Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Vacation Activities

I have the week off soooooo it must be a great time to shove in a bunch of doctor appointments.  LO and I headed over to Cedars today to see a new doctor regarding her torticollis.  Torticollis can be caused by so many things that seeing all the docs at UCLA was getting tiring as no one was really saying anything but not signing off on not seeing her anymore.  UCLA was awesome but I needed a second person to tell me that all the appointments were necessary and I had been told that Cedars offered more of a one stop shop approach in regards to appointments which appealed to me.  We waited a lot longer but I felt a lot more confident with this doctor.  One of the first things he did was have LO and I take off our shoes and look at our hands and feet.  Since he is more based in genetics he is into drawing connections between traits and the reasons that things happen.  I was totally into it as it felt like more of an explanation instead of, "It just happens sometimes."  BTW--he couldn't draw any conclusions as our hands and feet are normal.

He also noticed a lot of the same things that I had observed but felt stupid saying.  Her left torticollis is basically healed but the physical therapy of mashing her right ear to her right shoulder created right torticollis so that is why her jaw is off and her cheek is drooping also accounting for the eyes being uneven.  I feel like it is ironic but I am not worried about it as it is not severe.  LO screamed bloody murder during the entire appointment even though the worst part was the manipulating of her neck which happens frequently.  All in all, I am really comfortable not going to any more appointments for her neck/head with the exception of the eye doctor.  I feel like I can watch it and go back to physical therapy if necessary.  She is old enough that her head shape is not going to move that much. 

The only sucky part was that he advised on no more kids until I had an operation as we had gotten lucky with LO and he warned of the different possibilities/outcomes that could have happened.  It made me a bit nervous but LO's new sassy attitude has made me weary of jumping on having more kids anyway.  I will talk to my doc about it but I am not going to run out and do it as it sounded fairly unpleasant.

While we were waiting for the doctor, I met another mom whose son has severe torticollis along with some sensory issues and severe reflux who is not sleeping.  We were doing the usual "who do you see for this or that," and she told me that LO had an old face and you could tell that he was going to have a wise old face  later in life.  I felt so bad for her as you could tell that she was struggling so I didn't correct her and I just went with it.  I nodded and said," Yes, he is going to be very wise."

Shots tomorrow for LO, yipppeeeee!

Monday, December 27, 2010

I'm Baaaaaaaaaacccccckkkkkkkk

We are back from our travels and I am sooooo happy to be home.  The trip was fun but very tiring and LO almost lost her mind a few times.  She had a cold, teething, too much excitement thing going on.  DH requested that I take her to the doctor as he feels she was a little cranky.  He thought it might be attributed to the reflux but I think it might be attributed to her getting upset when she doesn't get her way and him needing to be a little more firm.  In my mind I have a mock doctor visit with DH and the GI doctor.

GI Doc: What seems to the be the problem?

DH: I think we need to increase LO's medication

GI Doc: Crying during eating? Stomach Pain? Projectile vomiting?

DH: Yes to the crying but more when she wants my iPhone or I take away something.  I used to make a funny face and let her do whatever she wants as I am the nice one and my wife is the one who needs to do all of the mean gross stuff.

GI Doc: I can't really help you

DH: What do I do??!!!!!

I will post some pics of the trip and LO's first trip to a zoo.  She was somewhat impressed with the lemurs but a little unimpressed with everything else. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Sigh of Relief

My holiday cards are here!! Yipppeeee! They came in the nick of time and again I under ordered. I ordered 20 more cards than last year and sent separate Hanukkah cards and I was still short on cards.  I don't know how that is possible as I am really not that popular.

I feel that I finally have a handle on the holidays and now I can enjoy.  I am sending the last batch of gifts today.  The total gift recipient count was 41 people not including toys for tots or the adopted family.   I don't know if that was up or down from last year but it seems excessive and stressful.  I am not going to think about it as I am finished and I do not have to cook the holiday meal.  Hurrayyyy!

So wrapping up 2010, it started out not so great, became wonderful at the end of the first quarter, got a little tough for a bit and we are ending on a high note.  2011 will bring a first birthday for LO, a happy 4 year wedding anniversary and a sad 10 year anniversary at the end of the year.  Overall,  I am looking forward to a new year and new adventures. 

Blogging has been great for me and I have to thank everyone that pushed me to do it especially Polka Dot Hippo and DH.  I love reading about your lives and children and trying to find some comedy in mine.  I love the comments and hope that you continue to care read about our family in 2011.  This mommy blogger is probably going to be scarce until the new year as there are parties to attend and LO loving to give.  Have a wonderful holiday and happy new year!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Calm the Crazy Lady

Ok, I am calming my bizness down. I may have been a teeny bit wound up last week but that is all about to change.  I have a three day work week and then I am with LO 24/7 for ten days straight!  I would be a teensy bit more excited if she hadn't been so cranky all weekend but c'est la vie.  There will be wine and sugar galore for the next ten days and then onto a big ass diet.  Yeah I said it, a big ass diet--pun intended.

I delivered my adopted family and a co-workers' adopted family gifts this weekend and it gave me a little perspective so I am feeling a bit better.  I am also 95% done with holiday shopping, DH's family gifts have been sent and my family gifts will be sent tomorrow as I rushed out the door this am and forgot them.  It may have been because I was so damn tired from waking up THREE times last night.  LO was acting like a newborn last night.  I woke DH up for his turn and he asked what he was supposed to do. 

LO is a sleeping champ who enjoys her sleep at night so three times is like, "Holy hell, rush this kid to the hospital." It may have been our crazy weekend as I let my aunt and uncle wake her up Saturday night and then no bath routine Sunday night or the flu shot on Friday. We are strict to the night routine but tend to lag during the day and it shows with crazy weird naps.  She woke up this am at 7:30 and she was coughing so we will see how that goes as this is what I had been dreading this season.  We have the steroids at the ready for the croup cough but I am going to try and avoid it as long as possible. 

In other news, LO and Anna went to a children's museum this weekend.  There was a little crawling room with a bunch of soft stuff for younger babes and LO was enjoying herself until she threw up and then the mommies wouldn't let their kids play near LO so we left.  A little reflux and you can clear a place.  The big hit was the water table which is kind of pure genius as it is a table with water and boats--always fun.  Obviously, the girls took it as serious business.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Toilet Locks for the Holidays

Is it possible to emit a scream while smiling on the outside? I am slowly losing it as it all seems to be too much lately.  I can't figure out if it is the late nights that DH is working, the 18 extra gifts that he added to the list yesterday, job stress, the holidays or simply the miracle of crawling.  It might be a little of all of it but I can't take much more.  Anyone feeling the same??!

My house was baby proofed yesterday and I want to go around and rip 95% of the stuff out.  I had no idea how many times a day that I throw something away in the kitchen trash.  I am also FREAKED out by the toilet locks.  They seem unsanitary, unsettling and disgusting.  We were offered toilet locks that our friend was no longer using to help offset the cost of the 600 bones that I laid out for a bunch of annoying crap and I can't stop thinking about it.  We borrowed their gates, their Bumbo, their clothes, shoes, toys, socks, books, car seat, sleepers, baby gym and Boppy but I think we need to draw the line at second hand toilet locks.  When it comes to babies, I am all for borrowing and lending stuff.  I think you buy a few key items that you really like and borrow the rest if possible. But I am drawing the line at toilet locks.  Any other lines that I am missing??

LO partied with Anna yesterday until she couldn't take anymore.  I took her out of the car, put her into her pjs and medicated her and she never woke up.  

Monday, December 13, 2010

Separation Anxiety

LO has been very loving as of late which I love but it has been in a bit of, "Don't Leave ME EVER" kind of way.  I love holding her but other people want to love her and be with her.  Now that she is crawling (yeah!!) she uses that skill to climb on me so that no one can hold her.   My family thinks that I don't want to share her but it breaks my heart to hear her crying.  One of my fears with in home care was that she wouldn't be comfortable with new people but she is doing it with DH and Poppins as well.   If I am in the room, she has to be attached to me.  I sat one chair away last night at dinner and it wasn't close enough.  I don't want her to feel rejected by me but how do I help her feel secure with other people?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Xmas Card Drama

Erica is a big Etsy lover and is always telling me how everything is more unique and better quality on that site. I bought DH a personalized laundry bag on the site as a joke and it makes me laugh when I see it.  I also had an Etsyer do my new blog design--see pretty.  So instead of buying Kodak Gallery Xmas cards this year which I did for Hanukkah for $8, I dropped 100 bones on Etsy cards.  They look awesome and I am really excited except that I paid for them and the seller has gone MIA.  Then I went back and read more of her reviews and it seems to be a trend for her.  I am starting to get a bit nervous as I have emailed her and Etsyed her to death.  She was all over it before I gave her the money and now no communication for four days.  Christmas is not something you can just catch up with later, it has an expiration date.  How long do I wait before getting really upset?

Chocolates & Gifts

DH is home and I didn't realize that I had been holding my breath until he was back.  I was really happy to have him back and I did learn a few things while he was away. 
  • Two weeks is a long time
  • I can do it by myself but I really don't want to.
  • I need to coordinate with my single moms (shout out to y'all) and my moms who have traveling husbands and coordinate some trades as I need an hour to myself to work out or something.
  • I was happy to see him but when he pulled out chocolates and a nice gift, I was even happier.
  • He started organizing the house as soon as he walked through the door which makes me nervous but I know that he can't help himself and it is nice to have him do it.
  • LO started crying when he picked her up.  I would have crawled into the fetal position and howled like a wounded animal for hours but it didn't phase him.  He simply sat down next to her while I held her and she was fine with him within a minute.
  • He was up at 6:30am for a business call that included shouting into the phone and pacing. Sigh, all is back to normal.

Toy Review


Now that it has been a few days and we are playing with all of our new toys, I thought I would do a quick review on some favorites.   The favorites could change in a week but what LO really liked right away is this bubble bath from California Baby.  I don't pore it into the bath as it isn't fragrance free as I didn't know they had the super sensitive one but I use the wand to blow bubbles at her and some land in the bath making enough bubbles for the bath.  She is really fascinated and looks forward to it.  She watched them at first but now is trying to touch them.   I am really into it as I have a slight fear of bubbles and the grossness that makes weird clown bubbles but these are natural and it makes bath time special.

Another toy that she really enjoys is from grandma from Lakeshore Learning.  The 150 slot together animals that come in a nifty bin. The first day she was content to take one piece and play with it.  I thought that it was a big score as I didn't really want to pick up 150 pieces but she quickly moved on.  The adults are a little stumped on the toy as you can't build anything substantial but LO is really into knocking the bin over and being among the pieces.   She also likes to sample the multiple pieces and see if they taste different.   I know that this toy will send OCD DH over the edge when he returns. Bwahahahahahaaaa! 

We already lost one of the wooden flames for the awesome wooden Menorah which will irk him too. The cats seemed to enjoy playing with the "flame" as well so who knows what happened. The wooden pan, spatula, latkes and gold coins were a big success too.  We lost a gear to the most annoying  and most loved toy on earth months ago and DH still ponders what happened to the gear.  If I could find it, I would give it to him for Xmas.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Out of My Way

This past weekend at Mommy & Me (where someone gave LO a monster snotty cold) LO sat up on her own.  She just kind of hung out on all fours and then sat down almost on someone.  I was so excited and everyone started clapping.  I was hesitant to get too excited as sometimes she does things once and then NEVER does them again until forced.  

DH called and I told him and then he asked if she was crawling yet.  Way to rain on my excitement parade.  I am amazed at how children are so different as we went to lunch with another mommy and baby after the class who is pretty advanced and she sat in the high chair and FED herself!  LO laid in the booth like she didn't know how to sit and licked the menu while the baby FED herself and waved at people.   This baby is only two weeks older, has been crawling for months, is standing on her own and feeds herself with a whole bunch of teeth.  LO occasionally took a break from the menu to lick the booth.  I enjoyed myself with a glass of wine while the lick fest occurred.  Hey, there has to be some advantages to having a kid that doesn't leap towards the next milestone.

We went home and took a much needed nap and I turned the video monitor on and she was sitting up in her crib playing with the monitor so all you saw was a big eyeball.   I was so excited that I ran in there and she was so pleased with herself.  Then it all kind of came together for her and she started crawling a bit on Tuesday.  She is still figuring it out and sometimes sits when she means to crawl and she still ends up under the couch a good amount of time but there is forward movement!  She even lifts her hand when she is on all fours which I know is from all of the PT so I have to give credit to Dr. Doom and Despair Sophie.  She goes to see Dr Evil tomorrow so I am sure all of my excitement will be dashed but for right now, I could cry I am so happy.  As k said, there should definitely be cake involved!   We are also trying out a new doctor for the non PT medical part that I am pretty excited about.  I think it will result in less appointments as he takes care of the eyes, bones, muscles and head in one place.  Woohoo!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Pay Up, It's the Holidays

I was recently asked to contribute to a group gift for someone that really was not on my radar for gift giving.  It was not a large personal sum but it added up to a decent amount of cash and it irked me.  I thought the group money would have been better spent on helping a less fortunate family or a funny gift exchange but I kept my mouth shut and put up the cash. 

I have no problem recognizing people that make my life easier throughout the year and there are a few key people. In addition to them, I plan to give cash to the UPS guy who never rings the doorbell in case LO is sleeping and always waves when he sees us in the neighborhood.  I don't plan on tipping the Fed-ex driver who repeatedly fails to deliver LO's formula or dents the cans.  The lady who cleans the alley every day will see a holiday card and cash but not the horrible gardener that floods the walkway.  

Do you think cash is always preferred or should I do a gift card?  Am I forgetting anyone that you like to recognize? 

I have included Emily Post's suggested holiday giving guide as a reference:

Service Provider Options Suggested Amount or Gift
Au pair or live-in nanny
Cash or consider a gift. This person works closely with your family and you probably know them well.
One week’s pay and a gift from your child(ren).

Regular babysitter
Cash
One evening’s pay and a small gift from your child(ren).

Day care provider
Cash or a gift for each staff member who works with your child(ren).
A gift from you or $25-$70 for each staff member and a small gift from your child(ren).

Live-in help (nanny, cook, butler, housekeeper)
Cash and a personal gift
One week to one month of pay as a cash tip, plus a gift from you.

Private nurse
Gift
A thoughtful gift from you.

Home health employees
Check with agency first about gifts or tipping policies. If there is a no gifts/tipping policy, consider a donation to the agency.
A thoughtful gift from you. (If gift-giving is not against company policy.)

Housekeeper/Cleaner
Cash and/or a gift
Up to the amount of one week’s pay and/or a small gift.

Nursing home employees
A gift (not cash). Check company policy first.
A gift that could be shared by the staff (flowers or food items).

Barber
Cash or gift
Cost of one haircut or a gift.

Beauty salon staff
Cash or gift depending on whether you tip well after each service.
The cost of one salon visit divided for each staff member who works with you. Give individual cards or a small gift each for those who work on you.

Personal trainer
Cash or gift
Up to the cost of one session or a gift.

Massage therapist
Cash or gift
Up to the cost of one session or a gift.

Pet groomer
Cash or gift (if the same person grooms your pet all year).
Up to the cost of one session or a gift.

Dog walker
Cash or gift
Up to one week’s pay or a gift.

Personal caregiver
Cash or gift
Between one week to one month’s salary or a gift.

Pool cleaner
Cash or gift
The cost of one cleaning to be split among the crew.

Garage attendants
Cash or small gift
$10-30 or a small gift

Newspaper delivery person
Cash or small gift
$10-30 or a small gift

Mail carrier
Small gift only

Package deliverer
Small gift only, no cash. (Only if you receive regular deliveries.)
Small gift in the $20 range. Most delivery companies discourage or prohibit cash gifts.

Superintendent
Cash or gift
$20-80 or a gift

Doorman
Cash or gift
$15-80. $15 or more each for multiple doormen, or a gift.

Elevator operator
Cash or gift
$15-40 each

Handyman
Cash or gift
$15 to $40

Trash/Recycling collectors
Cash or gift (for private) check city regulations if it is a municipal service.
$10-30 each

Yard/Garden worker
Cash or gift
$20-50 each

Teachers
Gift (not cash)
A small gift or note from you as well as a small gift from your child.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Hanukkah, I Am Over You

I tried to make it all eight nights but the love affair ended last night when I gave LO the last toy from grandma, she threw up in the box and then started crying.  She has a little cold and her reflux has been crazy weird the last two days.  I think I need to get her dosage redone but I am trying to wait a little bit longer.  She sounded horrible last night on the monitor but she slept like a champ.  I went into her room this morning and she had dried snot from forehead to chin and all over lovey.  She was a happy snot machine.  She is also going through a little bit of separation anxiety which makes it hard to leave her as I keep giving one more hug.   I think Hanukkah was a success and I can celebrate any Jewish holiday by ordering at this site.  Hilarious! The only sad part was that DH missed all of it.

Now we are onto Christmas and I am going to let DH decide if he wants to get a tree.  That usually requires a trip to storage to get all of the gear so we will see.  I bought LO the obligatory ornament so she isn't upset at me at 23 for not marking her birth with some sort of bejazzled thing.  My only concern is that it is super fragile so it may not make it that many years.  I will have to photograph it extensively. 

DH's mom is the interesting giver of gifts and has already picked out gifts for the LO without consulting the wish list. DH called to tell me so that I was ready just in case something arrived before he was back.  He blames me for all of the gifts as he thinks I should have a better relationship with her.  One year we got a stained glass cat fireplace screen.   One day I dream of having a fireplace so that I can utilize such a masterpiece.  The first year we were dating she got him a fancy lighter.  I was secretly horrified as DH smoked at the time and I hoped that he would quit.  All I kept thinking of was the scene from the Breakfast Club as played by Judd Nelson, "Smoke up, Johnny."

My last gift that I need to buy but have no ideas is the Christmas/your pregnant gift but don't know the sex and we have been friends since 8th grade/you threw my baby shower.  What to get? I will have plenty of time to get a shower gift and all that jazz but need some je ne sais quoi.  Any suggestions?

Monday, December 6, 2010

One More Pic

LO pretending to be Austin Powers

Hanukkah

I have been inspired by all of the cool Advent stuff that everyone has been doing! Wow, what creative mommies and fun traditions.  I decided to partake in some Hanukkah celebrating with the LO.  Unfortunately, getting home right before bath, bottle and bed can lead to gifts being given to LO while I get her bath ready on the floor of my bedroom.  I failed the first night but slowly improved.

Night 1: Bubbles with wand for her bath












Night 2: A book about Biscuit the Dog and Hanukkah












Night 3: We walked around at a holiday evening so no gift that night but she opened this one the next day.  A wooden Hanukkah set that she really likes.  That is a wooden latke that she is eating.












Night 4: Our aunt and cousin came over with gifts.  I think she looks like P Diddy in this coat.  If P. Diddy had prunes on his face and wore no pants.












Night 5: A tub of 150 plastic pieces from grandma which kept her entertained while I got food together.












Erica and Anna came over for a Hanukkah meal which was partially homemade and store bought but with love.  It is hard to put a proper meal together without someone to assist with watching the LO.  I thought this was cute as it looks like the girls are lighting the candles but really just getting ready to chew on the pieces.
I look sweaty but I am wearing a clean shirt for the occasion!

Friday, December 3, 2010

8 Months Old

We are a little late on the 8 month pictures and there are no great ones with the sign fully intact but every month it gets a bit harder than when she was like this.  

Am I certifiably crazy as I want another child?!  I am trying to be cool cat calm as I know there is a good chance that she will be our one and only but part of me already misses the tiny baby stage.  This is not to discount the many tears of frustration in the first 2 months or during pregnancy.  I just didn't know that it would go so fast or that she would be so independent.  Is it purely selfish reasons to want another baby to hold and love?

What if I turn into that crazy Michelle Duggar? Erica from Polka Dot Hippo would give another child as a gift to her first child.  That is a really nice gift!!  I want another for me as I feel like their is a little place in my heart that will always be empty if I don't have another.  Double hatred in the teenage years? Two children telling me that I suck?  If I only have one, I can fantasize that the other one wouldn't have hated me.  I love having one and I love being with her and two would make me stressed and nuts.  I told everyone that would listen and some that didn't care that there was no way I was having another.  One and done but the above picture haunts me as it is one of my favorites.  7lbs of goodness wrapped in the first teeny little dress that I bought for her.   Ok on with the pictures!





Thursday, December 2, 2010

Toothie

Finally some photographic evidence of the tooth!

Packing List for 8 month old

Here is my packing list for traveling by plane with LO for a three day/two night excursion.  We used a car service to the hotel that had a car seat and then walked everywhere.  A little sketchy but so worth it not to have the car seat.

Birth certificate
3 night diapers
Burp clothes
5 bottles
Ziploc bags - All sizes
Lovey - unwashed
Crib sheet - for Pack n Play or regular crib
Target blanket
2 sleepers thicker—trucks and flowers
Links
1 book
Stroller & stroller blanket
Stroller cover
Formula can unopened
Formula 8oz -- 6 containers, pre-scooped formula into the Medela milk containers
Plum Organic Food with Boon spoon attachment (LO was suspicious and wouldn't eat it with crazy spoon)
Bibs
Medication
Cups for medication
Syringes/Medicator for administration of medication
Ergo carrier – no insert
Pacifiers
Paci wipes
Pacifier strap
Scented trash bags for the diapers
Tylenol
Baby Wash
Jumbo pack of diapers
Wipes
2 Disposable changing pads
Little Tummies Gas Relief
Saline drops
Nasal aspirator
Dish washing liquid - bought there but will bring next time
Water- bought there
Clothes
Socks
Navy fur boots
Gray skinny jeans
Cream coat
Navy long sleeve top
Gray cords
Owl hat
Fuzzy outfit
Leggings
Sweater one piece
Gerber long sleeve tops
Dress & tights

Should have brought:
Bottle brush

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cookie Monster

I loosely associated food with mood before LO.  I would give myself a pass to "cheat" if I was upset about something.  When I was pregnant and had gestational diabetes, I learned a lot about how food affects the body and weight, the true value of proteins versus carbs and sugar.  I also learned about what carbs do to blood sugar and that eating a piece of cheese instead of bread will sustain you much better, yada yada yada. 

Yesterday, I took LO to the eye institute to get a final sign off as she finally outgrew the crossing and I hadn't noticed the strabismus in the last few months.  They refused to sign off and noticed the misalignment of her face.  I had been rearranging her eyebrows so that one eye didn't look higher than the other one but had noticed it too. 

It is slight but she still has a lot of growing to do so it can correct itself or get worse.  I tried to joke that her modeling career was over before it started but the doctors had no sense of humor about it.  The exercises for the torticollis are getting so hard as she is so strong.  Poppins is a lot stronger than me and she is even having issues.  I have been struggling for awhile but didn't want to say anything as I felt so ashamed that I couldn't handle it.  I have agreed to more aggressive taping and have decided to see another specialist for a second opinion.  The no insurance physical therapy is getting very expensive as I didn't count on her regressing so many times so I am going to get a second opinion with someone that is covered. 

I dropped LO off at home and then went to work where I didn't think much about it until the end of the day.  I tend to deal with things later in private.  I bought a ton of food on the way home and made enchiladas and cookies last night where I devoured the cookie dough and cookies.  I have noticed a definite trend of eating until I feel sick with stress and I don't like that about myself.  When I am in the lose weight zone, I can avoid eating almost any tempting thing but if I fall off that wagon, it is a free for all.  I seem to lose control and the only thing that keeps me in line is the scale.   

I know the issue but wonder why it manifests itself in the form of sugar/food?  Is it the fear of having diabetes later on or is it something that I can control when I feel so upset about LO?  What am I going to do when she is a teenager?  How do you avoid passing on your eating craziness to your kids?  It is bad enough that she only wanted to buy alcohol for holiday gifts.

Turkey Recap

I know that you are probably anxiously waiting to hear about my Thanksgiving trip and dinner.  We had a good time.  The trip started out with DH waking me up at 6:30 for a noon flight.  We live 20 minutes from the airport but he felt it necessary to tell me we had to leave at 9:30 am at 6:30.  DH and I have different travel philosophies (I'm right and he is wrong) which leads to a lot of heated conversations and threats of not going to the airport together.   We arrived at the airport with enough time for a full sit down meal when I would prefer enough time to grab a magazine and board. sigh. 

The previous night LO and I had gone to dinner at my aunt's house and they kept asking to feed her cake, bread, turkey, soup etc.  I said no to all of the above but something must have slipped in there because LO had an epic blowout at the airport and I didn't have a change of clothes.  She had to go jacket only on the plane.  Flying has also become more difficult as she moves a lot more and the seats seem to have gotten a lot smaller.  I couldn't get LO to nap before dinner so I was nervous for the outcome but she seemed to handle it pretty well.  Here is a great pic of the Jews in front of the xmas tree after dinner.  I say great because it was obvious that my coping strategy was to be over served and that LO can only take so much before she gets pissed and we all just kept smiling. 

We decided to take LO and the stroller to the lobby bar after we got back to our hotel where she screamed and then fell asleep and we enjoyed an evening cocktail.  I felt like a bad parent in general so why not take the baby to a bar.  We didn't do hardly any shopping but we did watch the xmas tree be lit in Union Square which was fun as always.  

We didn't celebrate Hanukkah when we got home as we were too tired and not in the mood.  We will have to celebrate a little later this year as DH left for Europe. I will have more time to plan a meal and find the menorah. It is tough being a single parent as I forgot to take care of the cats and the reward was not pretty.  Also, I may not have realized how much he picks up around the house.  Hope your holidays were great!


Monday, November 29, 2010

Cyber Monday

Thought I would post some of the Cyber Monday deals that I have seen floating around:

Janie & Jack 20% off all orders

Piperlime 20% off with code Lucky 20

DSW 25% off all online orders with code cyber25

Steve Madden 35% off with code CM35

Tobi.com 30% off all full priced items with code Thanks30

Pottery Barn Kids Free shipping and personalization on holiday gifts

Kohl's 20% off with code Extra20

Hautelook.com has Melissa & Doug toys including activity centers, train sets and costumes and Hape toys that have cool kitchens all marked down. 

Any other good deals that you are seeing?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Turkey Day

You can't drink all day if you don't start in the morning.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Holidays Are HERE

So in getting over the Thanksgiving madness, I had to deal with the fact that Hanukkah is DECEMBER 1. It was easy to ignore when I was on the no gifts this holiday season but I have been guilted into buying LO gifts.  I felt like a bad person when my boss said, "You can't even buy her a new paci and wrap it up." Well when you put it like that I feel BAD and I find myself running to Babies R Us when it opens to try and find 8 small gifts for Hanukkah.  Did I mention that I am doing a celebration before DH leaves which would be this coming Saturday! 

DH pointed out that I gave her the gift that keeps on giving, you know LIFE but it seems that we also need a bear that plugs into the computer to program songs and her name.  So this is what I have for my 8 nights as I am predicting some bad nights thrown in there and we may only celebrate a few nights.  New pacis (thanks bossman), bubbles, another set of stacking cups, Plum Organics Super Puffs, the previously mentioned bear and that is all I could find.  We have everything else in that store.  I may resort to wrapping a water bottle as nothing gets her more excited than a plastic bottle.  It seems a bit rude to wrap up diapers.  I did not buy the rocking animal and I have decided that we will forgo the large gift at Xmas as she will receive so many other gifts like the ones on her wish list. Spread the wish list people!

I was reading this blog and I understand and feel her pain.  You want your kids to have good memories of the holiday season and now there is so much photographic proof if you try and keep it minimal.  I predict a big breakdown for LO at numerous holiday parties this season.  She has mastered the silent, no breathing, red face cry before the big scream which I am sure she will get working a lot over the next few weeks. 

Oh did I mention that I am putting the holiday picture pressure on us for this Friday. You know take a good picture or we will be sending out the free cards sent by Habitat for Humanity and I will be very unhappy.  DH will want to give up or won't look at the camera, I will hate my hair and LO will just be in a non-smile, stare daggers at you mood.  As long as she grows up and spares me this kind of treatment it will all be ok.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Get Over Yourself

In case anyone was wondering or cared, I am over the whole Thanksgiving going to dinner with the murderer neglectful stepmother thing.  I have decided that I am a quasi adult and for gosh sakes, a mother myself.  I am supposed to have gained some sort of level of maturity and forgiveness.  Also, the number of people who asked to join our dinner to see how it all worked out, seemed a bit high.  I am onto to bigger and better things to worry about at 3 am.   I could bore you with what I am worrying about but I am sure that it is similar to you.  Kids, money, marriage, family, job, holidays--take your pick.

My aunt watched LO on Friday at her office and got her the hat that she is wearing and enough for my mommy and me group. It covers up part of the tape nicely.  I picked her up and rushed to get her to her original pediatrician for a flu shot.  I was 30 minutes late and I grabbed LO out of her car seat to get to the doctor as they were waiting.  The doctor hadn't seen her since she was 2 months old but her regular pediatrician couldn't get her in so there I found myself Friday night meeting up with Dr. Crazy.  I looked down at her when I entered the office and realized her shirt was soaking wet and she had no coat on.  I took off her clothes and the diaper was on backwards and then I had to explain the tape.  I also had no spare diaper as I left it in the car so I tried to act like she went naked all the time by holding her naked like a hippie baby and she peed on me.  Definitely going to win Mother of the Year.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thank you

I know that next week will be filled with all sorts of "I'm thankful for this or that," or "I love life cuz.." I will read all of the posts and be touched and I will be the first on Thanksgiving to demand to know what everyone is thankful for and judge them if it is something like "Apple fill in the blank or new rims," and not my super awesome gift of bringing LO into the family.  But for today I would like to touch on a few of my thank the good lord for bringing this into my life.

1.  The handheld crepe. A crepe that is stored in a paper cone that you can eat while driving.  I discovered the majestic gift at a street fair in September and then a stand opened up at the mall by my office.  I am at that mall all the time and each time I act surprised that I found a crepe maker and should just try one even though that was the ONLY reason to go to the mall.  I feel like France could have been a world leader if they had gone farther with the crepe and french fry.

2. Chocolate wrapped in a sealed foilesqe container instead of paper so it retains its delicious original flavor.

3. Peanut butter, plain, with chocolate or on a sammie.

4. All of the people who make chocolate cookies as they all taste so different but so good.

5. Wine--enuff said

6.  Bluetooth so I can eat all of the above while driving and talking except for the wine.

7. Anthropologie for making the sloppy homey look fashionable.

8. The weird call center people on the third floor of my office building for making my tired self feel like a beauty queen every morning.

9. The tall guy at the cheap massage place by my house for giving a great massage for $45.

10. The Internet--wtf did people do before it? Smoke signals? I can order food on it without speaking to ANYONE.  I will go to a far less superior take-out place if I don't have to speak to anyone.

11.  Finally, LO for hating all the baby food that I lovingly made late at night so that I can buy store bought knowing that I gave baby food making the good college try but she prefers store bought.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Bejazzle Me

Poppins, LO and I headed to torture physical therapy yesterday with the meanest lady alive Sophie.  We had seen LO tilting her head again and Sophie felt that she had salient regression that wasn't the worst she had ever seen but not good.  I was unsure on the word "salient" but she repeated it over and over again.  She decided that we needed to try taping her neck for the next several weeks to remind her to hold her head straight.  We also have the strict regimen of exercises two reps of ten (6-8 times per day) for the head tilt plus her developmental exercises for crawling, rolling, strength building all to be done a million times a day as well. 

Basically every time she learns a new developmental skill such as crawling and rolling she regresses to her comfort spot of the head tilt.  Just to make sure that you don't lapse with exercises she flashes some pictures of the deformed children who had lazy parents.  When we started she showed us an 18 month old who had a tilt and it had completely ruined his jaw and neck to the point that surgery was necessary.  She told us that his parents had started physical therapy and then given up.  I thought they were bad parents but now I understand how frustrating this whole process is and how time consuming.  You skip one part of the PT and she falls behind.  LO really is not that big on crawling yet as she has figured out that she can usually pull a blanket to reach the toy or play with it with her toes instead of reaching. 

I am trying to stay positive as the next step is the plastic TOT collar for 5-6 hours a day.  DH has not been around much as he has been busy at work and stressed out.  He went into her room for two minutes this am as he has not seen her since Sunday and declared her fine and then left for work.  What does one make of that response?  Part of me wants to just not do anything as she absolutely hates going and I don't feel supported by DH but the other part remembers her cranio facial doctor telling me to suck it up and be a parent.  I am thinking that we will bejazzle the TOT collar and call it a day.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

WTF Midget

Someone decided that LO was too small again as I have been getting a lot of questions again about her size?! I dress her in larger clothes and shoes and I feel like she weighs a ton.  3-6 months are what fits but I feel like she is insulted so we dress her in 6-12 month clothes and she just sags.  It started less than a week ago.  She had the stomach flu but caught back up again with her eating.  One guy went as far as telling me his story about his preemie daughter and then thought I would chime in. I had no idea what to say and felt stupid and sad about his story.  Maybe it is the "Give me your unsolicited opinion season."

LO has the odds stacked against her that she is going to stay a midget.  I am tall but I come from a family filled with gnomes.  In a lot of pictures I look like the friendly giant oaf.  DH's family is short city from what I can tell. I may need to buy her some baby heels a la Real Housewives of New Jersey or get her a t-shirt that says "50% Biatches."  Ok, maybe we fell to 25% but we are still up there! I may need to stop calling her, "Midge" as well.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Back That Booty Up

I came home from work on Friday and LO crawled across the room backwards with a left lean and got stuck under the couch.  She was so proud of herself as she stuck her finger in the DVD player, hit the red bag and then went under the couch where she got angry as her big head prevented her from going any further. 

She did not repeat the performance again.  This was similar to rolling as she did it once and then refused to roll again for months until we started practicing in physical therapy.  We were discussing in Mommy & Me last weekend that some kids can do things but choose not to.  Hmmmmmmm.  I see her practicing in her crib and smiling on the video monitor but she is reluctant to crawl when others are around.  She backed herself into a corner last night in the crib and got stuck again.   She has also started spitting and laughing hysterically.  She is just a backward crawling spittin' machine.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Holiday Gifting

The only thing that I was thinking of buying LO for the holidays is a plush rocking animal. Just in case you were thinking of getting your LO a rocking animal, Hautelook is having them on sale on Thursday.  I have a credit there so it is going to be hard to resist buying one.  There are so many good deals right now that it is hard not to shop.

Some other cool toys were suggested to me from Lakeshore Learning that I have added to LO's wish list if anyone wanted to buy her a gift.  Just saying.....

Monday, Wahhhhhhh

LO has been in an exceptionally delightful mood lately and is such a joy to be around that this morning was extra painful.  I want to squeeze her all the time.  This weekend we did a lot of shopping for DH and she was great the whole time.  We took her to Houston's last night for dinner and she sat in the booster seat and was fabulous.  I think that having one kid is like having a little buddy but the adults are still in control.  I would imagine that once you have two kids, they take over the adults and it is a little like Lord of the Flies.  I am enjoying this age as it is my favorite so far.

DH and I had a super fabulous date night on Saturday night as my aunt and uncle watched LO and we went out.  They came over at 5:30 with a bag filled with toys.  More toys than I was planning on giving her for the holidays.  She had a bit of a hard time but I think that we need to leave soon after the babysitter arrives as it is too confusing for her for us to stay.  This is the first evening babysitter we have had in 5 months.

DH and I went to a super fancy restaurant on Sunset Blvd and had a 10 course tasting meal.  We were celebrating and it felt super luxurious.  The food was amazing and I am not a big foodie but everything was so good!  We don't do super fancy very often so it was great not to be disappointed.   We had wine and ate and talked.   We talked about extending our family, our careers and how much we were loving being parents.  It felt like a relaxing vacation in a three hour dinner.   Sigh, and now back at the office.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Under Cover

Update: DH wanted me to edit this post for legal reasons.

Sometimes it is a good plan not to let too many people in on your blog or maybe more people know about it and keep it under wraps.  Either way, I am dealing with some personal shite on this post so I don't want to hear or discuss it outside this blog.  It is not meant to offend anyone but this is my free therapy peeps.  If you are offended then you are reading too much into it.

So here is the situation, we were supposed to spend Thanksgiving with DH's family and we couldn't work it out so he preferred to stay home.  I decided that a quick fun trip would be great as he is leaving for Berlin right after the holiday.   We decided to go to SF as I saw a good deal and we booked it on the fly.  Then my great-aunt died and my dad usually spent the holiday with her so I invited him to join us for dinner.  Thanksgiving is a hard time for us as my brother died the Friday following Thanksgiving in 2001 and it is just a weird holiday.  So I was scared to tell DH that our trip now included my family but I knew that he would understand the situation. 

Then my mom cancelled her trip so I invited her and her husband for dinner.  Then my dad e-mailed me to say that my ex stepmother would be joining us.  That would be the mother of my brothers and the woman responsible for my brother when he died.  It is hard for me to be around her as I want to shake her and poke a fork in her eye and scream profanities and take all my anger out on the lady.  I have avoided seeing her since before my brother died except at a lunch following my brother's graduation.  I have to act civil as that is the mother of my brothers and they love her.  I strongly dislike her as she was a less than stellar mother, step-mother, person and now I will be in her company for the anniversary of my brother's death.  All my dad said was, "She bought a gift for the baby."  My brothers will be at dinner and they want to spend the holiday with both of their parents which I understand. 

Our relaxing 48 hour escape to SF has turned into a stressful situation.  I think that it was a mistake to choose a place so close to my hometown.  DH has been very understanding but I feel that it is an unfair situation to him as this was supposed to be "his" holiday as we are going to my hometown in December.  I am sure that it will turn out to be a lovely dinner as I know my parents are excited to see LO but it is stressing me out.

Mamamaamaa

For weeks, I have been hearing all about dadadadadda and his many adventures as LO will spend hours talking about dadaddaa. Then yesterday morning over the monitor, I heard mamamamamamaa.  We have a pretty rigid sleep policy that LO goes to bed at 7pm and we go in at 7am.  She usually wakes up a little after 6 am and talks to her duck lovey for a bit and then drifts in and out of sleep until we come in at 7.  If she is screaming we will go in. She was sleeping until almost 8 before the whole daylight savings time thing came into play.  I try to wake her up at 7 but sometimes I let her go on the weekends as I'm tired and a bit lazy.  I ran in to her room at 6:30 to hear her say mamamamama but she had already put herself back to sleep and I woke her up but I was so excited.  I paid for it this am when she started screaming at 6:45, one day and we are suddenly up in the 6 am hour screaming!

Anyway, that was a whole lot of junk to make two points.  She is saying mamamamma so she is obviously a genius.  Secondly, she started crying big tears when I left today.  It made me so sad as we have been working on good-byes and that people come back but it made no difference this morning as she wanted her mamamamamama.  Is this when the guilt builds and you find yourself buying them a diamond necklace and a puppy for their 4th birthday?  Real Housewives of BH with your weird faces, I am talking to you.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

My Dad Bought It, Don't Mess

DH bought her this hat and matching mittens last weekend and I love that he was thinking about her and walked into the children's section to look around.  We had a small disagreement about her flower costume that was worn to one of her Halloween parties as he didn't voice his dislike of the costume until we were on OUR WAY to the party.  I was really annoyed as I felt like he could have bought a second costume for her INSTEAD of complaining. So I was impressed with his selection and Poppins put it on her and sent me the pic which I love.  Somehow, a complimentary post has turned evil but I'm a crazy lady and that is how I roll.

Not So Fast Bucko

I feel the need to review some facts at this time.  LO was born with laryngomalacia which is an underdeveloped epiglottis or airway to keep it simple.  Symptoms include trouble breathing, gets sick very easy with high likelihood of croup, whistles when she cries, sounds asthmatic and gulps from discomfort. She gets worse before she gets better as a 6 month old needs more air than a newborn.  99% of the time acid reflux is accompanied with laryngomalacia which includes congestion from liquid coming all the way into the inner ear and increased ear infections and the inability to be flat on your back as it is uncomfortable and difficult to breathe. 

So the doctors aggressively treat the acid reflux as they don't want the airway to become inflamed making breathing more difficult and they can't do anything for the laryngomalacia except arm you with some information on what to do if she starts to get air hungry.  Ok we are all up to speed in the simplest terms.  I won't go into my theories about how this is related to some of her other health stuff as I am sure you are bored all ready. 

So when we went to the ENT doctor and they said that she was 90% healed and I had her approval to go off the medication, I thought we could go off the medication!  My pediatrician decided to go with the GI's recommendation and he will not budge until a year but said that I could try stopping the night time medication.  So I tried and the next day she was projectile spitting up all over the place.  I would hold her and she would aim like a machine gun.  I know that a night would not make a difference but I got scared and chickened out.  So all I want is for someone to explain to me why we are still treating the acid reflux if it is indeed tied to the laryngomalacia that is supposed to be 90% healed?!! I feel so frustrated.

Also, I am noticing a crazy rash that keeps coming and going on her face and biscuits. Little tiny dots, is it food, is it cats, is it me?!

Monday, November 8, 2010

What Are You Looking At?

I see this expression a lot from LO, granted without the arm lean.   She wants to know if you are going to poke, prode, stick something through her nose, down her throat or make her turn and bend in an uncomfortable way.  After she has established that you mean no harm, she will either treat you to a big gooey smile showing off her one tooth or an ear piercing scream.  She is pretty obvious if she is likes you or finds something about you that doesn't sit well with her.  The "experts" leading her baby group have called her selective.  I call her amusing.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Book & Product Review

Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy Bundle: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest
I finished the Stieg Larsson trio of books and I loved them!  There are some violent scenes that made me a bit queasy but I thought they were worthwhile reads that kept my attention.  I believe the first one was the best even though it had the most disturbing violence but the plot was the most intriguing.  I did have trouble keeping all of the characters straight but that may be a personal issue.  

I am trying to delve into some child rearing books including the popular, Nurture Shock by Po Bronson and Parenting from the Inside Out by Daniel Siegel.  I started the latter yesterday and so far it seems a bit common sensical.  Wait, something I experienced as a child will affect how I parent?!! No way! You get the idea.

Playskool Busy Gears
I thought I would post some toys that LO is enjoying at this time.LO loves the Playskool Busy Gears.  She takes the gears on and off and then hits the button to get them to turn and play obnoxious music.  She wore out the battery and I have been reluctant to change it but this toy keeps her entertained.  It is not the toy of my dreams as I prefer non battery operated items where children can use their imagination but I think you have to have a mix and compromise a bit. 

Green Sprouts Stacking Cup SetShe is also enjoying the ol' faithful stacking cups as they make noise when you bang them together.  There is also the joy of eating one and banging the other one against the one in your mouth so that it makes a funny noise.  Some of the cups are in the bathtub and she enjoys playing with them and reaching for them on the side of the tub.  They wash well when she spits up on them and they lack an annoying song.  Good product!

Two Vanilla Teething Rings - Pink Poodle/Orange ElephantI hate even mentioning the next product but I bought a lot of teethers and all of them were a big flop.  We were given the infamous Sophie as a gift and she actually loves her but EVERYONE has one.  I wanted a smaller more traditional teether so I bought the vulli two pack and she really likes them.  They are vanilla flavored which freaks me out to no end but she uses them and enjoys them.  I currently have a sack of abandoned teethers from Sassy and other brands but these get the big thumbs up!  Unless they give LO some horrible condition because they are flavored then I will be POed.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Holiday Mayhem

The holidays are coming! The holidays are coming! That is not excitement but pure terror.  I have a love/hate relationship with the holidays as I love getting together with family but why does it have to be soooooooo pricey! We always have to travel and I have a ridiculously long shopping list.  I have tried cutting down the list or the price tag but it is always creeping. I want to buy nice gifts for family & friends but I am too damn poor!  The end of the year is always a horrible time for us money wise as there are a few large annual bills due.  A normal person would put aside a little each month but there is always an emergency that takes priority.  Ahem, mama cat I'm talking to you.  She has not had the radiation therapy but diagnosing and testing the issue was not cheap. 

So I am thinking that I am going to buy gift cards for everyone using my credit card points so no out of pocket expenses and not buy the LO any holiday gifts.  DH & I are not exchanging gifts as he needed a new briefcase which we bought and I wanted  needed a beautiful pair of black boots that were on sale and I had a coupon!! Surprise, surprise!! Also, the creamy leather felt so nice against my skin.  I am the queen of the coupon as I went to Babies R Us and got LO some fleece jammies for $1.98 each.  I went back later to get even more and they told me that they had changed the policy and I could not use my coupons for this item! I feel so good when I get something for practically free.

Back to the holidays and me not buying gifts for the LO.  Am I a horrible person? I just feel like I could give girlfriend a free catalog and she would be excited.  She will receive gifts from everyone and we have a small house people.  The few things I was thinking about buying, grandma wanted to buy and I buy for her ALL the time. I am trying to cut back as I almost bought this adorable outfit at the Gap with the matching beanie with the 20% off coupon but I RESISTED. 

The only thing that is kind of appealing to me is a rocking plush animal (like a rocking horse) but that could be a birthday gift. Hmmmmm, what are your thoughts on buying for wee ones? At what age, do they give you the stink eye and call you cheap if you don't buy for them?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Day Off

I took the day off yesterday as Poppins wanted to take a day off--who would want to be away from the LO?! Just saying...:) I decided in my normal cram everything into one free day that she should get her third scope and do a food catch-up with the doc and the flu shot. The pediatrician put the big no on doing all in one day which I am really grateful for, in hindsight.

This was the first scope that I went to alone so I started tearing up in the lobby. The other kids there were old enough to know what happens so they came in with their bribery treats. There was a 6 year old that was a eating candy at 9am, a 5 year old with his paci and another kid that was just straight screaming as they went the old fashion way of "suck it up." I was trying to figure out who I was going to be and I would like to say no bribery but somehow I have a fear of LO hitting college with a paci. She is an addict that can't be tamed. Supposedly, it helps the heartburn and keeps her airway clear but I have a nagging fear that every day it will just be harder to give up.

Last time, they told us that she had zero improvement since birth. I went in and I told them how devastated I felt after the last appointment. ZERO! How is ZERO even an option?? Well, we did the scope and it was terrible as usual as she is so much stronger and we had to hold her down BUT she is 90% healed!! Zero to 90% in 3 months! I didn't believe her at first as I thought she was placating after my confession of being so sad. But it is true! DH and I are so excited and we have her sign-off to transition off some of the medication. I am more realistic on the medication as I know that the GI doctor will not sign off until her solids are more advanced but it was the first time anyone has given us any concrete positive news. Party on, LO!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween Soirees

Best Halloween ever! The costumes made me laugh so hard.  LO cried during every group picture but it was still pretty comical.