Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Hole of Guilt

Rant of the Week
They say no one is as good as handing out guilt as a mother. I think that is because for every ounce of guilt that mothers give to everyone else, they dump a pound on themselves. Every morning a mom gets up with the guilt shovel in her hand. Throughout the day, she scoop out a space for each drop of guilt. On a good day, there is just a little ankle deep hole for the day’s guilt to collect in. On a bad day, that hole is up over our head so we can just wallow in our guilt.

Well, last Friday I dug myself the Grand Canyon. Scott was in CA and the girls and I were having a good week. I had taken care of a few things with the rental houses and even gotten some of the yard work done at our own house, so that we wouldn’t waste the weekend doing chores. And since I was feeling guilty (dig a little) that Sarah hadn’t been outside to enjoy the nice weather; we went to the playground on Friday afternoon. I was rough housing with her on the swing and she knocked up against the swing’s chain (dig a little more). She started crying (dig faster). I see no blood and say “your fine – let’s play some more.” And we do. We played at the park for a while longer, headed home, and ended up playing at the neighbor’s for another hour.

After we eat a quick bite and it’s time for bath. As Sarah tips back her head to rinse her hair, I see that her front tooth is chipped (digging really fast).

“What happened to your tooth, Sarah?” (still digging)

“You did that too me at the playground, Momma.” (can’t dig fast enough)

“You mean that happened on the swing” (still digging)

“Yup, momma”

So now, not only had Sarah chipped her tooth, but it happened on my watch, and I was the one who actually caused the accident. I start trying to call her dentist at 6PM on a Friday, but that is futile. So I decide that I’ll call a nurse to get advice. And in our house, that means we are calling Mimi. So no I have to call Jan and tell her that her granddaughter’s tooth is chipped and I did it (keep on digging). Then as soon as I hang up with Jan, Scott calls to check in and I have to confess to him (keep on digging). And like there was a beacon telling everyone to call, Nana just happens to call too (I need a bigger shovel).

And so goes the evening. I just keep digging my hole deeper and deeper. By the time I go to bed, I can’t even see the top. We went to the dentist yesterday and confirmed that the chip is only cosmetic. Sarah THANKFULLY isn’t in any pain and is enjoying her new nickname, Snaggletooth.

Life in the Stroller Lane
Unfortunately, the dentist isn't the only doctor we have been visiting recently. The whole house has been in a vicious cycle of passing around some nasty germs. In the last four weeks, there have been 4 colds which led to 3 cases of stomach virus, 3 ear infections, 2 sinus infections, and 1 case of bronchitis. There have been 6 trips to the doctor and 8 prescriptions filled at CVS. But as of this moment, we all on the right side of our various illnesses and tremendously thankful that we have good health insurance.

Despite being sick, we have squeezed in some fun too. Sarah started swim lessons last week and just loves it. She isn't quite ready for the Olympics, but she is definitely on her way to a solid dog-paddle soon. Like most things, she has absolutely no fear. Jaley is into everything these days. Unlike Sarah, she likes to put everything in her mouth. Unfortunately, most of the things that she finds aren't edible. So I am furiously going through the house and baby-proofing all over again. Jaley is also incredible mobile. She is crawling and cruising everywhere. I blinked yesterday and she had crawled halfway to China.

Scott spent a lot of March on the road for work, but is in town for the next few weeks. He even took a day off this week when the girls were at Day Care and we spent day together. It is so nice for us to just speak with each other in full sentences. When the girls are around, we often only talk in 3 word bits before we are interrupted by a question or crisis.

And in those few moments when I am not playing Mom, I have been chasing down various repairs at our rental houses. We had new tenants move into one house, so there was general clean and fix, plus another house had some issues with the kitchen sink . I will have some tenants moving out in the early summer, but until then, I am just trying to maintain the status quo.

That is our life in the stroller lane. Lots of love.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Was it Ferber or the Benedryl?

Rant of the Week
True to my word, we started "Ferberizing" Jaley last weekend. And the only question is -- why didn't we try that sooner. It turns out that when she cried all Jaley needed was a few words of encouragement and she'd go back to sleep - that and a little Baby Benedryl for the first couple of nights didn't hurt either.

Before you are thinking ill thoughts because I am drugging my child, the Benedryl approach
was actually the pediatrician's suggestion. The doctor's words, however, were all the encouragement I needed.

Even though I flew solo last week, the girls and I all have colds, and the weather has been cold. I am feeling fully rested since sometime in 2005 (before I was pregnant). But it wasn't just Jaley that was leaving me feeling so sluggish. I didn't even realize how crappy I was feeling when my thyroid was out of whack. Now that both things seemed "fixed," I feel like a new woman.

But before I move on to the rest of life's little details, be prepared that I will probably be bitching again next week that one of the girl's isn't sleeping. It seems that until the teen years arrive, there is no guarantee that kids will sleep through the night. And by then there are much bigger problems to face.

Life In the Stroller Lane
With Scott out of town, I tried to keep the week as simple and as fun as possible. I made sure to do lots of fun things for Sarah - including several play dates and visits to two kids museums. And for me, I had my neighbor over with her two boys for an impromptu Wednesday night happy hour. The ladies made a good dent in a bottle of wine, the kids ate a pot of mac-n-cheese, and we were all full of smiles.

On Thursday my PC went on the fritz and it took me until today to get back online. I have no idea what happened. It was like a flash back to PC's in the early 90's when they periodically self destructed just to spite us humans. I wasted an entire day trying to get things running (mostly) and reconfigured (mostly) and am praying (fully) that it doesn't happen again.

Today, with Scott back in town, play time was over and I started in on the mound of laundry. I opened the dryer after the first load to find all our clothes polka dotted. I sent a black pen through the laundry and "restyled" an entire load of laundry. I tried the rubbing alcohol approach with some success, but there are a few things that will have to go out to pasture. I could blame it on Scott or Sarah, but that would be a lie and I don't want my nose growing any larger than it already is. It was my pen and my mistake. But those things happen and there is no reason for me to be too upset, especially since all of my clothes escaped unharmed (he, he).

As for the girls, despite having colds they are both good. Jaley is really mobile and I am really scared. She pulls up to standing on everything and is eyeing the stairs with excitement. Since I did all fun stuff with Sarah this week, she was extremely well behaved. Funny how much better she acts when you only do the things she wants to do.

That is our life in the stroller lane. Lots of love.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Get the Girls to Sleep and Now What

Rant of the Week
For the first time in 7 months, both Jaley and Sarah were on their way to sleeping through the night. Jaley has definitely been the long lag on sleeping, sleeping through only about 7 times since she was born. But on those very rare nights, it was as if a torch were handed off between the sisters and Sarah stepped in for her little sister and up at all hours of the night.

And then, FINALLY last Thursday -- both girls were nestled all snug in their beds, while mommy and daddy rested their heads. When down on the floor there arose such a clatter, we turned on the lights to see what was the matter. And despite all the protests and swears that we said, one of our cats threw up on the bed...

In that moment at 4:30AM our chance at a full night of sleep came crashing down. We had a mess to clean up and linens to change. And if that weren't enough our ranting and raving, woke up the girls, so now no one had sugar plums dancing in their heads.

So here we are into Jaley's eighth month without a single full-night of sleep recorded yet. We are even ready to start Ferberizing Jaley. It sounds like torture and it is (for the parents). Through a rigid schedule and lots of rules, the parent lets the baby "cry it out" in order for the child to learn how to self soothe and sleep through the night. As many of you know, I am about the worst when it comes to listening to a baby cry, so I think I will by earplugs first. The whole process is supposed to take 1-2 weeks. I'll be sure to let you know how it goes.

Tales from Stroller Lane
So what else is new here...

Scott is in town, which is always nice. The trees are starting to bloom and the weather is getting beautiful. Though my daffodils seem to have forgotten to bloom. I have all the green stems, just no flowers. Gardener extraordinaire, I am not.

I personally am counting every calorie. I was within sight of my pre-Jaley waist line and then my thyroid got better and I packed on 5 pounds in a week. Yes, I have been watching what I eat and working out for months to try and loose the last few baby pounds, but the truth is for the past two months I have had a little helper. My thyroid was on the fritz and working too hard. It is a pretty common post-partum thing especially if you have had prior thyroid issues (like I have). There are a few downsides, like a racing heart, jittery hands, and irritability. Well, irritability may be an upside, since I can be bitchy and have a doctor's note as an excuse. And there are a few other upsides ,like a revved up metabolism and always being warm despite weather in the 20's. Thankfully, these thyroid episodes only last about two months. But without my little metabolism helper, I am truly on my own to lose the last few "baby" pounds. So rice cakes and Slim Fast - here I come.

And then there is what you really read this for - updates on the girls. Sarah is doing great. We started a sticker chart for good-deeds and have had a lot less of the "thrashing threes." She talks non-stop and has a vocabulary that astounds me and not always in a good way. Let's just say that on top of some impressive three-syllable words, like stupendous, wonderful, and amazing - she has picked up a few one-syllable words of the four letter variety. The worst part about the four letter words is how accurately she uses them. And though I am not proud, I will admit she definitely learned them from me - but my motto is it is better to swear than to swing. Plus Scott is going to start me on a sticker chart too. Maybe I'll do better with Jaley.

As for Jaley, she turned 7-months on Tuesday and with in 24 hours had learned how to go from her belly to crawling, from crawling to sitting, and from sitting to pulling up on the furniture. I found her at 3AM almost completely over the rail of her crib - despite the fact that we had lowered it one level last week. So yesterday, we dropped her crib all the way down and are hoping that keeps her contained for a bit longer. Regardless of the near crib diving event, we are very proud of Jaley and what a "big girl" she is becoming.

Those are our tales from Stroller Lane. Lots of Love to each of you.