping her from ever having a little baby brother or sister - LOL), then so be it. Would I love for her to sleep 12+ hours a night straight in her crib? Uh, duh. Does she? No. So for the time being are we in a place where I get enough sleep to function, and she gets enough to stay healthy, grow and develop on target, in an environment that fosters a secure attachment? Yes, and isn't that what parenting is really all about?

So, fellow co-sleepers, past and present - I ask you this: When the time came for you to move baby to their own crib, how did you ease the transition? At what age did you make the change? Would you recommend doing it at/by a certain point? Is (*gasp*) my grandma onto something?

*If you read grandma and automatically think frail little old lady, generation upon generation apart from me, let me stop you right there. My family is all pretty young - I'm actually the one in the family who was the oldest when I had my first baby! - and there is only a mere 37 years between my grandma and myself. We definitely don't have your typical grandma-granddaughter relationship...

Monday, July 12, 2010

I've Lost It.

Many of my childless friends and family alike ask me how I lost the baby weight. Let me tell you. I NEVER stop moving.

Oh. You thought this was going to be about how I've lost my mind? Rest assured - I've lost that too. I'm just pretty sure you all are sick of hearing about it...

Anyhow, let me tell you about my weekend. I was busy. Like, BUSSSSSSSSSY.
I made 80 servings of baby food, including pumpkin, applesauce, peaches, broccoli and sweet potatoes. Then, since my baby won't sleep (the one thing I didn't do enough of this weekend...), I made 30 servings of rice cereal in an attempt to fill her up.

I worked in the garden.

I took Ava to our neighborhood pool that finally opened up - not that it hasn't been 100 for the past month (Thanks, HOA. You suck.).

D's dad came to visit and we BBQ'd while watching the World Cup final match (Viva Espana!)

I cleaned all three of our bathrooms.

I did three loads of laundry (how is it possible that three people make SO much laundry? I guess in our defense it should be noted that one was due to Ava peeing through her diaper and all over our bed, so one was due to that situation).

I went to HEB. Twice.

I vacuumed both floors.

I made dairy-free brownies. Delish. Thank you, Duncan Hines. You'll forever be my brownie of choice :)

Hmm...I'm sure there is more, but I can't remember it now because I'm exhausted. I need a weekend from my weekend.

And so friends, despite having eaten almost the entire pan quite a bit of brownies on my own in 24 hours, I managed to lose my baby weight because I never have a chance to sit down.

I'm not entirely sure this is a worthwhile trade-off.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

In Light of Recent Events...

In light of recent events, I'm posting some First Aid how-to's for a variety of situations. As it turns out, it really can happen to anyone, at any time, and while I've had some prior Infant First Aid training in the course of my time as a nanny, I recognize that most people have not and/or could use a refresher course (myself included). The only good thing to come of Thursday was that Dr. H was quick to tell me that my immediate reaction - ripping A's clothes off and submerging her in ice water - may very well be the reason why she didn't blister, and so just in case any of you find yourselves in a similar situation, here's what to do:

BURNS

1. Remove the baby from danger and cool the burned area by flushing it with cool water (unless it is an electrical burn, as described below). Remove the baby's clothing unless it's stuck to the skin.

2. Loosely cover the burn with a clean, dry gauze dressing to reduce pain and prevent infection. Never apply ice directly on the burn**, and do not put any ointment on a significant burn, as it can seal in heat. Likewise, stay away from home remedies such as butter, grease, or powder; they don't work to heal the burn, and they can actually cause infection. (**ice in the water is OK)

• For a serious burn (second-degree), call 911; severe burns can cause loss of fluid from the body and breathing difficulties. If the burn has affected a large portion of the baby's body, wrap him in a clean sheet and cover him with a blanket (to keep him warm) after stopping the burn and cooling it with water.

• For a chemical burn caused by contact with a household product such as paint remover, drain liquids, oven cleaners, or household bleach, call 911 and flush the area with cool running water until help arrives. If possible, remove clothes with any chemical on them.

For an electrical burn, such as when a child puts a metal object into an outlet or bites an electrical cord, call 911 but don't cool the burn with water; just cover it with a dry, sterile bandage. Electrical burns may appear deceptively minor yet can cause severe harm.

POISONING

Keep the number of the poison control center (PCC) -- 800-222-1222 -- near the phone. If you suspect that your baby has ingested a toxic substance -- medicine, cleaning product, or pesticide -- call the center immediately (even if she has no visible symptoms). Report exactly what was ingested (read the ingredients from the label), how much is missing, and the time of the event. The PCC will tell you whether to give home care or call 911.
The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend syrup of ipecac or activated charcoal as routine at-home poisoning treatments. If your child vomits spontaneously, turn her on her side to prevent choking. Save some of the vomited material in case it is needed for analysis.

CHOKING
A baby's airway can be blocked by a small object or risky foods such as nuts, whole grapes, hot dogs, and popcorn. A child who is coughing while choking is able to get some air into the lungs -- watch her carefully as her reflexes work to clear the airway. If she doesn't cough up the object and her cough weakens, she can't make a sound, or she stops breathing, have someone call 911. If you're alone, provide one minute of care (see below), and then call.

1. Give five back blows. To do this, first position the infant facedown on your forearm, resting your arm on your thigh for support. Support her chin with your hand, and make sure her head and neck are lower than her torso. Then use the heel of your free hand to give her five firm back blows between the shoulder blades.

2. If she doesn't cough up the object, turn her onto her back. Rest her on your forearm, using your thigh to support her body and your hand to steady her head. Make sure that her head and neck are lower than her torso. Give five chest compressions.

3. Repeat back blows and chest compressions until the object is coughed up or the baby starts to breathe or cough. See the doctor afterward, even if your baby seems fine.

4. If a choking baby becomes unconscious, deliver two rescue breaths. If the breaths don't go in, the airway is probably blocked. Tilt the baby's head farther back, lift her chin, and give two more slow rescue breaths. If the breaths still don't go in, give five chest compressions.

5. Look for a foreign object. Open the baby's mouth and look for an object that is blocking the airway. If you see it, use your little finger to remove it. (Don't fish for it if you can't see anything.)

6. Give another rescue breath. If the chest still does not rise, continue the cycle of five chest compressions, looking for a foreign object, and giving a rescue breath until help arrives. If the breath goes in, and the chest rises, give a second breath and check for breathing and circulation.

CUTS AND SCRAPES
Minor cuts and scrapes

If the injury barely breaks the skin, wash the affected area with soap and water, pat it dry, and then apply an antibiotic ointment (such as bacitracin or Neosporin) and a nonstick bandage. Keep the wound clean and replace the bandage at least once a day to prevent it from falling off and becoming a choking hazard (watch to make sure your child doesn't pull it off, as well). Call a doctor if the area becomes swollen or red, there is a pus discharge, or your child has a fever or acts ill.
Deep cuts
If the wound is severe and continues to bleed for more than five minutes, call 911 and apply firm pressure with sterile gauze or a clean cloth to the bleeding site. Elevating the injured limb above the heart will help control bleeding. If a sharp object such as a nail is deeply embedded in the skin, don't remove it. Wrap it in bandages (to keep it from moving), and seek medical care.

HEAD AND EYE INJURIES
Head bumps and eye irritations should be treated with care -- babies' developing brains and eyes are very fragile. Even if it doesn't seem serious, it's a good idea to check with the doctor.
Head injuries
This type of injury is common in young children because a child's head is relatively large in proportion to the rest of her body. A child who falls from a significant height (two or more feet) or is in a motor vehicle accident could have a head, neck, or back injury. Call 911 if your baby loses consciousness, has a seizure, oozes blood or fluid from the ears or nose, has bruising around the eyes or behind the ears, or acts lethargic. Do not move her, as this could cause further injury. Call a doctor even for apparently mild head injuries; your child might have suffered a concussion.
Eye injuries
All eye injuries (common ones include bruising around the eye, scratches on the cornea, and cigarette burns) should be evaluated by a doctor. If an irritating substance is splashed into the eye, flush it with water for at least 15 minutes and seek medical care. Don't rub the eye, apply medication, or try to remove an embedded object yourself.

Giveaway Winner & A Great Big Thank You!

First things first, without further ado, the random number generator chose #2, Rene, at Just Jack. I'll get the book sent out to you by Monday morning!

Second, I just wanted to say a great big thank you to all my awesome blog friends out there. All of your comments about Ava's accident the other day made me cry. I am so lucky to have such wonderful friends in Blogland with such kind, encouraging words. I've been feeling really down since Thursday, despite Ava being a-ok, and I just can't shake it, but as I read your comments, I truly felt so much better. The amount of "well when (insert child's name here) was a baby, I..." stories I've been told recently as well, from everyone ranging from readers to old friends to my boss, who I idolize in so many ways, has been helpful also.

Since you guys rock so much, I'm very excited about the upcoming reviews and giveaways! Truth be told I'm not entirely certain what's being shipped my way, but I'm very excited to pass some things along to you guys as a huge thanks for all of your comment love and support.

Happy Saturday, everyone! Go hug your babies nice and tight :)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

B & The Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.

I'm not quite sure I'll be able to make it through this post without bursting into tears for what quite possibly could be the 12098289423894th time today. Why, you ask? Ava got hurt pretty badly today, and while she's absolutely fine now, I've never felt more sad and horrible and like a worse mother in my life.

I picked up the girls from their camp at 1pm, and then, not having had time for lunch due to an impromptu mommy & baby nap, headed back to their house to make a quick lunch while we hurriedly changed clothes and packed a bag for P's second camp of the day. Having very few dairy-free choices there, I opted for Chicken Pomodoro soup. After heating the soup up in the microwave, I sat down at the table with S to work a puzzle as I ate, while A played happily next to us on the floor. Or, more accurately, happily until she realized she could attempt to climb my leg, at which point I opted to pick her up as opposed to becoming a human jungle gym on a schedule.

This next part is where it gets bad. I can't believe this happened, friends. I consider myself a super attentive and detail-oriented person when it comes to what my baby (and the girls I watch) is doing, as well as what she's capable of and could potentially do. Yet somehow, I managed to overestimate the distance between Ava's reach and my bowl of hot soup, and before I could even blink an eye, she had flipped it over, sending hot soup all over her head, face, neck, back, right arm and side.

In whatever time passed between that second, and me having her clothes off and in a sink full of ice water, I have no recollection. My first aid training snapped into fight or flight status, and I managed to have her in the sink with cold water and ice surrounding her in a minute flat. But can I tell you that I've never been so scared and so upset in my entire life? While hysterical wouldn't be the right word, seeing as how I was doing everything in my power to keep her calm through her screams, the amount of silent tears pouring from my eyes could've filled Town Lake.

Ava's one tough mama. She went from silent scream to hysterical and pitiful in seconds, but somehow, by the grace of God, by five minutes from the accident, she was clinging to me for dear life, but calm and fearless. My sweet little darling. You're so brave, A.

I called the pediatrician while I had A in the sink. Have I mentioned that I love him for giving out his home number? He talked me through it, asking if she was welting (no) or blistering (also, no), and said that as long as she wasn't, she didn't need to be seen or taken to the ER. He said to keep an eye on it for thirty, as blisters could begin to appear past the immediate, and said he'd call to check back in with us within the hour. Thankfully, and hopefully due to the immediate cold, she never blistered or welted, and is now free of any evidence of the accident. Just the same, I feel like the WORST mother in the entire world. How on Earth did I not know better? How did I overlook how far she'd be able to reach?????

:(

Precious Giveaway!

Ooh, do I love me a giveaway! That's why you should head over to The Souders' Saga to enter her great giveaway - perfect for girls, boys, and/or mommies! That's a nice plus!

Just know - I'm planning to win this one ;)

Speaking of giveaways, mine ends tomorrow night, so head on over and click here to enter!

Uh Oh.

Someone's learned how to pull up onto her knees....


Someone's learned how to pull up onto her knees....

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Faux Hawk.

I've so been looking forward to the day Ava's hair was long enough to do this :)


Doesn't it look as though she took the first one herself?

One Slight Announcement...

I'm extending the book giveaway through this Friday, July 9th, because, well, I haven't finished the book yet! Due to some unforeseen events (aka life as a mother), I can't get my act together enough to finish it. So far, though, it's been very good :) Click here to enter.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Exciting Happenings!

First off, head on over to Boston Baby Mama where my birth story is being featured today!! How awesome is that?

Second, if you haven't already, head over to this post to enter my giveaway/read it forward event featuring a great beach/summer read!

And last, but not least, I'm in the process of working with two great companies, Soapwalla Kitchens and Boogie Wipes, to review their products, and share a giveaway with one lucky reader! Can't wait!

Happy Tuesday everybody!

9 o'clock Dance of Joy!: Target GiveAway

It's a Target gift card giveaway - enough said.
9 o'clock Dance of Joy!: Target GiveAway!

Tuesday Cuteness.

Before you do anything else, go over and enter my giveaway for a great summer beach read. Now that you've done that, on to the good stuff...

Cheese!

A's new stacking blocks:

Loves that tambourine!

Swimming:

Princess PJ's!

Naptime!

Monday, July 5, 2010

What We Did Over Our Holiday Weekend.

First, we tried on hats and went for our first cart ride at Hobby Lobby...

...where I bought the supplies to make this adorable onesie*

*it was actually supposed to say "wipe me booty", but I used the wrong iron-on because I'm tired...

worked on the garden I've managed not to kill (yay!)


planted a garden of sweet corn, sweet peas, tomatoes, basil, mesclun and green beans:

tried desperately to crawl(!!!)

Can you see both teeth in the picture above?



..and last but not least, laid around in our comfy PJs!
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