Thursday, August 19, 2010

Summer Ending

I can't believe summer is almost over for me. When I got my job I felt as though it would never really begin, but I have spent most of the last three weeks in my room, trying desperately to get it to resemble a first grade classroom and not a giant pile of rubble. I don't get paid to work until the 25th, but such is the life of a teacher.
We are taking a mini vacation today, just B, Ace and me. It is to make up for all of the time we spent with B's family, which we have recognized to have been a big mistake. We are going to work on really limiting the amount of time we spend with them from now on and work on asserting ourselves more when around them. Although, I do try to assert myself around them and find that I am often ignored or simply placated and they go ahead and do what they want anyway.
We are also planning our next summer vacation, which will be a week in Cape Cod. I mentioned it to some friends and it seems as if they are interested in joining us. It could either be a lot of fun or a giant head ache, but I am willing to give it a shot. I invited my brother and B's sister first, but neither can make it.
Ace is doing well these days, except that he is acting a little nutsy today. I keep thinking that he must be teething again, but I am not sure. We got a note from his daycare, where he is now attending three days a week full time, that he has been squeezing other children who get in his way. I know what they are talking about because he does this to me and yesterday I had a terrible parenting moment where I squeezed back. I felt terrible, but I tried to make up for it with apologies and kisses. He is starting to understand the concept of a time out, so I now have that weapon at least!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Sick Again!

Aargh!!! We just got back from the Dr yesterday where Ace was given a clean bill of health and then last night Ace woke up crying and upset and refused to be comforted and then when we finally decided to let him cry himself back to sleep he cried for so long that we knew something was not right. B took him outside and finally got him calmed down and back to sleep, but it was an ordeal. Today Ace woke up with a runny nose and coughing. I am beside myself. When will his immune system finally kick in? The Dr. told me that it will be fine and that Ace is just building up immunity and that kids who don't go through this in day care end up going through it in preschool or kindergarten, but it makes me worried. My sister in law ended up pulling her kids from day care because they got sick so often.
I just feel so bad for Ace. He clearly has a sore throat and is not happy. I just want him to feel well for longer than a week. He is such an amazing little person when he is feeling well. Plus, we head off on vacation with B's family this Sunday. I don't think they have seen Ace in good health since he was a tiny baby.
So frustrating!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Hand Foot Mouth Surprise!

We were recently introduced to the most atrocious childhood viruses that we have encountered so far: Hand Foot and Mouth Disease. I love that it is called a disease, as if it will never go away, instead of the virus that it is. It totally looks and acts like a disease. A disease that will eat your poor little toddler up entirely.
Here is what it entails. My son had little bumps on the soles of this feet and a few on his legs and pubic area (or groin, not crotch - the only word I could think of at the time when I was on the phone with the pediatric nurse - "yeah, he's got bumps on his crotch" I felt very sophisticated after that!). I thought they were bug bites, so I gave the cat his anti flea and tick medication, washed all the sheets and went about my business. Then a large blister showed up on his heel and I thought, "Huh, that's odd. Who knew babies got blisters? I did put his shoes on the wrong feet the other day." Then day care pointed out that he had these little bumps on the palms of his hands, but they did not tell me what they must have already known. I just worried all day and when my husband got home from work, I asked him what he thought about these bumps, and the fact that Ace now had a fever. We decided to call the pediatrician in the morning. We are very smart, see?
My husband jumped on Google and we had a few guesses, including Hand Foot and Mouth, but Ace didn't have any bumps on his mouth. "No, you won't see them," the pediatric nurse tells me, "They are on the inside of his mouth and it is like having a mouth full of canker sores." Oh, so that would explain why my son has been so incredibly unpleasant the last few days. I thought it was because we weaned him from the pacifier. Wait, we weaned him from the pacifier while he was going through this most uncomfortable ordeal, not just uncomfortable, but very painful? Oh, the guilt!
I'm over the guilt now. I realize that there was no way that I could have known that Ace was crying out in pain and not in frustration. Now that he is back to his awesome self and sleeping through the night once again, I know that he doesn't permanently hate me because of my lack of parental knowledge on that one. I'll know for the future.
I can't believe that there is the possibility that he will get this virus again. Day care, how I love, yet deeply despise you.
On the bright side, Ace is weaned from the pacifier. I used the technique where you cut the nipple on the pacifier down a little each night. By the third night, Ace was annoyed with it and threw it aside. There were tears but whether they were from the lack of pacifier or onset of painful mouth sores, I do not know.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Few Things

We went to B's parents' home a few weeks ago and I was very nervous about flying with a sixteen-month-old. Turns out it was not too bad. I brought brand new books, new snack food, a few new toys - including a small wind up toy - and random things like stickers and tape. I also bought two Sesame Street DVDs in case of emergency. We only ended up watching about five mintutes of one DVD. Ace was really very good. Considering that we flew during his first real illness - a virus with an ear infection that was diagnosed two days before we left, and that he had a fever of about 103 and was taking Motrin and antibiotics - he did really well. At some point during the flight I noticed that Ace was breaking out in a rash, so after talking to the doctor we added Benadryl to his mix of medications.
Ace survived and got over his illness. He is still taking antibiotics, but I think we are down to our last dose tonight.
I flew back alone with Ace and he was great. He got over tired and wouldn't fall asleep, but then he bumped his head and leaned into me to cry about it and within seconds he was sound asleep. We had an open seat next to us, so I laid him down with his head on my lap. That worked well for a glorious hour or so, until the toddler behind us kicked the seat and knocked down the arm rest, which hit Ace in the head. I was livid. I glared at that two-year-old like a crazy lady. Then I felt bad about it, but my baby was hurt, just a little.
Man, it is hard to travel alone with a toddler! I had the stroller and just two bags, but it required a lot of figuring. I managed to eat and not lose it, but Ace was none too happy about being stuck in his stroller and off of his schedule.
The fact that we can not get a direct flight into B's parents' city is not a good thing, either.
Speaking of not good things, our trip included being yelled at and we may not be going back to B's parents' again. We are going on a family vacation with them in a few weeks, so we will see how that goes. Some things that are wrong but still ok when you don't have kids suddenly become totally wrong and not okay when you have your child there with you.
Another disturbing thing that happened while out of town involved Ace and his love of water. He LOVES it. He had no fear, just wants to get in the water. We really need to get him swimming lessons or water survival lessons. Here is why: we went to the baby pool at B's sister's country club and Ace was in heaven. The pool is a big round pool that is never deeper than 1.5 feet, so he can stand and play and was trilled. Then he tried to walk across the pool. The first time he was successful. The second time he did it he was chasing a ball and when he leaned forward for the ball he lost his balance and fell face first into the water. And then he stayed like that for a while. I thought for sure he would struggle and kick or something, but no, he just laid there and I jumped in and got him. He wasn't even upset about it really. I couldn't stop thinking that what he looked like floating there was probably what poor parents see when they don't realize until too late that their child has fallen in to the water. I had trouble sleeping later that night. I kept flashing on the image of Ace floating there.
Now we are back home and summer is racing by. I have been weaning Ace from the pacifier and that has led to some tearful days. Today being one of them. Instead of napping he cried for one hour. So I went and got him out and now he is asleep. I guess our afternoon plans can wait for another day.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

First Major Face Plant

Ace fell down today and about an hour later there were several angry red marks on his face. He kind of looks like he got in a fight. I didn't see the actual fall - I am a very bad parent and I left him to walk a few steps on his own while I carried his new car seat down the stairs and turned around to run back up and grab him. I looked up and he was happily making his way toward the stairs, I briefly looked down to head up the stairs and next thing I know, Ace is rolling on the ground crying. I heard a noise that I thought was his head hitting the metal banister, but I couldn't figure out how that happened. He stopped crying pretty quickly after I picked him up and I didn't notice any marks until later when we were leaving Costco. Poor little guy. This is normal, right? Toddlers like to practice walking and that means they will fall down a lot, right? I was not too terrible to leave him to himself for two seconds!
In other news, Ace has this adorable new thing he does. He grabs a book and puts in on the ottoman of the leather chair in the living room. Then he climbs up into the chair and settles himself, then he picks up his book, sighs a sigh of pleasure and begins reading to himself. I love it!
I think he is finally over teething and the horrible part of whatever cold he has had for three weeks. There is still snot, but he is sleeping so much better and is in such a great mood - except for when I lock him in the car with me while I install his new convertible car seat. Holy angry toddler.
But! He loves his new seat. He can see so much more. I don't think anyone can fit in my car besides me anymore, but whatever.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Long Weekend Recovery

We went away with friends for the Memorial Day weekend. It was fun, but exhausting. We shared a house and I don't think that is my favorite way to vacation. It may be a bit too much togetherness. Plus, people just wanted to lay by the pool all the time and I am not that kind of a vacationer. I wanted to get out and walk around a bit or do something besides sunbathe. It was also hard to relax with Ace there. He loved the pool and was really easy but since I wasn't used to the surroundings and worried about him and the water, it was just not relaxing. I think next time, if we do it again, I will look into hiring a babysitter for one afternoon.
Ace is doing great. He is teething so his behavior has been all over the place, but he is making a lot of developmental leaps. His sleeping is a bit off but we have been planning on buckling down this week and trying to get him back on the 12 hours a night plan. When he laughs you can see all the new giant teeth taking residence in his sweet little mouth. Besides woof, he now says ball, bubble, fish (kind of) and moo. He loves buses and freaks out whenever he sees one. He likes anything with wheels, and the bigger the better. He is also really into balls. He even likes watching sports on tv. He points and repeats, "ball, ball..." He can recognize an athlete from what he or she is wearing. Even Venus Williams in her visor - I think he is aware that some ball players wear hats and recognized her hat. He definitely knows that baseball players wear hats and that his baseball hat is a ball hat.
Friday we go in for a doctor's appointment. I'm curious to see how big he is. We might be in the market for a new car seat soon.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Surviving Day Care

Ace went to day care for the first time this week. He was a champ about it the first day and wandered off from me happily, while I put his food in the fridge and signed him in. I waved goodbye, but he could have cared less. I drove to Target feeling kind of numb and, right when I was pulling into the parking lot, a Springsteen song came on. It wasn't even one of his sappier ones, but I felt myself starting to cry. Instead, I started to laugh at myself and then spent the next hour or so shopping for random things and feeling giddy with freedom. When I arrived to pick him up, after three and a half blissful hours of alone time, he was wandering around happily. I put him in the car and he fell asleep before we got home.
Today, as I had been warned, Ace knew what was going to happen and started getting a little nervous the moment we entered the day care. This time while I was putting his food away, he started to cry. The "teacher" picked him up and said, "ok, say goodbye to Mommy," in a kind way, but I wanted to hold him, so she handed him over. I realized that he was not going to stop crying, so I gave him a hug and put him down. Another teacher picked him up and I waved goodbye and left. I felt a little sad about it, but I knew he would be fine.
When it was time to pick him up, the teacher said that he had needed a little extra attention, but he soon was playing happily on his own. I think I may have a sensitive little guy, since he's an only child and has been with me for almost fifteen moths. I think the day care setting will be good for him and his development.
Now that he has survived his first week, I am going to look into using the time off from him to work out. I have to check out the pool schedule and a few exercise classes that look interesting.

Friday, April 30, 2010

I Have a Toddler!

Today Ace became a walker! I had seen him take a few steps before and was encouraging him to be aware of it by asking him to move his feet when he's standing. Today he was standing and I said, "step, step, step!" and moved my feet. He giggled and took a few steps. I was thrilled, so he, of course, wanted to do it again.
The sad part is that B is on a business trip. So I ran to get the Flip so I could record the momentous event.
Another thing that happened today was that I squatted down by Ace's feet to tickle his toes while he was in his high chair and when he giggled, I looked up and saw a giant tooth coming through on his left upper gums. Wow, that explains the screaming and generally unpleasant behavior the last week or so. I am so glad that we gave him the infant Motrin those few times that we did. I kind of wish we'd given him more. It is quite the tooth! I am still rooting for his lower left to come in so that he can have an even four, instead of the three that he is sporting.
I took him by the day care center that he is starting on Tuesday and I was again so pleased by it. The teachers are so nice, the setting is relaxed and the children seem very happy. Ace took off from me to play and seemed right at home, so hopefully things will go well. I have to read through the parents' manual and buy whatever it is that Ace needs while he is there. I am also thinking of going to Target to buy some sweatpants and things like that so I won't care if what he wears gets ruined. I just read that Old Navy is having a sale, so maybe that is where I should go.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Week by Myself

This week it has just been me and Ace. B is on a business trip until Sunday. Monday and Tuesday I spent with my mom on the other side of town. Ace slept like a champ Monday night. He must have loved the Packn'Play. I was glad to see that because he is staying with my mom and sleeping at her place when we go on vacation in a few weeks.
Yesterday and today I was on my own with Ace, but we had very full days, so I didn't really have time to think about anything. Today was much slower than yesterday, but I kept us busy.
We spent some time at the indoor play space at the mall today and I was pretty surprised by how some parents do not intervene when their kids act like jerks toward other kids. I watched a crew of kids, too old to be in the play area really, run around and knock the same toddler boy over twice. When they ran by me and Ace, I gathered my courage and asked them to please slow down because there were babies around. I was so worried that another mother was going to yell at me for saying anything, but it worked out ok. I thanked the children for listening on their next go around.
I also witnessed a very awkward exchange between a little girl and an African American mother: the little girl walked up to the mother and asked if she spoke Spanish. The mother said no. Then the girl said, "You're African, right?" The mother sniffed in that exasperated, I can't believe this shit, way and said, "No, I'm American." The little girl seemed confused and wanted to know what the woman's language was. The mom explained that she spoke English, that her son spoke English, that they were both "just Americans." She was very patient with the little girl and asked her what she was and what language she spoke. The little girl explained that she was Armenian but that she could speak English. I kept looking over at the Armenian girl's mother, and that mother was paying no attention and looking so disinterested in what was going on with her children. I was really shocked by the conversation and that the girl thought the other mom was African, just because she was black. She wasn't a very young girl, either, I think she said she was nine.
Anyway, it is sad when you see that we still have a long way to go when it comes to understanding and awareness between races.

Friday, April 23, 2010

14 Months

Oi! The yelling! The pointing and yelling! The screaming and crying! All of it is killing me. But in between, Ace is still the sweet little guy that I've come to know and love. I know that he is just frustrated because he can't communicate at the level he'd like to. I'd be peeved too. But sometimes, when I'm running on empty and trying everything to make him happy and all I get is some kicking and screaming and crying, it's just too much. I know, I know, this is not about me. I am an adult and he is a child, but seriously, it can be hard.
I think there may be some teething going on in there as well.
In more delightful news, Ace is coming out of his shell a bit on the playground, getting braver and braver around other kids. He is standing on his own, but not walking, but has taken a step here or there when forced by his mom or dad. He is still playful and funny, loves hand play, such as the Itsy Bitsy Spider and No More Monkeys Jumping on the Bed - especially the finger shaking "and the doctor said..." part. He is getting bigger all the time. I just had to clean out his clothes again and a few pairs of pants only got a few wears before being sent to the storage bins.
His eating habits have gotten a bit weird. He does not like meat. Not at all. But he'll eat Boca Burgers and the occasional chicken nugget. As long as it involves dipping in ketchup. He loves dipping. He does not like vegetables anymore. I put broccoli and spinach and tomato sauce in the Cuisinart and he'll eat that on rotini. He does eat fruit, he loves fruit. Bananas in particular, he'll eat two or three a day. He also loves Goldfish crackers, but I am trying to keep that to a minimum (as I indulge myself while I write this).
I found a job teaching first grade and am really excited for it. I only have eight full time students, so that is just crazy. I start in the fall. Ace starts daycare in a week and I have started getting a little anxious about the best way to start him. Do I stay with him for an hour or so, until he gets used to the caretakers? Or do I make sure he's settled and then leave?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thirteen Months

Ace is thirteen months and I may have found a job. Happily, it doesn't start until September. So, if everything works out, I will have a lovely spring and summer with my little guy.
Since I may have found a job, and since daycare is very competitive around here, I went ahead and took a spot for Ace in a daycare center that is very convenient to B's work. Ace is going to start there in May, going two half days at first and then transitioning to three full days in September. I am looking forward to the two days a week! Just to have some time to myself will be fantastic. I wonder how much I can get done in three and a half hours?
Ace is so much fun these days. He is pointing to everything and telling me all about what he sees, except that I have no idea what his little noises mean. His most frequent word sounds like woof, but it has to mean something else to him because he uses it all the time. I wonder what his first word will be and when it will happen?
He is also not walking yet. He is still cruising. Everyone that sees him says, "Any day now!" but I don't know. He has no interest in doing it on his own.
Ace seems to have developed some anxieties, but nothing too bad. The worst may be his fear of other children. He does not like being approached or cornered by other kids. When it first happened, it seemed as if it might have been an incident of racism, but then I noticed that it happened with all skin colors. Phew!

Monday, March 8, 2010

So Much has Happened...

I am trying to get back into this. Ace is now one and doing so much that is new - crawling, cruising, he can stand without help - but rarely does, he has seven teeth - four on top, three on the bottom. He is weaned. That happened because I got terrible food poisoning on my birthday and I just laid in bed moaning all weekend and didn't nurse at all. When I got up to pump eventually, I just knew that I was done. Ace didn't care at all. I had been cutting down on the number of feedings, so it wasn't completely cold turkey. I just switched morning and night nursings to bottles. Now we have to wean off the bottles, but I'm not worried about that. Ace might fuss, but he will get it.
He has a few words, too. I think he says "woof," I know he says "Ma Ma" but I'm not sure he knows it is me. Just yesterday he started saying "Ba Ba" and making more noises. He points at everything and wants to talk to you about what he is pointing at. He's gotten pretty good at sign language too. We mainly taught him signs for eating, so he signs milk, more and all done.
I have been looking for a job. I was offered one position, the catch being that the school board has to approve my salary in the next budget, so I am waiting to hear. I am applying for a charter school, but I have been warned that it might be too much work with a baby and planning for more babies. We'll see what happens.
All in all, things are good!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Separation Anxiety?

So I have been working on getting Ace to sleep through the night again and it has been going pretty well. Except that he has developed a habit of waking up around 5 am. Usually he will go back to sleep with the replacement of his pacifier. Other times, he will scream and not stop. This morning he screamed for a half an hour before we decided to do something. B opted first for Motrin, but I really did not think the baby was in pain. I went in and patted Ace's head and he would quiet down and go to sleep, but if he lifted his head and I was leaving, screamed started again. B finally went in to the nursery and patted Ace for a long time and then just laid down on the floor by the crib. B said that Ace picked his head up a few times and looked at him, laughed, and went back to laying down. When B got up and left, Ace complained but went back to sleep. Ace made up for his hour of wakefulness by sleeping an hour later this morning. I was up for almost an hour and a half while all of this was going on and today I am very tired. I know you are just supposed to let them cry it out, but we can't. My stomach was in complete knots the whole time Ace was not settling down.
With weaning and my going back to work coming up, we've got to get this down.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Post Holiday

We went to the Mid West for the holidays. We landed on Christmas Eve right after the start of the biggest blizzard to hit that part of the country in sixty year - or so we were told. Ace got the experience snow and really, really cold weather for the first time. Since he is still cruising and not walking, not a lot of time was spent out doors, but he got to dress up in adorable hats and sweaters and I got to take some good pictures.
While we were away he stayed on Los Angeles time, which was wonderful. He had two colds in a row, though, starting right before we left, and I caved and started feeding him when he woke up in the night. I couldn't stand hearing his stuffy little cries. I continued feeding him at every night waking while we were not at home, since I felt kind of bad for him. We've been home three nights now and managed not to feed him last night and just let him cry himself back to sleep. It only took about five minutes. Hopefully tonight will be similar.
Ace's first Christmas was ok. I hated being away from our home, but I guess you have to do things you don't want to do when in laws are involved. Ace got great presents from his Nana and Papa, but I was annoyed that no one held back his older cousins, who insisted on "helping" unwrap his presents and then pretty much grabbed the toys away from helpless Ace and started playing with them. These older cousins have had so much fussing over them through the years, I thought it really unfair that their parents and grandparents didn't tell them to leave Ace's things alone and let Ace have his moment. But maybe that's my own personal baggage coming through. B agreed with me, however, so maybe not.
Ace is getting around really fast these days, by creeping (I think that's what they call the army crawl he uses) and cruising, but I don't think he is that close to walking. Others disagree.
He is babbling just a little, less than I'd like him to. I always thought a baby of mine would be an early talker, but I guess not. He understands a lot, though, which is fun to see.
Next up will be weaning and I am trying to learn as much as I can about that now. He isn't great with a sippy cup, but does well with a straw, so I might just skip the sippy cup - I've read it's not very good for their oral development anyway - and transition to a straw cup and then just a regular cup. I'm going to try and change up one of his nursing sessions and give him the breast milk in a straw cup and see how it goes.
New Year's Resolutions are: weigh less, work on some individual projects and get organized. I should probably add find a job, but that one boggles my mind currently, so I'll think about that later.