Saturday, July 31, 2010

Fun on a Saturday

Wow, I'm beat. We had an awesome day (for the most part), but it was exhausting. This morning Thomas, Meg, and I met my mom, sister, and brother-in-law at the farmer's market. We wandered around for awhile and bought a bunch of blueberries for Meg (she goes through a TON of blueberries). Then Thomas had to leave and the rest of us went over to the Italian-American Heritage Festival. To be perfectly honest, it was a bit of a letdown. It ran like 2 city blocks. There were maybe a dozen food vendors - all selling full-size meals for $5 or $6, not sample portions, like I'd hoped. Since we were full from the farmer's market, we didn't even get any entree-type food. We were there for all of 15 minutes. (I think they had more going on at night - maybe we'll try going in the evening next year). We did get cannolis. They were excellent and Meg really loved it.

We'd expected to spend more time there, so no one wanted to go home yet. We decided to go to Starbucks. We hung out there for awhile, then wandered outside and saw the water...thing. I don’t know how to describe it. Its part fountain, part endless pool. For the most part its a long stretch of ankle-deep water a couple feet wide. At one end, the water flows out in a waterfall (shown in the picture) and at the other end, it widens and gets progressively shallower. Basically, you take off your shoes and walk down the street in the ankle-deep water to cool off. Meg LOVED it. Mom put her next to the shallow end so she could feel the water and she immediately walked in further and squatted down to splash, getting her shorts (and the bottom of her onesie) all wet. I took the shorts off, then let her play. She got absolutely soaked and loved every minute. It was really fun spending time with my family, just wandering Des Moines.

1st picture: Meg and I at the farmer's market
2nd picture: Meg and my brother-in-law in the fountain

P.S. I had an extra outfit and diapers with me, so we changed Meg's clothes when she finished splashing in the fountain. It was so hot, the water evaporated pretty fast. My feet were dry within a minute or two of getting out. She dried off really quickly, too.
****Updated - I found some pictures of the fountain****

Friday, July 30, 2010

Seven Quick Takes

OK, I’m jumping on the seven quick takes bandwagon. I’ve resisted for awhile because I don’t even read the blogger who started them. Maybe I should. But I checked her blog out once and it seemed to be primarily about being a Catholic/Catholic mom. I’m not Catholic and I already read several Catholic mom-bloggers – including Arwen’s Faith & Family blog – so I didn’t feel like adding another. Does anyone know of any Evangelical Christian bloggers? Anyway, I hope she doesn’t mind if I start doing seven quick takes as well.

1. Apparently the reason my baby girl turned into a monster this past week WAS that she was overtired. I knew it! But there wasn’t much we could do about it, as, despite everything we tried, she wouldn’t sleep. But she finally broke down on Wednesday and took 2 naps totaling 3.5 hours of sleep at my mom’s house, then slept ALL NIGHT at home.

2. AND SO: She has been an absolute delight yesterday and today. I actually enjoyed being with her and am much, much less afraid of our daddy-less weekend. Maybe I WILL survive.

3. When I went to the grocery store this week, they had a display up of Halloween candy. At first I was confused. I thought maybe they found some candy leftover from last year? Is it really cheap? Then I realized, nope, not on sale, this is NEW candy. Halloween candy. In July.

4. Which tells me time must be running out for me to get on-sale back-to-school stuff. Every year, I kind of go crazy with Operation Christmas Child (we do like 6 boxes for our family), so I save a lot of money by buying school supplies at back-to-school time. I don’t want to miss my window!!

5. My favorite brown flats are getting quite worn. I love them, but I got them a year and a half ago – on clearance because the company had stopped making that style. Yesterday, just for fun, I searched for that particular style on eBay. I found a pair!! I’m really excited because they are (supposedly) brand new and were only $60 (they used to be $100 new).

6. I don’t know what to do with the old ones when my new shoes come. They’re worn, but not unwearable. Do I just throw them in the trash? That seems wasteful. But what else would I do with them? The inside lining is a little torn and the soles are worn down, so they just don’t look nice enough to donate to Goodwill or anything. But, then again, the outside looks great. Very work-appropriate. So I can’t help but think that someone who can’t afford nice-looking work shoes could get some use out of them. On the other hand, would someone who is in the position to need them think its demeaning to be offered noticeably worn shoes?
I’ve been wearing these shoes at least 4 days a week for the last year and a half, excluding the 2 months I was on maternity leave. I should trash them. But its just so hard to throw nice-looking shoes in the trash! I usually end up keeping them and letting them sit in my closet for years before I throw them out.

7. I have a full rant on this brewing, but here’s your teaser: remember how I was all “we like Luvs the best, its too bad we buy Huggies because they’re cheaper with coupons”? I TAKE IT ALL BACK.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Family Fun

My sister has come to my rescue! When Thomas leaves at 3 pm on Saturday, Meg and I are heading downtown to meet my mom and sister and go to the Italian American Heritage Festival. I am excited. I may not have any Italian blood (I’m English/Scottish/Norweigan), but I have plenty of fat stores directly attributable to Italian-American food. My sister says there will be cannolis. I’m hoping there will be gelato. Real gelato. I’ve never had good gelato in America. Its quite possible, though, that I have no idea what I’m talking about. I’ve only been to Italy once and it was like 8 years ago. But we had gelato every day and it was amazing. Of course, now that I think about it, if they have gelato it will probably be from Chocolaterie Stam. They say they have authentic gelato, but it tastes like ice cream. And ice cream is not gelato.

ANYWAY, gelato or not, we are going to have a good time! Hopefully we'll get Meg worn out enough that she'll sleep Saturday night.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Separation Anxiety

I think Thomas is right. He read a bunch of stuff this weekend and decided Meg is going through a period of separation anxiety. Its just not exactly like what you normally think of as separation anxiety. She isn’t attached to one person in particular – like her mommy – she is just terrified of being left alone. When I drop her off at daycare, she’s fine. I stand by the door saying “Mommy’s leaving! Wave bye-bye to Mommy!” Half the time she ignores me and the other half she gives me a look that says “Fine, whatever. If you’re going to leave, just do it already. I’m too busy playing for all this bye-bye nonsense.”

But if we’re at home, she must have me in her sight at all times. If she’s playing and I leave the room, she freaks out and comes running after me. To reduce the likelihood of Mommy leaving the room unnoticed, she’s constantly clinging to me. She would prefer to be on my lap or in my arms at all times. If I put her down to, say, make myself lunch or even make her a bottle, she tries to climb my legs. If I walk away, she dramatically collapses on the floor and weeps about the injustice that is her life. Also, she wants 100% of my attention. She’ll sit next to me if I’m reading her a book, but if I give her a book to read to herself and start reading my grown-up book, she tries to knock it out of my hands.

If I’ve been at work all day, I can handle this for about 2 hours. But then I lose. my. mind. I’ve decided it’s a good thing I’m not a SAHM. The scary thing is, Thomas is going out of town this weekend (leaving Saturday afternoon, coming back Monday morning). I have made the executive decision that when mommy really really needs a break, Meg will be introduced to Veggie Tales from Netflix on Demand. Short of just dropping her off at my mom’s house, I don’t see another way to retain my sanity.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Power struggles: the toddler is wearing us down

This whole I-won’t-sleep situation seems to be “I don’t want to stop playing with my toys” taken to the extreme. Our little girl has always been stubborn. Very, very stubborn. My mom has commented how her first child (me) was not like this. I figured, yeah, she was maybe more stubborn than normal, but she is a toddler, so some stubbornness is expected. I still don’t know if she’s more stubborn than other toddlers, but I now know she’s way more stubborn than we wanted to have to deal with.

At nap time she is so clearly exhausted (because she hasn’t napped well in days and gets up before the crack of dawn), but she is furious – furious – that we would have the gall to think it is OK to put a person in a crib without asking. She is charge of herself! She is independent! She has made the decision she will play instead of nap!

She tries to boss us around all day. Feed me NOW! Not that – I won’t eat that. I want what you’re eating. Eww, I changed my mind, I don’t want what you’re eating. But I still don’t want what you gave me.

Let me DOWN! I want to walk myself. No, I will NOT hold your hand. No, I will not go where you tell me to, I will go where I want to go.

Pick me UP! I can’t see what you’re doing. Cleaning the counter? I’ll help. Let me have the cleaning spray.

Give me your phone! I want to watch Silly Songs with Larry on You Tube. NOW!

And, of course, the most annoying of all: You mean, mean parents can try to put me to bed all night long, but I will scream until I lose my voice. Because I am NOT GOING TO SLEEP. Sleep is for losers! I want to play! And, NO, you cannot doze on the couch while I play. I don’t care if its 5 a.m., you have to play with me at ALL TIMES.

She “speaks” in capital letters a lot.

I’m going to feel stupid if she’s sick or there’s some other “duh” reason she won’t sleep. If she suddenly wakes up with four new teeth tomorrow, I’ll feel bad. But she does not act like she is sick or in any pain at all when she’s awake. And it really, really seems like she’s just mad about not being able to make her own decisions about when to sleep (i.e., never).

Sunday, July 25, 2010

More sleeping

Meg is still trying to convince us she doesn't need to sleep, ever. “Don’t you dare put me there,” she practically says. We don’t know what to do. This morning she woke up at 5 and never went back to sleep. We rocked her and put her back in bed twice. Then Thomas gave her a bottle, rocked her, and put her to bed again. Didn’t work. Then it was 5:45, the time she gets up on weekdays, and she was wide awake, so I figured there was no point to leaving her screaming in her bed. I let her up and planned to doze on the couch while she played. She didn’t like that plan. She kept shoving books in my face and pulling my hair. At 6:45, Andrew got up and let me go back to bed.

We’re both completely exhausted. Actually, all three of us are exhausted. Meg needs more sleep. I’m thinking maybe we need to put her to bed earlier. Maybe the old “if you put her to bed earlier, she’ll sleep later” thing will work. Who knows. But I get home from work at 6:15, so getting her to bed by 7 would be difficult. 7:30 is the earliest we’ve managed.

This whole thing is particularly frustrating, because fuss-it-out has always worked for us. Meg has always been a tension releaser. Since the day she was born, she’s been a great car sleeper. But she has never, not once, fallen asleep in the car without crying. If we’re in the car and she starts crying, I guarantee you she’ll be asleep within 5 minutes. At home, she sometimes, but not always, cries a for a couple of minutes before falling asleep.

When Meg was 3 months old, she started sleeping with us, because I was back at work and that was the fastest way to put her to sleep. I think we both needed some co-sleeping as a transition between being home and going back to work – Meg and I missed eachother a lot and it helped us to be together at night. (Although, even in bed being comforted by us, she fussed for about 5 minutes every night before going to sleep)

By 4 months, Thomas started pushing to try cry it out. He hated co-sleeping. He claimed he never slept because he was worried about rolling over onto Meg. I didn’t want to do it. I can’t let my baby cry! Plus, I loved having her near me. But my mom and Thomas worked together to wear me down. When we finally tried it, it worked immediately. It was like she just wanted us to leave her alone. The first night, she cried for 30 minutes (we went in every 5 minutes and soothed her without picking her up), the second night for 15 minutes, and after that she started doing her 1-2 minute release (like she’d always done in the car), before falling asleep. All of us slept better. Much better.

She’s obviously had several transitions and periods of bad sleeping since she was 5 months old. We give her what she needs (Tylenol if she’s teething, lots and lots of soothing/rocking if she’s sick), but when she’s better, she sleeps wonderfully again. This anger at being put to bed is a totally new thing and we are truly at our wits end.

I’m thinking about taking her to the doctor, just to make sure she doesn’t have an ear infection or something. But I don’t think she does. Laying down doesn’t bother her if she’s laying on my lap. She isn’t tugging her ear at all (and she always has when she’s had an ear infection).

I’m just hoping it’s a phase, hopefully a short one, and will be over soon. We don't know what else to do and we're losing our minds from the lack of sleep.

We're trying something new tonight. Thomas took his pillows and comforter* in her room and is laying on the floor, trying to get her to fall asleep next to him. I wanted to do it, but he refused to carry the futon mattress up from the basement. I think it would be much better than sleeping on the hardwood floor and don't understand why the two of us can't get it upstairs. Whatever. If he wants to sleep on the hardwood floor, he can. I pray this works.

*We have two comforters on our bed, one for each of us

Saturday, July 24, 2010


Today was just One of Those Days. Actually, yesterday was too. Meg has been slowly giving up naps for awhile at, unfortunately, quite a young age. My mother tells me I did the same thing. Apparently by the time she was pregnant with my sister (who was born when I was 23 months), I didn’t nap anymore. She got morning sickness and lost naptime at the same time. Ugh.

Anyway, Meg hates to take naps and she doesn’t always need one. If she starts the day well rested, she can go all day without a nap. She’ll probably need one the next day, though. And will NOT want to take it. She has become more and more stubborn the older she gets. At this point, she’s actually kind of insufferable. She wants what she wants, and SHE WANTS IT NOW, DAMMIT. Fortunately, my baby doesn’t actually swear. But she gets her point across quite nicely. Our biggest problem is that she can’t talk. She is very, very insistent when she wants something (roughly every 2 minutes), but she can’t tell me what she wants. She gets frustrated, I get frustrated, and no one is happy.

She has also taken to screaming at the top of her lungs if we so much as walk by her crib. Apparently, the crib is the worst form of torture. If it was just naptime, we could handle it. But now, she screams bloody murder at bedtime, too. An “I am NEVER going to calm down” kind of scream. Cry it out does not work, because she is not simply winding down. She is pissed at us for daring to put her in bed and, no matter how tired she gets, she will remain on her feet screaming through the sheer force of her rage.

We have tried everything. Sometimes we let her scream and go in every 5-10 minutes. Doesn’t work. Sometimes its so obvious that leaving her alone is not going to work that I sit there rocking her for an hour or more. She’ll sit there, but she won’t go back in her crib no matter how long we’ve been rocking. Sometimes we let her get up and play longer. So far, that works best. We are very seriously considering pushing her bedtime back to 9:00. But that leaves us practically no time alone and, on workdays, she has to get up at 6 am. I just don’t think that’s enough sleep. And since she has a firm “I hate naps” policy, I think she should get as much sleep as possible. BUT, she hasn’t been getting to sleep until at least 9 now (her bedtime is 8). However, I’m worried that if we start putting her to bed at 9, she won’t be asleep until 10, and then we’re really in trouble.

Wow. This post was supposed to be about TODAY and it turned into ramblings about sleep.

Short version: she hasn’t been napping and she doesn’t talk yet, so even when she really, really wants something (which is all the time), she can’t tell us, SO she has been a terror the last two days and even with TWO parents today, we couldn’t handle her. Today kicked our asses.

Friday, July 23, 2010


I love the smell of Luvs. I just opened a package this morning. As I think I’ve mentioned, we like Luvs the best, but generally use Huggies because there are more deals/coupons for Huggies and I can usually get them cheaper. Recently, I got some really cheap Luvs on Amazon and, wow, I forgot how good they smell. Huggies are pretty much unscented.

Don’t get me wrong, I love anything unscented. Please, manufacturers, make everything (except Luvs) unscented. I am allergic to perfume. Almost all scents. Its actually genetic – I’m allergic, my sisters are allergic, my mom is allergic, her sister is allergic, their mom is allergic, and I’m sure it goes all the way up the family tree. Scented items (perfume, body spray, detergent, dish soap, lotion, anything sold by Bath & Body Works) give me migraines. It gets worse with age. My grandma actually hasn’t been able to go to church on Easter for years, because she is so allergic to the smell of the Easter Lilies. Its difficult to find products we can use. Unscented lotion is easy to find. Unscented dish soap? Much, much harder.

So, I very much appreciate unscentedness. But, my pregnancy heightened sense of smell never went away, so I can smell everything, and, to me, Meg usually smells rather urine-y. I’m hoping the nice powdery fresh smell of Luvs will cover that up. (Powder fresh is a smell that usually doesn't bother me. It always depends on the brand, but florals are the real killer scents)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

It doesn't always help to write about it

The end of my post last night wasn’t really the end of the night. I suppose it should have read:

And went to my room and cried…and then I was over it.

Meg didn’t nap well at daycare, so she was cranky all night. I had to work hard all evening to have a good night. But I did. I worked at it and things went well. And then I hit my whining threshold, and the bottles were dirty, and Meg wouldn’t listen when I said no, so I snapped. It happens. You get mad and scream at your child. Its wrong, but it happens. I apologized. I vowed to do better next time. I cried because I needed to let out all the frustration with her behavior and disappointment with mine. But then I was over it. I was fine.

Then I wrote about it. And got all angry again. And as soon as I finished writing, Thomas got home, so I didn’t even get a second to relax and read my book. So then I was mad at him for coming home 20 minutes before he said he would and “stealing” my alone time. I barely spoke to him for the rest of the night. My night would have been so much better if I’d just not written about it. After I got over it, I should have just forgotten the whole thing.

So why did I write about it? I don’t need reassurance. I know I’m still a good mother. I know this happens to everyone. I know you’ve gotten mad and yelled, too.

I guess its because I had the beginning of the post already written and it seemed disingenuous to end with “she splashed in the tub while I drank my latte and read a book.” Because that’s not how it really ended. But, even if I would have been guilty of only showing the good and not the bad, that’s OK. I don’t have to write about everything.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Nice Little Night

You know how in Old School Will Ferrel says he and his wife have “a pretty nice little Saturday [planned], we're going to go to Home Depot. Yeah, buy some wallpaper, maybe get some flooring, stuff like that. Maybe Bed, Bath, & Beyond, I don't know.” (I hate that movie, but my husband loves it).

Anyway, that’s how I felt about our night. Thomas had a golf outing in Minnesota today, so Meg and I were on our own and I had a nice little night planned. I had to leave work early to pick her up, which was something to look forward to (who doesn’t like to leave early!) Then, we were going to go to the grocery store and use my coupon out of the super-special coupon book my husband managed to snag to get a free rotisserie chicken with the purchase of Lipton sides (on sale!). I loooove the Cheddar Broccoli, even though I’m sure its terrible for me. White pasta, powdered cheese sauce, dehydrated broccoli. I don’t care. I love it.

Plus, as a bonus, the grocery store has a Starbucks, so I was going to get a treat for myself. We did all that, then came home and had the easiest dinner ever. Rotisserie chicken, canned green beans, and blueberries. A little high on sodium, but still a pretty good dinner. After clearing away dinner, I put Meg in the bath, soaped her up, rinsed her off, then sat next to the bathtub with my latte and a book. She splashed and I read. It was nice.

I’m trying with all my might to focus on the night up to that point. Because after that it all went to hell. She threw a tantrum when I took her out of the tub (and I’d let her stay in extra long). I fought her to get her lotioned, diapered, and in pajamas. Then I went to the kitchen to warm a bottle and found all the nipples and rings were dirty. So I started washing them.

Meg came in and opened the cabinet under the sink. I said no. She reached in. I said no, close the cabinet. So she did. Then she opened it again. I said NO and closed it. She opened it again, grabbed a sponge, and ran off. I let it go, because I just wanted to finish washing the bottles. She came back and opened the door again. I said NO. She reached for the Fantastik. I freaked out, screamed at her, picked her up, took her to her room, dumped her in the crib, and closed the door.

I felt terrible. Its all my fault, anyway. I’ve been meaning to throw out the Fantastik (we use a vinegar/water solution to clean now) and I’ve really been meaning to put a child-proof lock the cabinet under the sink. If I’d have just done my job as a parent, it wouldn’t have happened. But I told her four times not to play under the sink and I just snapped.

I finished washing the bottles, warmed one for her, then went to her room. She was still crying. I apologized for yelling and hugged her. I gave her the bottle, snuggled, and read The Foot Book five times. Then, I turned off the lights, sang her a lullaby, and put her to bed.

And went to my room and cried.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Tossing the birth control pills...

…but not in the way you think.

The side effects have killed me. The short version: over the last 6 years I’ve tried 3 different kinds of hormonal birth control, once to try and reduce the pain of cramps, once for actual birth control, and once for acne. Every time, I became depressed. It seems my body HATES having my hormones f’ed with.

About a month and a half ago, I started a new kind (for acne) with great trepidation. It was a tentative, I’ll give it a try…but at the first sign of depression, the pills are in the trash. Well, the first signs came a couple weeks ago. But I thought I’d stick it out until my dermatologist appointment this week so we could discuss. And then, this weekend, I got a MIGRAINE.

It was horrible. I got a headache on Tuesday and it built all week, getting worse and worse. Saturday (at my in-laws), I woke up at 4 am puking and continued to throw up all day. From 4 a.m., when I tried to eat some toast, until 5 pm I didn’t keep a single thing down. Not even 7-Up. It wasn’t the flu. I’m pretty positive it was the headache. Now, I’ve never had a migraine, but I think this qualifies. I laid in a cool, dark room all day. Movement made it worse. Every time I ventured out to check on my mother-in-law and Meg, I ended up running to the bathroom instead. And this is the most important part: once Tylenol took the edge off the migraine, I could keep food down. Of course, I didn’t manage to keep any Tylenol down until the afternoon, which is why I didn’t manage to eat any food until dinner.

We were in town for a wedding. I missed it. I love weddings. It really stunk being sick away from home, but I do have to admit it was nice to have an eager babysitter (my mother-in-law) around all day!

I will NOT be trying this birth control pill again. Since hope springs eternal, I always think that maybe, just maybe, I’ll find one that doesn’t give me depression, so I’ll probably try again. I have to, if I want to take the super-strong-pills-that-cause-birth-defects for a shot at “curing” the acne (two forms of birth control are required). Although, I was on the fence about it anyway, so I think I’ll shelve it for awhile.

P.S. I know someone warned me about the potential for migraines on this particular kind of BC – was that here? If so, thank you! It helped to have a probable reason for why this happened – and how to make it never happen again.

P.P.S In case I wasn't clear enough: we do use back-up birth control and will continue to. We're not trying to get pregnant right now.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Tuesday, when my car broke down (more on that later), Meg and I ended up sitting outside my office waiting for Thomas to rescue us. It was 100 degrees out. No way we were sitting in the car. But because we hadn’t intended to be outside, I hadn’t put sunscreen on her. Or brought a hat. I felt bad as she ran around in the sun. What kind of mother doesn’t bring the sunscreen and a hat “just in case”? What mother doesn’t slather her child in sunscreen every morning whether they’re going to be outside or not? As I’ve heard a million times (from my dermatologist), you get a lot of sun exposure from just being in the car and walking in and out of buildings. I myself put on Neutrogena 70 SPF on my face every day (on the recommendation of my dermatologist), and if Meg happens to be nearby, I might dab some on her as well. But not often. What kind of mother am I? Well, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a good mother. The mixed messages keep on coming…

Check out 9 surprising facts about sunscreen here.

Here is a CNN video and a summary on the subject. (I apologize if you don’t like following links. Summary: according to the EWG, likely all of the sunscreen you own is a “high health hazard” to your child and might even increase the risk of cancer. I know!)

Meg has only worn sunscreen 3 times this summer, because her mother hates the outdoors that much and NEVER takes her outside. If we do end up going out its only for a little while, so I just put a big hat on her. She has an adorable one that makes her look like a Southern Belle. I guess by not taking her outside, I’ve been saving her from the evils of sunscreen. Once again, laziness pays off!! I am pretty ticked, though, because I just bought a new bottle of sunscreen on Sunday. Its Wal-Mart brand, so I’m guessing its not on the safe list. (Its exactly like this, but generic brand). I bought the sport (i.e. waterproof), because the only time we really use sunscreen is to go swimming. The EWG recommends you “avoid” it, because it has a “high health hazard.” We haven’t used it, but when we brought it home the safety seal fell off, so I don’t know if I can return it. Why is it when I finally feel like I’m getting with the program (i.e. buying new sunscreen, since you’re not supposed to use anything that’s been open for more than a year), it suddenly turns out I’ve done the wrong thing?

We’ve been using travel-size tubes of this because you can buy it for a dollar in the travel-size section at Target, so we all got some in our stockings at Christmas from my Grandma. Its also listed on the EWG website as having a “high health hazard.” Not what you want to hear about something you’ve recently slathered on your child.

I can’t find the Neutrogena I use on my face everyday (it looks like Neutrogena might have tweaked it and are selling it under a different name. I bought it probably six months ago), but the closest I could find is also listed as a high health hazard.

I guess I’ll be going to Wal-Mart this afternoon* to try to return the new bottle and get some Johnson & Johnson Baby Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 40, which is on the “recommend” list. But I’m only doing that because we haven’t even used it and it seems stupid to open a new bottle when it supposedly has a “high health hazard.” At least they said my primary use of a hat as sun protection for Meg is the “right” thing. For now.

*And of course, by “this afternoon” I mean hopefully I’ll get this done by State Fair time (only 27 days to go!!). After all, I’ve been meaning to buy the sunscreen since summer started, but only did it a few days ago. And until I get to the store, I'm going to keep using our travel-size Coppertone sport. I hope that doesn't make me a terrible mother!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Not a good day

I didn’t feel well Monday. Yesterday, I woke up feeling even worse and decided to stay home. The plan was to let Meg sleep in, take her to day care, then come home and go back to bed. Unfortunately, when Meg woke up, she had a fever. Too high to go to daycare. I gave her some Tylenol and she fell back asleep. She woke up an hour later and felt great. Tearing around the house like normal, nothing wrong with her, great. I, however, still did not feel well. She was getting into everything. I’m chasing her, trying to eat crackers to settle my stomach. Believe me, it did NOT make me want to get pregnant. The last thing I need is 18 weeks of morning sickess + toddler.

I finally couldn’t chase her around anymore, so we watched some TV. Friends, actually. She’s only 13 months, so we can watch my shows for a little while yet, right? There weren’t any bedroom scenes or anything like that.

By noon I decided that, even though she seemed to feel fine, I should take her to the doctor. She’d had a low fever for at least a little while every day for the last week. She had two new teeth, so it was probably just that, but what if something else was wrong? We’re both home, doing nothing, and I’m already missing work, so it’ll be the easiest day to go. We left around 2:30. First we had to go to the daycare and pay for the day even though she wasn’t there. Fun! Then we went to the doctor and got there at 3 for our 3:20 appointment. A little earlier than I like, but whatever. We were there until 4. You know what the doctor said? She’s fine. Nothing wrong with her. Must be the teeth.

On the way home, I decided to stop at my office. I’d brought my laptop home on Monday, but left the power cord at work. I often do this, because I rarely use it enough in one night to run out the battery and it’s a lot easier to not have to crawl under my desk to unplug/replug the cord every day. So I drive to my office, show the baby off, and grab the cord. We go outside, get buckled in, and the car won’t start. Click, click, click, won’t start. UGH!! I called Thomas, who had to come get us (20 min from home). He looked at the car, but couldn’t figure out what was wrong. I took Meg home in his car while he waited for a tow truck.

At this point I was exhausted, still feeling sick, and Meg was starving. I gave her dinner, changed her diaper, then had to go pick up Thomas before eating myself. The car had been towed further away from home, so it took us 30 minutes to get there. By the time we got home, I shut down. I ate a little and went to bed.

Today I'm at work, still feeling like total crap, but I didn't want to take another sick day. I sure hope this week gets better!

Friday, July 9, 2010


Meg, like all other children, tends to have a perpetually runny nose. I try to keep a pack of Kleenex in the diaper bag. This morning she handed me this:

And I went into the living room to find this:

This is the third time she has torn apart a pack of Kleenex. I can't bear to throw perfectly good Kleenex away, so I've used nothing but partially shredded tissues for the past month. Each time she's found them in a different place: a drawer in the bathroom, my purse, the diaper bag. Oh well - at least it kept her quitely occupied for 15 minutes!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Crib update

It turns out the side of the crib that wasn't latching had just gotten off-track somewhat. Maybe that's not the correct way to describe it. I don't know. I just know that after I jiggled it into place this morning, it locked in the upright position securely and stayed that way. I spent awhile jiggling it the way Meg often does and it didn't slip out of position again. I'm sure drop-side cribs aren't as safe as non-drop-side cribs, but I am now confidant our particular crib is just as safe or unsafe as the day we bought it.

However, that doesn't mean I'm happy with it. I've been putting off doing anything about it for awhile, because, as Mama Fuss said in her comment yesterday, I am also "pretty casual about...the overall panic of people freaking out about what might happen." I figured it was a bummer we'd ended up with a drop-side crib when I didn't really want one and that I should probably do something about it. But 'do something' was pretty fuzzy... But when the crib started acting up last night, it really freaked me out.

Today I dug through Meg's room and finally found the stack of instruction manuals the lady we bought the crib from had given us (we pretty much bought ALL of her baby stuff - crib, toys, etc. - everything but the infant carrier/stroller, which we purchased new). I found the manual for the crib, so now I have the manufacturer and style. I looked around on their website and they don't have anything listed about recalls or disabling drop sides, but the site says there is a lifetime warranty on the cribs and that the store it was purchased from can repair it (supposedly for free). They don't say whether "repair it" includes disabling a drop-side feature. I hope so. I'm going to go to the store tomorrow and see what I can find out. There's also an 800 number for customer service, but its too late to call tonight.

I'm just annoyed by this whole crib thing, because the crib was one of the things I thought we did well. I thought purchasing the crib from this lady was:

1. Frugal
2. Green
3. Protected our baby from breathing in the fumes emitted when a crib, or especially a mattress, off-gasses
4. Allowed us to have a more expensive crib than we might otherwise have
5. Left more room in the budget for an expensive/safe travel system (i.e. car seat)
6. Allowed us to have the exact "look" (color, style) that I wanted, which might not have been available at the time or in our budget
7. Helped this other woman out: she was selling all the baby stuff so she would have enough money to buy her kids a couple Christmas presents.

I mean, how could we go wrong? Well, we've found out. If we can't disable the drop side, we'll definitely think long and hard about buying a new crib. Which blows pretty much all of these reasons out of the water.

1. Frugal? No way. Buying a used crib, THEN a new crib is definitely more expensive than just a new crib.
2. Green? Um. I suppose if we were going to buy a new crib either way, there's not much of a difference, but maybe the woman could have sold the crib to someone who wouldn't later buy a new crib.
3. Off-gassing? Well, we did get a mattress out of the deal and will continue to use it even with a new crib, so I guess this one is still a win.
4. More expensive crib? HA! Who knows what we will buy if we get a new one, but I'm guessing it won't be as upscale. Think Target, not baby boutique.
5. Car seat? Well, we did buy a travel system that was on the expensive side, but we probably would have anyway. Besides, my mother-in-law got it for us as a gift.
6. The "look"? I'm thinking they might not have exactly what I want at Target. Bummer.
7. Helping the woman out? Well, we did do that. Its something at least.

Of course, if we do find a way to disable the drop-side feature and keep using the crib, I guess it was still a pretty good deal. We'll see...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Drop-side Cribs

Does anyone know if all drop-side cribs have been recalled? I thought I read somewhere you can get some sort of kit and make the crib no longer drop-side. Maybe I'm confusing it with window blinds. I don’t know the brand or style name of our crib. We bought it (well, my mom bought it) from a co-worker of my mom’s. It was originally an expensive crib from an upscale children’s furniture store in town. I could ask my mom to ask the lady for the brand/style of the crib, but, well, knowing I should do something and actually getting around to doing it are two very different things.

Anyway, the crib was used for two kids. That’s not that many, right? It should last awhile. But now I’m thinking maybe we should have just bought a new crib. I didn’t especially care about drop-side or no drop-side, but if given the choice, I probably would have gone without, because you're not supposed to have them anymore. And I don’t need it. I’ve never used it – when Meg was little we had the mattress at the highest setting and there was no need to lower the side. When she started standing up, we lowered the mattress all the way, but I still have no problem reaching in. I guess I’m just too lazy to lower the side. Which may be the problem. While I never lower the drop-side, I do put most of my weight on it as I lean over it to reach Meg. When she wants out, Meg also puts all her weight on it.

We noticed tonight that one side was sagging. We pull the drop-side all the way up and try to latch it. It seems like it went into place, then a couple seconds later, it falls down. The front side of the crib is now lopsided – one side locked in, one side sagging down. It can’t be very safe. I’m really hoping there’s some way to fix this. I never really worried about having a drop-side crib. Yeah, yeah, I thought, they’re not as safe. Whatever. It will be fine. But now the stupid drop-side is broken, so it is not fine and I’m quite annoyed. We (well I) would like to have three kids. Will this crib last us through two more??? Should we have bought a brand-new one? Is there some way to fix it? We’ll definitely turn the drop-side towards the wall so Meg can’t use it to escape, but I still don’t think its safe enough for future kids if we can’t get it to latch anymore.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Overnight diapers

Well, I finally caved.

Each morning Meg wakes up with an extremely soggy diaper. Sometimes it has expanded so much, the Velcro straps are barely hanging on. But I’ve resisted “overnight” diapers, because, come on – are they really better? A regular diaper (barely) gets her through the night, why pay twice as much for an overnight one?

I’m a coupon/sale/deal freak and my specialty is diapers. I get my diapers cheap. Like 10-12 cents apiece. And they’re good diapers – like Huggies or Luvs. (I know Luvs are considered “cheaper” diapers, but they fit Meg’s body type better than Huggies (less leaks), so I try to get them when I can. Generally, you can find tons of coupons/sales for Huggies or Pampers, but very few for Luvs or other discount brands). Overnight diapers usually cost 30 cents apiece, sometimes more. I have a huge diaper stash - like, 6 months worth of size 3 diapers - in my basement, all bought super-cheap, so I wasn’t really interested in buying more diapers, and expensive ones at that.

But, Saturday morning and Monday morning when I went to get Meg from her crib, her sheet and sleeper were soaked. That has got to feel so icky. Because of the holiday weekend we’d all slept in, so she was in the diaper longer than usual (like, um, 12 hours – 8 pm to 8 am. I’m a terrible mother). But I knew the day was coming when we’d need overnight diapers. Sigh. Thankfully, Amazon has a deal right now, so I got Size 3 overnights for 24 cents each. I took the plunge and ordered them last night.

I subscribe to the feeds of a lot of couponing blogs. This morning I checked my email and found a blog letting everyone know about the cheap overnight diapers on Amazon…and how the size 4 are cheaper than size 3. I could have bought size 4s for 18 cents each! Meg is a solid size 3 (she’s still just shy of 20 lbs), but still. I’m sure we could put a size 4 on her. I’m ticked. I went back and bought TWO boxes of the size 4’s. But still. Now I’m all mad. At least I didn’t buy two boxes of the size 3’s! They should arrive today, so I’m excited to try them out tonight and see how much of a difference there is. I suppose if we love them, I’ll order more size 4’s, because, you know, I don’t think we have enough diapers in the house…

P.S. Confession: The buying-cheap-diapers thing is a problem. I figured I was pushing it with the size 3’s (seriously, you should see how many boxes I have), so last week I bought Size 1 Swaddlers. I’m not pregnant. Our next child will probably (if everything goes according to our plan – which is a big if) be born in like a year and a half. Or more. But they were Swaddlers! For NINE CENTS EACH. I couldn’t pass it up. If we never have another baby, I’m sure someone in our family will.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Meg's First Fireworks!

We live in the Des Moines area and until we had Meg, we went to Yankee Doodle Pops at the State Capital every year. I love it. Love, love, love. The Des Moines Symphony plays a bunch of patriotic music out in front of the terrace on the west side of the capital. You bring your own chairs or blanket and sit on the lawn. Most years (all?) Simon Estes, a famous opera baritone from Iowa, sings some songs with the symphony. (In a week or two, he’s going to Africa to sing at the Gala for the World Cup Final Match) After the concert, the city shoots fireworks over the river. Its one of my favorite things in Des Moines. I love the 4th of July.

We didn’t go last year, because Meg was a month old and we weren’t very skilled at getting out of the house. Plus, we were so exhausted, we thought sleep sounded better than fireworks. I was disappointed, but too tired to really dwell on it.

This year, they had the show on July 1st, a Thursday night, which we thought was odd. Everyone I know has Monday off for the 4th, not Friday. Why have the show Thursday night when most people have to work Friday? I had to talk Thomas into going. The fireworks usually start at 10. Meg goes to bed at 8. To bring her would be keeping her up way past her bedtime. Plus, Thomas had to work all day Friday. But I really love it. And we didn’t get to go last year. And it’s the 4th of July. And we might not get to go next year (if we have another baby).

So we packed the diaper bag, slathered everyone in sunscreen, and put a red, white, and blue outfit on Meg. We loaded up the stroller and collapsible chairs. We got there about 6:30 (there was a jazz group on before the Symphony). Meg loved it! She stood there and danced and danced. It was adorable.

Everything went great until about 8:30. I brought Meg’s bedtime bottle, because she would want it on time even if she wasn’t going to bed. She was getting fussy, so I pulled it out…and realized I forgot to bring a nipple and ring so she could drink it. Disaster. We had her sippy cup. She refuses to drink milk out of it. Takes one sip, makes a face, and won’t touch it. We tried putting it in my water bottle. Took one sip, made a face, and wouldn’t touch it.

We’ve been trying for awhile to get her to drink milk out of sippy cups, but she refuses. She won’t drink milk out of anything but her bottle. She drinks water all day out of sippy cups. Just not milk. I’ve never been as annoyed about that as I was last night.

So, she’s freaking out, because she can see a bottle of milk, but she can’t drink it. I search on my phone to see if there are any stores around that sell bottles of any kind. There’s one 3 blocks away, but its almost 9:00. The website doesn’t list store hours. I decide to try it, if only because the walk will distract her. So, we head off, missing my favorite songs by the symphony. We were gone about 20 minutes walking around the East Village. Only bars were open. I missed a lot of the show.

We went back to our seats and placated Meg with animal crackers. It worked. After the show was over, we walked to the bridge to watch the fireworks. We saw two sets! The I Cubs (triple A baseball team in Des Moines) shoot off fireworks after weekend games, so we saw those first, then the city fireworks. Meg wasn’t very interested. She thought the lights were interesting, but saw no reason to look at them for an extended period of time. The noise didn’t scare her. She was basically underwhelmed and didn’t understand what was so special. But I loved it.

Overall, the night went pretty well. We didn’t get home until 11 and all of us are dead tired today, but I’m glad we went. It was fun. I think its important to expose Meg to cultural events, like Thomas thinks its important to expose her to sporting events. Plus, I'm happy I didn't have to miss one of my favorite events again this year. I hope we can go next year!