Monday, March 29, 2010

Spring Break: Can I Pout?

In two hours' time, I've seen only 3 people here = the office is dead and I'm feeling a bit pouty about having to be here. Nevermind that I have loads of work to catch up on - - I just wanna go home and play with my baby sweet potato girlie! *sigh*

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Friday, March 26, 2010

Baby Sweet Potato Girlie Turns a Year Old

Can't believe THIS MOMENT was a year ago...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Makin' Cuppycakes for Mah Sweet Potato Girlie

Today's my furlough day for the month of March - - and it's the day before my daughter's FIRST BIRTHDAY!?!? - - I just cannot believe she's gunna be a year old tomorrow!? Holy Hannah!!! - - how the heck did that happen so freakin' fast, someone please tell me??!?

My honey-man has said this to me several times before, but this past year, it's really taken on greater meaning for me: One's concept of time completely changes once you have children.

Before I had my lil' sweet potato, a single day could drag on and on - - a week could feel like an eternity. I have been able to distinguish how time is, indeed, altered whenever we have the angel boy-O with us, here in Vegas and before, when I'd see him in California - - Here and gone is always how it feels, even during the summers when we have him for a few solid weeks. The time just flies by. And now? It's every day! Every week! Every month! Here and gone! It's just absolutely unbelievable to me that an entire year has flown by since our girlie came out and into the world!

And man, can I say I had NO IDEA how absolutely freakin' fantastic she'd be? - - She totally rocks my world, my baby girl, oh yes, she does!!! She is the coolest lil' thing ~ And the last couple of weeks have been phenomenal! She's just flying past developmental milestones, and each and every day, she does something new, and she's always showing us what a smart lil' cookie she is. And she's a total stinker too! Boy, she sure likes to test things out, particularly mommie's patience! I love it though - - I totally love the gleam in her eye as she watches my growing frown as she chooses which food item she will next hold over the edge of her highchair tray, to release it and let it fall to the floor... she doesn't even watch any of it fall --she watches ME and my face to see how I'll respond! I love bein' her mommie and although it's been kicking mah butt, man, my life is forever changed. I knew this would be the case, intellectually I knew, but wow, boy did I underestimate the transformation.

I'm making cupcakes right now to bring to her classmates and teachers tomorrow. Honestly, I don't think I could possibly be any happier right now in this very moment (unless I were 10 lbs lighter) - - yeah, I'm home on a furlough day, no less, and the economy really sucks, and there's LOADS of uncertainty ahead for all of us, and yeah, there are horrendous things happening this very minute all over the world; there's a gazillion valid complaints worth mentioning as part of this world and the reality that is life, but I'm way, way, waaaay too delighted with the 'cherry chip' cupcakes I'm baking to simply honor my baby's arrival into this world 364 days ago, to celebrate her and her first birthday. I'm all vehclempted.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Maybe Bein' a Mommie Makes the Difference

My mum has been gone now for 23 years, today, but this day doesn't feel the same, like it typically has before... There's no enormous sense of loss, no longing for things that never were, nor any 'hole in my heart' feel to it. I don't feel sad - - I feel only gratitude.

I am soooo thankful I didn't wind up a total mess; that my father and step-mum and my extended families, they all hung in there throughout all my tween and adolescent bull-oney (and then some), and I made it through my undergrad with all the long hours and all the hard work for a double BA, at times working 3 part-time jobs. And don't forget a failed first marriage while enrolled as an undergrad and working all those extra hours, followed by seven years of awkward dating circumstances and various painful relationships, to finally find my oh-so wonderful honey-man and his fantastic son, the angel boy-O (and to earn a Masters degree tah boot), and now, to be the mommie of our most darling sweet potato girlie.

I am so grateful I didn't grow up using my mother's death as an excuse to play the role of a victim; that I never truly fell prey to that attitude. I always knew I was fortunate. It could have been so easy to have gone the other way...this day has always been one of those potential pity-party dates, but my mum taught me to give to others whatever I have to give, and to count my blessings, and to see the other side of the coin, and to put myself in the shoes of others, and not to wallow in one's challenges, but to stand up to the challenge and do so proudly; to be grateful for what I DO have.

I loved my mum, and I still do. I miss her very much, all the time, but I am so grateful for all that I have. I really can't complain.

I love you, mum - - and thank you.

I am Sooo a Mom

I just found a green, crusty baby boogie on my shoulder ~ Ahhh, motherhood.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

She Stands Alone

Three notable times yesterday, once in the morning, once at daycare, and in the evening, our lil' sweet potato stood up, all alone, all by herself! A tiny beacon of growing self-confidence! It's soooo awesome to see the look on her darling face as she sets her focus and recognizes that she is, indeed, standing all on her own, unassisted. She just beams with satisfaction and delight! And when we clap our hands and root and cheer for her accomplishment, the radiant smile that spreads even wider across on her teeny chubby-cheeky lil' face is absolutely breathtaking!

Just awesome - - totally awesome!

Blowing on Her Eggs

I zapped a little bit of scrambled eggs in the microwave this morning and when my baby sweet potato girl saw what her mommie was eating for breakfast, she let out a loud shriek while waving her arms, and then she clasped and wrung her tiny hands together as she bounced in her highchair with excitement, all to let me know she wanted some too - - that's her new thing by the way: She wants to eat whatever mommy and daddy are eating.

So the eggs were a bit too hot, so I told her to wait a sec and I blew on a piece before giving her any. Now for a baby who usually screams and squawks until her food is placed right before her --she's soooo impatient at mealtimes-- she instead sat quietly, not moving an inch, watching me closely as I blew upon what she knew would soon be her own bite of scrambled egg. She didn't make a peep, she just watched me -and I stared right back at her as I silently blew on her bit of egg. Once it was cool enough, I smiled and offered it to her, and she took it and she blew on it as well, her little mouth in the shape of a perfect little 'O' as she blew, and then she popped it in her mouth with a huge smile of satisfaction!

Look Who's Talking

It's official: Our baby sweet potato is talking, using real words! Of course, many are almost totally unintelligible to whomever doesn't deal with our wee babe on a regular basis, but yesterday afternoon when I picked her up from her classroom, two of the ladies there confirmed our suspicions --which means we're not just imaging things-- they're certain she's using identifiable words!

Her first clearly identifiable words were 1) 'daddy', 2) 'book', and 3) 'doggy' - - um, no clearly 'mommie' or 'mama' yet, or at least we're not exactly certain. She does say 'moma' and 'moe-mee' all the time, particularly when she's alone in her crib in her bedroom and she wants someone to come get her, but I'll pick her up and she'll keep saying it, while twisting 'round in my arms, away from me while gesturing or reaching toward other things, so again, we're not sure if she's addressing me as mama or not.

Anyhow, here's a list of all the semi-identifiable words/sounds we've discovered she's using thus far, using the following list format: the actual word = and what it sounds like when she says it.

Daddy = dah-dee or da-da
Book = buh (like 'duh' and without much of a hard 'K' sound)
Doggy = doh-dah (no hard 'G' sound)
Kitty = kuh-twah (usually in a shout)
Nursing = neh-neh (in a pained and whiny voice)
Read = reeeed (at the top of her baby lungs)
Drink = dwah (one syllable, without much of a hard 'K' sound)

There are other distinguishably repetitive sounds she'll make, but we haven't yet made out their meaning... She's gunna have to be patient with us.

BTW, the two daycare ladies confirmed the two words she used were 'book' and 'read.'

Monday, March 08, 2010

Monday, Monday

Every Sunday night, whenever I'm getting ready for bed and prepping the things I'll need for the beginning of a another new work week, Mondays are easily my most hated day of the week... And come Monday morning, I feel no different, but every Monday, as the day nears four in the afternoon, and the day has invariably flown by faster than any other day of the week, I kinda like Mondays juhhst fine.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

It's Finally Happened: Projectile Baby Vomit

I knew it would happen someday - - it was inevitable - - just a matter of time -- and the wait officially ended 4 hours ago... and I just spent the last two hours cleaning carpet.

BACKGROUND INFO: Our lil' sweet potato girl has been sick for a week now and the last 24 hours have been the very worst ever. She'd had a low grade fever off and on all weekend long, but we were told to let it work itself through, that her body was doing its job to fight an infection, yada, yada, yada. She was a little snotty, but nothing crazy. Not until late this past Sunday and early Monday morning, did she develop a cough (her first real cough ever), and by the end of the day, yesterday, she'd developed a little wheeze with semi-labored breathing, but she still had only a low grade fever of 100.4 degrees. Last night, one o'clock in the morning or so, she'd woken up and was crying for attention and we found her drenched with cold sweat, which means she'd had a high fever at some point unbeknownst to us and it had already broken. And this morning, she woke around six, initially had no fever at all, but within the hour, her breathing had worsened and the wheeze had become more 'snap-crackle-pop' like with a hittin' up there 103.3 fever tah boot. We had already made plans to take her to her pediatrician, but by this morning, we were fearful she had pneumonia.

I had stayed home with her on Monday and Tuesday, sick as well, myself (you should hear my weird scratchy voice right now - - luckily, I sound far worse than I feel). Her daddy had her this morning and took her to her peds office appointment, and later brought her and two new prescriptions to me while at work around noontime. While I tried to comb through some work email (I hadn't looked at my work email since last Friday and a few people were freaking out), I wore my sweet, sicky lil' baby girl in a sling, and she generally just laid on my chest for nearly two hours, happily babbling a bit, here and there, gumming a stress ball for a lil' while, occasionally patting at my face, and for the last hour, her wheezing resumed, she dozed off until we left around 2pm for the home and the drugstore.

Sooo, now we've got a nebulizer to administer Albuterol in order to help open up her lungs, plus an antibiotic we have to give her for the next 7 days while she fights some nondescript virus. She does NOT have pneumonia --thank goodness-- but we need to watch her closely.

Earlier today, after she'd woken up at 5pm from a late afternoon, two-hour long nap, she had a little coughing fit, gagged and she spit up some, but nothing spectacular, although she did totally nail my shirt. By 6pm, she had a 103.8 fever and was wheezing heavily again. We'd nursed when she'd woken from her nap, so with something in her tummy already, I'd given her some ibuprofen right away. Thereafter, she took her antibiotic okay, but our first go at the nebulizer was pitiful... When I'd removed the nebulizer box from the pediatrician's bag, I hadn't seen the child's mask that was also stashed inside the bag, so I had first tried the mouth piece that came included in the box along with the nebulizer. She was surprisingly amiable about the whole thing, too listless to fight me much, but I could tell the mouthpiece couldn't be right and I could also tell she wasn't getting much out of it.

Then I tried to give her something to eat - - emphasizing the word "tried." She really hasn't been eating much the last couple days, so although she drank a lot of water, most of the food I'd given her for her dinner, she had either mashed it and spread it around her highchair tray or flung it to the floor. We then headed upstairs for a warm bath, by which time, her fever had dropped to normal and her mood was rising up and up, although I still couldn't coax her to eat anything more. After she was all clean and lotioned like a greased piglet, all cozy in her jammies, we went back downstairs to grab her silky white blankie, and it was then I found the nebulizer mask.

So I did a more thorough read of the Albuterol prescription info and determined we could try at it again. She was such a good little trooper, sticking her tongue out to try to lick the inside of the mask, making little short 'ha' sounds and trying to watch Otis and Owen, only struggling near the very end, which was remarkable. Trying to hold a mask to any baby's nose and mouth for any length of time is a challenge, and it takes nearly 15 minutes for the whole nebulizer process to run its course from start to finish. Anyhow, once we were done with our first successful nebulizer treatment, she was definitely more like herself, animated and peppy and a bit sassy.
But then it went all wrong: I stood from the couch and she immediately began a HUGE coughing fit --can you see it coming? She gagged a couple times and then it happened: With my right forearm wrapped about her, I could feel her diaphragm and her tummy muscles clenching and she gagged so hard that she threw up and I mean she really threw up! Projectile baby vomit!!! Most of it just shot out and away from us both, getting nothing but a nice 5 x 6 foot area of carpeting where we stood. She began to sadly cry and continued to cough as I carried her into the kitchen and set her on the counter beside the sink so we could clean up her little mouth, but the gagging continued and her little body went rigid with muscle tension and she threw up again, this time all over me and all over herself and, of course, the counter. As I began the effort to calm her while stripping her down to her diapey at the same time, I could hear that the cats had decided to volunteer for the carpet clean-up crew <--- I will not spell out what exactly that means cuz it's GROSS! As I peeked over the counter bar to confirm my suspicions, my poor girl kept coughing and gagging and threw up again.

It was all over, and you know what I mean by "it." I had to bathe her all over again and she wouldn't nurse or drink anything before putting her down for bed, so she hasn't really had anything to eat since 2pm. Oh, and she threw up her antibiotic and wouldn't take it at all when I tried to give her a 1/2 dose. We'll see what tomorrow brings.