Friday, September 19, 2008

A Rough Night and A Very Funny Woman

Just when I think I'm starting to really feel good about my parenting, finally understanding my child and her needs, finally have a bag of tricks to see me through difficult times... I get a night like last night! It kicked my butt!

I was warned by both OneTiredEma and paola that the 18-month age was rough on sleep. I did listen, especially since their children who are older than mine seem to sleep (or not sleep) like mine, so I always appreciate when they give me a heads up about sleep regressions. But we'd FINALLY gotten some good, quality sleep. Six blissful nights in a row, the child slept straight through until 7 or even 8! It was so beautiful. But I'd been warned, and there was good reason for the warning.

Last night, an hour after I had gone to bed (why oh why did I stay up all the way until 10:30 to do dishes and actually try and talk to my husband???), the Pumpkin woke up SCREAMING. I'm not good after only sleeping an hour. I'm really out of it and grumpy and snappish. Just ask Londo. Londo, however, has been sick as a dog! (Which is funny, because dogs don't really get colds or the flu, so where does that phrase even come from?) He is so sick that neither of us want him trying to cosleep with the Pumpkin for fear of his germs completely infecting her.

So I got up and tried to bring her straight into the twin bed in her room where we cosleep. She kept with the crying and fussing and even screaming. I tried this way and that, and she flopped the other way and then the other. I tried soothing, and she fussed. I tried cuddling, and she cried. I tried yelling (okay, maybe "try" isn't the right word so much as couldn't help myself because I was at my breaking point), and she just cried louder and screamed back.

It was a lovely night.

I finally got up and rocked her back to sleep, and then I was able to slip into bed with her. But all night, she was fussy and fidgety and uncomfortable. And so was I. I even slept in the glider while holding her for a while this morning, something I have not had to do in a very long time. I seriously hope she is not getting sick with what Londo has.

So that's all I've got in me for now. It's been a while since I complained about sleep, and I know you all were missing that. Not. Luckily for you all, I have found an extremely funny woman who posted a fantastic job description for a nanny on Craig's List. You MUST read this!!! A friend forwarded me the NY Times article about it, which is also funny and interesting. If she doesn't already have one, this woman needs a blog!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Being Mrs. Brightside

It sucks to pull down your pants and be disappointed. I doubt men are disappointed when they pull down their pants. Well, some men probably are, but I think most are just thinking, "Hey, cool. My penis!"

With women, there are some months when you pull down your pants and you are disappointed. This can be because you are on your honeymoon, on a beach vacation, out camping, in a strange bathroom without your purse or similar reasons. For some of us--oh, let's just say it--for me, it's because I know for sure that I'm not pregnant.

I'm trying to be all Mrs. Brightside about this. Okay! We are ready to start the medicated IUIs again! Now this whole Trying To Conceive thing is ON! Now, we mean BUSINESS!

But yesterday I got my blood taken AGAIN (two previous times last month were for pre-treatment testing), I had to wait 1.5 for a nurse to stick a phallic ultrasound object up my girl*, and I started the first type of medication (Clomid, for those who know what that is). In a couple days, I'll start giving myself injections. In. My. Stomach. I will have to do at least four this month. Good times.

It'll be worth it! We had to go through a lot for our first, and she was worth it! We can do this. I can do this. Grin and bare it. Walk it off. Rub some dirt in it. Wear long sleeves so no one things I'm a junkie. Make up excuses so people don't wonder why I keep coming in late... Oh, wait. Those last two weren't exactly Brightside... Get back on the horse. Yada yada yada... You get the picture.

As a side note, is it any wonder I haven't updated my blogroll in FOREVER and I've been bad about keeping up with all my wonderful internet friends' blogs? I really really will make time for both things very soon. I'm just crazy busy at work, at home and at the doctor. So just because you don't see your blog in my blogroll or see my comments on your posts, don't think I don't love you and your blog! I'll be back on track soon.

But as a final Brightside note, the Pumpkin slept through the night last night! So our tally is: 6 nights in a row she slept through, 4 nights in a row up early and had to cosleep, and last night slept through. So at least I've got that going for me, which is nice.

*Was that too much information? Probably. Londo hates it when I am too detailed about these things. His best friend and brother read the site, after all. And so do other random strangers on the internet. But hey, this is what we women have to go through! I consider it a PSA!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

More On Breakfast, Plus Freckles and Repetitive Nopes

Great breakfast ideas from just about everyone! A few of you mentioned cream cheese on toast, so I toasted whole wheat english muffins and left out the cream cheese for the babysitter to give the Pumpkin this morning. I'll ask her tomorrow how it went, but I have high hopes.

Also, I was having cereal for dinner last night*, and the Pumpkin asked for some. I have given her bites of my cereal before (when it's Cheerios or something else I deem acceptable for her age), and she really seems to like it. Well, she had eaten a bunch of her dinner, but really wanted more and more of my cereal. So I poured her a little bowl of her own with a touch of milk on it.

She LOVED it! So I poured her another. I'm happy to say, we now have another cereal eater in the family. This will make some mornings easier, especially combined with toast and fruit.

As for the fruit... I didn't mention it yesterday as part of our breakfasts, and that's because it's not just a part of breakfast for the Pumpkin. Fruit must be had at EVERY meal, and often for snacks too. This child is a fruitaholic unlike anything I've seen before. Just this morning when I was setting the breakfast foods out on the table while the babysitter was watching the Pumpkin, the child walked into the kitchen, saw the bowl of melon chunks on the table and (I am not making this up) mouthed the word "fruit" with no sound, immediately followed by her turning to the babysitter and saying out loud, "Eat! Eat!" and trying to get in her high chair.

Her passion for fruit was exceedingly high this morning, because we had not been to the grocery store in too long and have been down to an orange (which she ate last night with dinner) and applesauce. Also, I knew the eating regression was serious when she didn't even finish her banana one afternoon!

In other news, the freckle count is up to six! There are the two on her arm, one on her ribs, one by her knee and now the one on her thigh and one at her hair line on her forehead. I get so excited when I find a new one, and I keep looking all the time. In fact, the Pumpkin knows the word "feckel" and points at spots on her body when she says it, although she doesn't quite point to an actual freckle. The odd thing though is that they are all on her right side. You'd think with six freckles there would be one on her left side, but nope!

Speaking of "nope," I have a bone to pick with Sandra Boynton! As much as I love the book What's Wrong, Little Pookie?, it is teaching my daughter a major bad habit! Every question the mom asks her little Pookie is answered with "no," "nope" or "no, thank you." My child loves this book, and since discovering her love of it, she has been answered every question asked of her with "no" or "nope!" So when she does this, I start breaking out into the silly question the mom asks about hippos borrowing shoes or green elephants stealing cookies. It gets a big laugh and helps me maintain my sanity with a child who does not know how to answer questions with "yes" even when she means yes. But it still doesn't really alleviate my frustration that she does not answer yes. Ever. So, Ms. Boynton, can you please write a book in which the child answers very nicely yes to all questions asked? Thank you!

*On the rare occassion I had something as crazy as cereal for dinner when I was growing up, my mom used to call it "Silly Supper" night. We could pick cereal or PBJs or something else really easy to make. We thought these were so fun and funny. Now, I realize that it was a night my mom took off of cooking, but she made it seem like a special treat. As an adult Cereal for dinner has been a regular meal. We both really enjoy cooking, but it often didn't seem worth the energy when it was just us two. Now, it is important to us to provide the Pumpkin was home cooked meal. But sometimes we cook food just for her and still enjoy a little cereal for dinner.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Question of the Week - Breakfast Foods

Apparently the joys of having an 18 month old include another sleep regression AND an eating regression! Having been blessed with a very good eater, we have only had a few days here and there when the Pumpkin would not eat much. Those times were usually concurrent with really bad teething days or a sickness, and they did not last more than a couple days.

It's now been three days of very little eating, and that's after about three days of eating less and less. How can someone who has SO MUCH energy eat so little food? How can someone who's body is developing like crazy subsist on a few bites of crackers and maybe a few spoons of yogurt? It boggles the mind.

Just in case she's not eating because she is bored with the same old foods, I've been trying to think of new things to make. Since breakfast is the most important meal of the day, I am especially trying to find new breakfast foods.

Which brings us to our Question of the Week...

What is a favorite breakfast food in your house?

Usually, pancakes are a big hit in my house. And I am the Queen of Pancakes, as some of you twitters already know. I have use some delicious recipes I've found on allrecipes.com (which I've reviewed here) and make them from scratch! I'm really proud of my mad pancake-making skillz!! However, they take time, so usually I save them for weekends and freeze a couple for later in the week.

Regular breakfasts I cook before I leave to work include scrambled eggs with cheese, cream of wheat and oatmeal.

How about you? Do you flip the pancakes regularly or simply make toast?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Cara Figlia - 18 Months Old

Cara mia ragazzina,

Last Thursday, you turned 18 months old. That is a year and a half! You are now closer to 2 years old than you are to 1. Time has just been flying by overall. And you are growing so quickly, I feel like I can barely keep up.

You are talking so much, and running and climbing too. You are discovering more and more every day. You are capable of things now that you couldn't do even weeks before. For example, in the past few days you figured out how to put the rings on the toy that you couldn't quite figure out even a week ago. I just know that within a few more days of working on the shape sorter you will have it figured out, too.

Last week, you slept through the night 6 nights in a row! We were so relieved to have a break. We didn't think it would last, since none of the other phases where you sleep through the night have lasted. One was for about a month, but usually it's about a week or a few days. And sure enough, the past two nights you have been awake and obviously uncomfortable and unhappy. So your daddy and I are back to cosleeping until morning. This is not so bad on the weekend mornings, but I hope that you go back to sleeping through the night now that it's a week night. It's just so much easier for Mama and Daddy to get ready in the mornings by ourselves with you sleeping in your crib.

I think it's those last two molars still working their way down. One edge of those big teeth are just poking through, and there is a whole lot more teeth to come out. But once those are in, you should have all your teeth for a while. As Daddy pointed out recently, you've been teething since 3.5 months. That's a long time, and you are not an easy teether!

But you are absolutely adorable and happy and active and fun and funny. You are also fussy and demanding and tantrum-throwing and whiny and frustrating. You have your own personality, your own likes and dislikes, and your own ideas. It's amazing to watch you grow and see how your personality develops. Your personality traits have been pretty obvious to your daddy and I since your birth, but it still amazes us to watch how the world around you shapes your personality even more. I hope we are helping you and guiding you in ways you that you will appreciate.

These last 18 months have been the most amazing and most difficult of my entire life. And they have been, without a doubt, the best 18 months of my life. Grazie, mia carina. Thank you, my little darling. Thank you for being my beautiful little girl, and thank you for a wonderful year and a half.

Ti amo con tutti cuore,
Mama