Monday, November 29, 2010

Snow Diva

Winter has come in full force and every part of me wants to curl up underneath the blankets and hibernate through the next several months. But, I have these....

to keep me busy and happy and warm despite my desire for constant sleep.

We've been busy little Bears with Thanksgiving and other holiday errands to run. Baby Bear has been pretty tuckered out every single night and has slept until after 4AM the last few days. No complaints here! She's also been a serious crack up. We can't take her anywhere without stopping traffic and charming the pants off of every person she comes in eye contact with. I like to think that she makes people happy with her smile, changing their days for the better, and just the other night I got confirmation of that. We were sitting down at dinner when an elderly woman and her husband walked by. Mad beamed up at her with a big toothy grin, scrunching her nose up, and the woman smiled back, "thank you for that smile, I needed it", she said. When my Baby Bear is all grown up I will tell her this story, maybe when she feels like she isn't important or special, (we all have those days don't we?) so she knows how extremely special she always has been. Not just to me and her daddy but to people that don't even know her. The wonderful thing about children is that there is no judgment, no bias, no fear of the things they don't understand. She loves the men the women, the gay the straight, every color of skin, every size big and small, the happy the sad, the shy and the bold. She is something pretty amazing and I am honored to be her mama bear. /emotional blabbering

Friday, November 19, 2010

Counting Sheep

It's no secret that bed time in our house is a nightmare. Not so much the initial going to sleep process, many nights Baby Bear crawls right out of my arms into her cozy bed and kicks me out, but the whole sleeping through the night thing. While she was teething her most recent molar she screamed every time I tried to put her back in her own bed after nursing in the middle of the night. It was exhausting and the only way she wanted to sleep was snug in my arm on the bed that sits next to her crib, lets be honest, porta crib (we bought a full size co-sleeper and just lowered it rather than spending the money on a huge A crib we didn't have room for before the move). Then came the hives and two days of being in our bed, sleeping with her hands entangled in my hair, feet propped on my belly, head snugged on my super comfy pillow (that I've hoarded since I was a teenager, it's the best and even The Bear knows it), ruined her. She went from not sleeping well in our room to LOVING the family bed. She's always loved to snuggle in bed with us but for a few months she was just too excited and wiggly to fall asleep.

For me it's just easier to bring a crying baby into bed with us because I know she'll sleep the rest of the night and the thought of using the nightstand as a pillow is sometimes better than trying to constantly go to a baby who flips every time I put her back down. It's easier emotionally anyway. Most mornings I wake up pretty sore but not exhausted. The Bear, on the other hand, doesn't love it. He rarely complains, about anything I do, but inside it's there. The thought that never again will he ever let a child co-sleep with us. He likes our bed to be for us. He likes to be the one to curl up on my pillow with his face pressed into the back of my neck. It's his territory and he likes it that way.

I don't know what the future holds for us and our sometimes family bed. I know that the thought of fighting a child on sleeping with us if that's what they really really want is hard for me. I hate letting Baby Bear cry because I'm so tired of rocking, for hours on bad nights, while she sleeps in my arms that I have to just put her down and go to bed. I hate that she still struggles so much when it comes to sleeping at night.

I know that she is more attached to me than ever and that only seems to be increasing. She comes over to my arms for a cuddle often through out the day while playing. She just needs to rest her head on my mama chest for a moment to be reminded that I am there. When she is sleeping peacefully next to me, stirring and reaching out to wrap her arms around my warm body, I know I am doing what humans did with their children for centuries before the invention of cribs, crying it out, and houses big enough for designer nurseries. feels right. I wish it didn't. It's a subject of disagreement for us and it would be easier if, just once, I could roll over and do what The Bear thinks is best instead of getting all emotional and maternal while I over analyze what sort of damage I might be doing to my child if I let her "manipulate" us on sleep routines or don't. I hate that word, manipulate. No one has successfully convinced me that a baby crying because being with mama is the best feeling in the world and nothing compares to that sort of emotional and physical euphoria is manipulation.

I just read this really great blog on Babycenter about this very subject, which prompted my post. I've read her blog before and I love it. She has a great writing style and I love the French thrown in here and there.

I have to mention that since her molar is in and another hasn't begun to break yet she has been doing better at night. She slept through the night once and has gone down like an angel every other night waking to nurse but going back to bed immediately and not making any fuss whatsoever. Maybe this is her meeting us in the middle. Simply on her own terms. So like her mother.....

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pack Rat

Tonight The Bear was packing for a quick trip. He left his suitcase in the front room with a pocket open. Our daughter, who does all of this lately.....

....decided that she needed to pack some stuff too. In went her new snowman jammies and her current favorite movie cover. There is no point other than, hello, how cute is that. I wish I would have zipped the pocket up so The Bear would find them in his hotel room. I know he misses her so much while he's gone, even if it's for less than 24 hours. I know sometimes I miss her just when she's napping or down for the night. Like now. I was just uploading iphone pictures and looking at all her little tiny baby face pictures and it made me want to cry.

She's trying so hard to communicate clearly these days. She'll jabber for several minutes and then look at us like we're nuts because we have no clue what she said. When I talk on the phone she takes it away from me and starts talking and then adds a super fake laugh at the end, all while running away from me of course. She's been signing "more" and "all done" (like when she's in the grocery cart and says all done like that is somehow going to make the shopping end) for a while now but hasn't picked up on any others. A few days ago she wanted a toy that she couldn't reach and was "eh eh ehing" at me. I signed help and asked her if that's what she wanted. She anxiously repeated the sign several times as I pulled the toy out. Minutes later she did it again. Now she's added a sweet little "hep" from time to time when she signs it and I melt. Baby signs and baby words are the cutest ever.

I've been in a weird funk the last couple of weeks. I've kind of been a bummer for myself to be around and The Bear just bought a plastic dog house for me to sleep in out back. I'm blaming the sugar with drawls. Truthfully I think it's all the self loathing I've done, hence the power to overcome the sugar in the first place. So, I'm trying to work on that because it's cold outside and I like my bed and personal foot warmer. But it will be a lot easier when I lose 40 lbs.

Oh wait, I just have to say that Mad put my shoes on today and was clomping around the closet and bathroom. THAT is the cutest thing ever. Yep. Probably more so than the times that she gets my headbands out and successfully gets them on her head. Note to self: get a picture of that cuteness. Why would anyone want to be a bummer with such a perfect life?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Give Me Hive!

What an absolutely miserable couple of days! Have you figured out that this is going to be a bit of a bummer post? I'll make sure to say some positive things too, don't worry. I guess that is a positive before I even state the negative! Things can be miserable here at the Angrybear house and yet there are millions of wonderful moments. Even more positive is that I truly do notice them.

On Wednesday night, after my blog post, Baby Bear woke crying. I went into her room and seriously, there are no words to describe the smell. It.was.awful. Gagging I changed her diaper, and pj's, before deciding to let her sleep with us for the rest of the night. The nursery was toxic, I kid you not. I don't know how I noticed but there were hives (like the other night after bath time) on her arm. I pulled her jammies off and they were all over her arms and legs. FREAKING OUT (an action, by me)! The Bear and I went back and forth about taking her to the ER. After a call to our insurance provided after hours over the phone medical thingy we decided that since they seemed to be fading we'd wait until morning. She snuggled in but woke about 20 minutes later and there were bigger hives in all new places. My mama bear heart just couldn't take it so we packed up the car and headed to the ER (at 1 in the morning, yes.)

It was a typical ER visit. Or wait, it was not typical because it was empty and we just walked right in, but the dr. didn't really give us a whole lot of info just said she had an allergic reaction and gave us some meds for the next few days. Thursday I made two frantic calls to our pediatrician and fretted over my baby bear all day. She was fine. Happy, playful, healthy. Just covered in huge hives from head to toe. They would go away only to come back again when a certain part of her body got warm. By bedtime I was exhausted from worrying. She was exhausted from the Benedryl. We crashed together in my bed and slept fitfully all night.

I love love love when she rolls over and wraps her arms around me, or pats around with her eyes closed until she finds my arm to snuggle with. I love feeling her breath on my face. I love waking to see my baby has helped herself to some nursies in her sleep. I won't focus on how I don't love resting my head on my nightstand to sleep because apparently she is just like her daddy and thinks my pillow is much more comfy than her pillow. In fact, my entire side of the bed is better! So, today I'm exhausted. Luckily she woke with no hives. I'm not sure that will last but I enjoyed a stress free, zombified, morning.

When she wakes from her nap I'll pack her in the car and head out to Target for more detergent (I deleted the paragraph the explained a new laundry detergent that probably isn't the culprit but is being replaced just to be safe) and some chocolate pudding. How does chocolate pudding have anything to do with this? Oh yeah, that disgusting medicine that she has to take. The stuff that makes her scream and writhe around as I try desperately to pin her down while forcing her to swallow. By myself, I might add, since I'm feeling depressed about being left alone during all this misery while The Bear is enjoying the calm warmth of Florida on a not so worky work trip. So, I'm buying chocolate pudding to try and trick her into taking it without fuhREAKING out and thus preventing me from feeling like an abusive mother. Maybe I'll eat a few while I'm at it. I don't even know who to feel more sorry for, her or me. Ok, her, obviously. Silver lining? I have had so so so many long snuggles the last two days. With a toddler walking baby those moments are precious.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tea and Crumpets

Today, after lunch with some girlfriends, Mad and I went to get a little chocolate treat. Oh, wait, did I just admit to slipping on my no sugar rule? Yes, yes I did but it was only a little and mother nature was telling my body I needed it. In the form of cramps and tears. Nuff said.

It was cold, but not too cold, and the streets in the little outdoor shopping plaza were closed off for construction. My arms were full of baby, leftovers from lunch, bag of chocolate, and bulky diaper bag so I set Mad down to walk beside me on her own. She.was.thrilled! She walks all over at home but rarely outside. The park has lots of curbs that cause falls but this, this was just a big empty space, with lots of people and noises and fun new things to explore. Looking down at my daughter I smiled and enjoyed the lazy walk to the car. She squealed at her reflection in the windows, she tested out all the benches, she swung her little arms as she toddled up and down the little streets and sidewalks. In fact, she was so happy walking that she didn't even notice to pull her coat hood off. Point for me!

Last night I had an emotional breakdown and cried and cried. Somewhere in my mind I imagine that a good mother doesn't have to try as hard as I do to be a "good mother". Me, I have to try constantly. I wish it was easy to wake up at the crack of dawn just because I know I get to spend the day with my girl, but it isn't and I usually put off getting out of bed for as long as she'll snuggle quietly with me (thank you Curious George!). I'm sure there are lots of good mothers out there who didn't put off cleaning their bedrooms and bathrooms of toys so they could browse cloth diaper products online. A good mother wouldn't have to focus constantly on how much cleaning they do....and have a cluttered house to show for it. Most women probably cook a whole meal without requiring daddy to entertain the little one. I also would bet that they don't spill the pepper all over the floor and set the fire alarm off on a regular basis. That's just how I do things in this house. Don't be jealous because you don't have to try as hard as I do.

I might not be naturally perfect, but my child is. And I'm telling you, it takes no effort whatsoever to love the hell out of her. Also, I don't think it takes her any effort to be crazy awesome all the time. I mean, she walks around with her shirt pulled up over her round belly tickling herself. That is the definition of crazy awesome. She also roars at strangers in public. That is the alternative definition.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Worried Rambling

Am I allowed to say that it has been a long week when we're only on Monday? Time change just threw the whole routine through a big fiery loop and it feels like the last two days have been an eternity.

On Sunday (an appropriate day for eternity to begin, no?) Mr. Bear and I were restless, like whoa, and itching to get out of the house, by noon, or one according to our brains/bodies. We piled our Angrybear selves into the car and took Baby Bear to the aquarium. I've been meaning to invite my girlfriends and their kiddos to go with us on a boring cold day but this day was desperate for entertainment. As it turns out it was better just the three of us went because Mad, who I was sure would looooove the whole thing, was more than a little afraid at a lot of the big fish (and penguins!). Also, she was petrified of the big plastic frog. Who would have thought my fearless munchkin would flip out over a cute frog?! But, she really like the tanks with tiny, bright, fish and frogs so we had some white knuckled, clingy, fun.

This morning we woke to cloudy skies that threatened rain. After a very long night, in a week of many many long nights (molars), I bumbled through the morning routine before naps and then a trip to the craft store. It was snowy/rainy and so so cold. Welcome Winter.

After book time I noticed a voicemail from my niece, the one that Mads loves to hug and kiss on, has strep throat. My stomach felt sick (still does). First of all, my poor poor niecey. Up all night crying, for days, and in so much icky pain. Second of all, we were just with her the night before. Both Mad and I loved on her. The Bear travels this week, I can not be home alone with a strep throat baby, or a strep throat me.

During bath time I asked The Bear to put some lavender drops in to help calm Mad down, hopefully, so we could get a night of good sleep. When we pulled her out her legs and bum we covered in huge raised spots and were burning to the touch. Mama freak out! We assume he put too much oil in the water (we've used this same oil her entire life with no issues) and she had a reaction. She was oblivious so we let her play on our bed without clothes so we could keep an eye on her. Sooner than later they faded away and off to bed she went.

Now I'm just sitting up wondering if she might be getting sick and hoping her jammies didn't irritate her legs, even though the spots were all gone. So yes, a long long mama day. My heart races at the thought of my little Bear going through any pain at all. She is never sick, has only had 2 or 3 colds her entire life, so I'm not sure how to handle any problems. I continually panic at the thought of waking in the night to a very high fever. So, even if she sleeps tonight, which I DOUBT she will, I have a feeling I won't be doing much of it either way. Who knew being the mama could be so hard (everyone, I'm pretty sure).

Friday, November 5, 2010

My Name is Melissaa & I'm an Addict....

Yesterday The Bear sent me a link about sugar as an addiction. I confess, it's addiction we both suffer from, and it was sort of embarrassing to read about how lab mice would rather have sugar water than cocaine. I'm just a chubby lab mouse!

I wasn't always this way! Although I've always appreciated a treat when I'm bored/busy/tired/stressed/happy/sad (emotional gratification much?) but it was never to an extreme. Enter an Alien baby that would eventually be my Baby Bear. I was worried that I would crave meat during my pregnancy but, unless you count the dreams about corn dogs I had in the beginning, I didn't. Instead I craved all things sugar (and some curly fries). It's likely that sugar had a lot to do with the weight I gained....and haven't been able to lose.

Haven't been able to lose because.......once the sugar addiction started I haven't been able to kick it. And it's depressing. Just before Halloween The Bear started a diet. We bought more candy then you could even imagine (really!) and when way more than half of it was leftover after the holiday and I was left to face it alone. Kit Kat's sounded good first thing in the morning, and then another, and another, and another. Reeses, Milk Duds, Whoppers. Whoa boy was I in trouble. So, I packed up the candy, dropped it off to my mom's house to save for Gingerbread house making and have been in withdrawals ever since. I've lost 3 lbs of sugar weight this week (I gave up Dr. Pepper too!) and I feel like I'm going to die. Sad really! But sugar cravings are better than self loathing right? RIGHT??????

Last night I was thinking about addictions and I glanced at my nightstand, the very home of my other addiction. Catalogs (and some magazines but not the celebrity kind). Real Simple, Pottery Barn Kids, William Sonoma, & Sundance...just to name the few I'm browsing right now. When The Bear comes in the house with new mail I am absolutely giddy thinking about looking through a brand new, fresh & crisp, catalog. I like to browse through them quickly, first, and then go back the second time and look at each page more carefully. In decor magazines I like to imagine all the cute things in my own house, I often exclaim to Mr. Bear, "oh isn't this so cute! It would look great *insert room here*," and he just shakes his head. I mark pages, get inspiration, and generally just gush over everything. If it's clothing or jewlery I tab pages with things I wish I could have, or wish I could look good in, and try to put together a mental image of each outfit I'm imagining buying. How often do I actually order from these magazines? Almost never. Everything is overpriced and I can't really justify buying a lot any of it.

My addiction to cataloging (as I like to call it) comes from my mom. When I was a teenager my favorite thing to do was tab pages in the Victoria's Secret catalog. Every so often my mom would let my older sister and I pick a thing or two to actually order. These days I love going to my parent's and finding a catalog I don't receive sitting on the counter. My mom and I will sit together and choose our favorite items (cardigans have been the thing of the season) and argue over which color is best. The Bear doesn't understand why we do this to ourselves, when often we can't/don't buy anything, but I guess it's just an "us" thing. It's a happy addiction and one I don't mind indulging in. Also, it has fewer side effects than my sugar addiction.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Best & Worst

Today Mad and I were at the elementary school, voting (just me though, she wasn't registered on time,) and after I set her down so she could roam about she returned to me wrapping her arms around my legs for a great big hug. That was one of about twenty thousand millions hugs I got that day. Mama FTW!

On Saturday I was giving Mad a bath when she got her funny pee shiver face and out popped a lovely brown gift. Thanks for that daughter. I held her naked, dangling in my out stretched arms, dripping water all over the floor, while I called The Bear from upstairs. He mostly dry heaved while he took care of the problem and then I cleaned the tub while my little angel danced around the house naked like she planned it the whole time. Fail!

Tonight I nursed my little baby (don't you dare say toddler) and she fell asleep next to me. It's been AGES since she's done this, probably since she realized that she could roll over and crawl away instead of having to fall asleep, so I was in shock, and in heaven. Never one to pass up the opportunity to kiss on her without having my face shoved away (no time for kissing MOOOOOOOOM!) I tentatively kissed her warm, round, baby cheek. Not so much as a stir (I can't tell you how many times I've undone 20 minutes or more of hard work by waking her with my kisses,) so I did it again...and again and again and again. Baby FTW!

I told Mr. Bear that I'm feeling like I never want to stop nursing her. Of course I don't want to continue forever, I just feel like lately she and I have been close like never before and I want it to never ever go away. I want her to stay my baby & my mama's girl. Nursing gives me that feeling of mom euphoria these days and I swear she feels it too. Hence the leg hugs....and the poops? Somewhere I know deep down that if we stopped we'd still have all those moments. But as long as I have a nursling I won't be baby hungry so The Bear will have to be in full support. Apparently he's not baby hungry yet. What's his deal? Does he hate babies or something?


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