Not a Party Planner

Yesterday we celebrated E’s first birthday, even though it’s not until next week.  B is about to leave on an 11-day business trip, so we had to throw E’s party a little early.

For two months, I’ve been in party planning mode.  I made a Pinterest board for the occasion, and I’ve been Googling and brainstorming and fantasizing about how adorable E’s birthday party was going to be.

Friday night rolled around and my mom came by to help me construct the party favors.  My first bit of advice to anyone planning their first one-year-old’s birthday party is that any ideas you have that have to be “constructed” should be tossed right out the window.

The party favors, although they turned out quite adorable, fell apart the second the air in the room moved just the right way.  My mom and I were silent as we put them together–they required maximum concentration–except for the occasional “shit” and “DAMN IT” whenever one of them fell to pieces and we had to start from square one.

img_3988

My next error was that I was unaware that handling a good-quality balloon (i.e., NOT the dollar store) full of helium is no easier than handling a balloon greased in butter.  I had big plans to turn five balloons and baskets into little hot air balloon food holders, but in the end I settled for two.  The other three balloons floated randomly around the house for the duration of the party.  The kids enjoyed this, so I don’t consider it a complete failure.

img_3986

I’d also planned to bake some cinnamon pastries, but I put this off until the night before the party (because who wants a 2+ day old pastry?) and ended up with so many other things to do that I ditched my plan to make anything myself and bought Valentine’s cookies from the grocery store.

The morning of the party (scheduled for noon) rolled around and I got down to business as soon as E went down for her nap.  Within 30 minutes I realized I had no idea what I was doing, I’d worked up a sweat, I was stressing about every little thing, and I was arguing with B over stupid things.  I took a step back and asked myself if having the party I’d envisioned was REALLY worth it.

It wasn’t.  But I still stressed anyway.  #momlife

By the time the first guest arrived, I’d scrapped a few minor things I had planned.  I’d realized I forgot some of the major things I’d wanted to do.  I hated the way certain things turned out compared to how I had envisioned them.  Yet E still had a great time.  She had no idea that all of those details had been a massive headache for me.  She didn’t care that we only had two balloon baskets instead of five, or that I forgot the hummus for the pretzels or that I forgot to make a poster all about the words she can say and how many teeth she has.

After the party ended and the cleanup was over, I was exhausted, sore, and starving.  E had an incredible day but I had to ask myself if it was because of all the extravagant things I’d planned, or if it was because we had good company and lots of presents.  I told B that next year, I’m buying some streamers and cheap balloons, because E is going to love it just the same.

One thing that did require extra work and planning (but not on my part) was E’s cake. Your average baby isn’t restricted to a vegan cake for their first birthday.  My wonderful friend, who was a vegan once upon a time, made E a special little cake that turned out beautiful and ridiculously delicious.

img_4026

E only gets a first birthday once, so I don’t regret everything I did for her special party.  But I also won’t be quite so creative for her second birthday.

Advertisements

Walk Hard

E will be a year old in just over two weeks.  She only started to pull up and cruise on the furniture about a month ago, and she refuses to let us hold her hands and try to help her walk.  I’ve been saying for a couple of months now that I think she’ll be 14 or 15 months old before she’s walking.

Boy, did I eat my words.

Last week, E discovered she can pull herself up on her high chair and the kitchen chairs and push them around the kitchen.  She walks this way like nobody’s business, and she’s extremely proud of herself for doing so.

img_0049

She thinks it looks much better over here in the corner.

A few nights ago, E was standing up while holding on to the recliner in the living room.  I was sitting on the floor a couple of feet away.  E let go and wobbled slightly before taking one step toward me.  When she lifted her other foot for the second step, she tumbled to the ground–but SHE TOOK A BLEEPING STEP!  At 11 months!

She hasn’t taken any steps since then but she has tried.  She’s consistently letting go of the furniture now and standing as long as she can on her own (record is a whopping five seconds, woop woop).  I don’t think this girl is going to take 2-3 more months before she’s actually walking.

Now I have to figure out what to do with her footwear.  She’s still in size 2 shoes and the shoes they make for 3-6 month olds don’t cut it for walking.  Time to do some research and find her a good pair of beginner walking shoes!

Ten Months

E is ten months old.  I’ve now had a baby for the same length of time it took me to conceive a baby.  I’m WAY overdue for this update, so the highlights:

  • E’s first Thanksgiving was great!  She had a few bites of turkey and wasn’t too impressed, but she was really fond of the potatoes.
  • We’re still battling chronic constipation.  E’s pediatrician suspected some delayed GI maturity due to A) genetics, and B) her hypoallergenic formula.  He increased her solid and water intake and put her on daily Miralax along with a daily prescription laxative, and we’re still struggling.  We have a follow-up soon and I think it’s time to request some tests.
  • E can say four words:  “mama,” “daddy,” “kitty,” and “that.”
  • E points at everything these days.  She points when she wants to study something more closely, or when she wants us to give her something, like her water cup.  It is kind of nice because it’s easier for her to communicate with us now.
  • She also picks her nose……and eats it.
  • E can pull herself into a standing position when holding on to some things, but she’s still not cruising along the furniture and still doesn’t care for walking while we hold on to her hands.  She can do it, but she gets impatient and plops down so she can crawl because it’s much faster.  I think she’s going to be a bit of a late walker.
  • E is obsessed with books.  Almost nothing keeps her attention for more than a few minutes, but she can sit down with a book for 15+ minutes at a time and flip back and forth between the pages.  At day care when she’s extremely fussy, they put her in a high chair and give her a stack of books, and her mood instantly improves.  Her bookworm mama couldn’t be any prouder.

img_4777 img_4800

  • E has learned how light switches work and she loves when we pick her up so she can turn the lights off and on.
  • We are finally getting some sleep!  For the past month and a half, E has been sleeping through the night half the time and only briefly waking 1-2 times the other half.
  • We introduced E to Christmas music and she squealed and danced.  December is going to be so much fun.

Our biggest challenge at ten months old: discipline.  E understands the word “no” and she is not a fan.  When we tell her no, she smiles at us mischievously and carries on doing what we told her not to do.  Sometimes we can’t help but laugh and we know it’s just encouraging the behavior but how do you not laugh at a baby who insists on shoveling cat food into her mouth?

Poop Drama and Other Updates

I haven’t posted in a while, but…I have a good excuse, I really do!  A month ago, E got a diaper rash out of nowhere that went from nothing at all to broken, bleeding skin in less than a day.  It was so bad that she began to hold her poop, which in turn made her severely constipated, and suppositories and enemas only made it worse.

Over the course of three weeks, we saw two doctors at her normal clinic a total of four times, and we also had one trip to urgent care for the constipation.  No matter what we tried, nothing was touching the rash and baby girl was beyond miserable.  The rash wasn’t spreading but it was as red as a tomato and inflamed, bleeding, and angry.  I couldn’t blame her for holding in her poop—it had to have been so painful.

First the doctors treated it for yeast, even though they admitted it looked nothing like a yeast rash.  They ran a culture for strep and it came back negative, but they prescribed an antibacterial ointment anyhow.  The ointment stopped the rash from getting worse, but we didn’t see any improvement.  E’s regular pediatrician then prescribed amoxicillin, claiming the rash appeared to be bacterial and that she needed an oral antibiotic in order to kick it.

After the third week of no improvement, we finally sought out a second opinion.  The doctor we saw agreed it looked like a bacterial infection, but he was confused about why she was on amoxicillin.  He said you have to treat perianal bacterial infections with a different type of antibiotic.  He prescribed a new one and the morning after her first dose, her rash was 75% gone.

What the actual fuck was her primary care doctor doing?

E was back to normal in just a couple of days, after almost a month-long battle with the diaper rash from hell.  We’ve officially ditched her original pediatrician and made the “second opinion” doctor her new PCP.

So anyway, during this whole battle I found myself emotionally drained every night.  I spent hours reading about what could possibly be going on with E.  Now that things have calmed down, I’m a bit mad at myself for neglecting my blog.

E turned nine months old last week.  She’s constantly on the move around the house and she’s started to climb things and pull herself up on things—drawers, her crib, her toys.  She still hasn’t grasped the concept of cruising along the furniture or even walking while we hold onto her hands, but she’ll get there.  In the meantime, she almost never sits still from crawling so much and gets into everything she’s not supposed to.

dvd

Fun fact:  DVDs make good chew toys.

E is babbling a lot and very clearly says “mama,” “dada,” and “hi,” but I’m not counting any of them as her first word because I don’t know if it’s just coincidence or if she truly knows what she’s saying.  I’m honestly starting to wonder how the hell any parent actually knows when their baby says his or her first REAL word.

Separation and stranger anxiety are in full effect and to top it off, E is going through a mommy phase right now.  If I’m in the room I have to be the one holding her.  She cries if it’s daddy, she cries if it’s grandma, and she loses her mind if it’s anyone else.  As soon as I take her, she calms right down and starts to dance out of excitement.  Part of me secretly enjoys it, but I do feel a little pang of guilt whenever she refuses to let her daddy hold her.

Last thoughts for this post:  to all the parents that always warned me how much the time change sucks when you have kids, I GET IT NOW.  UGH.  I honestly never guessed one measly hour would throw off my baby’s schedule so much. *tears* *sips wine*

 

And we’re off!

Six weeks.  E has been trying desperately to crawl for the past six weeks, and she’s finally figured it out.

crawling

It began just before she turned six months old.  She figured out how to turn herself in a circle and she was able to scoot backwards a couple of inches at a time.  This continued for a month and E grew more and more frustrated with her inability to go forward to reach the things she wanted to play with or investigate.

A couple weeks ago, E learned how to get up on her knees and rock on all fours.  We tried everything to help her coordinate her limbs so she could go forward.  We watched YouTube videos on how to help your baby crawl, we did little exercises, and poor E just wasn’t getting it.  She would see her toys a foot in front of her and scream bloody murder because she couldn’t get to them.

A week ago while we were on vacation, E learned how to get into a “downward dog” pose.  She would attempt to walk her feet forward while in this pose and would flop onto her belly instead.  I could see it in her eyes, though–she knew she was getting close, and she was more determined than ever.

Two nights ago, E got into this downward dog pose, pushed herself forward, did it again, and reached a toy that was sitting a foot in front of her on the floor.  I cheered for her but in my head I was thinking it was an isolated incident.  Here we’ve been trying to crawl for so long, it just felt like it was never actually going to happen.

But yesterday morning, she did it again.  And again.  We set toys a few feet in front of her and she got to them by combining her downward dog-style crawl with an army crawl.  She practiced her new skill all day long and although she was sloooowwwww, she kept at it.  Today, she’s been army crawling at triple the speed she was moving at yesterday.  And she is SO proud of herself.

Everyone says it won’t be long now before she’s crawling all over the house.  Oh my, we haven’t baby proofed yet!  We should probably get on that.

Six months?!?!

Baby E is six months old today.

Say WHAT?

I’ll spare you all the stereotypical “it’s gone by so fast” talk.  Though in all actuality, I’ve had hour-long meetings at work that have felt longer than these past six months.  I’m having a hard time fathoming the fact that so much time has passed already.

So what is my little six month old up to these days?  She:

  • Laughs hysterically at anything and everything, from the dog barking to paper ripping to someone blowing on her face.
  • Is able to scoot herself around the room…backwards only, I might add.
  • Has learned how to pet the cats (“pet” meaning “grab their skin and pull”), and luckily our cats love the attention regardless.

emilycat

  • Is eating a little bit of solids daily.  So far she’s had bananas, sweet potato, squash, applesauce, carrots, green beans, peaches, peas, and her most favorite of all–avocado.  I’ve also held a grape up to her mouth for her to nibble on with her two sharp little chompers.
  • Sits up on her own “tripod” style for several minutes at a time.  But if we try to sit her up unsupported, she immediately face plants into the floor.
  • Has taken a sudden interest in water bottles.  Whether it’s my Camelbak, a Powerade bottle, or a soda bottle, she likes to hold on to them and try to drink from them.  I’m tempted to try a sippy cup with her but also a little afraid.
  • FINALLY loves the ergo carrier!  [Insert happy dance here.]  Once we started facing her outward, she decided it wasn’t so bad after all!
  • Has become a terribly distracted eater.  Even on the emptiest of stomachs, she’ll take three times as long to drink a bottle because she wants to babble at you and look around the room.
  • Is trying out new consonants in her babbling.  They mostly come out sounding like fart noises, but she’s making a good effort.
  • HATES being on her back.  Now that she can move around a little on her tummy, and somewhat sit up and look around the room, she refuses to stay on her back for longer than a few seconds.
  • Still isn’t a very good sleeper.  I’m not giving up hope.

Tonight we took E to B’s company picnic and we sat with a couple and their daughter who is two weeks shy of her first birthday.  I told B I can’t even imagine E being that size, and walking around, and saying real words, and he simply said, “But she will be…and it will be sooner than you think.”

Holyshitholyshitholyshit time speeds up when you have a baby!

In other news… (a non-sleep related post)

I’ve posted a lot about our all-consuming sleep problems lately, so today I’m taking a break.  E turned five months old this last week, and her whole world changes a little bit each and every day.  Here’s what she’s been up to lately:

  • She transitioned into size 2 diapers.
  • She’s started wearing her six-month clothing.
  • (Girl, you’re growing up WAY. TOO. FAST.)
  • She’s eaten carrots (her favorite food so far) and has had a taste of a green apple.  She liked the apple but it made her face pucker up.
  • She’s figured out she can turn herself around in her sleep, so she ends up sideways and upside down all night long.  (Yeah yeah, I said no sleep talk…so sue me.)
  • She’s learning how to make her toys “work”–so when she pushes this button, it makes a sound, or when she pulls on this plastic ring, it plays a song.
  • She’s starting to push up on her forearms while she’s on her belly.  B thinks she’ll be crawling by the time she’s six months old.  (See bullet #3.)
  • She still hates her ergo and soft-shell carriers.  I managed to walk her around the corner to the mailbox recently, and almost celebrated when we got back tear-free…but then she began to scream.
  • She’s obsessed with our dog, a boxer-border collie mix named Samantha.  Whenever Samantha comes around, E dances excitedly and reaches out to touch the dog.
  • She LOVES books and story time, and she’s learned how to turn the pages.  When there’s too much text on the page, she gets impatient with my reading and turns to the next page to see the pictures.
  • She has learned how to cause mommy and daddy pain, and thinks it’s hilarious when she does.  It comes in the form of tugging on hair (even B’s, which is short) and grabbing a handful of our skin, particularly on our necks.

Most of these things have started just in the past week.  Baby girl changes so much every day, it’s amazing and fascinating and emotional all at the same time!

emilyandsammy

E’s new buddy, Samantha.