Saturday, March 29, 2008

Cara Mama - I Don't Need No Stinking Nap

Cara mama,

I don't know why you keep insisting I need to take two naps. Some days, one nap is all I want. I don't think I need two naps every day. Sometimes, I'm just not tired when you say it's time for my nap. I'm not even tired when you try me again later. Sometimes, I'm not tired all morning! And other times, I'm not tired all afternoon!

You just can't make me go to sleep when I'm not tired. I can't just close my eyes and drift off, like you suggest. This body of mine does not work that way. No amount of bottles, nursing, rocking or walking is going to do it.

I usually* feel fine for most of the day with just one nap. I think I'm ready for just one nap a day... most days. The problem is, I don't know which days I might still need two naps unless you try to put me down for both naps. I know it's confusing and frustrating for you, but it's even more so for me!

Besides, I'm sleeping really well at night again. Isn't that enough?

Ti amo,
Pumpkin

p.s. Please pass this letter on to Grandma for the days when I'm at her house all day.

*Usually = 50/50 these days.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Cara Bambina - You Are My Baby

Cara mia bambina,

I look at you every now and then and just can't get over that you are my and your daddy's baby. You really are our daughter. It's just amazing to me that you were created from my genetic material combined with the love of my life's genetic material... Life created where there was none before.

And you've grown from a little lump of fussiness into a little person. You are this bit of a being, with needs and wants and a personality and the most beautiful laugh I've ever heard. I look down at you in my arms, and I just am so filled with love. Overfilled with love.

The most often heard phrase in our house from your daddy and me is "I just love her so much." The miracle that you are has just been amazing to your dad and me.

This first year of your life has been difficult for us all, but I see how it was all worth it. I always knew it would be worth it, and I have seen the shining moments between the fussy periods. And these moments lately have been the most shining. Now more than ever, I see the beauty of having children--and even more importantly, having you.

You are my little girl, and it is amazing and wonderous. You are my little girl, and I now I understand the depths of a mother's love for her child. I have a feeling that it will only grow, and I'm ready for every incredible moment of it.

Ti amo con tutti cuore,
Mama

Thursday, March 27, 2008

At Least We Support Each Other

In the evenings, Londo and I switch off who is going to feed the Pumpkin and who is going to give her the bath and get her ready for bed (I then nurse her to sleep, if I can). The other evening, Londo came home after leaving work late and being in a bunch of traffic, so I told him to do whichever would be easier for him. He said he'd rather feed her than kneel down by the tub.

What we didn't realize was that this night the Pumpkin was going to be a grumpy and picky eater (it happens). As she was throwing the food on the floor, banging her highchair tray, whining the whole time and not eating any number of things that Londo offered, here is a snippet of the conversation he and I had across the dinner table:

caramama (snarkily): Boy, am I glad you picked feeding her!
Londo: Yeah, thanks for your sympathy. I hope she poops in the tub for you.
caramama: haha

For the record, I finished feeding her when he got too frustrated and then I also gave her the bath! And Londo did all the dishes that had piled up in the sink while I put her to bed.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Tourists, Nerds and Kids

Having you all been wondering about my March book for the TBR Challenge? You all thought I wasn't keeping up, didn't you? You thought that I wouldn't meet my March challenge because of how busy I've been, right?

Well, I'll have you all know that I did indeed finish my March book, Saving Fish from Drowning by Amy Tan. The book was really good. It was very different from her other works, but really well done. At first, I had a hard time following all the different characters and I was surprised that some of her normal themes were not in the book, but after I started getting into it I really enjoyed it.

The political commentary on Myanmar/Burma was well said, as was her look at how obnoxious tourists can be when visiting other countries. As much as the tourists she wrote about annoyed me, I still found myself rooting for them. That takes good writing, because usually if I don't really like any characters in the book, I don't get into what happens to them. In this book, I did. Although I did want to kick some of the characters in the butt and yell at them sometimes... Okay, frequently! But not enough to get frustrated and put down the book. Definitely a good read.

I finished the book last week, and over the weekend I read The Nerd Who Loved Me, by Vicki Lewis Thompson. While I have really liked the other two Nerd books by Thompson that I've read (Talk Nerdy to Me and Nerds Like It Hot), I found this one disappointing. You know how you are taught in writing to not just say it but show it? This book didn't show anything, but just told the reader. The hero was supposed to be so smart, but he never did anything smart other than play chess with a 4 year old. I also didn't find some of the romance part all that realistic (five years without sex and she is able to jump right into a two-day marathon? I know she's a dancer, but come on). And the hero's reason for not wanting to out with the Vegas showgirl in the first place wasn't really explained or fleshed out. The plot itself was okay and the characters fine, but there were just too many things that just didn't have any substance.

Yesterday, I started one of my TBR Challenge alternates, a book I've been really excited about reading: How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk, by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. I've heard great things about this book from many, many people. I bought the book when the Pumpkin was only a couple months old. I was on maternity leave and would meet up with some other moms who had March babies. I went to the book store with one of the moms, who happens to be a child psychologist. When we were perusing the parenting section, she recommended this book. Since that time, I've heard one good thing after another.

It is apparently in a similar vein as Playful Parenting, by Lawrence Cohen, a book that really spoke to me with its thoughts grounded in child psychology and great ideas that really make sense for dealing with children. I recommend Playful Parenting to everyone with kids! I have a feeling I will soon be recommending How To Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk to everyone, too.

So I may not be keeping up with my yoga or blogging, but I am reading! If I do nothing else for myself, I will continue to read. And lucky you, you get to hear all about it!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Cute Stories About the Pumpkin

Oh my goodness... I miss ALL those things too! And I take mine back. What I miss the MOST is being able to have sex with my husband anytime, anywhere. Someday, we'll have morning sex again. Someday...

Anywho...

Thanks for all your well-wishing for the Pumpkin. She seems to be fine except a runny nose, and the snot is clear. She was in a great mood all day yesterday, except when we had to wipe her nose. So we are thinking she's not really sick. And last night (I know I'm jinxing it), she slept straight through until just after 6:00!! It was great! So she's back at my mom's today.

I think I'm going to counter-balance the recent posts on how hard having a baby can be and what I/we miss with some cute little stories about the Pumpkin's latest achievements. I really would go through it all again and give up all those things, because she is the most wonderful thing that's ever happened to me.

But let me start with a scary story about a big realization I had... it's very frightening!!

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In church on Easter Sunday, we sat in the back row to be near the door close to the nursery/daycare. Right in front of us was a family with a 2 year old and a 2 month old. 2 months old. He still had a bit of that newborn look. He was sooooo small and beautiful. And...

I get it. I get how seeing a little bitty baby makes you want another. I see how you can remember how tough those times were, but still feel the draw to want one, the urge to hold one and even make another one of your own. I used to see babies and just think, yeah they are cute, but they are more fun when they are older. Seeing that 2 month old... I just get it.

And that is sooooo scary!

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The Pumpkin has had a language explosion lately. She keeps picking up on all sorts of words, repeating things we say and saying them again later. Some examples:

-When she hands you something, she says "ahn koo" (thank you).
-When she sees the dog, not only does she say "dahdee" (doggie) and sometimes pat her leg (sign language for dog), but she will often say "gah gahr" (good girl).
-When she sees any lion, she goes "arrrr" (roar) without any prompting. She also does the "brrr" noises for elephants with her arm raised by her face (for the trunk) without prompting.
-When I read her Good Night, Gorilla (we love this book), she does the animals noises for a bunch of them when I turn the page. For gorilla, she goes "oo oo" and bounces up and down.

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She can follow some simple directions. I can ask her where her toy bird is and tell her to bring it to me, and she will look around, find it, go get it and bring it over to me, saying "bur" (bird).

Yesterday morning, we did this, and after she brought it to me I tossed it in a basket on the other side of the room. When I asked her a little while later where the bird was, she went over to where she had found it earlier. It had been in front of her dresser. It was no longer there, but she got down on her hands and knees and peered under the dresser!!! She had never done anything like that before!

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Here's another story from yesterday. To try to distract her so I could make her breakfast, I put on the Baby Signing Time DVD, which sometimes kind of holds her attention for 5 or 10 minutes. To start her off, I sat on the floor with her in my lap. I did the signs along with the DVD, and this time I even moved her hands to some of the signs, like for "eat" (I've also used the sign for eat for months now).

Later, when we were reading and playing with books, she handed me The Very Hungry Caterpiller. I said something like, "Wow, look at all the food he is eating." She looked up at me and said "eet" while signing eat! The first time she's said and signed it!

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And my favorite thing lately... The Pumpkin will toddle up to me or Londo where ever we are, hand us a book saying "boh" and then climb into our laps, turn around, and sit down so we can read her a book. This is the most precious thing ever!

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It's obvious to those around her regularly that she's made another developmental leap forward. She is doing things that she simply wasn't capable of understanding before. It's just amazing to me how much she's learned in the past year. She's like a little person now. My heart just swells with love and pride.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Question of the Week - What Do You Miss?

The Pumpkin has got a cold, so I'm staying home with her this morning. Londo hopes to relief me around noon so I can get into work for a meeting and to do some things I need to get done.

It was a rough night for all of us, because she couldn't breath very well lying down. This morning, she was pretty fussy, but she's already doing a lot better. She actually ate a very big breakfast and watching the dog out the window now. The worst has been trying to wipe her nose, but the trick using a wet wipe has helped a lot.

But on to the Question of the Week... Last night, as I desperately tried to catch up on some blogs, I read Jezer's post about finally getting to do one of her favorite hobbies (gardening). It got me wondering.

Question of the Week:
What is something you miss doing since having kids or in other ways being to busy? And sleep doesn't count, cause I think everyone would say that. ;-)

For me, it's probably going to the movies. I'm able to make time to read and watch some TV. I'm able to do some writing and spend time with my husband. But we used to go out to the movies pretty often, which we barely do at all now. I miss that a lot.

How about you?