OMG, The Tantrums!

Elle is normally a great girl. She really is. She’s mainly happy and funny and fun to be around.

But today.

Oh today.

It started last night. I had euchre league (yes, there really is such a thing) so Jon was on nighttime routine duty. However, by using the word ‘routine’ I need you to think of it more like we typically try to get Elle in pajamas and into bed before us. That’s about all the routine we have at this stage of the game.

But, he was on duty.

I got home at 10 p.m. to Elle and Jon in our bed, her watching iPad and Jon watching the backs of his eyelids. Sherriff Callie’s Wild Wild West just doesn’t do it for Jon I guess.

I suggested that I put her to bed, since it was WAAAAY past her bedtime. Jon says ‘no, she’ll fall asleep’.

Against my better judgement, I gave in.

Get this – Elle has NEVER been a kid who will just fall asleep on your shoulder. She doesn’t get wiped out. She goes and goes and parties and parties until she begins to get slightly cranky (maybe) but most of the time, she is just fine to keep going. Until you take her out of the action (in this case, Disney Junior) and into her room and into bed.

So, I was fighting with Minted about our holiday card order and was tracking some other online purchases for the holidays. I was writing a blog post. And then, I was listening to our two year old talking back to her iPad.

It was 11 o’clock.

I sprang from my chair and took the next 20-30 minutes to get her to sleep. Ugh.

And I knew this morning would be bad. But it was worse even than I could have imagined.

There was kicking and screaming and hyper-ventilating crying. I got a new diaper on her before she opened her eyes, so that was easy. I got new pants on before she knew what was going on. I managed to strong arm my way into getting a new shirt on her (she still HATES changing clothes the way she has since the day she was born). And that was about it. No hair brushed, no teeth brushed. Because all she would say is ‘no no nononononononono’. Then there was trying to get shoes, a hat, mittens, a coat on her and out the door. I just willed it to be. It was not pretty. And we got to school on time. But then, she broke down when I tried to leave her at school.

So, it was a rough morning. Walking into my office, I thought ‘ok, choose your attitude now because this morning has no bearing on your co-workers’. Ugh. That’s a new conversation with myself.

My toddler ruined my morning, well before 8:30 a.m.

Ultimately, when I picked her up tonight at day care they said she’d had a great day (I was shocked!). That she had napped really well (unusual for her, but not surprising given the circumstances) and that she was the only girl with a bunch of boys today and had loved it and even taken one on the cheek (had to sign off on the form as a result).

My Dad has texted me on my way to pick Elle up that we could come there for dinner. Jon wasn’t home from work yet, I had no plans for dinner and taking the threat of cooking something out of my brain function was appreciated.

And then – after dinner – Elle did the SAME act as she’d done this morning. Only this time, there were witnesses. Grandma and Papa and they were trying very hard to get her to be her normal happy-go-lucky gal. And it was NOT happening for any of us. Finally I just told them to get out of my way and I was going to win.

Ugh.

Tantrums.

In other news, by the time we got the nine houses to our house, she was still freaking out. She wanted her Dad, she wanted her Mumma, she wanted her Grandma and her Papa. I decided she wanted a new diaper, pj’s and bed. And that’s what she got. And that’s where she is now – two hours into what I HOPE will be a great night of sleep for us all.

Ugh.

Tantrums.

Mother of the Year, Over Here

Stop competing.

I’ve won it.

Mother of the Year.

Elle woke up with a cough Saturday morning. She was going to a birthday party with my Mom while I worked at a women’s expo (that’s a WHOLE other post). I put the cough medicine in Elle’s go-bag and it didn’t get used that day.

Sunday the cough was still around.

And sleep was not the greatest during this time frame.

Monday morning, she woke up with the cough even worse. I called Jon’s parents (remember, mine are sipping pina coladas on a beach somewhere on an island) and they watched Elle. I didn’t want to send her to school with no chance to feel better, a bunch of other sick kids running around.

They kept her well-medicated, put the humidifier in her room at their house and paid good attention to the cough.

It didn’t seem like it was getting better.

Same thing happens Tuesday morning.

And finally, this morning, I take her to their house again and on the way to work call the pediatrician’s office. I tell them that she has a cough, has had it for a few days but didn’t know if maybe the doctor could tell us over the phone a good medicine or if we should come in.

Oh, come in – they say.

So, I go to work, do the morning routine, and head back to get Elle and go to the doctor’s office.

(Sidenote: two molars popped through in the last five days as well. Medical professionals can swear this has nothing to do with anything…but…I don’t believe them).

We don’t wait at ALL in the waiting room and we’re in the room waiting for the doctor. The nurse-girl takes Elle’s temperature (99.5, slight temp still) and weighs her (22 pounds!). He arrives and listens to her (he always calls her Ellie — and calls me by what will be my married name…and I just let him) chest and breathing. He calls for the RSV test. Swab of the nose, nebulizer treatment and five minutes later aaaaannnndddd…it’s RSV.

Awesome.

Annnnnndddddd…it’s an ear infection!

Wait.

What?

How’d I miss an EAR infection?

And then, just for good measure (to really shore up MOTY) I ask about a sore on Elle’s…lady bits…and he indicates it’s from not changing her diaper frequently enough (I’m blaming daycare, but I’m sure it’s not just them). He also points out that her lady bits are quite red and hands me the name of an OTC cream to use to make it less red and uncomfortable for Elle.

Huh?

How’d I miss ALL of that?

While all the cutesy-ness of Elle using signs to communicate is nice, learning words is entertaining and the ways we forge communicating daily are improving, it’ll be nice when she can TELL me her throat/chest/ladybits/ears hurt.

Felt SO bad that I called in and took the rest of the day to spend with her. Can you take a Mom-Guilt day? They should give you some of those at work, to use just for days like this. I’m glad I did. She slept nearly four hours this afternoon, two of them after waking up crabby-patty and letting me just cuddle her (while I watched the movie The Debt with Helen Mirren – I wouldn’t NOT recommend it, but unless you’re looking for a movie you can watch with the sound low (subtitles, yay!) and aren’t looking for anything entirely stimulating, then go ahead and watch this one. It felt good to watch a movie, even if it was out of Mom-Guilt.)

She’s in bed early tonight, considering she slept so long this afternoon.

And I’m still up, contemplating how all of those things got past me.

Either way, she’s on the mend now. The goal is to be healthy enough to contemplate attending a birthday party this weekend, but I’d hate to pass on this Mom-Guilt to anyone else.

I hear it’s contagious.

 

Trick or Treat

It’s Halloween 2012.

Work is ramping up and craziness is ensuing there. So, I’ve noticed myself trying to control things more at home and I kind of like it. I wish I were just a little more like this all the time. I am actually thinking about resolving for New Year’s to be one of those people who can’t go to sleep with dirty dishes in the sink. Anyway – control.

And Halloween.

 

I took Elle to school this morning, and the teachers asked if I had brought her Halloween costume. Well, since they were doing the trunk-or-treat at 3:15 PM (hello, the reason my kid is in daycare is because I WORK in the midst of the day). Anyway – I hadn’t. I figured she was little, wouldn’t know the difference of participating, yaddayaddayadda.

 

But, they said they’d change her into her costume and they would be taking all the babies out to trick or treat through the line up of trunks.

 

So, despite a hectic morning and day, I left work and went home, grabbed both the check book (more on that momentarily) and the costume and stopped in to school.

 

Success.

 

In the meantime, I am running for the board of directors at the country club where we are members/where I grew up. The office woman called me to remind me that my bio is due asap. So, I told her I would get it to her quickly. I also then remembered this…that I needed to put down the deposit FOR OUR WEDDING at the club. So, thus the checkbook.

 

I will not elaborate but to say that the venue is now booked and April 27, we’ll make it official, with the party, the dress (did I mention I got one of those, too?!) and the whole she-bang.

 

But, this is about trick-or-treating (do you like that cliffhanger I just left you with?).

 

So, I had a manager’s meeting (weekly) and got that done with, and was working on a deadline project that I needed to wrap up by the end of the day today. It was nearing 3 PM. Being new to the whole trunk-or-treat experience, I wasn’t in a huge rush. I finally left work at like 3:20 PM. I got to our house to pick up Jon (who is working 7 PM – 7 AM building windmills) and head to trick or treating. Jon had the camera ready to go and we were on our way.

 

We probably got up to the school at like 3:35/3:40 by the time it was all said and done.

 

And…we’d missed it!

 

Seriously, missed it.

 

And, since I hadn’t seen my girlie in her costume, it was my first glimpse of her all dressed up (thanks Andrea for the costume, by the way!).

 

Here, my little moo-cow.

We left school and headed to Jon’s parents, where Elle would ‘trick or treat’ and hang out there until I was out of work.

She is so busy, and the tights and the getup just kill me. She actually didn’t mind the hood being on her head at all. I don’t know why, sometimes she can get weird about stuff on her head, but mainly hats, not hoods. Odd.

 

 

The tail just gets me. LOVE.

 

She was such a good girl all day long.

 

If you’ll recall last year, there was a massive poop blowout at Grandma and Grandpa Carpenter’s, and Elle ended up in the bath in the kitchen sink at their house as a result. This year? She simply peed on me as I was trying to change her diaper. 2 for 2, that girlie of mine.

 

Elle got a whole goodie bag of stuff at Jon’s parents – glow stick bracelets and necklaces, snacks and juice.

 

At my parents, she got a mini-wagon and some new books.

 

Anyway, we went and visited my Grandma Carrell, who has moved here from Missouri (and we like being able to see her much more regularly, I have to say). And Elle got a ‘universal remote control’ for toddlers.

 

So, this is what I have to say about all of that.

 

First, thank you.

 

Second, I kind of feel like I got jipped all those years with only getting candy.

 

All in all, a good day and a good trick or treating experience. I’m sure this will be among the most low key Halloween’s of ours for quite some time.

 

 

My Week Off

Well, my week ‘off’ – between jobs – is nearly mid-way over! How crazy is that?!

Elle has continued to go to ‘school’ the past three days which means that I got the downstairs kitchen/bar painted (trim and all!) and now have been trying to figure out what exactly I’m going to hang on the walls to make it less, well, outdated. Jon’s Dad came over and helped me hang some stuff on the walls – including my entry coat rack, which is a HUGE help to our garage-entryway. Can’t even believe how nice it will make coming and going this fall. We also hung a little key holder in the entry way. And some photo rail shelves that my Dad made for me. So yeah, well on our way to having the downstairs put back together.

I played 18 holes of golf yesterday and today, by myself. Which has been sort of nice and doesn’t take nearly so long as when you play with a bunch of people. Nothing like a stay-cation in one’s own backyard!

I didn’t even play that terribly bad. I mean, it’s not like I played GOOD, but I didn’t play bad. Seeing’s how I played in high school and college, my expectations of myself are a bit high…however…I haven’t played much in the last 10 years…so. Playing 18 holes two days in a row is quite something for me.

I have a full list of things to do – which I’m coming closer and closer to completing.

I went and filled out the paperwork for my new job – have to go finalize all of it tomorrow!

I’m a little nervous, quite honestly. But I’ll address that in a different post. Who WOULDN’T be a little nervous for a whole new job. I’m feeling good that I’m feeling JUST as I should.

Tonight marks night one that we’ve tried the not-rocking-Elle-all-the-way-to-sleep. In fact, it went something like:
Bath

Dinner (her second dinner…she’s a tough eater)

Book

Bottle

Rocking Chair

Done with the bottle, so you’re going into the bed.

10 minutes of screaming and I went in and and did the sh…sh…sh… thing. (As I’ve read about and discussed just this morning with one of Elle’s teachers).

Then 7 more minutes of screaming and then…nothing for the last 20 minutes.

Not claiming that it worked…just that all’s quiet from our Picasso nursery!

Alright – just wanted to let you know I’m still here and kicking, but quite honestly enjoying my do-nothing vacation.

More soon, promise.

In General, Today

Just a few thoughts top of head…

Valentine’s Day has come and gone. I was not here on the actual day to celebrate with Elle, but…such is my life right now. However, I got home today and started going through Elle’s lunchpail (it’s the thermal tote from thirtyone with her name on it, a gift from Molly). There’s a whole little white lunch sack folded up in the bottom of her lunchpail and I realize: IT CONTAINS VALENTINE’S.

Shit.

I saw the signs at the daycare when I was dropping off/picking up in the lead up to Valentine’s Day. I even thought ‘that’s nice that they do that for the bigger kids’ and went on my way. I got Valentine’s Day cards printed and mailed them (real mail!) to her friends and relatives. But I did NOT purchase the cliche box of Valentine’s and give them to the kids in the infant room.

So, I’ve been trying to decide if I feel like an asshole mother for not doing this. Will the other mothers judge me that their kid didn’t get the same amount of Valentine’s as they gave? Will their kid even know the freaking difference?! I guess I felt that I really was ahead of the game by sending out real live Valentine’s early…and then I return from the road today and just feel like a giganto-turd-Mom.

Oh well.

There’s always next year, I suppose.

~~~~~~~~~

I kid you not – I began thinking of things to do for Elle’s first birthday party (mark your calendars friends and family, October 13, 2012 is right around the corner). [Elle’s birthday is definitely the 14th, but I already evaluated dates and the 13th is it].

Seriously?

Seriously.

And then I tried to minimize my own judgement on myself by thinking ‘well, if I decide on a theme NOW I can pick up items on sale/clearance as I find them’. Which sounds good IN THEORY but I’m not a huge bargain shopper and have a tendency to change my mind. So it’s much more likely that I’ll just wind up with party decor for three different first birthday parties.

I even went so far as to Google the football schedules for Michigan/Michigan State to see if Elle’s birthday could have a football rivalry theme (nope – Michigan play Illinois; Michigan State plays Iowa).

~~~~~~~~~

I get to meet Holden this weekend (I’m hoping!). A fresh, new, cuddly little guy. So excited to meet him!

~~~~~~~~~

Last night, my Mom was watching Elle because Jon had a meeting to go to. Jon had called my Mom earlier in the week to coordinate this plan – which I was so proud/glad that he had done.

I called my Mom earlier in the day while she was still at work and asked her if she would call me later, when she was with Elle, so I could talk to Elle before she went to bed.

My Mom called me on her way home from work to catch up and say she was on her way to see Elle (who was with my Dad and Grandma) and have dinner. I asked her again to call me later on and she says she will.

I watch the clock. It’s 7 p.m. so I go to the gym at the hotel. I get in a 30 minute work out and figure that I’ll hear from my Mom any time. I wait. I text ‘hey don’t forget to call me and let me talk to elle’.

Nothing.

I think, well, they did go to my Grandma’s for dinner, so they must just be hanging out…can’t believe that Elle’s not cranky for them.

Finally, at 9 p.m. (which is about an hour after Elle’s bedtime) I call my Mom.

She reports that Elle got a bath, got her medicine, is sleeping soundly…and I’m in tears on the other end of the phone, in a Homewood Suites in Indianapolis, hundreds of miles from my baby for the second night in a row.

I finally manage to collect myself enough to remind my Mom that she was supposed to call me and let me talk to Elle.

Silence.

She had TOTALLY forgotten.

I made my Mom feel bad (which was not the point, but it did make me feel better since I felt so rotten, at least I had someone else in the rotten trenches with me…) but I was so disappointed.

It’s SO FREAKING HARD to be away on all these over nights. I need to find a job that doesn’t require me to travel each week; find a way to be home, develop a consistent schedule for our family. But, I also need to pay the bills and this is the way. This is what it is. I have to do it. And it SUCKS friends. It totally SUCKS. I cry every night when I’m gone. I cry as soon as I get home and see my happy, smiling girl.

I forget that it’s only been about five weeks since I returned to work and I’m still working out exactly how this will play out…but it’s hard to be optimistic when I’m spending SO MUCH time away from my girl.

And then, you read those dumb baby websites and the emails you sign up for from them and they’re talking about perhaps the best way to celebrate your baby’s first birthday is with your FIRST OVERNIGHT away from your child.

HA!

If only.

If only.

~~~~~~~~~

That’s all – good night.

Driving Away

Yesterday I paid the registration at day care and, as I was driving away, I got a little misty-eyed. And I didn’t have the baby with me, didn’t leave her at ‘school’ and don’t have to face that down until January 9.

But I still cried a few tears.

And then, there I was tonight, putting Elle in bed (her bed, by the way, which is where she is currently resting peacefully. I’m listening on the monitor. Sometimes, she doesn’t go down this easy, but it was a big day for her at Aunt Jill’s house!).

Anyway, tonight I put her to bed and was sitting on the floor next to her bed, staring at her through the slats in her crib (yup, I do that some nights) and it hit me (once again) how amazing she is, and how I know all her favorite things and how she likes to be held to fall asleep.

And I know that that doesn’t end just because she’s going to school three days a week…but, well…wait. Do I know that?

So, I cried again staring through the slats in the crib.

And I’m doing it again now.

What. The. Hell.

I’m struggling with – I need to be a strong, feminine, smart role model for my daughter so that she, too, will be all those things and more. And yet, how can I be that role model and IMPART the importance of that to her, when she’s with OTHER PEOPLE all day long?!

When I got to Aunt Jill’s today to pick Elle up, she was crabby. As I drove home, I realized that I saw her in the morning, got her ready to go, headed out the door, dropped her off, and then did what I had planned for the day. I picked her up in the afternoon, and headed home.

On the drive, it struck me that when we got home, she would be ready for a bath and a bottle and bed. And I realized that my life will soon be a string of days like that, when I see my baby girl for all of an hour or two each day before she sleeps again.

So, I relished bath time and dragged it out awhile longer. I took a longer time drying her off and rubbing some smell-good into her feet.

And then, I held her and fed her and rocked her good night.

So now, I have time for me. But I don’t want it right now, not when I missed a whole DAY of her little life.

In some ways, having the time off at the holidays has been great. It has allowed me to do all the things that I want to do and get ready for the holidays without the stress of having to worry about work…but yet, I feel like we’re overwhelmed with holiday plans (which I made, keep in mind, before I had this epiphany hit me in the last two days) and as a result I’m sacrificing my one-on-one time with my girl.

So, tomorrow, it’s all day.

And I’m already in my head thinking about all the ways I can spend Saturday with her without the distractions of other ‘stuff’.

This is what having a Baby Brain (hence, the blog title) does to a woman. Driving away on a random Tuesday afternoon in tears, the mere thought of getting left behind by the details of my daughter’s life choking me.

Seven Hours I’ll Never Get Back

Well, we successfully completed childbirth class on Saturday. All. Day. Long.

The class began at 10 a.m. and went until 5 p.m.

It was the only one day class I could find in the area and was hosted by McLaren Hospital — I’ll be delivering at Hurley.

The McLaren folks couldn’t figure out what room we were supposed to be in, so that debacle set us back 45 minutes. There was a woman in the class who, as part of the introduction, said that anyone considering an epidural should really re-consider because it’s bad and you don’t know what it does to you or your baby and it will change you forever, etc. And the teacher just let her say it without EVER saying anything about ‘it’s your body, your choice’. Which, the reason for that became quite apparent as the woman herself seemed pretty against epidurals by the way she spoke, was definitely a proponent of breastfeeding at all costs, and seemed to just be a little too preachy for my tastes.

I’m glad that Jon and I went together and heard all the same things, but also think that the class could have accomplished all it needed to in about half the time.

I also couldn’t believe that we had eight pregnant women in the class and we never got a real, consistent ‘stretch break’. I mean, sitting for seven hours for a pregnant woman is about the MOST uncomfortable thing I can imagine. And, who in their work or lives sits for seven hours straight?

We also had no lunch break, per se, and it was just sort of a winging it thing.

The best part of the day was after the class when Jon and I went to Qdoba and ordered all the things we wanted on the menu. It was a good thing for Jon and I to do together, but I don’t know that the class helped me all that much. I’m glad I did it and can now cross it off my list of things to do, but…seven hours I will never, ever get back.

So, my recommendation for those considering childbirth class. Do what Molly and Bob did – find a way to make an appointment one on one with a nurse who can talk you through what you’ll need to know at the hospital at which you’ll be delivering. That sounds like a much better solution that will be tailored to your personality and questions, etc.

Ok, folks. 38 days until D Day! Can you believe it?!