Archive for the ‘Parenting’ Category

Problem Solved

Filed under: Koren,Parenting,Such is Life — Amy @ 6:19 pm

Well after 2+ weeks, I think I finally figured out what was causing my eye to swell up every day.  I’ve boycotted makeup for the past 2 days and while I’m not so good at rocking the “au naturale” look, the swelling has gone down completely. 

I’m guessing that it was something on the makeup brushes. See, while I’m doing Kaelin’s hair every morning, she plays with my brushes.  And since she’s TWO, I have to admit the possibility that she’s probably, I dunno, rubbed them on her foot or something at least once.

Anyway, YAY for no longer looking like Quasimodo.

But DUDE.  I have one of those really painful under-the-skin irritated pores on my nose and I keep accidentally bumping it and it hurts like a Mother Butler Pie and is making me that kind of irrational angry you get when you trip over the same shoe 5 times because you’re too lazy to pick it up.

Also, Koren has officially entered the “4 Month Sleep Regression.”  He spends much of the night trying to roll over and getting really frustrated when he can’t.  It wouldn’t matter if he could because, as I’ve found out, he doesn’t actually want to BE rolled over.  He wants to be ROLLING over.  Also, he’s recently decided that 5:00am is an appropriate time to start the day, which is SO. SO. WRONG.  In this house, Morning does not start until at least 7:00am.

One thing that has been helpful though, is this monitor.  It goes under the mattress and monitors the baby’s motion so if you put them on their tummies to sleep you don’t have to check every 10 minutes to make sure they’re still breathing.  It totally works.  Which is good because Koren will not sleep an entire night on his back.  He has to be flipped half-way through.

The only thing is, if the monitor can’t sense the breathing motion, it sounds this REALLY EAR PIERCING ALARM, which, I know, that’s what it’s supposed to do, but if the baby sleeps in your room at night and you get him out of bed for that mid-night bottle, and forget to TURN IT OFF, a few seconds later the whole household gets blasted out of bed by the BEEPBEEPBEEPBEEPBEEPBEEPBEEPING!!!with-multiple-exclamation-points!!!111ONEONE!!!11ELEVENTYONE!!! 

For the record, the husband?  That one that can’t go back to sleep if he has to get up in the middle of the night?  Yeah, he doesn’t really appreciate that.  Especially if it happens multiple times.  In the same night.

So in light of my painful face and all the non-sleeping going on around here, I think I’m going to call it quits even though it’s only 9:30 on a Friday night.  I’m beat.

PS:  Guess what!!!  I took PICTURES of Koren today!!!  But you can’t see them.  Yet.  So I don’t know why I said that.  Goodnight.

Random Tidbits

Filed under: Kaelin,Koren,Parenting,Politics — Amy @ 5:41 pm

Bullet time!  Because I can’t seem to string a thought together well enough to create a real post.

  • There are certainly downsides to being a person who naturally stores all her body fat around the middle.  It happened again today.  A cashier asked me what I was having (as in a baby boy or girl).  I wish I could come up with some witty response when perfect strangers mistakenly assume I’m pregnant.  Something other than, “I”M WORKING ON IT, OK?

  • Koren thinks John W. Scherer (the Video Professor) is hilarious. Every time he comes on TV, the kid breaks out into huge grins.

  • Jens walked in on Kaelin’s bath last night to discover that her bath crayons were having an argument.  Two of them were right and one was wrong (about what, we’re not sure).  The one that was wrong had to spend some time in Time Out for being disrespectful to his Mama.  Hmmm… sounds familiar…

  • So yeah.  The economy.  The Bail-Out.  Blech.

  • Kaelin’s birthday is coming up.  Yesterday I took her to Party City to pick out a theme for her party.  She picked Hello Kitty.  I repeatedly questioned her about it, knowing that she doesn’t even know who Hello Kitty is, but she was determined.  Of course, on the way home she changed her mind and decided she wants a puppy birthday party, which I appreciate because Hello Kitty is HELLO PINK and I think I might have an allergic reaction to that much pink at one time.

  • Did you know that if you want to reserve a park pavilion for your kid’s birthday party on a weekend, you have to do so months ahead of time?  I did not know this.

  • Today Kaelin announced that she wanted a cherry cake.  I do not know how to make a cherry cake.  Also, I have to figure out how to draw a puppy with icing. 

  • But dude, I actually cooked dinner 2 nights in a ROW.  Like, stuff that didn’t come out of a box.  And tonight, my kid actually ATE IT instead of throwing it on the floor.  This is HUGE, PEOPLE.  HUGE.

  • Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some invitations to address…

  • Trauma

    Filed under: Kaelin,Parenting — Amy @ 7:44 pm

    “Is it the doctor that gave me stickers?”
    “No, Dr. Seibert isn’t working right now.  We’re going to see a different doctor that we haven’t met before.”

    She chattered cheerfully on the way to the after-hours clinic.  The bleeding had stopped and the pain had subsided.  It was past her bedtime but she was wide awake.

    “What’s the doctor’s name?”
    “I don’t know.  We can ask when we get there.”
    “Is it Rosa?”
    “Probably not.”
    “Is it Dora?  It might be Dora, but it wouldn’t be the same Dora.  And there might be a doctor named Boots but it wouldn’t be the same Boots.”

    When we reached the clinic, she marched in with her Little Lamb and her enormous blanket.  The staff was immediately taken with the bouncy little girl in pajamas, and I heard, “Oh, you ought to come look at her, she’s adorable.” 

    She looked around with interest at the colorful room and the large TV as I spoke with the receptionist.

    “I called a little while ago about having someone look at my daughter’s chin.  She tripped and fell into a chair and it seems to be a fairly deep cut.”

    When we were quickly ushered into Room 8, her demeanor changed.  Her well-founded suspicion of doctor’s offices was aroused, and she suddenly became very clingy, trying to hide behind my legs.

    She struggled and cried through the rinsing of the wound and the doctor’s examination, despite the sweet words and “magic wand” offered by the nursing staff.  The verdict was as I feared: she needed stitches.

    They had to strap her down.

    She cried.  I held her hand.

    She screamed.  I stroked her hair.

    They stuck a needle directly in the wound again and again to administer the anesthetic.

    The screams turned into sobs.  “Please stop hurting me… Please, please stop hurting me…”

    I offered useless words of comfort and tried not to look away as the needle made the blood flow again.

    As the anesthetic took effect, her hysteria lessened.  But the fear of pain, the fear of the unknown, did not.

    As the doctor stitched, she whimpered again and again, “Is it over yet?”  And each time everyone would tell her “Almost.  We’re almost done,”  followed by a question for the sake of distraction.

    “How old are you?”
    “Do you have a brother or a sister?”
    “A brother.”
    “What’s his name?”
    “Koren.  He fusses all the time.  Ow, you’re poking me!

    The anesthetic hadn’t sufficiently reached that part of the wound.  The tears came flowing out again.

    One, two, three, four stitches.  It felt like entirely too long to have only been four stitches.

    The moment when I could answer “Yes, it’s over now” was like reaching the surface and taking a breath of air a millisecond before drowning.

    She got a popsicle.  And a toy.  And four stickers.  And a lollipop.  And she got to sit in the lobby and watch Lilo and Stitch while I filled out paperwork.  By the time we left she was exhausted, but smiling.  On the way out the door she asked all the doctors and nurses what their names were.

    We climbed in the car and I buckled her in the back seat.  I kissed her on the head and told her what a good girl she had been and how proud of her I was.  She smiled and closed her eyes.

    As I started the car, I exhaled for the first time in an hour.  There, in the safety of darkness, I wept. 

    I’m still weeping.

    Kaelinisms: Breakfast Edition

    Filed under: Kaelin,Kid Quotes,Parenting — Amy @ 12:35 pm

    Jens usually does the breakfast thing for Kaelin because he’s got the morning shift while I try to catch up on some of the sleep I missed overnight.  But last night was a bad night for him, so I took over this morning to allow him a few extra hours of sleep.

    I warmed a biscuit and doused it with honey but no butter, just like she likes it.  I peeled and de-yolked a boiled egg.  I poured some milk.  And I dumped some mixed berries onto her plate.

    At that, she looks down at her berries and back up at me with one eyebrow raised.

    ONE strawberry?” she asks, with a tone that is less a question than a statement of disapproval.  A tone that says it’s a good thing you have some redeeming qualities woman, because you totally fail at breakfast.

    Kaelinisms: Oh No She Didn’t Edition

    Filed under: Kaelin,Kid Quotes,Parenting — Amy @ 12:24 pm

    “I wanna play on the computer.”
    “It’s not time for the computer right now.  It’s bedtime.”

    She looked at me and squared her shoulders.  And then with all the gusto of a sixteen-year-old in the prime of you-can’t-tell-me-what-to-do rebellion, she says, “Well I’m going to play on the computer anyway.”

    Yeah.  That went over well. 

    Suffice it to say she’s probably marked that off her list of “Things to Try When I Want My Way.”  Though I fully expect to see it surface again in another 10 years.

    Bouncy Thing

    Filed under: Kaelin,Koren,Parenting — Amy @ 1:44 pm

    It could be too early to make this assertion, but I have a feeling that this little thingamajig* is going to be a favorite pastime in the near future.

    Now if we can just keep a certain someone from playing “Spin the Monkey,” all will be well.

    * Does anyone besides me find it odd that spell check has no problem with the word “thingamajig” but balks when I try to type “thingy”?

    Ya Think???

    Filed under: News,Parenting — Amy @ 7:45 pm

    BabyCenter sends me all the latest news when it comes to parenting.  THIS JUST IN:

    Fast-food kids’ meals shockingly unhealthy!

    Kid’s meals at popular fast-food restaurants deliver more than a quick lunch or dinner — 90 percent of them have far more than a meal’s worth of calories and many are loaded with fat and salt too, according to a report released on Monday.
    “Nearly every single possible combination of the children’s meals at KFC, Taco Bell, Sonic, Jack in the Box, and Chick-fil-A is too high in calories,” [The Center for Science in the Public Interest] said in a statement.

    Ok, really?  Is there actually anyone on this planet that would consider this news? 
    Who is the parent that reads that and thinks, “Well I’ll be darned, you mean all those greasy nuggets and fries I’ve been feeding Junior every day aren’t part of a balanced, nutritious meal?”  Because I would like to meet that parent and bop them over the head.


    Filed under: Kaelin,Parenting — Amy @ 9:15 am

    There are times when I feel like I’m getting pretty good at this whole parenting thing and have all the answers, like when Koren starts fussing and I’m all, “Just bundle him up like this and squeeze him and rock him sideways like this, and OH LOOK, HE’S ASLEEP.” 

    Mama: 1
    Fussy Baby: 0

    And then there are other times when I am blatantly reminded that no matter how long I do this, I will always be a rookie.  Every day brings new challenges to figure out, new things to handle.  For instance, here are some lessons I learned this week:

  • When your daughter picks up an unidentifiable remain of a beloved toy that has been mangled and decapitated by the dog, and asks, “Mama, what’s this?” the correct answer is probably not “A piece of Timmy.”  In retrospect, I probably could have handled that a little more delicately.
  • While the “shock and startle” method of alerting your child that SHE IS SO BUSTED might seem like a good idea, it can occasionally backfire.  For instance, if she is supposed to be napping and you catch her out of bed playing and your reprimand surprises her so much she falls off the chair and poops in her pants.  There’s something about cleaning up poop that lessens the triumph.
  • It is never, under any circumstances, a good idea to teach a two-year-old the “copy cat” game.
  • Drum Roll Please

    Filed under: Kaelin,Koren,Parenting — Amy @ 5:23 pm

    Well, we’re on day four of the no-dairy diet for Koren and me.  Thus far, we’ve noticed the following observations as a result:

    1.  More poopy diapers (mostly…today was an exception)
    2.  Less fuss
    3.  It is almost a crime to have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and not be able to chase it down with a glass of milk.

    In any case, it looks like we’ll be continuing the dairy embargo, at least for the time being.  Hopefully he’ll grow out of it soon, as most babies do.  Fortunately, he really seems to like the soy formula, which allows me the occasional ability to cheat.  Last night I had ice cream for dessert.

    One thing that’s still puzzling me is his daytime sleeping schedule.  He’s still doing good at night, usually going at least one 4-5 hour stretch (did you know that’s considered “sleeping through the night”?  What a croc.) and usually doesn’t wake up for an extended period of time until after 7am, which is nice.  But there are a lot of days when he will Just. Not. Nap.  The longest nap I can get out of him is 30 minutes, maybe twice during the day.  He’s not unhappy – just AWAKE.  And needing to be held every second of the day.  I’m sure that’s not a normal sleep pattern for a 2-month-old.

    Then all of a sudden, he’ll have a day like today where he sleeps (or at least rests contentedly, meaning not in my arms) for most of the day – like he’s trying to catch up for the last few days of missed sleep.  What’s up with that?

    In other news, Kaelin is really learning to master the computer, thanks to the Nick Jr. game websites. She can open the internet, find the bookmark, and start a game that requires some pretty complex mousing skills, like chasing a moving duck and clicking on it, dragging it to its mommy duck (who is also moving), and releasing it at the right time.  It’s cute to watch her concentrate on it.

    Speaking of cute, look what I found this morning:

    Sleepless Gabba Crayon

    Filed under: Kaelin,Koren,Parenting — Amy @ 7:44 am

    Ha.  I dare you to decipher that title without reading the rest of the entry.

    So last night was what we would call a “bad night.”  Koren was up every hour.  At first I thought it was because I was trying to make him sleep on a flat surface (gasp!) but he continued to wake up repeatedly even after I moved him from the bassinet to the rocky swing.

    He’s zonked out in his crib right now and I hope he’ll be out for a while because he needs to catch up on the sleep.

    I can tell I was delirious from lack of sleep in the middle of the night because I remember thinking at some point, “I should learn how to cook,” which (to my mother’s dismay) is a statement I would put right up there with, “I should dye my hair pink” and “I should take up crocodile wrestling.”

    Kaelin has been remarkably good this morning at entertaining herself on the computer.  She’s learning how to navigate the Nick Jr. site, and I keep hearing little songs and intros to the various shows.

    Which brings me to the aside …

    I cannot stand the Nick Jr. show Yo Gabba Gabba.  CAN. NOT. STAND. IT.  Every time it comes on I want to reach through the screen and throttle that guy that hosts it.  I wonder how some of these shows make it into production, because seriously.  Elijah Wood guest-hosted it one time and I will never be able to look at him the same again.  /End Rant.

    And on a slightly different note, this:

    Is the Cutest. Book. Ever.

    Things Currently Making Me Happy

    Filed under: Koren,Milestones,Parenting,Photos,Such is Life — Amy @ 5:33 pm

    Yeah, yeah, I know.  One day I’ll get over this fixation with bullet points.

  • Koren smiled at me for the first time.  Like, a real smile that lasted more than half a second.
  • He also looks me in the eye since yesterday, which is new.  Until now he was always looking at something in the space over my left shoulder, which was making me wonder if there was something wrong with his vision.
  • Kaelin’s furniture matches the curtains and bedspread already in her room so I don’t have to redo them
  • My son took a 3-hour nap this afternoon.
  • And so did I.
  • Koren’s acne looks like it MAY be getting better, thanks to a tip from Julie.
  • Got some work done today, so I’m feeling accomplished – thanks Mom & Dad for watching the kids this morning!
  • The chicken burger at Sonic is actually not half-bad.  I’ve never found a chicken burger at a fast food restaurant that was more than tolerable.
  • But most of all…

  • Bright Starts bouncer with music and vibrating box:
  • Great Day

    Filed under: Kaelin,Koren,Parenting,Such is Life — Amy @ 6:39 pm

    Today was a great day.  Except for the part where I took Koren to my 6-week postpartum doctor appointment and he cried through the entire thing.  He was a great sleeper throughout the rest of the day though, so that’s a tradeoff I was willing to make.  Any day where Koren sleeps more than he fusses is automatically a great day.

    Need a sitter?  I discovered this site called Sitter City, where you can post a request for a sitter and people respond.  You can view their profiles, picture, experience, references, reviews from past clients, even background checks, to see if they would be a good match. 

    I posted a job describing my kids and what I was looking for, and within hours had several responses from interested sitters.  Today I interviewed a girl who is going to be helping me with my kids over the next few weeks so I can get some work done.  Kaelin seemed to really like her and I think it will work out well.

    This is such a great resource for me because I really hate asking friends to babysit (especially since most of y’all have your own kids to deal with), and I was especially concerned about how I was going to make any progress on a big work assignment that has a rather pressing deadline hanging over my head.  Unfortunately, my work projects aren’t easily done in 15-minute increments, so it’s difficult for me to put in the time I need when either or both of the kids need my attention all day.

    This evening we spent several hours putting together a room full of furniture that arrived for Kaelin.  Since we migrated her furniture into the nursery, her room was a bit bare and I was really running out of places to put her clothes.  I should have taken pictures, it turned out really cute and I’m very pleased with the quality of the furniture (but man, is it heavy!). 

    It’s a whimsical furniture set, almost Dr. Seuss-esque, and she really seems to like it.  Perhaps I’ll get some pictures taken tomorrow.  I really enjoyed transforming her room.  It looks like such a “big girl” room now.  And big props to Jens, who did most of the work, while I held Koren to keep him happy.  I do a lot of holding Koren these days…  I’ve officially learned my lesson about bragging early-on about how low-maintenance my baby is.

    About Me

    Hi. I'm Amy. I started this website in 2005 as a place to deposit my journal and photos. It has gone through a few incarnations and masquerades as a family site, but since I'm the only one who contributes to it, it's really all about ME, ME, ME.

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