Thursday, September 30, 2010

I've Been Busy!

I haven’t written a new post in awhile, but that doesn’t mean I’ve ignored my blog! On Friday, instead of doing Seven Quick Takes, I made myself a gorgeous new blog banner. If you’re reading this in a feeder, click over and check it out. I love it and am so excited I made it myself! For free! Because reading archives really DOES pay off. A month or two ago while reading blathering-goer Sara’s archives, I came across this post where she wrote how she made herself a new banner using the tutorial here (on Clover Lane). I bookmarked the tutorial and hoped it wouldn’t be too hard. It wasn’t! If you want a new banner you should really check it out, because it was super easy. It took a couple hours, but only because it was the first time I’d ever used Picasa. I could probably make another one in MUCH less time than it took me to make the first one.

I also got a twitter account for my blog. If you’d like to follow me, search for @JesabesBlog I have a personal twitter account I use to follow people (and tweet rarely), but I didn’t feel comfortable using it for blog stuff. I decided to get a new one since I finally came up with a permanent (or at least long-term) name for the blog. Now I'm trying to figure out if there is any way I can set up two twitter accounts on my phone.

My office upgraded to Office 2010 this week, so now I'm figuring THAT out.  I think it will take me awhile to get all of the toolbars set up like I want them in word and excel.  But I'm doing it during naptime while watching Law & Order, so its not all bad!

I’m excited I finally got some things done I’ve been meaning to do for awhile...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

You'd better get out your winter coats, because HELL JUST FROZE OVER

In May, we decided to shut off our cable. It costs a hundred dollars a month and is SO not worth it. Since we try not to let Meg watch TV, we were barely watching it. Plus, between Hulu and Netflix, we can watch almost all of our shows. So Thomas called to shut off the cable and was informed we had signed a 24-month contract and had 5 months left. They wouldn’t cancel our cable, but they did say they could shut it off for as long as we want. The guy said a lot of people shut off their cable for the summer. We could turn it back on whenever we wanted (and then use our remaining 5 months). We chose to have it shut off after all the season finales were over.

Yesterday, Thomas texted me to tell me he’d called and had the cable turned back on. I couldn’t believe how excited I was! We’d done just fine without cable. I thought I didn’t really miss it. My new boyfriend, Hulu Plus, and I were doing great. But Tuesday we had a nasty incident after I’d spent all day looking forward to watching the season premiere of House (that aired Monday night), and Hulu informed me I was not allowed to watch episodes of House until 8 days after they air. So when I heard the cable was back, I told Hulu “we were on a break” and went running back to by beloved Tivo.

Last night we watched the season premiere of Modern Family, without commercials, after putting Meg to bed. It was so amazing to watch it right after it aired. Also, Tivo remembers ALL of my shows and recorded the two hour season premiere of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit without even being asked!! I didn’t even know it was premiering last night. Even better, it had 15 episodes of Law and Order waiting for me. I haven’t seen Law and Order for MONTHS, which I don’t think has ever happened before. Its not on Netflix on Demand or Hulu Plus or anywhere else. Only cable. I’m so happy.  I know my days with Tivo are numbered, but I’m going to enjoy them as much as I can. Hulu says he’ll wait for me.

Oh, and if you’re wondering why hell froze over, I guess I’ll tell you as a reward for reading this far. After watching Modern Family, despite the fact the season premiere of SVU was sitting on the Tivo all ready to watch, I turned the TV off AND WENT FOR A RUN. I wish you all knew me better, because if you did, you’d be blown away. I don’t run. I sit on my butt and watch Law and Order. But Thomas finally talked me into trying the Couch to 5K. I’m almost done with week 3 and I actually like it! I cannot believe I actually chose running over TV.  Who knows what'll happen next.

Monday, September 20, 2010

To clarify

I almost didn't publish the last post.  When I re-read the sentence "She was in a dirty diaper every time we picked her up - Tuesday, Wednesday, AND Thursday. Who knows for how long" the picture I get in my head is some third-world orphanage where the kids sit in dirty diapers all day.  I pictured you all thinking "I can't believe she's rationalizing this - my kid would never go there again."  And then I threw in the fact that our car seat had been stolen from the center, so that makes me think you're wondering if we're sending our kid to a daycare in a bad part of town just to save some money.  I assure you that's not the case.  The center is next door to Andrew's office and just down the street from the apartment we lived in for 2 years.  Its in West Des Moines, for goodness sake.  There isn't much of a 'bad part of town' to begin with and where we lived wasn't it.  Also, we visited a LOT of daycares in and around West Des Moines and this one was #2 on our list.  (#1 is at a very inconvenient location for us and they require a minimum of 3 days a week.)

I just don't know how to explain why we are going to continue to send her.  For one thing, this is the first time she's gotten a rash that bad while at daycare.  She does come home almost every week with a lot of redness in the diaper area, and we don't like that, but its pretty easy to get rid of.  Also, we've never complained about it, so I want to give them a chance to improve.  Plus, there have been several weeks in the past where she's gone to the daycare for the whole week and nothing like this has happened.  And, as I said in yesterday's post, the biggest problem is the teenage staff, who are only there for an hour of the time Meg is there.

I do have to say that, as happy as I am with the toddler room staff, they're not quite as good as the infant room ladies.  THOSE women are awesome and took wonderful care of Meg.  I miss them.  She never had any diaper redness while in their room.  If/when we have another child, I definitely want to send him/her to this daycare, as least for as long as they're in the infant room.

I guess, to us, a rash this severe seems like an isolated incident and since we haven't had any other problems in the year Meg has gone there we'd like to believe it won't happen again.  If we think things aren't getting better, Andrew can always start popping in at various times throughout the day to keep them on their toes:)  I'll keep you updated.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Daycare, part 2

Background info is here.

This week my mom went out of town Tuesday, which meant Meg had to go to daycare Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. On Tuesday, Meg came home with a diaper rash, like usual. Which didn't bode well for Wednesday and Thursday. On Wednesday, when Thomas arrived to pick her up at 5 she was stinky.  The sheet said the last time she'd had a diaper change was 2:30.  They go outside around 4 every afternoon and the girl told Thomas Meg "must not like being outside" because she fussed the whole time they were out there.  To that, I would like to say, HA HA HA.  I don't know anyone who likes to be outside more than Meg.  She constantly begs to go outside.  She bangs on the door and whines and gets very excited if I we go out.  She was whining because she had a dirty diaper.

Plus, her diaper rash had gotten much worse.  Painful enough, apparently, for her to whine about it while playing outside.  She never whines about dirty diapers.  Thomas was furious.  This rash was so bad we thought about taking her to the doctor (though we decided it wasn't necessary) and we really didn't want to take her to daycare Thursday.  Especially because I was making up some time from last week, so I was working more than a half day.

I decided to take her, but brought a TON of diapers and asked them to change her diaper every hour and apply cream every time.  I talked to them and wrote it on her sheet.  I figured they couldn't screw that up.  I also talked to them about Meg's habit of dirtying her diaper right after a change.  Unfortunately, they've apparently cut back on the hours of the full-time staff.  When Meg gets dropped off at 6:30, they have staff in one room and all the kids go in that room.  As more kids come, so do more staff and they separate out to each room.  So I didn't get to talk to the ladies who take care of her during the day.  Apparently the message didn't get communicated and no one read the sheet, because her diaper was changed every two hours as usual.   Are you kidding me??  They can't even manage to change her diaper often enough when I specifically ask?  Grr!  (They did apply cream every time and must have paid more attention to her, because they changed a dirty diaper half an hour after another diaper change.)

I came to pick her up at 3.  They'd just started snack time, so I hung out while Meg ate her snack.  I talked to the full-time staff in her room.  One of them said her kids had had similar rashes and it looked like it might be a yeast infection.  She recommended using an anti-fungal.  I do like the people who are in her room for most of the day.  Actually, the one who recommended the medicine is the one who loaned me a car seat to take Meg home when ours was stolen (from the daycare) last fall. (That's an entirely different long story.  I should tell you about it sometime.)

So, anyway, I hung out for awhile.  Thomas had called the director to talk about how she had gone so long with a dirty diaper the day before, so she talked to me about the situation.  She assured me she'd spoken to the girl who'd been there (after school is out, the full-time people leave and high school girls take care of the kids).  I was probably there for over half an hour.  When Meg and I got to the car, I noticed she had a dirty diaper.  She'd probably been dirty since before snack time, which by now had started 45 minutes earlier.  I marched right back in and changed her diaper.  I made sure the director and the staff in her room knew she'd been dirty for too long.  I didn't really say anything else, because I'm a wimp.  Who knows?  Maybe Meg dirtied her diaper while I was talking to the director right before we left.  Why should I accuse the staff in her room?  If she had been dirty the whole time, I hadn't noticed either.  But I'm still furious.

She comes home with a diaper rash every Tuesday.  When I asked them to change her diaper every hour, due to the severity of the rash, they didn't.  She was in a dirty diaper every time we picked her up - Tuesday, Wednesday, AND Thursday.  Who knows for how long.  Once, or maybe twice, she'd probably just done it.  But all 3 times?  I don't think so.

But we do like almost everything else about this daycare.  Plus, as I emphasized yesterday, she generally only attends one day a week and we only have to pay for that one day.  This is the only daycare we found that will do that.  AND she can come extra days any time we want, even without notice.  We were lucky its the most convenient daycare location-wise and we like it.  I don't want to switch.  I really don't.

I also am not sure it would be different somewhere else.  She only goes to daycare one day a week, so I suppose the workers don't know her as well as the other kids.  Plus, we actually think her daytime teachers do a fairly good job.  Its the after-school teenagers who are terrible about changing diapers - 2:30 is often the last time she had her diaper changed and Thomas picks her up at 5.

For now, we're going to be very clear about our dissatisfaction with diaper changes.  Every time we pick her up and she has a dirty diaper we'll complain.  I am requesting they use diaper rash cream every change no matter what, so maybe she can make it through a day without getting a rash.  I do think this is a teensy bit my fault.  Maybe the situation wouldn't have gotten so bad if we'd started complaining about it months ago.  Hopefully I'll have enough courage to continue complaining if it doesn't improve (I'm terrible with confrontation).  If things still don't get better I don't know what we'll do.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Meg goes to daycare one day a week (Tuesdays).  I work 3.5 days a week and we're very blessed that my mom watches Meg on 2.5 of those days (mom also works part-time - 3 days a week, which are sometimes weekends).  Before I went back to work we found a daycare that we like, that charges by the half day, and is next door to Thomas' office (he can look out his window and see them on the playground!)  Its wonderful.  We pay for 1 day a week, whether she goes or not, and can send her for additional days if my mom is out of town.  Its especially nice if my mom can't watch Meg on a Thursday morning, because I only have to pay for half of the day.  It would be annoying to pick her up at 12 and still pay for the whole day (although I never dreamed we'd find a daycare who would let us pay by the half day). 

One of the reasons we like the daycare is because its high enough quality we feel comfortable with it (we saw some really sketchy daycares when we were looking), but not so ritzy it costs more to send her there than I'd be making at work.  And, not to belabor the point, they accept kids part-time (you could even sign up for a half day a week) and are flexible enough to let a one-day-a-week kid come full time for a week or two here and there.  I honestly don't think we could find this setup anywhere else.

But.  Nothing is ever perfect, is it?  They're not the best at timely diaper changes.  Or, I guess I should say, they change her diaper every 2-2.5 hours, but almost never sooner.  They tend to not notice if Meg dirties her diaper.  She prefers to poop in a dry diaper.  She waits until you've changed her to do her business.  At home we often have to change her diaper, wait 10 minutes, then change it again.  They don't do that at daycare, so she ends up sitting in a dirty diaper for two hours.  She has sensitive skin - if you leave a dirty diaper on her for even a short period of time (its even happened at home occasionally) she gets a rash.  She comes home with a diaper rash EVERY TUESDAY.

I understand it must be hard in a room of 8 kids (2 teachers).  Maybe you smell something, but how do you tell which kid its coming from?  How do you know if its one of the kids or just the diaper pail?  Meg can be sneaky and she doesn't tell you she has a dirty diaper. I understand how they could miss it.  Ideally, they wouldn't, but I guess it happens (almost every time).  However, she only attends one day a week.  Its not the best, but we can deal with it.  A&D ointment works great on it, so the rash is usually gone by Wednesday morning.  Thursday morning if it was especially bad.  It kind of makes us feel like terrible parents for sending her off to get a diaper rash once a week, but we do like other aspects of the daycare and we don't think its a big enough of a problem to think about switching.

To be continued...

Friday, September 17, 2010

Seven Quick Takes

1.  I have strong memories associated with songs. The song “So What” by Pink came out when I was pregnant and had terrible morning sickness. I don’t know if you listen to pop radio, but they played that song constantly. I was working on a local audit and we had a radio on all day. Most days we heard the song 4-5 times. One day they had a contest where every time you heard the song, you could call in for a prize. They played this game EVERY HOUR. We work 10 hour days on local audits, so that day we heard “So What” 10 times. Amazingly, I didn’t really get sick of it. Its one of those really rare songs I still like despite its overplayed-ness. (Usually, no matter how much I like a song, I have my limit of how many times I can hear it. If I get past the limit, I start to hate the song. I hate many songs I used to love. Stupid radio.) Anyway, despite the fact I still like the song, when I hear it, it really takes me back to early pregnancy and I get the strongest urge to throw up. I’ll be sitting at work, not really paying attention to the radio and all the sudden I feel quite nauseous and can’t figure out why until I realize the radio is playing “So What.”

2. We’ve been pretty upset with our daycare this week. Although I hate the situation, I thought “at least it gives me a topic for a blog post!” I’ve been meaning to write it for two days now, but I just never get around to it. I usually do computer stuff while watching TV in the evenings, but the computer has become our TV (Hulu Plus). It really cuts down on computer free time, and when I finally get some I do other things instead of writing…like check my email and buy 10 kinds of diaper rash cream on Amazon. (well, maybe not 10)

3. Meg and I have to leave soon for the first day of MOPS! I’m excited. I have pretty much no social life. So I’m looking forward to mom time. It might be a bit overwhelming, though. I like getting to know people on more of a one-on-one basis. Last year the there-every-meeting group (which included me) was pretty small. 8 people? 10? There were several others but they were hit and miss about attendance. So by the end of the year, I knew those 8 women fairly well. And we did some park playdates and moms nights out over the summer (annoyingly I missed the last two, which is part of the reason I feel like I haven’t done any socializing in forever). However, there was another MOPS group nearby that disbanded at the end of last year and our group invited those moms to join us. I’m worried there will be 30 people or more there today and I don’t like that. Its too loud and chaotic and you don’t really talk to any one person for longer than a few minutes. But I’m excited to go, anyway!

4.  Right before going to sleep every night I think about whether I have to set an alarm for the next day.  It was kind of depressing to realize I didn't have to set my alarm make it to MOPS on time.  Last year we'd often be late because Meg would sometimes sleep until 8:30 or 9 (usually she got up at 8).  This year there is no chance we'll be late, as she now gets up between 5:30 and 6:30 almost every day:(

5. Monday morning I woke up and was so excited about getting a massage this weekend. I looked through the spa brochure (its been saved to my computer in pdf format for months) and picked out what I wanted (massage, pedicure, manicure). I authorized the amount I wanted to spend with Thomas (who is paying for all of this as a gift for my birthday) and got ready to call. Then I got an email reminding me the church women’s retreat was this weekend. I’ve been on the fence about it for awhile. Should I go, should I not… As I said, I don’t like crowds. At all. There’s going to be a ton of people there (we go to a big church). And, honestly, I’m just not in the retreat mood. I’m not really a retreat person. They’re usually too long. Too “this should be incredibly moving” and too “where are you in YOUR spiritual journey?” No thank you. (I’m at the point where I don’t want to talk about it. I have never wanted to talk about it!  I'm not a talk-about-it kind of person.) I was 90 percent sure I didn’t want to go. But I didn’t want to schedule a spa day and then decide I wanted to go to the retreat. So I dithered. And ignored the fact I had to make a decision. And waited another day. And then realized the deadline to sign up for the retreat had passed. So I called the spa. They didn’t have any appointments on Saturday. I am REALLY, REALLY bummed.

6. Thomas ordered Season 6 of The Office.  It came yesterday.  I like The Office, but Thomas is in love with it.  So much so I sometimes find it annoying to watch with him.  I usually dread watching the DVDs, but once we start I remember how funny the show is and enjoy it.  Now we're both excited to watch all the shows PLUS deleted scenes.  And hey!  It's the season where Pam and Jim get married and have a baby!

7. For the last quick take, I'm cheating and using someone else's blog post.  A few months ago I said Erin Zammet Ruddy's Parenting blog "is freakishly often about exactly what I’m thinking."  On this week's topic we could not be more different.  She says she's not really a baby person - more of a toddler person.  I am TOTALLY a baby person and she described exactly what its like:

"...can’t be in the room with a baby without wanting to hold it...could sit for hours holding a baby, any baby. And they don’t panic when they start to cry. If you’re a new mom at a party and want to relax, they’re your girls. And a friend at Glamour was such a baby freak that she could sense if someone was stepping off the elevator with one—she’d beeline to hold the baby and coo at the baby and love, love, love the baby"

I couldn't have described it better.  I loooove babies, which is kind of hard for family planning purposes.  I want tons of babies.  The more babies the better.  I love babies!!  But older kids?  I definitely don't want tons of them.  A few, maybe.  WHY do babies have to turn into older kids?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Time away

I went to a movie yesterday afternoon, like Thomas commanded me to. It was good, but, as always, the best part was coming home again. It kind of bugs me that I have to miss fun stuff in order to gain appreciation for the fun stuff. When I pulled into the driveway, I could see Meg and Thomas through the window, dancing. When I got inside, they told me they’d gone to the park. It made me sad. I missed fun times at the park, dinner as a family, and a dance party in the (clean!) living room. I was only home for 10 minutes before it was time to get ready for bed:( But as I’d had almost zero “me” time for awhile, would I have appreciated those things if I’d done them instead of going to a movie? I don’t know.

Maybe its because going to the movies didn’t quite turn out to be as awesome as I thought. I went to “The Switch” again, because I loved it so much the first time. It was good, but I guess not a movie you should watch twice in a week. I’d watch it again, but I’ll wait awhile. Its better than “after the first time you’ll never want to see it again,” but not as good as “I could watch it every weekend.” It’s a good once or twice a year, when you’re in the mood for that kind of movie, movie. The biggest problem, though, was what I ate. Turns out eating a large popcorn, half a Lindt dark chocolate bar, and half a large Sprite for dinner is NOT a good idea. It’s an even worse idea to follow it up with some Cold Stone. I came home feeling like I was going to throw up which significantly increased my jealousy at seeing the rest of my family dancing like crazy, feeling good from playing in the fresh air. But I guess you can’t appreciate family life to the fullest unless you get away from it sometimes. I’m glad I did.

P.S.  I finally thought of what I want Thomas to get me for my birthday.  A massage!  I have to get off my butt and schedule it, but maybe next weekend I'll come home from some alone time feeling completely relaxed and healthy instead of feeling like I'm going to be sick.  Yay!

P.P.S.  I still like going to movies.  I just need to eat before I go and skip the concessions.  Sending me to the movies when I feel completely overwhelmed is still a good idea!  Hint, hint!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Messy, messy house

This morning Meg woke up at 6:30. Thomas was almost out the door to go on his run. He made her a bottle then left. By the time he came back at 8, she had systematically destroyed every room in the house as I followed her around saying “no” a million times and trying to put things away. Thomas got in the shower. I went in the bathroom to put in my contacts. Meg followed me and proceeded to empty every bathroom door. I tried to stop her while stuffing everything back in the drawers. Then she went to unroll the toilet paper. I said no. She didn’t listen. I said no again. Then again, louder. Then I shouted NO at her. And Thomas, from the shower, said “lighten up.” I started crying and didn’t stop for the next hour.

At first I thought I was mad at Thomas for going for a run at 6 a.m. (or a little after) every single Saturday and Sunday. I always have to get up with Meg. I cannot remember the last time I slept in. Which makes me very, very cranky. Also, marathon training means that he runs at least 10 hours a week. I spend those 10 hours at home with Meg. A lot of times, I feel like he’s always abandoning us to go run. After I’d been crying for 20 minutes, though, I realized the “abandonment” wasn’t really the problem. Its that he has a hobby that he gets to spent 10 hours a week doing and he always gets to leave the house to do it.

I don’t have any “outside of the house” hobbies and I don’t want any. “Relaxing” to me means I don’t have to make myself presentable and leave the house. It usually means reading a book. Or doing Sudoku puzzles while watching TV. Or doing stuff on the computer. Preferably, I’d do all those things while wearing pajamas and lounging in bed. I don’t want to go to Panera and work on my computer. I want to stay home! But home is no longer a relaxing place. Even if I’m in the bedroom and Thomas is watching Meg somewhere else, I can hear them. I can hear tantrums. Sometimes he’ll ask me to watch her for 5 minutes while he does something. Which is fine. 5 minutes is no big deal, but it means I never actually get AWAY.

Also, every last inch of this place gets destroyed by an inquisitive 15 month old on a regular basis. To relax, Thomas likes to run outside. Outside is the same as its always been. I like to relax inside a clean house. That doesn’t happen much. Even when I’m home alone (which I LOVE), I often find it hard to relax because the house is such a disaster. This is kind of weird, because I’ve always been a pretty bad housekeeper. I have a high tolerance for messes. But it turns out there is a huge difference between messes of my own making and messes made by someone else. Especially when I cleaned up that exact mess the day before and someone undid my work. I start to feel like the house is a hopeless mess.

Back when we lived in our apartment, before Meg, we would pretty much let things go during the week. Mail would sit, pots and pans wouldn’t get washed, etc. But most Saturdays we’d spend 2-3 hours cleaning and the place would be spotless. I had no trouble sitting amongst the mess on Friday night because I knew all it would take was a little work and everything would be better. I don’t feel that way anymore.

I can (and HAVE – twice in the past month) spend a whole day cleaning the house. All alone. (Meg was at her grandma’s). By the end of the day, things look pretty good. But then Meg and Thomas come home. Thomas makes dinner (don’t I have the best husband?), Meg gets to work dragging all the toys out of her room, and I fight a losing battle to keep the toys in her room. By the end of the night, the kitchen counter is covered with dishes and the floor is covered with toys and Meg’s dinner. A mere three hours after I finished spending a whole day cleaning, the house is once again a disaster.

I hate it when magazines (or people) say “to keep a tidy house, spend 15 minutes picking toys up after the kids go to bed!” Yeah right! Most nights after Meg goes to bed, Thomas and I BOTH spend an HOUR picking up toys, putting away leftover food, washing the dishes/bottles, unpacking the diaper bag/lunch bags, repacking the diaper bag/lunch bags, and on and on. Sometimes the house looks noticeably better. Sometimes it doesn’t even make a dent. And it never gets the house as clean as we want it. If we concentrate on one room (usually the kitchen), we can get that room clean. But there’s no way we’ll get the whole house clean. Plus, even if the house looks clean, every single low cupboard and drawer in the house is a big huge jumble of unorganized things, because (thankfully) Meg often puts everything back in the cupboard/drawer after she empties it. She just doesn’t put it back the way she found it.

Now, as I said, I do have a high tolerance for messiness. So I can live with my messy house for awhile. But eventually the mess gets to me. It becomes too much for me to handle. And since I prefer to relax at home, eventually I’m so bothered by the mess I can’t relax at all.

I honestly don’t know what to do about this. We do try to pick up every night. We do spend a lot of Saturday cleaning the house. We can’t hire a cleaning lady, because there’s STUFF everywhere and I hear cleaning ladies only CLEAN, they don’t pick up and they can’t clean if things aren’t picked up. (Not to mention we can’t afford it.) I try to get rid of stuff, but our biggest problem is the stuff we use all the time being used then not put back. What do I do???

Thomas told me I have to go to a movie this afternoon. And while I’m at the movie, he and Meg will clean. Hopefully that will help a lot. It’ll probably at least get me to the point where I can stand the house for another couple weeks before I fall apart again.  After that, who knows?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Seven Quick Takes

1. Yesterday, Meg and I both got our flu shots! Its all thanks to A’Dell (and twitter) – Meg had her 15 month checkup yesterday and flu shots hadn’t even crossed my mind. We were sitting in the room waiting for the doctor (always takes at least a half an hour) and A’Dell tweeted her daughter was getting a flu shot the next day. So when the doctor came, I asked if Meg could get one and he said sure! After the appointment, we went to Target and they had flu shots, too, so I got one. It was really nice to get them done without having to put forth much effort. I would have been really ticked if we’d gone to Target and been bombarded with flu shot advertising right after Meg had been at the doctor and I hadn’t even asked if she could get one. Target doesn’t do shots for kids that young, do they? Even if they do, I’m glad we got it at the doctor’s office.

2. Does your doctor’s office have developmental questionnaires like this?
I love them, because the doctor only keeps the summary (scoring) page, so we get to take the rest of the questionnaire home and I can keep it as a really easy way to have a record of what she can and cannot do at each age. I’m not likely to sit down and make a list of what she can do and I definitely wouldn’t think of everything on their list. I don’t know if we’ll ever look at them again, but they’re (unfortunately) as close to a baby book as she’s going to get, so at least its something!

3. Meg has started imitating everything we do. Its usually cute, but sometimes annoying. If I’m writing (like when I was filling in the questionnaire at the doctor’s office), she whines until she can write, too. At the doctor’s, I didn’t have anything else for her to write on, so she got quite upset. Once I was done, she scribbled all over the questionnaire (the part we got to keep - as you can see in the picture). She also wrote on her stomach, since she was undressed for the exam. I felt like a great mother when the doctor came in and saw scribbles all over her belly. What else are we going to do while waiting upwards of a half hour? I bring books and snacks, but they only last so long…

4. Meg has never been afraid of thunder (that I’ve noticed), but today we had the windows open and it started raining. There was a huge, loud clap of thunder and it really scared her. Now she bursts into tears every time it thunders, even if its quiet. I tried to help by showing her the kitty wasn’t afraid of the thunder. It sort of worked, because the cat hates little kids (all kids), so she runs away when she sees Meg coming. I held the kitty and let Meg pet her. Meg was so excited to be petting the cat, she didn’t notice the thunder at all. Of course, the second I let the cat go, she was scared again. Oh well.

5. So then we moved on to another distraction – the vacuum. I don’t know why she doesn’t like loud thunder, because she loves the loud vacuum. Too much. She likes to play “the vacuum is chasing me.” She darts in front of the vacuum while I’m using it, waits until it gets really close, then runs away. The closer her feet are to the vacuum, the more fun the game is (and the more terrifying it is for me – what if I actually run over her toes?) I guess its good she’s not afraid of the vacuum, but now I kind of am. I don’t like to vacuum when she’s around. It did work, though. She was too focused on her game to be scared of the thunder.

6. I have a hard time taking a shower when I’m home alone with Meg, because she loves water. She stands outside the shower screaming (if she could talk, she’d be saying “let me in!”) So a few months ago, I started having her get in with me whenever I wanted to take a shower. It works great. Its so much easier than giving her a bath and she gets to be in there longer. Since we’ve drilled it into her that you never stand in the bathtub, she mostly stays sitting, too. But now that she’s copying everything I do, she likes to stand up and shower, just like me. I know at some point she’s going to fall and conk her head, but I have a hard time convincing her she needs to sit when mommy is standing. So I spend most of the shower telling her to sit down. She sits when I tell her, then stands up again right away. Its driving me crazy.

7. Thomas is running a half marathon tomorrow, in a town about two hours away. My mother-in-law is coming to stay with Meg and Andrew and I are going to stay in a hotel close to the race. We’ll have about 20 kid-free hours! The only bummer is that I still have to get up before the crack of dawn, like I do EVERY SATURDAY, so we can go to the race. I’m not happy about this. But I am excited for time alone with my husband, even if most of it will be in the car or sleeping.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Getting out and about with a baby

Thursday night was Iowa State’s football season opener. We went over to Buffalo Wild Wings to watch the first half with some friends, then came home to put Meg to bed (an hour late). It was fun and I’m glad we went. Our friends called us at six to invite us to come watch the game and we were there by seven. They're always remarking how impressed she is that we still come to things even though we have a kid. Everyone knows people who have a baby and never see their childless friends again. We’ve seen this group of friends six times this summer. I think part of the reason they comment on it is that it gives them hope – you can have a baby without your life being over. They think its great we don’t sit at home every night and didn’t drop our childless friends.

However, the six times we saw these friends this summer are the only times we saw friends this summer. The reason we drop everything and come over when they call to say they’re getting together is because we spend the majority of our time at home and generally jump at the chance to get out. Don't get me wrong - we spend the majority of our time at home because I like staying in. This is the reason why I've never had many friends. I do like going out occasionally, but not often, so if I have a lot of friends, who all want to hang out, I end up ignoring some of them or constantly whining to them I don't have any free nights to chill at home. I do better with a small group of friends and a lot of alone time. I'm a homebody. But these friends are pretty much our only chance to get out, so we either take the opportunity when its available or spend the next week wishing we had.

Also, I think the main reason we can be flexible is because Meg is a flexible baby. If we’re hanging out at someone’s house, we often bring Meg. At 8, we put her to bed in the infant seat in someone’s bedroom and she sleeps there until its time to go home. Our friends love this because, again, it shows her you don’t always have to either get a babysitter or leave the gathering at 7 pm to hurry home and put the baby to bed. But the only reason we don’t have to rush home is because Meg will sleep in the infant seat in an unfamiliar room. She’s the flexible one, we’re just lucky. And, again, its not like we’re doing this every weekend – we’ve only done it a few times.

I guess I just think they give us too much credit – they compliment us on our laid-back parenting style and our willingness to go hang out, but, actually, we don't go out much and its our baby who's laid back. I do like the compliments, though...

Friday, September 3, 2010

Seven Quick Takes

1. Iowa State’s season football opener was last night and we are having the most PERFECT football weather. Right now its 69 degrees and I couldn’t be happier. To go to the game last night, you’d have had to wear a sweatshirt, which made me really wish I could go.  I usually have no desire to go the first few games of the season, since its often still really hot.

2. Since its so nice out, I have every window in the house open, which is GREAT, because our house basically smells of moldy food, sweaty workout clothes, and toddler puke. I’m enjoying airing it out.

3. Yesterday, Meg again refused to take a nap, so I decided I’d had enough of this nap refusal and instituted cry-it-out naptime. It worked perfectly. Yesterday, she cried for an hour (with me going in there every 10 minutes), but today she only fussed quietly for 10 minutes. I didn’t even have to go in there!! Plus, after taking a good nap yesterday, she slept better than she has in a LONG time last night. She didn’t get up until NINE A.M.

4. On Sunday, our whole family is going to a hibachi place for my birthday and I’m really excited. I love hibachi and we almost never go.

5. Thomas has been bugging me for weeks asking what I want for my birthday and I seriously can’t think of anything. At all. The best I’ve come up with is a shopping trip, but I just bought a bunch of new clothes two weeks ago (with birthday money from last year that I found while cleaning). Anyone know of some cuty Etsy stuff? I am one of those rare women who hate online browsing/shopping.

6. Seriously, between the awesome weather, ISU winning last night, sleeping in until 9, the return of naptime, and my birthday tomorrow, I’m the happiest person EVER.

7. And now Meg’s up after only a 30 minute nap. But that’s OK! Nothing is going to ruin my good mood!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Partial memories

I’ve decided the biggest reason I don’t remember Meg’s first year as well as other years is that most of my experiences that year heavily involved emotions. You can’t ever recreate the emotion, so its hard to remember what it was like. Before having Meg, most of the stuff we did wasn’t big emotional stuff. I remember several vacations very well. They were a lot of fun, but not incredibly moving experiences. I remember the workout classes I used to take. I remember movies we went to, places we ate, and going to the farmer’s market on Saturday mornings. All good things, but not life-changing. Having a baby is life-changing and incredibly emotional – good and bad.

There was one point when Meg was about 6 weeks old, I think, and I thought “This is it. I’m not going to make it. I’m going to die of exhaustion right now. Its so sad I won’t live to see her sleep through the night.” I remember a lot about that moment. I remember I was standing in the church hallway (in maternity clothes), holding the infant seat, trying to stay awake, and kind of dreading an hour of church in which I’d have to act like I could still comprehend what the pastor was saying and would probably have to breastfeed partway through the service while trying not to flash my family. So I “remember” the moment, but I don’t remember the emotion. It makes the memory seem flat and one-dimensional instead of a full memory. There’s something missing when I try to remember it.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad I don’t remember what it was like to not get more than 3 hours of consecutive sleep for six weeks straight. But I also don’t really, fully remember what it was like to hold my baby for the first time or see her crawl or walk for the first time. I can describe what it felt like, but, again, it feels flat, like a description in a book. I also have fewer memories overall, probably because I was so sleep-deprived.  I only remember the times of intense emotion (like, I'm going to DIE if I don't get some sleep), instead of the everyday things I remember from other years. And while I can remember those emotional experiences, the emotion itself is gone, so the memory is “fuzzy.” A lot of the time after she was born was defined by emotion, so without the emotion there’s not much left.

So, like I wrote about yesterday, I thought I’d be able to remember what it felt like to rock an itty-bitty baby of my own and miss that feeling enough to desperately want another one. But I don’t. I do want another one, but I want a baby in the same abstract way I did when I wanted Meg. I thought it would be different, having been through it and knowing what it felt like. But its not, because I don't remember what it felt like. Maybe its because the “next baby” is purely theoretical at this point. I suppose when we do have another baby, the feelings will all come back to me.  But as soon as that child grows out the baby stage, I'll forget again.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

You mean I had a baby? When?

A couple nights ago, Meg started crying at 11 p.m. so I went in and rocked her. As we rocked I thought about how sad I’d be if I never had another toddler to rock back to sleep. Its such a wonderful, perfect feeling. I don’t want it to end! And to never have another little tiny baby to hold and breastfeed and change itty-bitty diap….wait, I don’t remember any of that. Like, at all. I sat there trying to remember breastfeeding. I only stopped FOUR months ago, you’d think I could remember. But I honestly couldn’t. I knew how its done (more so than I did before I’d ever done it) but I couldn’t remember actually doing it. (Pumping, I unfortunately remember – but that was like torturing myself three times a day, so I guess it takes longer to forget. Plus, I only stopped pumping three months ago).

I think my main problem was that I’d been so sick and was still kind of out of it. I have a hard time remembering last week, so I guess it wasn’t surprising I didn’t remember last year. Now that its been a couple days, I’m finally starting to feel better and work has kicked my brain back into gear. I remember more now, but Meg’s entire life is rather hazy in my memory. Way fuzzier than the previous several years. I guess that’s what sleep deprivation does to you.

I know many people say the only reason people have multiple children is because they forget the pain of childbirth and the newborn phase (i.e. no sleep). I knew I’d eventually forget the pain, but I didn’t think I’d forget everything. (Actually, I can remember the pain better than anything else. How crappy is that?) At this point, my knowledge of childbirth and caring for a newborn seems theoretical. Like, of course I know what happens (who doesn’t?), but I’ve never been through it myself. It’s a very weird feeling. Maybe I’d better go watch the video Thomas made of Meg’s first year. I’ll see if anything rings a bell.