Friday, August 1, 2008

Hugs and Kisses

I've been really thinking deeply into a few things, like parenthood and blogging. I have these deep, thoughtful post all written--in my head. I want to write them out and hit Publish Post, but it's Friday... and... well... it's Friday!

How about I save the thoughtful posts for next week and instead tell you some more cute Pumpkin stories?

Since the Pumpkin was just a wee little babe, we have been trying to get her to give us kisses. She went through one all-to-brief stage where she would give a kiss when asked, but usually she's not that interested. She'll let us kiss her, but generally doesn't want to kiss back. We'd take any kiss, even those open-mouth, drool dribbling out kisses that she's best at. But no, she is stingy with the kisses.

Instead, she LOVES hugs. If fact, if you ask her, "Can I have a kiss?" She will often counter with, "Hugck?" (That's how she pronounces it, with a "ck" sound at the end.) And we oblige, because who would turn down a sweet, full-bodied, head-on-shoulder hug from this adorable little girl? No one, that's who. She also instigates a lot of hugs on her own, which we respond to every time. Also, I gave up on asking for a goodnight kiss which was a nightly struggle and instead I ask her for a good night hug, which she happily turns and gives me.

But she does not give out many kisses.

In order to try to entice her to give us a kiss when we want one, months ago we started going, "Mmmm... mmmmm... mmmm... mwah!" We thought it would be a fun game that would get her to give kisses. She loves the game, and makes the "Mmmmm" noised and we come running for kisses, but she almost always turns her head just as you get there to give her a kiss. So much for that. But at least she associates the "Mmmm" and "Mwah" with kisses. It's a start.

The other day, I was in the kitchen and she was in the family room toddling around. I watched as she toddled up to the dog who was lying on her stomach on the floor with her head up watching the Pumpkin. The Pumpkin went right up to her face, put a hand on each cheek and went, "Mwah!" right on the dog's mouth! I could not believe it! (Londo later told me he'd been teaching her this, but I had no idea.) And then I was laughing too hard to get the camera for a repeat performance. Of course, the dog licked her right in the mouth, she giggled and then toddled back off to something else.

Also for months and months, we've been blowing kisses to the baby when we leave as well as saying "bye bye", and she's learned to blow kisses back and say "bye" back. It's really cute. The other day, she put a little bag she has over her shoulder, started heading toward the babygate that leads to the hall to the front door, and said "bye." I was looking at her all surprised, and then she put her hand to her mouth and blew me a kiss, "Mwah!"

It was hysterical! Whenever any of us (Londo, the nanny, me) leave the house, this is exactly what we do. Put our computer bags or purses (or both in my case) over our shoulders, head that direction, say bye and blow a kiss. She had it down perfect!

So apparently kissing the dog and blowing kisses are fine activities. But still only rarely does she give kisses to her parents. But the hugs? They are constant and always appreciated. And I'll take what I can get!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Bonus Points

If I read your blog, I like you or what you have to say or the way you write or whatever. I'm enjoying what I read, or I wouldn't be there. (On the flip side, if I'm not reading your blog is probably because I can barely keep up with my Google Reader and got overwhelmed trying to read everything. It's not you, I promise!)

But I've decided to play a little game really for my own amusement.

I'm now going to be giving out bonus points for references that I find particularly good. I will freely admit they are not handed out on any sort of unbiased scale. I generally am amused by 80s pop culture references, sci-fi references, science references, philosphy references and whatever else I think is funny.

I tend to pepper my IRL conversations with these types of reference, and although not everyone gets them, I find a lot of humor when other people do the references or at least get mine. Londo does the same. It's fun for us.

So if you see that I've left a comment that says something about bonus points from me, it's cause I'm having fun reading your blog or comment.

Hmmm... It occurs to me that I probably don't make a whole lot of references in my posts. I'll have to work on that.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

DC Area Bloggers Dinner

The votes have been cast, and the winning date is August 30th. Here I was, hoping to get together with you guys soon, and you all pick the latest date possible in August.

Should I take it personally that you all don't want to jump on the nearest Metro to hang out with me? Lucky for you all, my skin is pretty thick. And lucky that August 30th is probably the best date for me too (and I didn't even vote)!

So, here are the details for our next get together:
Date: Saturday, August 30, 2008

Time: 6:00 PM

Place: Cafe Deluxe in downtown Bethesda

Reservations Under: Cara

Who's Invited: DC Area bloggers and blog readers and spouses, this time without kids
(Since the idea for these get togethers started at Ask Moxie when DC area commenters all wanted to get together, I am not limiting this get together to only bloggers. Since I'm a blogger and know other DC Area bloggers, I'm not limiting this to only Ask Moxie readers. I likes to be inclusive.)

What you need to do:
1. Respond in the comments that you are coming so I can get a head count.
2. Check back for any updates between now and August 30th.
3. Point out things I'm forgetting.
4. Show up for the get together!

I can't wait (although I apparently have to)!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Some Babies Just Fidget

I have mentioned before that we had a very fidgety baby. It's been a while sinced I talked about it. Although she is still pretty fidgety, at her currently toddler stage it seems more normal and has in many ways translated into bigger, general movements, like climbing.

But I still get a ton of search hits that have to do with baby fidgeting or flailing while sleeping or nursing. Some people stay around and read a bit, and I hope they get what they need from the posts I wrote specifically about this topic hoping that others realize they are not alone. Most people don't stay at all, and I figure they are probably looking for medical reasons why babies fidget (like I would).

Then I got this comment, which does indeed show that people are looking for medical reason. Anonymous said that she wasn't sure if the Pumpkin's fidgets were as severe are her 3.5 month old. Well anonymous, I can't be positive since I haven't seen your child, but at some points they were as bad as you describe. There was a range from little fidgets to oh-my-goodness-what-is-wrong-with-my-baby fidgets. Some were very violent both while sleeping and while nursing, and Londo and I were so worried at times that we would call up the doctor and talk to her about it.

I also searched online and in books for medical reasons why a baby might fidget and talked those reasons over with the doctor.

I found that when a baby has trouble settling to sleep and arches her/his back violently while nursing, these can be signs of GERD, or severe acid reflux. This is usually accompanied by other symptoms, and if someone suspects this I suggest they not only look up GERD online but talk to their doctor about the likelihood that this is the issue. I also suggest you think about silent reflux, as that might be the cause. Our doctor did not believe that the Pumpkin had this issue, since none of the other symptoms were there.

The other major cause of this fidgety/squirmy/flailing in babies (especially when asleep) is gas. Some babies are just more gassy than others. Even if you don't hear all that gas come out, the gas bubbles could be working their way through the baby's system. As my doctor said, babies are not born with their systems fully formed. Right around 3-4 months is when the digestive system is really working out the worst of the kinks. Our doctor believed that this is what was happening with the Pumpkin.

The treatment? Time.

Isn't that the worst answer? And yet, I can attest that over the last 16 months of the Pumpkin's life, it has really gotten a lot better. She does go through gassy periods, and she goes through sleep regressions, but she's healthy and happy. Since she's been able to move more and more on her own, she's (and we've) able to deal with her fidgeting better.

Another "medical" condition that we think might affect the Pumpkin's fidgetiness (I made that up! Like it?) is teething. Our little one seems to fidget A LOT as her teeth are moving their way through the gums. I imagine she is in discomfort and trying to either find a comfortable place to be or distract herself. Her teething is always worse at night, and she did get her first tooth around 4 months.

And my last reason for why babies fidget...

Some babies just fidget. I'm sorry if that's not the answer you are looking for, but it's the truth. Just like some people are fidgeters (my husband is an example) and others are not (I'm not). Babies are just little people. But they can't control their bodies as well, so this is likely why their fidgeting takes on the epic, flailing proportions that it does.

The swaddled helped us. The swing helped us. Constant moving on our parts helped assauge her need to move and fidget until she could do more on her own. This meant lots of walking and rocking and jiggling and whatever else would work. It was NOT easy to go through, but there is not much you can do about it. I kept hoping that the doctor would say "Oh, sure! Your baby has X, and you can treat it with Y and everything will be fine." No such luck.

I do believe that this aspect of my daughter's personality translated into her early gross motor skills and possibly her fine motor skills. Her need to move constantly propelled her into early crawling and early walking and now her constant climbing. This is a really neat aspect of her, one that has been fun to watch develop.

But she does still fidget. I wouldn't dream of cutting my hair at this point, because she uses my hair as her main fidget while nursing or trying to fall alseep. I can put up with that, if it helps her calm down. I've tried to switch her to a toy or blanket--it's not the same. But that's okay, because it's not nearly as bad as it used to be. She still has trouble getting comfy, which includes fidgeting, flailing and even violently pushing and kicking. We are nowhere close to being able to put her down "drowsy but awake." But I've been assured that she will eventually be able to go to sleep on her own. Like when she goes to college. I hope.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Question of the Week - Please Re-Phrase That

Let me tell you a true story about my bridal shower...

My sister did a fantastic job of putting together my bridal shower. She did a few cute games that really were fun. One of those games was like The Newlywed Game, for which she had asked my soon-to-be husband some questions and he was supposed to give the answers he thought I would say. This was to show how well he knew me. Then, at the shower my sis asked me the same questions, I answered with what my answer were, and she then told me and the group what Londo's said my answers would be.

So there we are sitting at the bridal shower luncheon, asking and answering questions, laughing at it all, having a pretty good time. Londo had done pretty darn well with the answers. And then my sister asked me a stumper:
"What is [caramama's] biggest pet peeve?"

Well, that was a tough one. I thought for a minute, and then looked at my sis and said, "Do I have to pick just one? I have so many!"

She started cracking up. I was slightly annoyed at how funny she found this, but then she said, "That's so funny... because that's exactly what [Londo] said! That you have too many to pick just one!"

So we got the points for that question, because we did indeed have the same answer, which is pretty funny.

This explains why I will never have the Question of the Week be "What is your biggest pet peeve?" Instead, let's focus it a little. This week, let's find out:

What is a word or phrase that you can't stand?

For me, I can't stand the phrase "It is what it is." That's a bunch of words that usually mean nothing. How un-creative. How boring. How passive. It is what it is. That just makes me want to puke when I hear it. That's how strongly I feel about it. Please, never use this phrase with me. Come up with a better way to say what you mean using WORDS that actually MEAN SOMETHING!!

Also, I can't stand it when people say "irregardless." I don't care what people might argue or what websites say it's legit. It IS NOT a real word. It isn't. And if it was, it would mean the opposite of why people say, because people mean regardless or irrespective. The "ir" in front of regardless actually negates the "regardless" part of the word, so it should mean the opposite of regardless. But more importantly, IT'S NOT A WORD.

Don't get me started on grammar. That's a whole other set of pet peeves. Luckily for you, internetters, I don't evaluate grammar or spelling in comments, emails, text messages, IMs and similar medium. So you are safe... this time...

What about you? Do you have any words or phrases that drive you crazy? Please share, so I can remember to avoid using them in the future.