Friday, February 29, 2008

Not a Baby Any More

In my head, I know the babe is not a babe any more. She's a toddler. This became obvious today when we attended a make up sign language/music class in Arlington (we've missed two classes and I want to make sure we get our money's worth!).

The class was for children up to 18 months old. The babe was one of only 2 toddlers in the room (the rest were babies sitting calmly in their Mother's laps). My daughter and her new buddy were into everything, wouldn't sit down, and were generally in everyone's business. They were super cute, but I could see how other Moms may not think it's "cute" that my daughter is trying to "share" (take) their child's drum.

It was amusing to watch her, but challenging to try and balance discipline with learning in a group environment. When I was pregnant I had a lot of time to read about being pregnant and the first few months of a child's life. I haven't had a chance to read about this "stage" and I'm not really sure what I should be doing with a 15 month old.

Group activities expose your child to other kids (which is great for the 'stay at home with Mom' kinda kids), but they also expose you to other parents. And it's tough to parent in front of other parents. There's always the concern that they may be better at it than you. Or they may be more up tight than you and be secretly judging you. Who knows. Perhaps I am worrying more than I need to. Kids will be kids (until your kid gets pushed over by another kid, which just happened in the class held before our Wednesday session).

Despite these little issues, I'm pretty thrilled we signed up for a few activities. It's nice to have an official place to be other than a doctor's appointment!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Isn't She A Bit Young For An Eating Disorder?

Unbelievable. The babe has a fascination with sticking her hand in her mouth and gagging. It is as if she is attempting to be bulimic. Not funny. I have always firmly told her to stop and that she is going to hurt herself. Yesterday she took it to a new level. She was sitting in her high chair finishing up her lunch. I had gone over to the dishwasher when I heard her making the all too familiar gagging sounds. Then I heard something different. It was the sound of the babe throwing up her lunch.

It seems rather bizarre behavior for a 15 month old child. She has certainly never seen anyone sticking their hand down their throat, so I'm not sure where she picked it up. Friends have suggested she's probably just experimenting with her body or teething. Although I don't know any other kids who exhibit this kind of behavior, surfing the web has made me feel like the babe isn't the only strange bird out there (thanks, BabyCenter). We have her 15 month doctor appointment in a few weeks and I'll be asking about this.

Hopefully she learnt her lesson yesterday. Gaging yourself can have yucky and uncomfortable consequences.

If you know anything about this strange behavior, feel free to post a comment!

Monday, February 25, 2008

When Sparks Fly

I think the babe could have started a fire by rubbing her pajama legs together last week. I'm not sure if her Carter's one piece pajamas are a fire hazard, but it certainly seemed that way while we were visiting our families in Canada.

No kidding. While I would be completing the last steps of getting the babe ready for bed (in the dark for a more calming effect, of course), I would notice little sparks when she moved her legs around. That can't be a good thing.

Not only was she fighting a cold and cough, but I was having serious itchy scratchy problems due to the dryness. I guess the babe's pajamas felt the same way. Canada can be a very dry place in the winter, so I started using a humidifier my Dad had bought us at Christmas (thanks, Dad!). The humidifier worked wonders. The sparks stopped flying and I stopped itching. But I'm really wondering why I was seeing sparks in the first place. It just doesn't seem safe to be putting your child into clothes that pose a fire risk.

I was a tad nervous about using our "warm mist" humidifier as I had read that "cool mist" was the best option for young children. After further research, it would appear as though the only reason they recommend cool mist is to prevent children from burning themselves on the warm mist models. As the babe is still trapped in a crib at night, there is no need to worry. The added bonus of the warm mist humidifier is that it kills more bacteria as it boils the water. You just have to make sure you clean the thing out regularly.

We're back home below the Mason-Dixon line now. I've got our cool mist humidifier running and I'm hoping I don't see any more sparks flying.

PS- I'm also happy to announce that spell check is working again!!

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Old and the New

Wednesday was our big flying day. We were off to Canada for another Montreal/Ottawa adventure. We got to the airport too early and left too late. In those four hours the babe and I had to entertain ourselves in a number of ways. The most popular activity was running aimlessley into fellow travellers.

Ronald Reagan National Airport is a small, clean and modern airport. It has good light and decent baby changing facilities. It is also an airport I used to frequent on business travel. Being there in jeans with a baby was quite different than in a suit with my laptop.

After trying to feed the babe for the millionth time (she is currently on a food strike), I gave up so she could burn off some energy. As she was doing a walk/run/stumble down one of the main corridors (with me following close behind), she almost collided with the Co-Chairman of the board of my former employer.

I wasn't surprised when he didn't recognize me. In fact, I wasn't even surprised that he didn't notice us at all. The babe is pretty short, and business travellers are pretty tall. It was just odd for my old life to almost collide with my new life. I guess it was only a matter of time.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

The Really Early Morning Sky

I'm not a morning person, so when the babe woke up at 6:00 am, I was not a happy camper. After trying to ignore her for a while, I gave up and we trudged downstairs. Grumpy doesn't exactly explain how I was feeling. Sick (I'm fighting a cold), tired and really grumpy is a start.

About half an hour after getting up, light began to fill the sky. But this was no ordinary light. This was something special. After the colors shifted, the winds picked up dramatically and it began raining. The universe was doing its thing. I'm grateful my Mommy duties ensured I was awake to appreciate it all.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

The Sacred Nap

The babe is on a one nap a day schedule. Only problem is, there doesn't seem to be much of a schedule these days. As we have been going to so many appointments and have two classes a week, it's been very hard to be consistent with the timing of the precious nap. I have sat in the car in parking lots and in our parking spot for a few hours this week trying to ensure the babe gets her daytime zzzs (I'm all caught up on my Time magazine reading).

I'll admit I wasn't in the mood to sit in the car yesterday afternoon while she slept. So I made sure she was all cozy, locked the door and went into the kitchen to clean up and make myself some quick lunch. Our parking spot is right outside the kitchen and we have a few big windows and a glass door so I can see her constantly. I'll admit it is a little sketchy. But she clocked an hour and a half and I was happy I wasn't stuck in the drivers seat with out of date magazines as my only form of entertainment.

We had nothing on the agenda today so the babe was able to nap at home. Only problem was that she wasn't willing to fall asleep. So after a few attempts of trying to get her to nod off, I gave up and did the "hold the screaming child down" method. Not sure if anyone else does this one? It's not pretty, but it sure is effective. After about seven minutes she was so exhausted from crying and fighting me that she conked out (I am, after all, much bigger and stronger). I'm not a fan of this method...but sometimes it's necessary. Especially for a kid who can't be left in her crib awake (I tried this a month ago and she cried for an hour straight before I broke down and gave in).

I've attached a photo of the crib as it looked before she was born. Little did I know how hard it would be to get her in it for nice chunks of time.

I'll have to work on setting a "usual" time (at home) and sticking to it. Sleep is a dangerous thing to mess with.

PS-I am still having spell check issues...

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

We are the Weird Nut Family

Just as I was getting used to the idea that the babe has to have eye surgery (booked for March 18th), the pediatrician called to inform me that the babe is now allergic to eggs and soy as well as peanuts and dairy. She recommended I see an allergist (again) to discuss the results. So I made an appointment with a new allergist as I wasn't particularly impressed with the old one. Yesterday we packed up the car and trecked out to Wheaton, MD to the Institute for Asthma and Allergy.

I have to admit I feel much better after my hour-long appointment with Dr. Athena Economides. She made me feel as though this wasn't as big a deal as it had become in my head. I now have an action plan and feel better prepared for an allergic reaction. I know when to give the babe what, and when I need to call 911.

I was also stressing about what kind of milk-type product I could give the babe (no dairy and no soy?). The doc advised that I stop feeding the babe the pricey hypoallergenic Alimentum formula we had been using since speaking to the pediatrician. THANK GOODNESS (it was too expensive, too smelly and the babe didn't like it)! So, as strange as it may sound, she told me we can continue to give the babe soy milk, soy formula (stage 2 Go and Grow), and tofu, as we had been doing up until last week. She said that if the babe wasn't showing any kind of reaction from these soy-based products, that we are fine to continue use.

The doc assured me that the babe has a pretty good chance of outgrowing her food allergies in the next few years. Apparently, she also has a 20% chance of outgrowing her peanut allergy (which is news to me as I had thought peanuts were a permanent allergy).

So, until the babe has outgrown these pesky little allergies, we are to strictly avoid peanuts, tree nuts, seasame, eggs, and all dairy. No problem, right? I've contacted The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) and have received a bunch of litterature from them. I ordered tags with info on the babe, her allergies and what to do if she has an attack (I've attached them to our diaper bags). I also ordered a fancy red bag with "medicine kit" written on the front to hold her epipen and liquid Benedryl (I keep it in my purse at all times). Now I just have to get creative in what I feed her while trying to not become a paranoid Mom. It's going to be challenging to avoid all products labeled something along the lines of: made in a facility that may process nuts, tree nuts, dairy, eggs, etc.

It is easier for me to control things and to not freak out as I am with her all the time. But when the day comes for her to go into some sort of organized care/school with other children, I fear we will be tested in whole new ways. Until then, I'll be grateful she's not allergic to more than she already is. But it's going to be a long time before she's eating samples at Costco.

PS-I still have not worked out what is up with the spell checking feature, so again, apologies for any errors. How annoying.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Diaper Rash Blues

The babe has some serious diaper rash. When her diaper is dirty, she's in pain. I've never seen it this bad. Yikes.

This morning she had a dirty diaper (of the number two variety), so I rinsed out some wipes in luke warm water and cleaned her up. I'd read that letting the babe's tush air dry is really helpful (only for the adventurous parent, of course). I thought I was up for it. So I snaped the babe's onesie back up and we headed downstairs. It took only five minutes before I had a fresh circle of pee on my kitchen carpet. Guess I learnt my lesson.

Please feel free to share your diaper rash remedies with me!