Sunday, January 24, 2010

Baby Food to Table Food...How do we get there?

So, we have a baby food maker that we have used on occasion to feed B.  I had wonderful intentions of making his food, I had the supplies, the equipment...all I lacked was the time and energy.  Well, we took B to his gym class (we had to get him out of the house so gym class can't hurt, right?).  This week we talked about feeding babies.  All the other mothers talked about making wonderful organic meals from scratch for their children.  I felt HORRIBLE.  I wanted to be one of those moms, I just couldn't get it together enough to be one. 

As a result, I came home from class determined to make B some food.  So, I blended up what we were eating.  There was ground beef, tomatoes, lettuce, and cheese.  I admit, it wasn't pretty, at all.  It looked like barf, but whatever, the kid eats all kinds of other stuff all mushed up, why not this.  My hubs warned me that this would end poorly, however, I pressed on, I was sure that B was ready.  B was not ready, after 3 bites, he barfed.  BIG TIME.  It filled the pocket on his bib.  I know it was the texture that he wasn't ready for, not the actual food.  This knowledge did not make me feel any better at the time.  Not only was I bad mom for not feeding my son wonderful organic food that was going to stimulate his brain growth, what I was feeding him was making him barf.  As my husband reminded me that he had told me so, I lost it.  I told him he could be responsible for all feeding.  I would only follow his orders from this time forward (HA!).  Needless to say, it wasn't my most sane moment.

However, after both B and I had recovered, I realized that I had no idea how to transition this kid from the jars to the table.  Am I going to have to go through multiple barfings, or is my approach wrong?  My research will be thorough because I just can't stand for J to be right anymore.

Babies on the move

B is officially a crawler! Hooray! I was so pleased that I was home the first time (or so I like to think) B got into motion. He's not REALLY crawling, he is moving more Army crawl style, how appropriate. It is amazing how quickly he got it down and picked up his pace. On Friday, he was just doing it every once in a while when there was something that he really wanted. Then by Saturday, he was doing it pretty much all the time and on Sunday, he wouldn't stay in one place.

This new movement was followed by a flutter of baby proofing and general mess cleaning in our house. Since I have been working so much, I have to admit that our house is not as clean as I would like it to be. There are pet hair tumbleweeds that have been allowed to exist too long. There are muddy paw prints ALL over the house. So, after I saw B stick a second hair ball in his mouth, I declared martial law and started cleaning. I cleaned from top to bottom and everywhere in between. I know that in a house with 5 pets, B is going to encounter some hair, and that's okay. But, seeing my son place a fist full of nasty pet hair was just too much. I think that we are going to arrange the house a little differently to keep the dogs out of the areas that B spends most of his time in. I also think that we are going to have to redouble our cleaning efforts.

I knew this time was coming, but I just wasn't ready! I am so excited that he is mobile, but I just didn't realize the changes that this would mean. There is no more putting him somewhere and being able to get other things done, he now commands our full attention. The one time I did turn my back, he had a power cord in his mouth in no time! Ah well, babies grow up.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Disaster...How to survive...

Due to the earthquake in Haiti, I have been working around the clock at my job. My command is more or less responsible for providing all the ships and Navy assets to the relief efforts. We have been working 12 hour shifts since Tuesday trying to get everything and everyone moving to provide the most help that we can in this devastating situation. I am thankful that I have had the opportunity to help in this way. Several of my friends are actually flying helicopters down in country and the hubs may have to leave on the ship to provide additional support. I think it is truly awesome that our country has done so much in such as short time.

The trouble is that I can't take care of B. At all. I am at work for at least 12 hours, most times overnight, and then I come home in the morning to sleep. Then I have to get up and do it all over again. Our nanny has been a godsend, helping out where ever she can. We are also lucky that J has been able to run the house while I have been away. But this makes me worry about what we are going to do when J is gone. I really see no option but to send B down to my parents. I am so exhausted from work, I just want to sleep, but I can't do that with B. I truly feel like a terrible mother.

On a positive note, B now has two teeth! It's amazing how much he has changed by this development. He is now eating more people like food and is interested in everything. Teething wasn't really pleasant, but we survived. He also has been pulling up to standing which is exciting, but also very scary...soon he will be mobile. I think the most concerned parties are the cats who are finding that many areas are increasingly encroached upon by B!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sick Baby

Well, B is sick for the very first time. He's not super sick by any means, he just has a heavy cold, but I just feel so bad for the poor kid. His nose is super snotty, he has a terrible cough, and has been running a little fever. AND because his nose is so full and we have to wipe it all the time, his little nostrils and cheeks are getting chapped and raw. He also is having trouble sleeping because he is so congested. We have been trying our hardest to keep him as comfortable as possible without making things worse.

I feel so very helpless and like a terrible mother. I can't be at home with him and snuggle him like I know he wants because I have to go to work. I'm not terribly effective at work either because I spend most of my time worrying about him. I have no idea how to make things any better for him. I know what makes me feel better when I am sick, but that doesn't really apply to a baby. I worry that we might be fretting over him too much and are making him more uncomfortable when we are trying to make things better. His inability to communicate really makes the whole process pretty challenging.

Thankfully, our nanny has been a saving grace. She takes wonderful care of B and also has the ability to make me feel better. She reassures us and she calls on her previous experiences to reaffirm that we are doing things right. Being new parents, we have no idea 90 percent of the time if what we are doing is correct. Our parents can offer some advice, but the methods and tools available have changed significantly in the last 20 odd years. There are lots of other parents that offer advice, but sometimes it can get to be overwhelming. Having someone who just lets you know that what you are doing is good without any suggestions is really a good feeling.

I know that this to shall pass and that B will be over this cold soon enough. I know that we will be better prepared and more confident with the next illness. I knew that he was going to get sick sometime. I just wish it wasn't so soon!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

36 hours of work in 3 short days

I just finished up my under instruction rotation on the watch floor. I stood 3 12 hour watches in 3 days. I am bushed! I got up way too early and got home way too late. Yesterday, I left before B got up (sort of, I nursed him before I left) and got home 30 minutes before bedtime. Today wasn't much better. I felt like I was running home to see him, but only got to spend a few moments with him. I know that I could keep him up later, but that isn't fair to him just to make me feel better.

I have to give major props to the hubs. He waited until the nanny came in everyday, took B to get shots yesterday, and made dinner and cleaned up every night so I could have some time with B. I often get frustrated with J because I feel he doesn't help out as much as he should, but that certainly hasn't been the case this week. I feel bad too because I come home and give all of my attention straight to the baby and by the time there's time to spend with him, I am just SO tired. I even feel guilty typing this right now!

I know that there are only so many hours in a day and I have to make choices with my time, but there are just so many things that I need/want to do, that prioritizing is a challenge. So much of my job is crisis management, which I always thought I was good at, but now, I feel like my home is in crisis mode with laundry undone, kitchen unclean, and people unloved. On the ship, it was very clear cut how to do things and at my new job, I can react quickly and make clear decisions, but at home, I feel awash, completely overloaded. In the grand scheme, many of those things don't matter and I know both B and J feel loved, but still...I haven't found the balance where I can feel good about myself. At least there is a 2 hour delay in the morning so I can take a few minutes to love on both my boys and maybe even the cats.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

12 Hour Day

I left the house at 0630 and returned at 1830 (6:30 pm) today and, boy, am I beat. This is the first time that I have had to work these kind of hours since I had B. Today was a super busy day too. I was on the watch floor, which meant there was a lot to do that had to be done in a short amount of time, for 10 hours straight. I didn't mind the pace, it made the time go by quickly and I enjoyed the challenge of it. Working on a hot task gets your heart pumping and makes work fun. The tedium of desk work really gets to me which is why I enjoy being in the Navy so much. So, while it was a long day at work, it didn't feel long until I was on my way home.

While on the ship, I would routinely be out of the house for 12 hours a day. It didn't seem so bad. Sure, I was tired, but I was able to just come home and relax to recharge my batteries for the next day. Not so anymore. I came home and was immediately met by a crying son and stressed out husband. He had made dinner (chicken nuggets and french fries) and was trying to feed the baby and dogs and cats and was worn out. So, I quickly changed out of my uniform and jumped into feeding baby duties. Then it was time for baths and kitchen clean up, so here a solid hour and a half after I got home, I am sitting down trying to unwind. Again, while I am in the throws of the moment, I don't feel so tired. It's only when I sit down to start unwinding does the exhaustion really hit me.

As my birthday quickly approaches, I have to wonder if this sudden tiredness doesn't have a little something to do with my increasing age. When I was 23, I had the energy to go out to the bars after a long day at work, now at nearly 28, I can barely get the energy to clean the dishes. I hope this isn't a sign of things to come. If it is, I will have to go to bed at 7 pm when I am 35!