Friday, March 30, 2012

Project 52 | Week 13 | Late Nights

Because we are crazy we added pantry demo and remodel to our list of things we've got going on in the midst of "Molar Madness". Coach hammered down the remaining shelves (and p.s. who caulks shelving into place? seriously?) and then I commenced with puttying the 800 screw and nail holes, sanding, and more putty. I have white paint but we both liked the thought of a fun color in the small space. Who knows when the next time the walls will be bare, so I wanted something happy and lasting.  

In marched the color we (aka I) chose for our guest bathroom (painting commences on the 16th when the texture guy gets here! yippie!), Pitter Patter by Olympic.  Which is pretty much Tiffany and Co. blue. heehee. I love that their paint is No-VOC and cheaper than Behr but just as good of a product. Especially since the space is small and obviously not ventilated.

I ended up painting the long wall in our laundry room too. bye bye grimy walls!  

But I've also got the regular: diapers to stuff, laundry to continue, kitchen to tidy, dog hair to sweep, and towels to fold.  Late night here, but well worth it.  My family is always worth it. :)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Mommy Diary: Week 41

Developments This Week:
  • Pointing to items he wants, pointing out items, and getting to items after he points to them.
  • We've got Muma (Mommy), Dadu (Daddy), and Doggga (doggy). Not all the time but when he's upset or excited he'll call us by "name". It's insane. 
  • Screaming. 
Starting last week he was incredibly fussy and crying a lot more. Come Saturday night, it was so much worse. So much worse.  He woke up at 3:45 and screamed, uncontrollably, flailing his whole body until after 6 when I guess the Advil finally kicked in.  I ended up laying with him in the guest bed almost the whole time after Coach tried to rock him, I fed him, Coach rocked him again, I fed him again and gave him the meds, we both cried, and I just held him in bed while he screamed until he finally latched back on and passed out.  He slept on and off until 9 but it was so brutal.  

His subsequent meltdowns have been so awful.  The sheer volume and pitch of the screaming will shake your filings loose.  You basically just have to hold him enough to keep him from hurting himself .  It's terrible.  So I took him to the doctor today and she checked his ears, everything.  He's fine.  "Fine". No fever or anything like that. So basically just stick it out until one of those pearly molars arrives.  

Can you sense my exhaustion? My feelings of failure and ineptitude? 

And I swear he bit me so hard tonight that I half expected to find my whole nipple in his mouth.  I screamed, which caused him to scream, then I had to call for Coach because I was hysterically crying almost as badly as Lloyd. It's times like this when he's using my boobs as teething rings that I wonder how much more I can do after he turns a year old.  I love nursing, I love the connection. Except for the fact that my son teethed way way way too early, he has more teeth than almost all kids his age, and I'm still exclusively breastfeeding.  I'm so proud to say he's never had any formula (and so lucky that we didn't have to go down that road, which is equally as difficult), that I've been able to stick this breastfeeding out for so long when I did not know if I could, but it's still hard. So freaking hard. And painful.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Project 52 | Week 12 | Changing Shape

 Sorry I'm late, we got home an hour after Lloyd's bedtime last night. woops.  Too tired to blog.

I am 60 pounds lighter than I was the day I delivered Lloyd.  My pants all fit.  Even some that didn't fit before I was pregnant.  I am not in the best athletic shape, and might be in some of the worst "condition" that I've been in in years.  But I still feel pretty good about my body.  My stomach looks mostly flat.  My hips are even wider (the only obstacle to most pants), my feet went up almost a full shoe size (sad), my boobs are of course bigger, my bra size went up in both cup and rib sizes thanks to kicking feet and a big baby moving around, but my legs are thinner, my calf's smaller, my arms more toned, and my face thinner.

If I hadn't gained all that weight I would look like skelator right now because I'm still losing weight. Not as much as before, but a pound every few weeks. Whenever I work out at all I drop 3-5 pounds almost instantly because I can't seem to keep up a calorie intake equal to my output with breastfeeding.  I never intended to gain 50 pounds with Lloyd, quite the opposite.  And if you count the 12 I lost the first trimester, I certainly didn't mean to gain a net 62 pounds. I spent almost the first 5 months hounded by my doctor about my inability to gain a pound.  They had me drinking high calorie drinks twice a day.  Then it came on so fast!  I went immediately back to eating the way I've always eaten.  But still the weight packed on.  I think my body just stored everything and then after the baby started dumping it once it wasn't needed.  

But I do miss my size 8.5/9 shoes. I miss not having to worry if my tummy looks flabby.  I really miss my boobs fitting into any shirt I tried on.  But I'm ok.  Except the shoes.  I had to buy some size 10 flats today because I only have 3 pairs of comfortable shoes.  I have canoe feet.  ick.  

But if that's the price we pay for beautiful children, I'm totally ok.  He's too cute to regret a minute of it.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Mommy Diary: Week 40

Developments This Week:
  • This Sunday, Lloyd will be out of the womb longer than he was in it. Aka, he's been in this world longer than I was pregnant. That seems crazy to me.
  • He walks himself sideways down anything (ottoman, chair, couch, you name it), holding on.  
  • Pulling up, standing up, anything to make him more vertical. I wonder how long until he walks?
There's been lots of screaming this week too.  Not crying, but absolute hysterics.  I'm guessing we've got one of his first molars coming in.  That's the next to arrive, order wise.  He only wakes up and behaves like this before a tooth cuts in and we're about due for another one. They come about 1 a month now.  Awesome (hear the sarcasm?).  But the sooner he gets all his teeth the better is what I'm feeling at this point. Bring it tooth fairy, you evil witch.

At his 9 month doctors appointment friday he weighed in at 19 pounds 14 ounces (50th percentile, eek) and measured 31 inches long (>97th percentile, different type of eek).  He has to put more weight on or she starts to get more concerned. Mostly because instead of being on a growth curve, his weight is more on a straight line--which is where they get concerned.  So I've been struggling with trying to get him to eat more high calorie foods, but he continues to be mostly interested in veggis veggis veggis (and fruit).  So I'm trying to get creative.  Don't want to be in trouble!  

I also had to get his blood drawn to check on his food allergies, to see if it's all dairy or just lactose.  Which would help us know if we can give him cheese or what we are dealing with.  Cheese would put some fat on his little legs again, but I don't want him hurting!  I've been able to add periodic cheese indulgences back into my diet with no issues for him, so maybe it's getting better.  I hope, for his sake, that it does go away.  Poor guy.  But they took 3 vials of blood! He's so tiny, so maybe that'll make him more sleepy tonight?  I could use a full nights sleep, he's been waking up with the teeth hurting so it's hard on everyone.  He gets sooooo upset so easily and doesn't like to play by himself.  Poor guy is unhappy; freaking teeth! I just hope the next baby doesn't take teething so hard.  Poor babies, it's awful to see them hurt.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Project 52 | Week 11 | Ignoring

It's taken me a long time to realize that my baby is different from all other babies and be ok with it.  It's really hard to do something different than what people perceive as what you should do.  But I know my baby.  I know my baby. 

From birth to age 4 months he struggled with naps but we could get him in his crib eventually. He never slept very well, but would sleep.  Then teething hit.  And everything went to total crap.  He had just started  being semi-successful with the whole "self soothing" thing (aka the cry-it-out method) and was doing much better, then BAM.  It took me a really long time to accept this.  But here's what changed that threw the "self-soothe" method out the window: Lloyd started producing a massive amount of drool and his crying changed totally from 'cranky' to sheer panic.  He would cry, then scream, then start choking on his drool so much that he would either A. vomit, B. choke and stop breathing for a terrifying amount of time, or C. do both.  After about a week of laying him down and then having to rush in to suck drool or vomit out of him so he could breathe, it even became clear to Coach (who initially thought I was coddling him when I told him he'd stopped napping) and we gave up "temporarily" on the self-soothing (aka CIO) method.  

People weigh in, tell you to just let him keep crying, to hold him then put him back down, to rock him to sleep, bla bla bla.  I tried everything.  I tried everything. I read every article. Talked to my pediatrician, the nurse, I read every article about helping babies nap. I changed his feeding schedule (that was horrible in a whole other way, in addition to not helping).  I really did want him to succeed at napping.  I continue to try all these methods again and again after different developmental milestones with hope they'll work.  Pffftt. No.

I realize these people think they're helping. And I realize my son is being high maintenance.  I realize this!! Trust me!!! I would love to lay my son down and he go to sleep and I get some time to myself.  But for the foreseeable future, it's not happening.  So people give me ideas and I nod, say "oh yeah! great idea!" even though it's totally not going to happen and I've probably already tried it with horrible results.  I read people's blogs who have kids on a super great and predictable nap schedule and I envy them.  Deep dark envy.  I beat myself up about it regularly (just ask my best friend Bethany who gets to hear me complain about how inadequate I feel on a regular basis).  

But I've started to be able to ignore it and not let it bother me for one huge reason: I know my baby and my baby is incredibly happy, fun, playful, intelligent, affectionate, and friendly.  So yes, he naps on the boob even now at 9 months old.  He will nap on people occasionally (his grandparents on a regular basis, those lucky devils).  But he's happy and healthy and for now, he's got it figured out and he naps so much longer and better on me than he ever did in bed anyway.  

So I'll continue to climb into our bed, take my top off (haha), and nurse my little guy so he'll fall asleep. Sometimes he will de-latch and curl up like this and I can read or pee (!), and those times are great.  But otherwise we nap together and he's so tender and sweet.  So recommend all you want ladies, but I'm just going to nod and ignore you.  :P

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Mommy Diary: 9 Months Old

Developments This Month:
  • Tooth #8
  • Pulling Up
  • Becoming a super great and fast crawler
  • Loving to stand and "walk"
  • Starting to sign back a little.  He is becoming good at getting your attention to communicate whatever he wants. 
2/3 of a year! GONE!!! It brings me to tears to even think about it! He has changed so much so quickly. Our sweet angel!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Mommy Diary: Week 39

Developments This Week:
  • Mr. Pulls-up-on-everything has to be watched like a hawk.  Because he keeps falling and knocking his head. I feel like an absolutely horrible mom.  Terrible.  No matter how carefully I watch him, that 5 seconds you turn to say anything to your husband, bam.  It's terrifying.
Coach is home this week (mostly, thanks soccer season. bahhumbug), so we get lots of fun errand time and play time.  We've also made a list of things to accomplish this week. We've gotten a grand total of 1 done.  Most are related to the bathroom remodel that has haunted us.  We took the light fixture down to replace it only to find it wasn't going to be that easy (of course).  So then the remaining paper removal, paint/texture, vanity hanging, all that junk--yeah.  I haven't even bought the other paint can because... well.... what's the point if we've still got to move the whole fixture box--aka figure out how to move it exactly 1.5" without having a stud to nail it to.  You can even see the punch where they initially started to put it then realized they'd framed out the bathroom off center. Luckily (for the builders) the previous owners were cheap and horrible decorators, so their nasty hollywood light hid this off-center box, but now that we're putting something in that looks like it doesn't live in the 1960's we've got to move it over so it doesn't look completely off-center over the 2 sinks and vanities.  WHY!

So that's whats going on here..... On the plus side Coach is home and we've getting lots of family time and Lloyd is as cute as ever.  

Friday, March 9, 2012

Project 52 | Week 10 | Planning

As a parent you want your children to have everything and not to worry about college tuition, your retirement, or should something happen to you.  Coach and I have life insurance policies but having Lloyd has kicked us into high gear in planning not just for our future and retirement, but his college and future children's futures as well.  We have trusts to set up; investments to move, shuffle, and change; new investment managers to handle our finances; guardianship's to discuss; and college to pay for.  Even if you don't have much money, you do not realize how much of a burden it can be on your children if you do not plan for the eventual: whether that be death or retirement.  We want to never have to ask our kids for money, yet we want to be able to sell our big house and buy a house on a small lake some day to retire on. We want to live on the water. I want to drink cocktails on the deck as my grandchildren cannonball into the water. Coach wants to drink beer on the riding lawnmower like his grandfather used to do.  Silly, but we want to be able to do these things at a reasonable retirement age. 

We've been dealing with my mother's estate for over a year now and the end is finally in sight.  The truly sad part about this whole thing is that she spent so much time and money having documents, trusts, and plans made so we wouldn't have any burden put on us in the event of her death.  Unfortunately, First Command Financial Services (and the wackadoodle herself Carolyn Gedelman) succeeded in making this whole process absolutely awful, time consuming, and difficult.  Thankfully, their accounts were settled last week and we received our checks in the mail. Almost exactly one year after we began the battle with them to get our investments and life insurance settlements.  This company "prides" itself on working with military families and it makes me seriously concerned for the families who utilize them and then need their accounts settled in the event of a death, but like us cannot get their money because they are absolutely incompetent at every level.  I usually try not to bash companies, but First Command as a whole has proven to be inept, deceitful, and (without a better word) rude through every step of this process. What if that family needed that money for food, housing, or medical bills? They cannot fight for a year with these idiots! It makes me sick.  We ended up even cashing out all our investments with them and paying penalizing taxes just to not deal with them ever again, that's how much it was worth it to us to not have them in our lives ever again. Disgusting.  And this was all done through our tax sheltering trusts.  

I do not want this to happen to my children.  So for simplicity's sake I have specific instructions, easy account access, and everything in one simple place.  I will talk to my kids about it and make sure they understand what will happen in the event of our death. It will not be a mystery.  They will be educated about our planning so that they aren't caught wide-eyed with all this information in addition to their grief.  My mother saved her whole life so we could go to whatever college we wanted without thinking about the cost, I want my children to have this luxury.  I also want to enjoy my retirement and old age. I don't think this is unreasonable.

And damn I'm going to enjoy that lakehouse with my sexy husband.... 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Mommy Diary: Week 38

Developments This Week:
  • Lloyd's crawling has gotten quicker and quicker.  The best is when Coach gets home and Lloyd hears him go "fe, fi, fo, fum, I smell the blood of a baby bum"--he books it out of whatever room we are in and to the door.  then starts giggling hysterically. It makes me so stinking happy to see my little boy greet his Daddy like that every day.
  • Pulling up.  The crib was dropped for the last time even though he hasn't done it in there yet, so far just on the laundry baskets.  
His schedule is still all wacked out every day.  A month ago he had a nap 2 hours after waking up, then around 1 in the afternoon, and another one around 4:30/5. Like clockwork.  I could set my watch by it.  Now? Totally depends on how good his sleep was the night before.  Which we've been adjusting too because of daylight savings coming up (aka every mom's worst nightmare).  I have been trying to get him on a nap schedule but so far it hasn't worked and there's lots of crying.  He's so dramatic.

His Uncle B left for Marine bootcamp this week and it's crazy to think that the next time he sees Lloyd he'll be a year old.  Coach's Mom has been struggling with him leaving and it rarely occurs to me on a normal day how unusual military life and expectations are for people who have no background in it and have been "civilians" their whole life.  Whereas I am having trouble thinking I'm going to be living a luxurious (aka no moving, no deployments, no crazy regulations, etc etc etc) civilian life.... forever.  It's not even that I though I would marry back into the military, I didn't care about that, I guess I just only know what it's like to have a family in that life. The thought that Lloyd will live in the same house, with the same friends, with all his family a fingertip away, is what boggles my mind.  It's so weird.  I mean he saw his grandparents 3 times the past weekend.  Crazy.  When it's not what you grew up with, it seems crazy to have the ability to call your family to watch your baby while you go to the doctor, or get a hair cut, or anything!  And now my sister and brother in law are days away from their PCS (the movers arrive next week, sad face)--ah life.

He's going to be 9 months old next week.  How does this even happen!!!  

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Project 52 | Week 9 | Luxury

Coach's mom watches Lloyd for a few hours every Friday.  It started about a month or so ago and I think it's about half her wanting dedicated Lloyd time every week, and the other half to help me out for a few hours.  But I'm pretty sure it's more 75% Lloyd time and 25% wanting to give me a break. haha.  Lloyd has some truly loving and amazing grandparents, and he loves them back an awful lot.  

So sometimes I go to the store by myself, take care of phone calls (last week all I did was chase down information for my mom's estate again, it never ends despite my sister doing a great job trying to take care of most of it), take a relaxing shower, or just take a nap.  This week I actually went to visit a friend who is going through some truly horrible stuff and then went and gone my nails painted. I hadn't had a pedicure since 2 days before Lloyd was born.  I talked to my sister and laughed a lot while getting rose pink on my little piggies.  I also got to read a magazine and a book (Council of Dads, so amazing) for a while in dead silence. 

No noise is a luxury too when you're used to baby chatter and classical music all day.  Oh the luxury!!  But I missed my little man and could help but swell with joy when he smiled big smiles and crawled towards me the second Coach and I walked through the door to pick him up and go to dinner.  Being a mom is a luxury when so many cannot.  But it doesn't make my few moments alone any less amazing when I'm able to steal them.