Can’t Catch a Break

There has not been a dull moment in this house since May 26.

That was the day E got the stomach flu.  Since we just went through this in February, this was me:

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It lasted a week.  I mean, the diarrhea and the vomiting and the declining energy and the fussiness lasted a WEEK.  We made a trip to urgent care because she was dehydrated and lethargic and couldn’t hold anything down.  Meanwhile, she was vomiting all over her bedding and her clothes and our washing machine F&*#ING BROKE.  Then she started to seem better, and she was eating again and more energized, and we dropped an absurd amount of money on a new washing machine, and then…

I got sick.  A week and a half ago I came down with my own stomach flu, and guess who got sick one day later?  Guess who got sick AGAIN one day later?

I was sick for a week and E was sick for another week.  We both started to feel better on the exact same day and it was like the sun was brighter and the birds were singing and there were little harps playing and sparkles all around us.

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Now, two days later, E has her top two incisors coming in.  They’re messing with her sleep.  She doesn’t want to eat anything but applesauce.

And did I mention my husband is having shoulder surgery today?

Like, I’m on the verge of a breakdown.  This is too much for three weeks.  I know I’ll come out stronger from it all in the long run, but CHEESUS.

I think I’ve earned the right to eat an entire cake all by myself.  In one sitting.

Updates galore

Since my last post promised an update on the toddler protein powder, I should start there:

IT SUCKS.

Well, I don’t know if it sucks.  I refuse to try it.  It creates what looks like dirt water and E hates it.  We tried giving it to her straight, mixing it with almond milk, sneaking a small amount into her formula bottles–she can detect this stuff from a mile away.  She’s not having it.  So we’re on to plan B.  I’m still working out “plan B” in my head and doing lots of really odd Google searches, but baby steps amiright?

On the bright side, we’re making some great progress with alternative milk cooking methods.  Oat milk has become a staple in our pantry.  I’m going to do a bit more with rice milk this week and I’m actually excited about it!

rice-milk

On the peanut allergy side of things, I’ve noticed my anxiety is much higher these days.  E’s day care called me last week to ask if they could give her some Tylenol for her molars coming in; but when their phone number flashed on my caller ID, my heart started beating so fast because the first thing I thought was, Oh no, did they have to use her EpiPen?  That same night, I noticed some hives on E’s tummy when I was putting her pajamas on.  She’s an allergy baby all around so it could have been anything; but when I noticed she slept for several hours in the same position without moving (she moves around a LOT in her sleep), I started to worry it had been worse than just a rash when I put her to bed.  Because when you have a kid with severe food allergies, you just never know.  Of course I’d been over-paranoid and E was just fine, but I’m trying not to feel silly about it.  I feel like if I go even one moment without taking it seriously, that’s when something will happen.

fullsizerender-17Allergies aside, E is loving life.  She’s working insanely hard to stand up on her own without holding on to anything; she can pull herself into a squat position on both feet but then she falls to her butt.  She inherited a push walker from a friend of mine and she spends about half of her awake time at home pushing it around the house.  E’s communication skills are getting better every day.  She shakes her head no to things she doesn’t want, she starts to wave and say “bye bye” (pronounced “dye dye”) whenever we start getting our coats and shoes on, and she’s finally started to obey when we say the word “no.”  Lastly, we just survived E getting two molars and two front teeth at the same time–it was a brutal week, but we got through it and there is a night and day difference in her mood.  Even though it was rough, I’m relieved we got four over with at the same time!

For those of you who are interested, I’ve started a “Recipes” page where I will list links to all of the dairy/egg/peanut-free recipes we’ve tried and loved.  So far there are only a few, but my hope is that over time it will grow and grow, and that maybe eventually I can add some of my own to this list.

Eight months

I’m making a promise to myself to set down the stupid Candy Crush game when E is sleeping and actually do some damn blogging.

Speaking of the word “damn,” E is starting to try forming real words, so I’ve also made a promise to myself to quit swearing in her presence.  I told my coworkers to expect me to cuss a lot more at work from now on because it’s my designated swearing time.  In all seriousness, E’s favorite word right now is “gaga” and B is convinced she’s saying “dada.”  So naturally I’m on a mission to get her to say “mama” first.  I read somewhere once that more babies say “dada” first because it’s easier for them to make the D sound than the M sound, but…B and I are very competitive.

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E turned eight months old this week.  She’s crawling now and it’s still 75% an army crawl but she’s starting to figure out she can get around on her hands and knees.  Even army crawling she’s too fast for me sometimes.  I can’t leave her in a room unattended for more than ten seconds at a time now.  I’ve found myself feeling grateful for her exersaucer because it’s the one and only place I can put her down when I’m trying to get all of our stuff ready to head out the door in the morning.

E has always been really easygoing with new people, but in the past few weeks stranger anxiety has kicked in.  It used to be that E would always light up when she met someone new but now she stares at them skeptically, frowns, and then turns to me and starts to cry.  It’s so out of character for her that it’s been a strange adjustment for me, but I know it’s just her age and that eventually it will pass.  In the meantime, I’ve started warning new people that they might make her cry and it’s nothing personal.

It’s been three months since E’s first two teeth came in on the bottom, and the top two have finally broken through her gums.  The process has been long, painful, and full of sleepless nights.  Oof.

The best news of all is that E’s eczema is almost nonexistent these days!  We switched from breastmilk to hypoallergenic formula almost two months ago, and for the past month E has not had any eczema issues.  I feel certain that the daily peanut butter I’d been eating hadn’t had time to filter out of my system when I was still pumping.  I’m so glad we had the allergy testing done!

Lastly, I’m happy to report that E is finally growing some hair!  It took seven months but I no longer have a 90% bald baby girl.  HA!

My daughter is a tease

Five months old, and already a little tease.

Saturday morning, B and I were floored because E had slept until 4:30 before waking.  This was record-breaking for my little non-sleeper.  The difference had been that she’d slept on her tummy for the first time.  When she woke, she was upside down–her head was where her feet had been when the night began–but it was her best night’s sleep to date and she was in a phenomenally good mood on Saturday.

I just knew it was a fluke.  There was no way this would ever happen again.

But Saturday night, E slept all the way through until 5:00 on Sunday morning.  This time, she slept through while on her back.  What the what?  I did a happy little jig and thought, This is it!  She’s finally going to start sleeping through the night!

Alas, it all fell apart on Sunday night.  I tried to blame the fireworks.  (Seriously, has the fourth of July become a week-long celebration?)  Sunday night was awful, and Monday was (understandably) worse.  I kept holding out hope, though, that once the night wasn’t filled with booms and crackles, E would pick up where she’d left off on Saturday night.

No such luck.  In fact, I think the little stinker is making up for the two good nights by having a series of really, REALLY bad nights.

Last night her mouth was like Niagara Falls (SO. MUCH. DROOL.) so I’m kind of clinging to the hope that maybe she’s cutting another tooth and that this will only last a few days.

Or maybe we should just buy these and embrace the ugly truth that this is a chronic sleepless household.

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Tooth!

For the past few days, E has been drooling nonstop, enough to soak her onesies.  She’s been spitting up multiple times a day when it’s usually few and far between.  She’s had a big, red, circular rash around her mouth.  She’s struggled to eat more than two ounces at a time rather than her usual five.  She’s been extra fussy and, as I mentioned in my last post, not sleeping well.

These are all classic teething signs, but I’ve cried wolf on the teething issue at least four times since E was two months old.  It got to the point that I would say the words “I think she’s–” and B would cut me off with, “Hope, she’s not teething.”  Even though the thought flickered through my mind over the weekend, I didn’t dare say it.  I’d even convinced myself it couldn’t be happening, because I’ve been wrong oh so many times.

Then yesterday came and we couldn’t get the poor girl to eat.  At all.  She was starving and got excited at the sight of the bottle, but as soon as the nipple went into her mouth, she pushed it away and began to cry.  She wouldn’t even be bothered to open her mouth at my boob, which is her preferred method of eating. E got so hungry she was inconsolable, so B got on the floor with some toys and tried to distract her.  She pulled one of the plastic toys into her mouth and began to chomp down on it–not just suck on it or bite randomly here and there like she usually does, but she was going to town on that little ring of plastic leaves.

B got up and handed E to me and I immediately ran my finger along her bottom gums.  Dead center in the front, the sharp top of a little tooth jabbed me in the finger.

OMFG.

I cried out to B, who had moved into the bedroom.  “She’s teething!  For real this time, she’s teething!  I can feel a tooth!”  I tried to SEE the tooth but the little stinker kept pushing her tongue over it.  I ran my finger along the gums again to prove I wasn’t crazy.  Yep, there was definitely a tooth.  B came back in the room and confirmed he also felt it.  I spent five minutes fighting with E’s tongue but I finally got a little glimpse of the teeny tiny tooth pushing its way up through her gums.

OMFG.

We made an emergency visit to the store to buy some teething gel.  Did I mention that teething SUCKS?  I honestly didn’t know E was capable of screaming so loudly and for so long.

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I was horribly disappointed in the gel; it didn’t help worth [insert preferred “poop” term here].  We gave E some Tylenol, which also helped very little.  Thanks to friends’ replies to my overly dramatic status update on Facebook, I made another emergency trip to Walgreens and bought some Hyland’s teething tablets.  Seriously, mamas with teething babies:  these are a MUST.

While I was running E’s bath at bedtime, B was holding her and letting her suck on his finger.  At one point he cried out in pain–yep, there’s a tooth in there and she sure knows how to bite with it.

I have no idea how long E will be this miserable before that tooth finally busts all the way through.  But at least now I know what teething really looks like, and I know what’s causing all of the poor girl’s problems the past few days.

And just think: we only get to do this 19 more times.  For the baby teeth.

Lord help us.

Miss Crankypants the Drool Queen, and Mother’s Day Musings

Last night my mom was kind enough to babysit E so B and I could go out for his birthday.  It was our third attempt at a successful date night and thank God the third time was a charm.  The first time was when E was a month old, and the night we went out, I found out my dad had MRSA and was not likely to survive it.  (He didn’t. 😦 )  The second time was a month later and my mom and E got in a car wreck on the way to grandma’s house.  Luckily, last night was uneventful and B and I were able to relax and have a good time.

E was up two hours later than when we’ve typically been putting her to bed, but she only slept in half an hour later than usual.  So today we dubbed her Miss Crankypants.  In her three months out of the womb, I’ve never seen her so cranky!  I’m sure it was a combination of the eventful week and the late night, but man…poor girl had a rough day.

I’m still struggling with the big change in E’s schedule since she started day care.  A few weeks ago, “bedtime” was 8:30 or 9 p.m., and we’d sleep until 8 a.m. and she was always well-rested.  Now, she’s so exhausted after day care that she’s ready for bed by 6:30, which means I get very little time with her during the week.  It’s heart-wrenching at times, and I so selfishly want to keep her up later but I know it’s not fair to her and certainly not healthy.

Sigh.  What’s a mom to do?

Meanwhile, B and I are trying to determine if E might already be teething.  She’s been drooling buckets the past couple of days, so much that she is constantly coughing because she’s choking on her spit.  She’s also been eating less.  Today she tried to chew on one of her toys that didn’t quite fit into her mouth, and she began wailing when she realized she wasn’t going to be able to bite down on it.  It’s so early for her to be teething so I’m not quite convinced, but it’s a strange coincidence of “symptoms” if she isn’t.

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Tomorrow is my first Mother’s Day as a mother myself and it feels odd to be celebrating it for a different reason than I have for the past 30 years.  There’s no way to describe how much your life changes when you become a mother.  For most of us, it doesn’t change in a bad way.  Certain things become more challenging and you’re no longer your priority in your own life.  But I don’t bat an eye at any of it.  E is my life now, and everything I do, I do for her.  I’ve never been able to say that before about another human being.  Being a mother is that powerful.

Happy Mother’s Day to all you mamas out there.  I hope you all get to sleep in, eat good food, and enjoy your babies, no matter how big or small they are.