baby development

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Somebody Please Make It Stop

Danger: Mommy-rant ahead.

For the past 4 nights, Cookie has begun screaming and crying and there isn't a darn thing anyone can do to stop it. The only thing that calms her down is when I rather firmly rub her bottom gumline and give her a dose of infant tylenol.

Yup, friends - you got it - teething hell has begun. It is full-on fire and brimstone and weeping and gnashing of teeth (hehehe - that was funny right there).

And after putting up with work crapola from 8-5, I am so not in the mood for a screaming, crying, unconsolable baby.

NOTHING works. Okay, that is hyperbole - but not by much.

Her Auntie Megan is in town (thank God for that, or I might have lost my mind). We went out and bought mesh Baby Safe feeders and put ice in them for her to suck on, and she loved that - for about 15 minutes. Then the crying began anew.

I tried infant Motrin, and then Orajel swabs to numb her lower gumline. All that just made her mad - really, really mad. I could relate because I was pretty ticked and tired too. I figured if her mouth hurt as hard as my head, she must be in pain.

Thank God for Megan's polite "suggestion" (which could be interpreted as "Hey Tam - get Cookie this instant and get your cranky ass OUTSIDE NOW!"). She is so cool. She can tell you to go screw yourself and make it sound pleasant. I love her to pieces.

It was so freakin' hot here that I stripped Cookie down to just a diaper and we put her in the stroller and took off down the street into the evening air. She fell asleep in about 5 minutes. We walked and talked with a almost-naked baby fast asleep until we were tired enough to head for home. Just as we pulled up to the house, another woman was pushing a baby in a stroller and Cookie immediately woke up and started to fuss again. *sigh*

She rejects bottles (which, like her mommy, is very un-natural to reject food of any kind). She screams and crys with tears coming out of her little eyes and drool coming out of the corners of her mouth. Eeeewww. Thank God I am the Mommy because I do love her, but eeeewwww and ouch. I've had a headache off and on for days now, and its not easing up.

Of course, after I head off to work, Cookie wakes up smiling and babbling and playing with her daddy as he gets ready for his day and takes her to daycare. Ugh. I get fussy-teething-screaming-kicking-flailing-take-no-prisoners Cookie. Gosh I love that baby girl.

I do wish I could take her pain away. It does hurt to see the streams of tears and hear the pain in her cries that are so different from any other type of cry.

Please, teeth. Let's be reasonable here. Can't you just pop in overnight so we can be done with this at least for another couple of months? Do you have to take so freakin' long? Can't I just pay you to come in now and get it over with? I'm good for a few hundred bucks anyway.

Oh, on a side note - everyone adored her at the wedding last weekend. Michael did a terrific job performing the ceremony - even the part where he had to wave a wand of burning sage over their heads (um, yeah, it was an odd ceremony). But Cookie was a real charmer, and didn't cry the whole evening...until we were back in the hotel room where she proceeded to "let us have it" with the screaming and crying.

Folks, I wish you all better success at getting through teeting than we are having. God bless parents. I mean it - God bless 'em. This is nuts.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Feeding & Growing

For two weeks now, Cookie has been eating carrots, bananas, and rice cereal and enjoying it immensely. At first, she pushed it right out with her tongue. But quickly she learned to swallow and eat with much delight - even without wearing a lot of it. Tonight we may try sweet potatoes.

Downside to this cute phase: Carrot spit-up is nasty looking. Diaper contents take on new color combinations. Gas can become a problem again (although Cookie thinks it is very funny to fart on you while you are changing her diaper).

Cookie also loves to make "raspberries" with her lips. They used to be pretty small, but now they are great big raspberries filled with vast amounts of baby-spit. She also discovered that doing this while eating will make mommy and daddy laugh. This will likely not be funny much longer as I was wearing tiny droplets of carrot last night - and this was not the fashion statement I was going for.

She's outgrown all her 3-6 month clothes. Hello 6-9 month outfits. I keep thinking "Geez, couldn't Julie just keep Sugar Bean and then I'd have someone to send these clothes to?" (Okay, so I know SB will go home soon, but I can dream. Besides, Julie's gonna get another one - and Lisa too. Hehehe.)

I love this support network. I love seeing QueenBee's pictures of Princess and Speedy, getting updates on MN from Jeremy and Nicole...and the list goes on. I love hearing about Little Guy from Meegan - and praying for court dates to come quickly for all of us. I love rejoicing in pregnancy news from sster and Sunnie. I love hearing about Gawdessness' match with Spring and Brick, and Lisa getting Baby N. And now Bo and Jackala get to stay with their mom. And there is some waiting for brand new foster parents to get their first placement. Things are happening everywhere. There is so much hope - so much celebration of family in so many forms. All of you give me so much joy and hope. Each day I come home and tell Michael the recap of the day's blogs - I tell him how you all are doing. I forward links to him so he can see your pictures - or pray for you too. I think he knows all of you without ever having read your blogs.

I'm not sure about Michael, but each day I come closer to wanting to put an email in to out social worker to be put on the list again for another placement - this time a baby boy. I really think we will one day. Maybe it will be when Cookie is in a toddler bed and the crib is empty - or maybe we will just make room for another crib - or ask for a toddler. Either way, family now has new meaning.

So, here's a peek into what my next post will contain:

Michael and I and Cookie are traveling to Ohio where Michael will officiate a wedding ceremony of two of his former graduate students. Yup - he had to go to some crazy website to get "ordained" and now he is ordained in the church of Universal Happiness or something like that. It should be entertaining. Cookie's first wedding. Seems fitting as several weeks ago she had to experience her first funeral. I tell ya, the girl has a full life. Oh, and you can bet your sweet boopie that I'll be taking pictures and videos now that I know how to use this fabulous camera of mine.

I know you can't wait. You'll be stalking my blog for pictures. Hehehe.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Experimenting With Posting Videos

Video Hosting - Upload Video - Video Sharing
This one is called "Raspberries & Hiccups"

Monday, May 22, 2006

A Great Birthday Weekend

I successfully turned 35 on Friday without much fuss. Michael took Cookie and I out to an extremely nice place for dinner, and we had no qualms about toting Cookie right in and up to the table in her carrier while we (carnivores that we are) feasted on juicy steaks.

Dessert was waiting for me at home - a huge assorement of gourmet chocolate-dipped strawberries - some rolled in coconut, sliced almonds, or pecans. Divine.

Cookie got me a bouquet of sugar cookies (very appropriate).

I have another gift coming from my husband that will arrive later this week, though I know not what it will be. Hmmm.

On Friday I went to the dermatologist to have a harmless growth/lump removed from near my right elbow. It was neither growing nor painful, and it had appeared at least 15 years ago, but it was ugly. So, $400 and some pain later, it is gone. I'll get the stitches out in a week, and then I'll be back in another 2 weeks for another round of laser hair removal for my face. It is national "Improve Myself" year for me. I feel better already. I had wanted to get my hair done, but getting in with a good stylist around here is like waiting for Christmas. So, on June 1 I am going to become a redhead again, and the long tresses will be history.

On Sunday, Cookie and I went to Wal-Mart to have mother-daughter pictures made. They turned out so cute that I ended up spending a whole lot more on pictures than I had planned, but I escaped for less than $60, so all is not lost. They will be in on June 9th, and rest assured they will get posted!

Next month, Michael and Cookie are going to have father-daughter pictures made together. They have a basketball background, and daddy and daughter are both going to wear their UK gear for the pictures. I can't wait for those to be done.

In July, for Cookie's 7 month birthday, we are all going to have our pictures done as a family - maybe even somewhere nicer than Wal-Mart (though the photographer there has been very sweet to us each time we have gone).

No news on the TPR front. I don't stalk my social worker anymore. God's got this one, which is good because I just don't have the time! We'll find out the status on the paperwork at the SW's May visit to our house anyway, so there is no need to call and bother her.

On my birthday, my mom told me "I love you" over the phone. It was the first time she had offered that sentiment first, voluntarily, since I began my relationship (my interracial relationship, then marriage) with Michael almost five years ago. She also invited us to come visit them this summer in FL. I almost fainted. Thank God I was in the bed. Then she also said she and dad wanted to come visit us here in Lexington. She said "we gotta come she this child before she turns 10!" (10 being the random hyperbole our family is famous for). I agree. They need to have more faith and less fear too. She is their grandaughter, and has been since December 22nd, 2005. She's growing up so fast, and I want her to know her grandparents.

So, we press on. Life is excellent.

This morning I left Cookie in the bed next to Michael. Later this morning when I called to see how his day was going, he confessed that he had slept until 9. Now, he AND Cookie would have had to both sleep that long, which apparently was exactly what they did - right next to each other. Like father, like daughter.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Congratulations Sunshine & Boaz!

Click on the above link and go congratulate this amazing couple on the adoption finalization of their 2 beautiful little girls!

Hope your day was fabulous. We'll be waiting to hear more stories and learn from you both.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Sometimes God Whispers...

...and sometimes he raises his voice.

I got the results of my last round of blood tests in the mail.
Despite having taken Metformin for over a year now, my testosterone levels have risen drastically again.
My estrogen levels are low.
I have not had a cycle all year.
The doctor says it will take at least 2 medications to further try to treat the PCOS and attempt to restore my cycles.
At this point, my weight is more of a factor in my risks for cancer than not having regular cycles.
We have decided to consult with my OB/GYN during my next visit in July to decide how to proceed. But one thing is now certain:

I will not be pursuing fertility treatments.

When I saw my doctor, he said he was sorry and that he knew I wanted a child. I reached into my wallet and pulled out a picture of Mia Elizabeth (aka Cookie) and placed it on his desk. "This is my daughter - for now, and hopefully forever. That's really all I wanted out of all this. I'm happy. I'm really happy." He smiled, and looked into my eyes, and for the first time in over a year saw a truly happy woman.

I no longer feel desperate, and that feels really damn good. I have days that are 10's on the 1-10 scale on occasion. I had some tears when I read the results of the blood tests. The reality of infertility is a bitter pill. But for me, every day it becomes a part of my past - a given, a uniqueness. It isn't as huge and looming as it once was. Now its a part of who I am, but it is in balance. I am Greek, highly educated, a Christian, brunette, a wife, a singer, a blogger, and infertile. Its just another descriptor in a long list of characteristics. It no longer defines me.

Deciding to become a foster parent has been one of the best decisions I (we) have ever made.

I cried during our second home study when our SW asked about infertility, my history with depression, and other extremely sensitive things. I had to get up and go to the bathroom in order to stop crying. She still approved us. Why? Because we knew our deamons, and we addressed them. We were going to marriage counseling and working on improving ourselves so we could be the best possible parents to whatever children came into our home. It wasn't so much about having a clean home - it was about having a clean heart.

The past two weekends we have traveled to Mississippi. Part of that time we got to spend with Michael's 3-yr. old nephew. It made us both a little more open to having more than one child - and asking to be put on the list for a little boy one day. So, after Cookie's adoption is finalized (notice I say when, not if) we very well may put ourselves back on the list for placements. It would be hard, and kids would likely be returned to parents or family, but we might just get another child. In the meantime, we could save a child's life - or at least their heart.

Tomorrow is my 35th birthday. I'll reflect more then about my journey this past year, and return to blog posts from a year ago to see where I was at and how far I have come. I do know this - I'm a better wife, a pretty darn good mom, and a better child of the Father. I think he's proud of me. I think he's proud of all of us who have learned about faith from the oddest of places - our state cabinet offices and DCFS.

Beech-Nut is Kosher

How very cool is that?
You can go here to see what Beech-Nut baby foods are Kosher and Kosher for Passover.

Pizza & The Cookie

Last night the hubby and I were happily munching on pepperoni pizza from Brooklyn Pizza here in town. And if anyone knows pizza, these folks do.

As I sat on the floor next watching TV, Cookie got a bit fussy sitting in her walker. So, I extracted her and sat her on my lap while I tried to finish eating my pizza before it got cold.

Cookie watched excitedly as I took one bite after another. She reached out her pudgy hand toward the slice of pizza as more and more of it disappeared. Clearly, she knew a good thing when she saw it. I tried to explain to her that she was too little to eat pizza, but apparently those words fell on deaf ears, because...

In one fell swoop, Cookie reached out for the stub of pizza crust and simultaneously lunged toward it with her mouth. Apparently she had very good aim, because not only did she manage to grab it with her hand, but she managed to cram her enture mouth over one end in a nano-second. After finally pulling her away, her face had pizza sauce on it, and the look on her face said it all:

"Man, mom, you are right. This IS the best pizza ever. Of course, I have nothing to compare it to besides formula, but that pizza is downright DELICIOUS!"

Later last night she had some carrots. I think she was sorely disappointed. See for yourself:

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Need Car Seat Input

Soooo, Cookie now weighs about 16 pounds, and she has been using an infant (non-convertible) car seat. This has been great for taking in and out of the car while she is sleeping, except now she is 25 inches long, and her little feet hang over the edge. It will soon be time to buy a convertible (infant-to-toddler) car seat - as in, VERY soon.

Anyone use a brand they really like? OK Wyld & others with more experience here - whadaya recommend?

Blessed By The State

Say what??

Yes, the state of KY has been a real blessing to us as foster parents.

I remember when we decided to become foster parents. We completed all of our MAPP classes, and on the very last class they told us what our subsidies would be (per diem) for our foster children. It was not much, but it was far more than other states. We had counted on getting maybe half that much, but we still went through with it because we wanted children. Anything more just made our cup overflow.

Still, we started saving up to pay for daycare and after-school programs. It was at our final home visit that we learned we could put that money elsewhere. Because both my husband and I both work full time, daycare is paid for by the state. To make it even better, they pay $25 a day - and we were free to choose which daycare we wanted as long as they accepted the amount the state was willing to contract for. We have been very fortunate each time to find a great center. This daycare coverage will continue even after we adopt (we just learned that a month or so ago).

When a child is placed with us, we have always gotten the clothing voucher immediately or within a day. This voucher is for $100 worth of clothing for the child, and is good at numerous places (I have always gone to Burlington Coat Factory where prices are fabulous for infant and toddler clothes.)

We also get reimbursed for materials we buy to start a lifebook (up to $75), then a little more every few months for film developing, printing, etc.

We get WIC vouchers for the kids (I had to take babies there to sign them up for it). These vouchers provide baby formula, and more things for older kids. My monthly formula purchases total about $140 (that I don't have to pay). Above and beyond that, we now buy about a week's worth of formula now that she is eating about 32 ounces a day, and the WIC formula only pays for what amounts to about 26 ounces a day. WIC is a God-send. People look down on me buying my formula with WIC in one order and then buying non-essential items with cash or credit in the same line right afterwards (of course, those nosey people can bite me).

Some of the most expensive things we are left to pay for out of our subsidy and then out-of-pocket, but these kids have all been worth every penny. We get diapers at Sam's Club, and it is significantly cheaper there. She's now in size 3 (dang) in Huggies, and a huge box of 168 is only $30. Of course, 168 diapers only lasts 2-3 weeks, and then its right back to Sam's again. Wipes are another fairly big expense. After all, who has ever used just one baby wipe in a changing? OK, maybe if all she did was pee. But then again, wiping her usually prompts more peeing, which in turn warrants another baby wipe. Ugh.

Right now I'm on the market for an Exersaucer. Dang. I think I paid less for my first car.

If only my parents had invested in companies that make disposable diapers and baby toys - I'd have gone to a much more expensive college, and then maybe I wouldn't be sitting here blogging and trying to pass my day at this boring job. Tamara sits and ponders that a minute. Nah.

So, we've spent a lot of money out of our own pockets. We decided not to keep track of these expenses lest we fail to trust that God would provide. I'm sure that empirically it just doesn't add up. We've just been blessed. We trust it will continue. I think most foster parents feel the same way. We don't know how we're going to do this, but each day we manage to laugh a little, and vent a little, and buy what we need (or want) to buy for our kids. Thank God for the state of KY that helps us be the best foster parents we can be. We are truly blessed.

Foster Parents' Story From St. Petersburg Times

Take the time to read this one, folks. We are all incredibly blessed. These folks really tried.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Birth Mother's Day May 13th

Lifted from "the net":

Birth Mothers Day recognizes the biological mothers of adopted children. It is celebrated primarily by mothers who for whatever reason, gave up their child to be raised by someone else.
If ever there was a controversial holiday, this is it. The day was established by birth mothers to educate, to remember, and to cope. But, many mothers who gave up their children have feelings of remorse, and often guilt. Many don't want a special day. And, of those mothers who want to be remembered, they don't necessarily want a special day, aside from Mother's Day. They feel they should remember, and be remembered, on Mother's Day.
From the child's perspective, adopted children understandably have a high level of anxiety over this topic. A fair number of them don't want a relationship with their birth mother, adding more controversy to this day.
If you do celebrate this day, we suggest you use it to promote education of the issues, and to show compassion and understanding to birth mothers.

Origin of Birth Mothers Day:
This day was created by birth mothers in Seattle, Washington. It was first celebrated in 1990.

Comment by Tamara:
Controversy aside, we should all give thanks for the women who gave birth to our children and foster-children - despite what they might have done or not done to them. Without these women, we wouldn't have our beautiful children to share Mother's Day (and every day) with.

To J:
Thank you for giving birth to Mia Elizabeth. She is beautiful and happy, smart, cuddly, and growing so fast. I pray that you find healing and peace in your life. I pray that people will come into your life who will help you, and that you allow them to work with you to bring about your recovery. I pray you do whatever it takes to not bring any more drug-addicted babies into this world. I pray you make the right decisions about this child before the courts make those decisions for you. I hope you will know that from you came something beautiful and perfect who made the lives of so many people so much richer.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

TMI I'm Sure

I haven't had a period in 76 days.
The two before that were 50 days apart.
At least I spend less on feminine products
(which I make up for in buying pee sticks "just to make sure").

It's funny - we got Cookie on December 22nd of last year, and though my cycles had been regulated thanks to daily 2000 mg of Metformin, they stopped being so regular. Now they have stopped indefinatley. DH has been taking Clomiphene to help his swimmers - um, yeah, only there's been nothing for them to swim towards.

Damn PCOS. I hate you.

Even funnier is how good I feel these days. I had some dark moments when I started this blog. I had posts I deleted thanks to loving cyberfriends who advised me to. I deleted a post in which I actually wrote that I hated my husband. The fact is, I truly did that day/week/month. I told very few people.

I am having great days. I have dark ones too. For example, a student cussed at me over email yesterday and it had me in tears because it tore down so much of what I love about teaching. Today I find him offensive, crude, and ignorant - and not worth my time. Today is a pretty good day. I had Thai food for lunch, and I get to pick up Cookie in a few hours and give her kisses.

But I haven't cried about being infertile. In fact, when I went to the doctor on Monday I felt quite at peace. I'm not at much of an increased cancer risk for not having regular cycles. It's likely the ovarian cysts, or a tubal blockage, or both. Or I'm going into early menopause (which he doubts). The doctor is running some blood tests, including a fancy one that can tell your blood sugar levels for the past 3 months (how CSI is that?). But we agreed to do nothing. You read that right folks - nothing for now. I go to the OB/GYN in July and that's good enough for me. At that point, she may want to give me something to "jump start" my cycles again. But I really don't care much anymore. In fact, I took out a picture of Cookie and showed it to him - this was my daughter. Fertility - schmility.

I'm taking care of myself a little more, and spending some money doing things I might not have done before. I had laser hair removal all over my face. I no longer have to shave my moustache and goatee every day. Since last month, about 25 hairs have sprouted through - this is compared to hundreds all over the place. It feels better to look in the mirror and not see the thick dark black hairs under the surface waiting to poke through and making my chin look dirty without makeup. I took a round of antibiotic to clear up my acne and got a prescription face wash. I can go out without makeup now without hiding. And I weigh 3 pounds less than I did in January. Awww yeah. The Hagen Daz diet is working!

My spirits are pretty good - especially in light of compromised sleep patterns, a funeral this past weekend and 20 hours of travel in the car, and unknown dates for TPR for Cookie. Life is awesome. I have so much. I would NEVER have believed that becoming a foster-to-adopt parent could take away so much of the pain and hopelessness of infertility. I would NEVER have believed I could love a child so much.

Every day I get a little bit closer to being able to say that "Infertility is the greatest gift God could ever have given me." One day I will say that and believe it and feel it with every cell in my body. One day we will have a daughter (and maybe a son one day too) forever. In fact, we already do. Cookie is our daughter now, and no matter what happens legally, she always will have been. To us, she is now Mia Elizabeth.

I turn 35 on May 19th. This is the day I have vowed for years that "If I turn 35 and do not have children, then I am adopting." On May 15th, the SW will be turing in paperwork for Cookie to the courts to request a date for TPR. Freaky, huh?

Please say a prayer (or blessing, or chant, or incantation) over that paperwork and over the courthouse in Lexington, KY. Please pray for Judge W in family court. Please pray that we get a date for TPR very soon. Cookie deserves to have her forever family just as soon as she can.

Until then, I'm spending the Kotex money on a babysitter once a month instead. Darn, that would be really expensive Kotex, wouldn't it?

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

4 Month Old Pictures

OK, I had to post these pictures of Sugar Cookie. I'll leave them up until I know my faithful readers have had a chance to see her, then I'll delete the post. Honestly folks, if you had this little Cookie, could you keep from sharing pictures?

An Incredibly Hard, Yet Wonderful Weekend

Michael's aunt passed away last week. I didn't write about it because I didn't know what we would do or what would happen. We decided to go to Mississippi for the funeral - and due to the cost of plane tickets, we decided to drive. We also decided to take Sugar Cookie. It was a 609 mile drive (each way) that truly tested our love of this baby and our patience and tenacity.

When we arrived, we were met in the yard by folks sprinting out of the house to say "hello" to us and snatch Cookie. We were prepared for this rejection by association. Cookie is much cuter and far more huggable than we are. The entire weekend she was held by no less than 50 people - at the house, at the visitation, at the memorial service. Whew. She cried only a couple of times, and fussed occasionally, but all in all was a real trooper.

But the big question we were not prepared for: What's her name? My FIL and MIL pretty strongly suggested that it was not good for Cookie to be 4 1/2 months old and not be being called by her name. The only problem is this: we don't call her by her birth name. As soon as we learned that we had a good chance of adopting her, we started trying to come up with names. Her birth name isn't bad - it just wasn't what we would have ever chosen. She may very well be the only child we ever have, and the only chance for us to name our own child. We have called her "Cookie", "Biscuit", "Baby", and "Gabigaboo" - and daycare has called her by her birth name.

I must say I was a bit embarrassed by the focus on her name. I felt like I had let her down by not committing to a name. I felt the need to decide. So, together with the help of lots and lots of family and friends, we made a decision:

Sugar Cookie will henceforth be known as:

Mia Elizabeth

MIA are Michael's initials, and how he signs most everything. It also means "mine", which has its own significance. To see the origins of the name, click here.

I'm happy with the name. It will take some getting used to. I'm not sure its a name I would have chosen without my husband, but with him it has great significance and I like that very much. To get her used to hearing it, we will be calling her "Baby Mia" and "Mia Cookie" for a while.

Undoubtedly, folks will disapprove of our changing her name before parental rights are even terminated. But, if you understand how doggone slowly this process works, you know she could potentially be old enough to know her own name long before that happens. So, it will be the name that we call her. We have thought about the potential "problems" with this, and have decided they are less severe than her not having a name she recognizes as hers. We've heard of other foster parents calling the baby something other than their legal name for a variety of reasons (i.e. pending adoption or unfortuante birth name). We have not asked permission to call her Mia Elizabeth. It is the one thing we are taking control of ourselves. As many of you know, we have so many limitations as it is - this liberty we feel is one worth taking.

On this blog, she will probably continue to be Cookie. But I wanted to share the process, and to admit the difficult time we have had. It is all a part of the struggle. We are the only family she knows - the only one she has now. Two hours of visitation with Biomom in February does not constitute a mother-child relationship. I may be a foster mom, but for all purposes for this child, Michael and I are all she has.

She is now a part of our extended family. This weekend she bonded with her grandmother and grandfather, Aunties Tesha and Marlene, Uncle Jay and cousin Deuce. They loved her. To them, she was already a part of the family.

A funny story from the weekend: Cookie's new cousin Deuce is 3 years old. One morning he was playing with his toys on the floor while Cookie was in her bouncy seat. He looks up at me and asks, "Aunt Tamara, is the baby old enough to play cars with me?" I said, "No Deuce, she's too little. She can't even sit up by herself yet. We have to wait until she's a little bigger - but that will be soon I promise." He seemed okay with that. Fast-forward to that evening. Deuce is on the floor again, playing with his cars, and he looks up at me and asks, "Is she big enough NOW to play cars with me?" We all tried hard not to crack up - he asked so sincerely. When I told him she would be big enough at Christmas, he looked very, very sad. Then I remembered that for a 3-year old, Christmas seems like 8 years away.

It was a hard weekend. We got back late Sunday night after driving all day. Cookie did well in the car, and only fussed to eat, get a diaper change, or take a break every few hours. I was relieved. But now we have to turn around this weekend and do the very same thing, for it is Michael's sister's college graduation and we couldn't miss that. Ugh. What a month this has been already. Can I get off the roller coaster now, please?

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Too Smart For Her Own Good (Or Mine)

Monday night Michael had a softball game - at 9:30. I decided to stay home and put Cookie to bed and crash early myself. Cookie had other plans.

After reading as much information as I could on getting babies to sleep and getting them to sleep through the night, I had decided it was best to put Cookie to bed drowsy rather than fast asleep. That way, she would learn how to find her "sweet spot", get comfortable, and fall asleep on her own. It works about half of the time. The other half of the time one of us ends up picking her up after a spell and rocking her to sleep. That works another 45% of the time. Then there is the other 5%. Monday night was going to be one of those nights.

I placed Cookie in the bed on her back and turned on her mobile. She seemed content to watch the bears spin around, but she started to fuss after only a few seconds. I didn't pick her up. I laid down on the bed and turned the TV on with the volume down so I could barely hear it (she is used to falling asleep with the TV on). I started to watch Supernanny try to teach a breathing technique to a 5-yr. old child who probably needed more psychological intervention than she could offer. Cookie began to whine louder and holler. I picked her up, rubbed her back until she calmed down, and put her back down. The next time she started to holler, I rubbed her back and head until she calmed down. I did not feed her (per the advice of our pediatrician). I continued to do this as the Supernanny show continued to disturb me even more.

Finally, I sensed quiet from the crib and turned my head in that direction. What I saw next almost made me pee the bed:

Cookie was on her tummy and with her chubby little left hand had pulled the crib bumper down so she could look out. She was holding herself up with her other arm and all I could see was from her nose up - and she was staring at me wide-eyed. I started to laugh out loud, and she kept looking and me and started to whine again. Translation: "Hey lady, what does it take to get noticed around here? I've been whining my butt off and all you can do is sit there and watch some dumb show about how to take care of bad kids. Helllloooooo. I'm heeeeeere."

I picked her up. I cuddled her for a good long time, and then I put her back to bed and she finally fell asleep. Score: Cookie - 1. Mom - 0. But I did get a good laugh out of it, and a mild headache.

We're in for it folks - this is one smart Cookie.

P.S. - From the pediatrician visit on Friday: Cookie is 14 lbs., 12.6 ounces. She is 2 feet, 1 inch tall and in the 75th percentile. Michael is hoping she will be a power forward and play for Stanford. Watch her want to take ballet instead.

Monday, May 01, 2006

A Very Thoughtful Gift

I received this nice early birthday/Mother's Day gift from my husband last night (who said he couldn't wait to give it to me): It's a coffee mug and mouse pad custom printed with my favorite picture of my sweet Sugar Cookie! How adorable is that! My Monday is much brighter, and now I get to work with my sweetie smiling at me. How quickly I have become a "mom". Oh, the picture is a close-up of her lounging on daddy's chest (which also makes me smile).