Friday, October 10, 2008

Petting Farm in MD

Last May, we took the Pumpkin up to this really nice farm outside of Fredrick, MD, to go pet animals. Twice a year, Green Meadows opens up their petting farm, which not only had horses, pigs, cows and goats, but also has zebras and llamas!

We went with good friends of ours who have a son about a half year older than the Pumpkin. I think we all had a really good time, especially the kids. They both seem into animals, so it was a good choice for them, and definitely for me! I got to hold a baby goat and pet all sorts of animals!!! I'm crazy about animals, in case you didn't know. And the Pumpkin seems to be following in my animal-crazy footsteps.

As for the farm, the people there were so friendly and helpful. The environment was child-friendly with hand sanitizers placed in strategic places. The put on an afternoon show, which was really geared for older children, so our hot, hungry and tired toddlers were not able to stay for more than a couple minutes of the show. But the show seemed like a good one.

I'm excited to say that the petting farm is now open again, from October 9th to 26th, and I'm hoping that we will be able to go visit again one of these weekends. I highly recommend this place to anyone else in the area.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

DC Area Blogging Happenings

You all are wonderful, and it helps to read such supportive comments. Thank you. Now if only you all lived close to me and could get together and hang out with me!

On Monday, October 13th, I'm going to go to the BlogHer DC '08 Conference, which is part of the BlogHer Reach Out Tour '08. For those of us who are totally geeks about blogging interested in learning more about blogging and want to network with other bloggers but couldn't make it all the way out to San Francisco last July, BlogHer is doing this Reach Out Tour to different cities. Luckily, DC is on the list!

I know that Colleen is going. She and I are already planning to meet up at breakfast. Is anyone else going? It's apparently not to late to sign up, if you happen to be free on Monday.

Also, I had talked about spearheading another DC area get together in late September or October. Here we are almost mid-October and I haven't said a word about it. I was actually starting to think that maybe we could do something Halloween themed, maybe on Saturday, November 1st, the day after Halloween? What do you guys think? Maybe a play date at my house, which will be all decorated?

Anyway, that's all that my brain can handle right now. I'm still exhausted, and the Pumpkin is still sick. She did sleep last night... On me... In the glider/recliner... Shifting and kicking and arching every hour or two. So, I'm still exhausted. Did I say that already?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Middle of the Night with Sick Pumpkin

You all have done some gross stuff! I'm impressed!

As for me, I am completely and utterly exhausted. The Pumpkin is still sick, although she no longer has a fever. Instead, she is congested and stuffy, with a runny nose and regular coughing fits that break my heart. She is also very uncomfortable and frustrated, which is extra fun in the middle of the night.

Last night, Londo tried to take the night shift to give me a break. But he could not get her back to sleep after 3 hours. Finally, I went in to give it a try, because you know I wasn't sleeping much through her off and on wailing.

I'm sad to say that she didn't do much better for me. I rocked her, walked with her, tried to lie down with her, sung to her, vented with her and tried so many things. But nothing worked--she simply could not get comfortable and fall asleep. I was up with her for two hours.

But guess what she did during those two hours? She threw the most magnificent tantrum that I've ever seen her throw! Oh, it brought me back to my childhood tantrums (yes, I admit I threw some, and possibly still do). She was on the ground on her hands and knees whining and yelling. There was nothing specifically wrong, just that she was so tired and frustrated and uncomfortable and sick and, well, everything was wrong. So I let her throw her fit. I tried to soothe her, but mostly I just was there for her. Really, I wish I had a camera at the time, because it was a truly perfect tantrum.

It ended when she kicked over the humidifier, which spilled water all over her carpet. I pulled her out of the way, ran to get towels, and started mopping up the floor. She sat there a bit stunned. I was finally able to pick her back up and rock with her.

I took a tip from my friend hedra and started doing a litany, in a soothing, calm voice, about all the things that were wrong for her right then. I had tried it previously, and it seemed to work, but then I stopped. This time, I did a longer litany of everything I could think of, and it really worked! (THANK YOU, HEDRA!!) Then I moved right into signing some soothing songs that she likes to hear (Leaving on a Jet Plane usually calms her down).

Finally (FINALLY!), she started falling asleep. I continued rocking for a half hour or so. And from 4:15 to 7:15 I slept in the glider/recliner with her on me, shifting every half hour or hour, but thankfully asleep.

I feel as exhausted as the newborn days. I have barely slept at all in the last four nights. I badly need some sleep, even a nap, but I'm insanely busy at work and have to keep going. Mostly, I feel awful for my poor little girl who is so sick and tired and frustrated and uncomfortable. I hope she gets better soon.

On the bright side (you knew I would go there, didn't you?), I did make it in time for my big (but short) presentation with some muckety-mucks this morning. They told me I did an excellent job, so I guess I can present well while sleep walking!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Question of the Week - How Gross Are You?

Well, the Pumpkin is very sick. She's had a fever for a few days, runny nose, cough and she has thrown up in the middle of the night both Saturday night and Sunday night. She is especially clingy to Mama (or as she is starting to call me, Mommy). She is the poorest of all the pumpkins in our land! I just want to hold her and cuddle her all day and night.

Except of course that I have barely gotten any sleep for the past three nights, need a bit of a break and had to come into work today to get a bunch of stuff done. But I did take yesterday off.

We saw the doctor yesterday, and she said that she is just sick with something that is going around. It's nothing major, and there isn't an ear infection or anything. She's just sick. But she is very sick.

I know we are lucky though. The Pumpkin has been really very healthy overall. This is maybe her 3 or 4 sickness, her second fever ever and the first time she has thrown up.

You know, when I read on Ask Moxie about how parents would catch the throw up in their hands, I thought that was gross, but hey, parents do wierd things. Well, at 4ish in the morning on Saturday night/Sunday morning, when the Pumpkin threw up (all liquid and no food, since she hadn't been eating much), she threw up on my arm because she was glued to me all night. Well I sat up trying to figure out what happened (I was still half asleep). And when I realized that she had thrown up and was going to again, I totally reached out and caught it in my hand. Without thinking. I feel like I passed some sort of rite of passage.

It of course got me thinking about all the gross things we parents do for our kids and even our pets. Which brings us to today's Question of the Week:

What gross thing have you done for your child or pet?

I'll tell you something gross Londo and I have to do for our dog. We wipe her butt after she poops. Every time. If we don't, there is a nice surprise smeared on our bed after she lies on it, and she always lies on our bed. So we wipe the dog's butt and the toddler's butt. Good times.

How about you? What do you do that would have grossed you out pre-baby or pre-pet?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Songs in the Key of Pumpkin

Sometimes I think I live in a musical. In my house, we really do randomly break out into songs. Sometimes they are existing ones like Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star or the Alphabet Song. Sometimes we make up words to existing songs to be about the Pumpkin or to fit the moment. Other times we make up new songs altogether for the Pumpkin or the dog or the cat.

Probably the favorite song of Londo's, mine and the Pumpkin's is one I am proud to say I made up completely for the Pumpkin. It's basically her first name, middle name and last name, and then some words describing each name. Unfortunately, I don't use the Pumpkin's real name here at Cara Mama, so I won't be able to share with you all my genius. Besides, it's a tune I made up, so you wouldn't get the full effect of my brilliance by reading.

Instead, I will share two other songs that are very near and dear to me and my relationship with the Pumpkin.

When the Pumpkin was a newborn who would not be put down and needed to constantly move, I would pace the hallway of our first floor with her in my arms or a sling and bounce while I walked. And I would sing to a tune I made up:

What's so wrong with the Pumpkin Pie
The Pumpkin Pie
The Pumpkin Pie
What's so wrong with the Pumpkin Pie
The Pumpkin Pie of mine, of mine.

Nothing's so wrong with the Pumpkin Pie
The Pumpkin Pie
The Pumpkin Pie
Nothing's so wrong with the Pumpkin Pie
She just likes to cry and whine

It went on with versus about how she liked to bounce up and down while we walked all around, and then I'd make up whatever else came into my head. I haven't sung it much for her lately, since she doesn't seem to cry and whine for no reason anymore and tends to be soothed in other ways or with other songs. But I sang this song multiple times a day for weeks straight there in the beginning.

A song I made up the lyrics for in the first few weeks of her life that I still sing is the following one, which is to the tune of Brahms' Lullaby. I sing this to her every night and every nap (with slight variations) that I put her to bed:

Lullaby and goodnight.
Go to sleep little Pumpkin*.
Go to sleep. Go to sleep
Cause it's time for you to sleep.
Close your eyes, rest your head,
And just go to sleep.
Mama sings and Mama rocks
so that you can sleep.

You are loved very much
By your Mama and Daddy
Your dog and cat, all your friends
And your whole family.
We all want you to sleep
Because it's your bedtime
And you'll feel so much better
If you get your sleep.

And we hope that tonight
You sleep all through the night
And not wake, even once
Until six o'clock or later.
We all feel much better
when we sleep till morning.
And tomorrow when you wake up
I'll be right here.

Since coming up with those lyrics, I've looked up the real lyrics to Brahms' Lullaby. I like mine much better.

*I sing her real name here. Although in the first song, I really do sing Pumpkin Pie.

This post was written for Parent Bloggers Network as an entry for a contest sponsored by Bush’s Beans. This week's Blog Blast by Parent Bloggers Network was Sing Out Loud, Sing Out Proud to support a campaign by Bush's Beans. Bush's Beans is having a contest for people to rewrite the Beans Beans Magical Fruit song. Check it out!