Thursday

A Spoon Full of Sugar

If only Mary Poppins's remedy could be applied to infants. Unfortunately, the medicine has to go down my baby's tiny little throat without any sweetness to make the experience easier.

CeCe had an ear infection last week and was prescribed an antibiotic. It seems to have cleared everything up although there was the side effect of diarrhea so forceful it defies gravity and finds it's way up my baby's back. It's like poo ivy that crawls up and around her armpits.

We struggled the first few days with the medicine dropper, accidentally gagging the baby and finding more of the medicine in the crease of her neck fat than actually in her mouth. Then I remembered a handy little doo-dad in our baby first-aid kid:

For older kids we turn medicine into grape suckers and cherry ice-pops. For babies, replicate a bottle or paci. Worked like a charm. Ce sucked down her medicine like it was bubble-gum-colored breastmilk.

P.S. Here is an article about ear infections from the American Academy of Pediatrics website. They are far more common in kids than I realized.

Sunday

Mommy-dating

Remember the feeling of a first date? You may remember the butterflies, the excitement about meeting your potential soul mate, listening to "Last Dance" by Donna Summer as you fix your hair and try on your fourteenth outfit before heading out the door.

Or you may remember the stress of choosing a restaurant, the anxiety of not knowing what to say, the worry that the guy will turn out to be a prematurely balding mama's boy with bad hygiene and a striking resemblance to someone you saw on "To Catch a Predator."

I thought the feelings of first dates were over once I met Matt, but being a Mama opened up a whole new can of worms. I need mom-friends.

Making friends is something I haven't had to make an actual effort to do since elementary school. And then it was as simple as "I'll trade you half a peanut butter sandwich for one of your Twinkies." Done deal. Friendship accomplished.

The friendships I have now just developed naturally. But as amazing as my friends are, I sometimes wish I had a fellow mother in my age range who could empathize and not just sympathize with what I'm talking about. 

While my 4-year-old nephew was visiting last week I took him to the play area at Fayette Mall. He struck up a game of "Superheroes" with a boy his age, who happened to have a little sister the same age as CeCe. That other mom and I watched the boys play and commiserated over the erratic sizing of baby clothes and early signs of teething. It was great to have someone to say, "I know, that happens to me all the time!" 

Despite our "perfect for each other" vibe, that mom and I parted ways with no more than a "Good luck, I'll see you -- Jacob put your shoe back on and sit down in the stroller!" 

Finding a play date partner is like picking up a stranger at a bar, only the "here" in "Come here often?" refers to a swing set or a sandbox. I have a new respect for guys who have the guts to ask a girl for her phone number. It can be so awkward and you risk looking very creepy if done the wrong way. It is discouraging to hear someone say "No thanks," to your suggestion of getting together sometime.

I realized that one key to meeting other moms was to already have an older kid. And since my nephew lives in another city, I can't use him for my own selfish means that often. I've looked into Mommy & Me classes in Lexington, but my budget can't handle what many of those bonding hours cost. 

So here is my plea to you, readers. How did you meet other mom-friends? What were your tricks or hot spots for reeling in someone for a play date?

I'm not looking for the love of my life here. Just someone to share those lonely afternoons with. Maybe a cup of coffee. A tandem stroller ride in the park. We'll see where it goes from there.


Happy Easter

Happy Easter everyone!

Look what the Easter Bunny brought me:

CeCe's basket is from Pottery Barn Kids, it's a little large but that's just all the more room for jelly beans and chocolate eggs.
I hope everyone has an enjoyable Easter Sunday.

Monday

A Mother's Prayer

I came across this the other day courtesy of a Facebook post and had to share. As mothers we all fear for what our daughters will face as they grow up. Thankfully we have Tina Fey to offer a little humor to assuage that fear. Here is "A Mother's Prayer for Its Child." 

"First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches.
May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty.
When the Crystal Meth is offered, may she remember the parents who cut her grapes in half And stick with Beer.
Guide her, protect her when crossing the street, stepping onto boats, swimming in the ocean, swimming in pools, walking near pools, standing on the subway platform, crossing 86th Street, stepping off of boats, using mall restrooms, getting on and off escalators, driving on country roads while arguing, leaning on large windows, walking in parking lots, riding Ferris wheels, roller-coasters, log flumes, or anything called “Hell Drop,” “Tower of Torture,” or “The Death Spiral Rock ‘N Zero G Roll featuring Aerosmith,” and standing on any kind of balcony ever, anywhere, at any age.
Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes And not have to wear high heels. What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit.
May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers.
Grant her a Rough Patch from twelve to seventeen. Let her draw horses and be interested in Barbies for much too long, For childhood is short – a Tiger Flower blooming Magenta for one day – And adulthood is long and dry-humping in cars will wait.
O Lord, break the Internet forever, that she may be spared the misspelled invective of her peers And the online marketing campaign for Rape Hostel V: Girls Just Wanna Get Stabbed.
And when she one day turns on me and calls me a Bitch in front of Hollister, Give me the strength, Lord, to yank her directly into a cab in front of her friends, For I will not have that Shit. I will not have it.
And should she choose to be a Mother one day, be my eyes, Lord, that I may see her, lying on a blanket on the floor at 4:50 A.M., all-at-once exhausted, bored, and in love with the little creature whose poop is leaking up its back. “My mother did this for me once,”she will realize as she cleans feces off her baby’s neck. “My mother did this for me.” And the delayed gratitude will wash over her as it does each generation and she will make a Mental Note to call me. And she will forget. But I’ll know, because I peeped it with Your God eyes.
Amen."
-by Tina Fey
Amen indeed, sister.

Tuesday

Raise Your Glass

Think your days of partying hard are behind you once you've had a baby? Because they totally are.

Not to be a Debbie Downer, but this past weekend I learned the hard way that my brain and my body can no longer handle the college lifestyle I was once so accustomed to. I will gladly trade in my shot glass for a sippy cup.

For my birthday, my parents agreed to watch CeCe for the night while Matt and I went out to celebrate. Since last year I spent my birthday announcing that I was pregnant and sipping Sprite, I thought I was going to make up for some long lost partying time. 

I saved up frozen milk for weeks so I could have more than one drink to celebrate turning 23. I had my designated driver, and my MilkScreen strips to test for alcohol in my milk the next day. We didn't want to get the baby second-hand hammered.

Of course after more than a year of sobriety, two drinks was enough to get me giggly. 

Waking up with a newborn can be so exhausting it often feels like you have a hangover, just without the fun the night before. I decided to add an actual hangover to the situation. You have never regretted that third margarita more than when you are trying to console a crying baby the next day.

I'm not saying being a mom isn't fun. In fact, motherhood is like attending a kegger every day. Babies are very similar to drunk people. They both garble their words, can't stand up without support, throw up on themselves, cry for no reason and occasionally wet their pants. 

But drunk people eventually sober up, and with enough water and McDonald's breakfast sandwiches they can ease their discomfort. Usually. 

For the entire next day I was convinced my bones would never stop aching. My headache was so fierce it hurt to blink. I could not believe I used to go out every weekend. I kept asking Matt how we managed to function on Sundays back in college. 

All I wanted was to feel better so I could be 100 percent for my baby again. It's a scary feeling to think you might be too slow to react to your child's needs. Not to mention the stench of a dirty diaper is magnified by ten million when you are hungover.

I desperately wanted to snap out of my zombie state, not just so I would stop feeling like I had been hit by a train, but so CeCe could have her happy, normally-functioning Mommy back.

I am sincerely grateful for Matt and all our friends who allowed me to kick off my shoes, bought me a drink and let me act a little silly. It was a good time, but I don't intend on repeating it any time soon. If I want to party, I'll just hang out with some babies for now. Those kids now how to throw down.

CeCe's big girl seat

It's a funny-sounding name, a funny-looking product and a fun time for the babe. My baby-gear pick this week is definitely our new Bumbo Seat:


CeCe's Bumbo baby-seat let's her sit upright so she can feel like she is part of the party. She has a great view of her new favorite toys (her feet) and exercises that awesome head control.

You'll have to wait until your little one has good head and neck control to use it, but I definitely wish I had known about the Bumbo when I was going trigger-happy with my registry scanner gun.

I looked online and in-store and the seats all seemed to be the same price, about $40. I think we will get out money's worth on this one.

It's taken me a while to quit calling it a "Bumpo" seat, and a fellow mom told me her dad referred to it as the "Bimbo." Whatever you want to call it, I love it.

Saturday

Bonk Goes the Baby

It was inevitable.

I knew I could only avoid it for so long before that dreaded Mommy rite of passage found me. And it found me when I was trying to get CeCe out of her carseat.

I bonked the baby's head.

I'm not saying I caused a concussion, but in that brief moment between the "bonk" and the "WAAAAA" I suddenly understood all those super protective moms I saw researching the practicality of buying a toddler-sized plastic bubble.

CeCe recovered quickly and probably forgot it even happened by the time we reached the front door. But that event replayed in my mind for days. How could I be so careless? What a terrible mother I was for misjudging the distance between the roof of the car and her head. But as I shared my tale of woe I learned that amazingly, I was not the first person to accidentally bonk their baby on the head.

That cautionary tale about a baby flipping off the changing table has happened to many. It's not just an urban legend used by changing table manufacturers to sell us the newest model with a rock climbing harness to keep your baby safe from a fall.

Our pediatrician told us the quickest way to get your baby to roll over is to put him on the edge of the bed and look away. He was joking. I think. I hope.

The point is, your child is going to get hurt at some point. And whether you blame yourself, the changing table manufacturer or another child at daycare, it won't be easy to witness.

Mentally preparing yourself to handle your child's pain is in itself a painful task. There are the vaccinations that make you want to tackle the nurse. The teeth that are going to cause endless crying as they cut through your baby's gums. The falls that are going to occur once the goal is set on walking.

Not to mention way down the line, broken bones and (God help us all) broken hearts.

After considering the implications of this first bump, I realized that my daughter constantly has scratches on her face. I think she is really an X-Men baby and her mutant power is the ability to regrow razor sharp fingernails overnight. But I'm learning to accept that those little red lines and the occasional bump on the noggin are just a part of life. She seems to handle the pain just fine. Now mommy just has to follow suit.