Monday, February 27, 2012

A whole year



(Two days late, because parties are exhausting for kids AND parents)

I don't know what to say that I haven't said a million times already.  This girl.  She is sweet and crazy, loud and thoughtful, climbs on everything, eats only certain things.


Dropping all the crayons down the cold air return was a bit of a tactical error.

It's so different, the second first year.  With Gracie, every month felt like a marathon.  When her first birthday came, it was a little shocking, but mostly felt like graduating from college.  We worked hard, and WE MADE IT.  This time, it was a big blur of wtfshe'sHOWold???  It started when she was a month old, and went on hyperspeed from there.

I remember when this was shocking.  How quaint.



We celebrated by finally depaganizing the little critter-

The water didn't sizzle and the basilica didn't get struck by lightning: baptismal WIN.



And followed that up with party and cake.

CAKE:)

It was a good birthday. I don't think she has any complaints, anyway.  And I learned something this year: two hours in the middle of the night last an eternity, but a year in the light of day passes in the blink of an eye.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Who has two teeth and hates weaning?

THIS GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!


SERIOUSLY, you guys, OMFG.

Eliminating nursing before morning naps was not perfect, but it's okaaay.  She usually screams awhile and then falls asleep.  We're still nursing before afternoon nap and bedtime, and I cannot make up my mind which we will eliminate next.  She's had some cow's milk mixed with breastmilk in a cup, and so far, so good.  But in the middle of the night?  Aw hell, it's Suck City. 

First of all, she's just not a good self-soother.  At ALL.  So even though I had already cut G off on middle of the night feeds sometime around month eight, Katie was still getting to nurse until we started weaning.  I KNOW, I KNOW.  So she wakes up, and she hasn't the first clue how to get herself back to sleep.  So I go in and try rocking her, patting her back, whatever, and she calms down, but the minute I try to leave, all hell breaks loose.  She loses her frigging mind.  Occasionally, she sleeps through the night, but when that happens, she wakes at 4:30am.  And that's rare anyway, mostly it's the two hours in the middle of the night marathon.  And you know, I was SO happy we skipped that stage when she was a newborn.  Apparently it is required that all our children go through this phase?  I am so not on board with this nonsense. 

We ARE weaning.  I am so ready.  She may not be, but listen: I don't care.  Yes, obviously, I DO.  It is heartbreaking when it is clearly the only thing she wants in the whole wide world, and it is frustrating when I KNOW she would instantly calm and fall asleep if I would just nurse her, but I need- NEED-to be done with nursing this child. 

Oh yeah, and apparently, she is going to be a year old tomorrow.  LIES.  Vicious lies.  It was just a few months ago that I was sitting on the couch and complaining to my friend about the hideous Braxton-Hicks contractions I was having, as she rolled her eyes and suggested that I may want to consider that I was in labor.  Either that, or five years ago.  One of the two.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

My Cabbage Patch

One of the things that makes me sad about my hospital moving downtown is...kinda lame. 

See, because, here's the thing: getting off the expressway, driving the route to the new hospital, is also the way to my doctor's office and the hospital where the girls were born.  And right now?  When I drive that way, I feel buzzy and happy and content and wistful and a million other things.  It is the most Proustian route in the whole wide world.  But soon?  It will just be the way I drive to work.  And because I am a big fat sap, that makes me sad.

And being down there today, just days before Katie's first birthday...a big fat sap like me spent almost as much time staring out the window at the building next door as I did looking around my  new stomping grounds.

And I'll get used to the view, and it won't be the same, and you know, the less sappy I am in general, THE BETTER, but today, it's weird, I kept getting stuff in my eyes...

JUST KIDDING I WAS TOTALLY TEARING UP BECAUSE I AM THAT SMURFY.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

From the Files of "Duh"

So, we're weaning.

(ugh.)

When I weaned Grace, I did a mega rapid stupid fast wean.  I had a lot of reasons for that at the time, nearly all of them stupid in retrospect, but it seemed like a good idea at the time.  And ohhhhh my stars, the weaning hormones.  I had no idea!  I have mentioned this before.  It was mostly really hideous anxiety, and since I also had really hideous anxiety when G was born, I figured it was all the same hormonal changes.  Since I did NOT have a single speck of anxiety when K was born, and in fact, floated around on some kind of cloud of euphoria and co-sleeping well-restedness, I was hoping the hormones wouldn't be as bad this time.  Like the experiences would match, or something.  Also: weaning over more than like, three days this time.

Yeaaahhhhh.  Nope.  I mean, actually, to be honest the anxiety is about 1/100th of what it was last time, but it is definitely still there.  Today was the first day of nursing only before afternoon nap and bedtime (eliminating pre-AM nap nursing), and I decided we'd go running at naptime, especially since she slept eleven hours last night, which is practically unheard of in KatieVille.  While we were getting dressed, I just kept sub-panicking about feeding her.

Oh.  Yes.  Of course.

This, unlike just about every single other thing with nursing, is actually extremely evolutionary.  You should feel anxious on some level if you are not feeding your child, because if you don't, you might get all caught in your cave paintings or your wooly mammoth hide tanning and forget to do it for days at a time, and then the baby is really problematically hungry.

This really has no other point, except that I am slow and just realized that.  And also that I hate weaning.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Eat Something New Already

As an infant/toddler, Gracie was seriously the most amazing eater you have ever seen in your life.  Child ate 95% of what was put in front of her.  The 5% included meat and ravioli/pierogis/any smooth pasta like that.  As she approached three, that list got narrower and narrower- she still eats fruits and vegetables, so we're ahead of the game as it typically goes with kids her age, but her acceptable entree list has grown shorter and shorter with each passing day.  Katie is a bit pickier than her sister, and of course, her favorites are ravioli and anything involving meat.  It's become a challenge to make dinner, to say the least.  And?  Really?  I refuse to fall into a rut where they eat spaghetti and meatballs or mac and cheese every single freaking night of their lives.

So I went looking for recipes and I found this. And although it seemed inocuous enough, I needed to choose a day when Gracie ate a big lunch, in case she fully rejected it (since it would defeat the purpose entirely if I gave her the same old bean and cheese quesadilla if she refused it.)  I didn't follow the recipe exactly, because I am allergic to following recipes. Also because i wanted to use what I had in the house.

I used chickpeas instead of black beans, 1/2 tsp chili powder instead of cayenne, 1/4 tsp of cumin because too much bothers me (it totally smells like B.O., and I can't be convinced otherwise), and just kind of shook oregano over it til it looked about right to me.  I also just added whatever corn I had in the house, which wasn't very much.

I just kind of scooped some cooked brown basmati rice in until it looked right to me.  The pics in the recipe looked rice-y for us, so I think I used less than two cups.


I had cheddar cheese in the house, so that is what I used. I don't really know how much I used, just enough to make a thin layer on top. She says, at one point in the recipe, to mix everything together, but her pictures pretty clearly look like the cheese is just on top, so that is what I did.

I started cooking dinner too late tonight, so I definitely did not leave it in the oven for a full thirty minutes. I just left it there til the cheese was all melted. I prefer my cheese more bubbly, and would cook it longer next time.
I did let it rest for the full ten minutes- anyone reading this probably knows this, but just in case, you have to rest casseroles just like you rest meat, or they'll just be a runny, disgusting mess.

It was extremely easy and fast- I made it while Grace ran in and out of the kitchen and Katie whined and clung to my leg because she woke up from her nap too early.  The whole time I was cooking it, I kept showing it to Gracie and stressing that it was full of delicious things that she really likes.  She kept talking about it being new cheesy beans- her name for the bean and cheese quesadillas she would eat for every meal if we let her.

And then she ate it!

Well.  Mostly, she ate the cheesy topping.  But she ate everything that was stuck to it and picked out a lot of the chickpeas, too.

Katie ate hers, too.  WITH GUSTO.
And Stephen and I ate ours, too (not pictured.)  I added salt and hot sauce to mine, because it was definitely a little bland (the recipe suggests adding meat, which I did not do so I could eat it too, and I probably went easier on the spices than I needed to.)  And bonus points: it was something new!  With new flavors and textures!  And there were actual vegetables involved!

It was a win.  We'll make it again.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

THIS IS NOT NORMAL.

So I was sitting at my desk yesterday, minding my own business and generally being an angel of mercy, when suddenly, it washed over  me: I. Was. SICK.

I collapsed on the floor for awhile, and when the waves of nausea finally passed enough for me to be ambulatory, I drove home.  Once I got here, I perked up a little bit, and thought, oh, okay, I just ate something funny.

BUT NO.

We got the girls to bed and I am not going to go into any details, but let me assure you, it was EPIC.  I got back on the couch, teeth chattering, for awhile, before I remembered I still had leftover zofran from when I was pregnant with Katie, choked down a tab, and went to bed.

About an hour later, I heard Katie screaming.  I mean, of COURSE she was.  She is the worst sleeper ever and she will be waking up and asking her college roommate to call me so she can nurse.  A few days ago, I decided I would not be nursing her at ALL overnight anymore, because we are weaning (WE ARE) and she absolutely does not need to nurse and it is time for us to figure out other ways to soothe this kid back to sleep.  But you know, I was exhausted and racked with nausea and the thought of listening to her scream on and off for the hour and a half it would take her to get back to sleep just crushed me.  So I went and nursed her.  And I knew it was a mistake, but I did it.

...So I wasn't remotely surprised when I heard her crying again at 3:15.  What did shock me was the nature of her crying.  Because it wasn't the "I woke up and I'm lonely and also would like some boob" cry, it was the "I woke up and am ready to start the day so please come fetch me" cry.  I ignored her for an hour, during which time she cried and stopped and cried and stopped but cleeearly was not going to be going back to sleep.  And so she got her way and I fetched her and brought her downstairs.  Stephen followed close behind me and sent me back to bed for a few hours.

What kid wakes up at 3:15 for the day when you haven't reset your clocks?  MY KID, that's who.

so then?  THEN??? THEN????

She did not nap until 9am.  And woke up screaming the minute I put her down.  She cried for maybe five minutes and fell asleep.  For half an hour.  When she woke up.  Wide awake.

Of course.  I mean, seriously, what baby needs more than nine hours of sleep?

Fast forward to 1pm (yes, ONE PM, she is still going strong), we are taking Gracie up for her nap, and Katie is still wide awake.  A few minutes later, she rubs one eye and I decide we are DONE.  Diaper change, nurse, she's out cold.  Until she wakes up the second I unlatch her.  But you know what?  NO.  She is a year old and there is no reason for me to be nursing this kid through an entire frigging nap.  So I put her down.

And forty minutes later, she is still screaming bloody murder.

And look.  I get that "sleeping like a baby" is the stupidest, most bullshit statement anyone ever cliched, but SERIOUSLY WHAT THE F*#((???

I guess I'll just need to make sure I'm in her roommate's speed dial.

Monday, February 6, 2012

SHENANIGANS.

Katie's fevers have broken and a rash has appeared, so she appears to be on the mend (and I am once again fooled by benign ear fluid OH HOW SHOCKING.)  Last night's sleep was marginally better than the rest of the weekend, with only two night wakings.  The first time she woke up, I must have been really sound asleep, because when I fully woke up, she was screaming bloody murder.  I staggered down the hall and walked into her room, where I found her standing in her crib.

With one leg up.

As if to climb out.

OH HELL MOTHERLOVIN' NO.

Among the list of many troubling behaviors that never entered Gracie's mind is climbing out of the crib.  Child never attempted it once in the two years she spent in her crib.  She would march back and forth, waving her blanket around, drinking water, reading books, occasionally sleeping, but she never, ever tried to climb out.

Of course- OF COURSE- the child who I have woefully slacked on sleep training, is the one who thinks, I shall set myself free from this infant Bastille and go find my mother and also her bewbs.

Viva La Sleep Deprivation.  Or something.  I'm too tired to think of a clever way to end this.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Siiiick

Poor K-Mae.

This kid has seriously spent 2/3 of our (totally mild! extremely pleasant!) winter with one virus or another.  And again, this week, she is fighting the crud, complete with scorching fevers.

Grace, being the oldest, was never sick at this age.  But on the very rare occasions when she was, you would never guess it.  I can't tell you how many times I scooped her up and realized, once my hands were firmly in her armpits, that she had a raging fever.  She was eating, playing, acting like Grace, never missing a beat.  Katie?  Well, just as she's been since before she was born, is a complete and total drama queen.  We should have named her Camille, the way this kid acts when she's sick.  She cries and moans and refuses to eat and hurls herself on the floor and stays up all night and is not sure, but thinks it's entirely possible she needs to be hospitalized.  Perhaps in the ICU.  This kid, I am TELLING you.

...and of course, as soon as I had all of those thoughts, I decided to take a second look in her ears, since she keeps getting these damn fevers.  And, so, yeah- you DO know her left ear looks crappy to me, right?  Mind you, there is a junkload of wax in there, and it's possible it's just benign fluid (I never have been good at telling the difference between that and an actual otitis, and I am pretty sure nobody else can tell either, they just like to mess with me and say the opposite of whatever I guess), but if she has an actual ear infection, she trumps Gracie right there, who has never, ever had one.  BUT!  Still! Katie's been sick plenty of times that did not involve ear infections and she acted just like this so don't think I'm mean because I'm not.

Yes I am.  But this is not an example of that.