Thursday

Pregnancy and those Pearly Whites

Spitting blood is never a good sign. That is an across-the-board rule. I don't just mean if you're drooling red from taking a left hook to the jaw. Because while most pregnant women do not engage in physical combat, many of us end up with more than just toothpaste in the sink after we rinse.

I had never heard of pregnancy gingivitis until last week when I took a trip to the dentist. I knew my gums had been bleeding when I brushed my teeth ever since my first trimester, but I thought I was just being too aggressive in my oral hygiene practices.

Here is a WebMD article about pregnancy gingivitis and how common it is. Check it out even if you have already had your baby, because my kiddo is almost a year old and I am still suffering from the symptoms.

In fact, in approximately three hours I will be on my way to the dentist to have my last remaining wisdom tooth removed. It wasn't causing any problems ... except the pregnancy gingivitis had caused an infection to form around it. Ain't life grand?

For the next few days I will be probably be swiping CeCe's baby food for dinner, but once my mouth is healed, you can bet your bottom dollar this gal is going to become an avid flosser.

Tuesday

Keep Your Pants On.

Boot cut, trousers, skinny jeans and jeggings- when shopping for pants, the possibilities for style and comfort are vast. But as a mom, I have learned that my baby's pants exist mainly to be a poop-to-floor shield.

Last night we were playing with the CeCe-Bear in our carpeted living room, the usual games of "Peek-a-boo," "I'm Gonna Catch You!" and "Get That Out of Your Mouth." In her efforts to walk, Ce's pants seemed to be quite the obstacle. Because her belly wears 12 month clothes, but her legs are only 9 months long according to Carter's standards, we have an excess of fabric that tends to trip the baby.

My solution was to just remove the pants and let the child run free. Her solution was to immediately have a poo-splosion, but do so discreetly and steathily.

I was unaware my child's diaper had sprung a leak until I noticed a splotch on the floor. I used my stand-by cleaning technique of swiping my foot against the spot to determine texture, stickiness, and how many paper towels I would need.

"Matt. Is this poop? Matt. This is poop."

Because CeCe takes about six steps before falling on her behind, I looked around to discover a trail of poo across the living room. Smear of brown ... two feet of clean ... smear of poo ... two feet of clean ... I was able to chart her path around the room and must say she is getting very good at making turns.

Matt opted to clean the baby while I took care of the carpet. (Well first I hopped into the bathroom on one foot to clean my soiled sole.) Just another glamorous parenting moment in action.

I love this smile on my little stinker:

Friday

Not-So-Sweet Dreams ...

I hate scary movies. I can't even watch the previews for horror flicks without becoming convinced there is a serial killer hiding in my shower at that exact moment. I won't even let Matt watch "Ghost Hunters" while I am in the room.

I certainly don't let my daughter see images of evil clowns, shadowy figures that lurk or large amounts of blood splatter. But I still couldn't protect her from the boogie man last night.

Sweet CeCe wakes up during the night to toss and turn, and occasionally fuss. I thought nothing of it when I heard her rolling around in her crib at 1 a.m. Until the crying began. This was not "I'm cranky" crying. It wasn't even "OUCH MY TEETH HURT!" crying. It was can't-catch-your-breathe, shaking hands, tears streaming, wailing, terrified crying. Something scared my baby, and it broke my heart.

I picked her up and her tiny arms gripped my neck so tight it rivaled a professional wrestler's signature headlock. To feel my baby's body shaking with panic was something I never wanted to experience. I wanted to chase down and drop kick every shadow on the wall that might have scared her into this state.

I turned on a third nightlight and rocked my CeCe Bear far past when the tears stopped. I held her in a constant squeeze, and quietly sang one thousand choruses of "Nothing can hurt yooooooou, my baby giiiiiiiirl."

Ce slipped off to dreamland and woke up no worse for the wear. I, on the other hand, am exhausted and slightly traumatized by my baby's trauma. My movie-induced nightmares were nothing compared to that. 

Here is hoping CeCe can sleep peacefully tonight:



Tuesday

Don't Say It!

Certain words exist in the English language that you hope your child never learns.

Some might be of the four-letter variety. No one wants to envision that pretty, gummy little mouth ever dropping an F-bomb.

But for me, there are two words I wish I could keep CeCe from ever learning. "Mine," and "No."

Her daycare worker claimed she said "Mine" the other day. I'm pretty sure she was just saying "Hi" and had some food in her mouth. We haven't heard it since, so maybe we have a few more weeks (years? Hopefully?)

Now I certainly want her to understand these words. I just don't want her to have the ability to repeat them. She currently says "Hi" and "Bye," and if we could slip "Mama" and "Daddy" into the mix then we can stop.

Because I know what happens when a baby learns how to say "No." This will be the age when Matt and I have serious discussions about discipline methods.

I know a toddler can be defiant without knowing the word "No," and any child can be selfish whether they say "Mine" or not. But if there was ever a time when a baby looked like a monster, it is when they get on a No kick.

I love my nephew to death, but when that kid starts a chorus of No's and "That's Mine!" then trouble shortly follows. That music is the intro to a tantrum.

So tell me moms, any other words we wish we could erase from our children's vocabulary?

I hope this pretty little mouth stays clean:

Monday

Body Breakdown

I've been trying to channel my inner-Maria Von Trapp lately, but am having a hard time doing so. No, I am not adopting seven Austrian children, joining a convent or making CeCe some stylish playclothes out of hideous curtains (although that would be a handy talent.)

I'm talking about Ms. Julie Andrews' wonderful rendition of "I Have Confidence" from The Sound of Music. An uplifting little ditty, and much needed since motherhood can be a major mood-buster.

Even months after your baby is sleeping through the night and you manage the time and energy to shower, fix your face and find coordinating shoes, pre-baby confidence can be lacking. No matter how much baby weight I lose, I still can't come to terms with how some things just don't go back after birth.

Breastfeeding boobs were the bomb. But now when CeCe and I sing "Do your ears hang low," I feel I should be substituting another body part in the chorus.

The scale claims I am shrinking, but that nice line of pudge that sits atop my jeans button refuses to agree.

Even the parts no one can see make a new mom self-conscious. I'm convinced that the stiches I had after labor left mammoth scars on my lady parts. Instead of cute little undies that say "Love" or "Sexy" I need a pair that reads "Hot Mess" or "Wrecked Va-jay-jay."

My usual female insecurities have blossomed lately into an giant, ugly flower. Even if there is a heavier, only quasi-attractive girl around me, she might as well be a super model. Because she has not had a baby and, therefore, has the advantage.

I know that CeCe doesn't care what I weigh, how my body looks or if even my sweatpants give me a muffin top. A baby's love is truly blind to those things, and my confidence as a mom is through the roof. But as a girl- I'm feeling a little doe, ray, me, fah, so-so.

Thursday

Suck It Up

Being sick sucks. Being sick as a mom, sucks on a whole new level of suckiness.

The last few days have been extremely unpleasant for my body. I won't go in to details, but let's just say my body must be severely angry with me and is revolting in the form of pain and infection.

I remember the good old days, when being sick meant no school, my mom bringing me soup or ice cream while I burrowed under her electric blanket and watching a variety of talk shows and daytime made-for-TV movies.

Even in college, being sick meant dragging my butt to class if necessary, but just sleeping it off later. But as a mom, being sick means one thing. Nothing changes. You still have to do everything you ordinarily need to do- you just feel like crap while doing it.

CeCe's poop-stained pants do not care that I am ill. The dishes do not thoughtfully clean themselves when I am under the weather. My bosses do not shut down operations until I am well enough to return to work 100 percent.

I get as much help from Matt as I can, but as fate would have it- we both were sick at the same time. I must have kicked a puppy in another life, because if this is my karma, it ain't so good.

This past week I learned a valuable lesson: I need to take vitamins and wash my hands more often. Because there are many things we can't afford (in time or money), and one of those is to be sick as parents.

Luckily, this little girl remains healthy:

Friday

Are they Safe?

SIDS is the scariest acronym in all of parenthood.

As parents, we can take certain measures to reduce the risk of SIDS, but should those measures be a personal choice or regulated for us?

Chicago recently became the first city in the country to ban the sale of crib bumper pads. Check out the Tribune article about the ordinance for details.

I used a bumper pad for my daughter (still do in fact.) Did I sign a death wish for her in doing so? Or is Chicago on the right track? What do you think, moms?

Did you use bumper pads? What helped you make that decision?

I'd love to hear your responses. Please feel free to comment, or if you wish send me an email at kathrynrsaltz@gmail.com.

Thursday

She's a Scream ...

It's amazing how so few syllables can express so much.

CeCe is definitely a child who can express her wants and needs (and complaints.)

So far she has mastered "ba," "ra," and "AAAAEEEEHHHH!"

Hear for yourself:


Monday

The Nose Knows

"Don't stick your finger in that!"

I've been using this phrase much more than I care to lately with the CeCe-Bear. She is 10 months old now, and her little hands are far too adventurous for my own good.

She has discovered that hot food can burn, squishy things are fun, doors can pinch fingers, and the joy of her own body. Beyond the awkward grabbing during diaper changes, I am less than thrilled about CeCe finding her nose, and learning how nostrils are the perfect fit for tiny fingers.

Dinner time seems to be the ideal nose-picking hour in our house. Ce will usually wait until her finger is nicely lubricated with some squash or applesauce, then very slowly insert her index finger one millimeter at a time into her own nose.

This is probably normal for a lot of kids (I hope), but what creeps me out is how CeCe makes eye contact while she is doing this. She knows I want to stop her, so it's like a test to see how far I will let her force her digit into her face. What a gross way to be defiant.

But it backfired. This weekend I just let her go for the gold, and she ended up with a stream of pureed veggies making their way back out of her nose (and a very confused look on her face.) The organic snot was not pleasant for her, nor was the sight for me.

This will hopefully be a phase and we will soon move on to our next gross baby habit. I've never heard of an adult who likes to snort mashed bananas, so we should be fine.