Wednesday, February 24, 2010

B has never been a good napper. Since day 1, naps have been a battle. I would put him down when he looked and acted tired, rubbing eyes, yawning, falling asleep sitting up, the boy would sit in his crib and scream. So I tried another tactic of putting him down BEFORE reaching this point. Maybe he was overtired and that's why he couldn't get to sleep. Wrong. The boy hates naps.

Now I really can't complain, we put him in the crib between 6:30 and 7 and we don't see him again until 7 in the morning. We have never had issues with nighttime wakings. Even when he was a little baby, he would wake up, eat, and go right back to sleep. Heck, I even had to wake him up every now and again.

This whole nap issue has really came to a head this weekend. We had just gotten back from vacation and there was really a lot of stuff that needed to be done around the house. I needed to have some time where I could accomplish things without worrying about where he was and what he was into. So, after an acceptable amount of time awake, I put him in the crib. Screamfest. I go in, calm him down, leave again. Continue screamfest. Finally after over an hour, I went and got him up. I know that he's tired, he knows that he's tired, but he just can't handle being in the crib during the day.

Honestly, I don't care what he does during his nap time, he can play in the crib all he wants, just as long as he is quiet (ish, can a 9 month old really play quietly?), but I really feel that he needs the opportunity to take at least one nap a day. I am willing to give in and allow him to take only one, but we still really need that one, even if it's only for an hour. I am truly at a loss for what to do next, everyone involved still needs naptime to occur, but I just am not sure how to make that happen.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Dirtiness Tipping Point - How Dirty is TOO Dirty

What is an acceptable level of filth? How dirty can my house be without seeming slovenly? At the current level, will people consider me an unfit mother? These are the questions that I asked myself last night as I was preparing for a visit from my mother-in-law. I honestly can't believe it has come to this. Muddy paw prints, dust bunnies, laundry sprawl. Previous visits, I cleaned the whole house and never thought twice about it. I would sweep, mop, clean bathrooms, everything. I always wanted company to think the best of me and that meant a clean house with wonderfully cooked food. Now, I can barely muster the energy to change the sheets.

What happened? When I was pregnant, no problems, I could clean with the best of them. When B was little, still no issue. Plop him in the swing and clean away. But now...he's mobile. I can't just deposit him somewhere like I used to. I can't put him down and trust that he will entertain himself with what is next to him. He crawls, he climbs, he searches out danger and nastiness. I can't count the number of times I have turned back to find him with a cord in his mouth or munching on a delicious wad of dog hair. The child has more bumps on his head than hair (and my kid has a lot of hair). We have already, in just a few short weeks, had a busted lip, cut cheek, and massive fall. AND I WAS WATCHING HIM THE WHOLE TIME! I can't move fast enough to keep up with this kid. Even with constant attention from mom and dad, the boy finds ways to hurt himself.

So, at the time that B goes to bed, blessed 7 pm, I am so exhausted from the constant running, catching, taking away, putting up, and picking up, that the thought of sweeping, mopping, cleaning the bathrooms, is just too much to take on. So I find myself wondering just how dirty is too dirty. Sorry, Nance, this visit isn't going to be me putting my best foot forward, it'll just have to be one tired mommy waving her surrender flag.

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Great Food Battle

As a result of our recent trip to Disney World, B has become much more comfortable with eating table food. He certainly prefers certain things to others (anything with sugar is VERY high on the list), but he is generally a good eater who will try almost anything. The problem is that I just don’t know how to proceed from here. It seems that when he eats table food, he eats much less than when he eats food from the jar. There is a lot more playing around and loss of focus when new things are placed on his tray for him to feed himself.

B has also wised up to the fact that table food is better than baby food. I can get him to eat baby food when there is no other option presented, but if we are eating something, he turns his nose up at the baby food or spits it out. I know that at some point he will totally give up baby food and, really, it’s cheaper and easier when he does. No more buying separate food, no more special trips to the store. However, I am concerned that he just won’t get enough to eat. I know that kids won’t starve and they will eat when they are hungry, but still, he just doesn’t eat as much and gets fussy. I guess that I can just feed him and, if he’s hungry, he’ll eat. That just seems mean though.

This is one subject where the hubs and I just flat out disagree. J thinks that he shouldn’t be eating table food at all, that we just need to worry about baby food. I know that he worries he won’t get as healthy of food and won’t meet his required amount of fruits and veggies. And he’s kind of right, we don’t eat bad by any means, but we certainly never meet our number of veggies for the day. I look at this as an opportunity for all of us to do better, he looks at it as another way we are going to screw B up. As I do my meal planning for the week, I am already adding in some new things just for B. He’s going on table food and we are eating better. That’s the only option. We can’t go back to baby food.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Back from the Big Trip

We did it.  We survived it.  We took a 9 month old to Disney World and we lived to tell about it.  It wasn't always pretty (sometimes it was down right ugly), but we had a lot of fun, made a lot of good memories, and took a ton of great pictures.

I'm not sure if I mentioned it before, but my grandparents were spending two weeks in Orlando, so we could get free lodging and there were discounted tickets for the military, so we jumped at the chance to take a significantly reduced price trip to DW before J starting getting underway all the time.  We knew that it would be tough to take B, but we also knew the memories would be great ones.

I have to admit, I love DW.  I get so excited to go there.  We went their on our honeymoon, we went to Disneyland for my birthday, we took a Disney Adventure.  All within 3 years.  Yes, it's a lot, but it's just a fun experience.  The ease of planning, the special touches when there, and the memories that come home with are unmatched in my opinion.  Now I am not saying I want to take a vacation there every year only, but I really do enjoy visiting.

B seemed to really enjoy the trip, if for no other reason than spending the week with his great-grandparents.  Boy, was he spoiled.  He ate all kinds of junk, got held almost constantly, and had constant attention.  He seemed to enjoy meeting the characters, he wasn't scared at all.  He laughed pretty darn hard at Pluto (I think old Pluto reminded him of two certain naughty puppies that weren't there) and just smiled and smiled at Tigger.  He also went on some rides, he rode It's A Small World more than once and spent much of the ride yelling at the characters.

This trip was very different from previous ones, we didn't do as much, we went home much earlier each day, and we had to schedule our day out a lot more.  It was a very different experience, we saw a lot more detail this time because we slowed down.  We saw more parades and shows.  It was nice to stop and take in the hard work. 

It was a much needed break, but there is so much to do tonight!  Ah!  I need another vacation.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Daddy's Bad Day

While at work today, I got a CALL ASAP 911 text from J. So I immediately jump on the phone...disaster has struck. B fell off the couch, straight onto his face. My hubs was in a complete panic. He was afraid to pick him up if he had broken something. So I calmly (while I was in total panic on the inside) instructed him to pick him up and call the Doctor. I hung up and waited. During this time, I began calculating how long it would take me to get, how long it would take me to get to the hospital, what B would need to pack. Basically, I began preparing myself for the worst.
I wait 10 minutes and called back. My hubs reported the doctor said B would be fine and gave him some warning signs to look out for. Then J breaks down in tears. While heading outside to get the phone number from his car, he fell on the ice and hit his head on the bricks. He's hurt now as well. So, I have my two main men at home with head injuries, and here I am at work.
I wanted to leave and come home and take care of everyone, but I couldn't. I had to stay at work. I had to stay because I had a job to do, but also because I needed to let J take care of this. For both of us. J needs to build his confidence with B. He rarely has tough days, he is constantly worried. If he could handle this, he would be a lot better off. But, also for me. I needed to trust J enough to handle this. I needed to let someone else take care of my baby. When I go on deployment, I can't run home, I have to trust that J can do the same job that I can.
It was tough, but I stayed. I trusted J. And, you know what; everyone was in one piece when I got home.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

There's Nothing Like the Sound of a Nerf Gun in the Morning...

As I have mentioned before, we have 5 (count 'em 5) pets. 3 cats (2 of them VERY large) and 2 dogs (90+ pounds each). Needless to say, our house is in constant motion. Someone is always in constant motion, there is always someone who needs something, someone is always messing with someone else. Generally, all 5 of them get along. The dogs don't mess with the cats, the cats don't really mess with each other. They will chase each other, but it's just for fun. One of the cats loves the dogs to chase her. The dogs enjoy wrestling with each other. But again, all of this is generally not annoying. Everyone just kind of exists.
This is not the case from 5 to 7 am. During these hours, it is impossible to get the animals to behave. The cats gallop throughout our room. Literally, gallop. They chase each other, they jump on and off the bed, they run under the bed. All of this motion gets the dogs riled up and they start trying to get our attention. They stand right next to our bed and stare at us. As a result of this, there is no possibility of sleeping in at the Betz house. Even on the days that B likes to snooze a little later, J and I are up early. We have tried locking the cats out of our room. They proceeded to learn how to open the door and force their way in. If we put something behind the door, they just bat at the door and wake us up.
Now, I know that when you have 5 pets there are certain things that you give up. We have less money because of vet bills. We have to plan out our vacations around pet care availabilities. We can't be as spontaneous. But, we love our pets, they bring something special to our home. They make our lives fun. B loves to play with the dogs. Both J and I love to sit on the couch with a cat in our laps and watch TV. I wouldn't trade any of them. They each have a special personality and it makes life fun. I would like a moratorium on the 5 am kitty and puppy parade.
So the best method of control in the mornings is the nerf gun. J sleeps with the nerf gun right next to him in the bed. Once the kitties start their morning routine, J sits up and unloads. It is pretty hilarious to see the kitties scatter. Now lest anyone worry, no one is actually hit when fired at (J's aim isn't that good). Now, I am off to bed, hopefully, we will be able to get a little sleep past 5 am.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Dread Associated with Developmental Milestones

As a first-time mom, I rely heavily on books and online information to know when my son should be reaching specific developmental milestones. Crawling, sitting up, smiling, you know the things they are supposed to do by a certain time or you have to start worrying. Well, B has been on time for pretty much all of them, he sat up, smiled, crawled, and got teeth all right on schedule. But there is one thing that B has been consistently behind on, vocalizations.
9 months is the red flag time for babbling. This means using consonants in speech, it usually starts with baba, mama, dada. Well, up until yesterday, B had never done anything close to this. He would sequel with joy and coo, but no hard sounds, no just general talking. I shouldn't have been surprised, B was late cooing. However, as his 9 month day got closer and closer, I found myself getting more and more concerned.
We try our hardest to read, sing, and talk to B. I make sure to spend time every night before bedtime reading to him. We sing him songs as he finishes his bottle. We try to not let him watch TV. I feel like we are doing everything right, but, darn it, if this kid was just did not want to talk.
So, I started to research on the internet. Now, normally lots of people say no to internet research, it just leads to more stress, but during my pregnancy I did internet research and it probably saved B's life. But, in this case, I just kept getting worse and worse news. Everything said he should be talking; he should be doing something and if not, talk to the doctor. In the age of autism, it seems that huge amounts of pressure are put on social interactions of children.
Well, B said baba yesterday and hasn't stopped since. At B's next appointment (in a week or so), I am still going to mention it, but I think the next development milestone I will try and be a little more patient before I start to panic.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Another Wintery Weekend

Well, another wintery weekend is upon us.  Darn you groundhog, we need spring!  While we probably won't get as much snow as last time, we are still expected to have wet, icy conditions, which normally would be great for staying home.  There's only one problem, I have to work both Saturday and Sunday!

So, I freely admit I am not a great driver.  I get distracted listening to the radio and thinking.  I follow too close and drive too fast.  I know it and I'm wokring on it, but I still am a little bit nervous driving in these kinds of conditions.  I notice that I do drive better when Brian is in the car, so rest assured, I do value his life more than my own.

I am bummed that I will have to work this weekend.  I know that everyone works weekends and I have worked quite a few recently.  I just have had this feeling of not being a member of the household these past few weeks and my weekend at home really recharged me.  Plus, we are leaving on our vacation in only 9 days and I have so much to plan, do, and pack.  Well, I guess I just have to keep chugging along and get one day closer to that wonderful FL sunshine!


Monday, February 1, 2010

Snow Weekend!

So, we live in VA on the ocean, so snow is something of a rarity around these parts.  Also, I grew up in NC so we didn't get much snow there either.  However, this past weekend we got a whopping 7 inches of snow.  Needless to say, our town with only a handful of snowplows was shut down.  Me, J, B, and the puppies and kitties have been cooped up in this house for 3 days!

We have had a great time!  I thought three days would be a nuts, and I'll admit, it was a little bit frustrating at times, but, on the whole, we have had a really memorable weekend!  B made a snow angel and played in the snow.  The puppies TOTALLY loved it.  They spent more time outside running around like nuts than ever before.  Their favorite was when we threw snowballs at them to catch.  They also enjoyed wrestling in the snow with J.  We also let our cats out for a minute (they are indoor only)  and it was really funny, they turned tail and went inside almost immediately.  B and I took a nice walk around the neighborhood checking out all of the kids playing.  We tried to make a snowman, but we couldn't get the snow to pack.  We had Saturday, Sunday, and Monday off.  There were sometimes when everyone was getting on my nerves, but I had to remind myself of all the times that I miss being home.

It was also wonderful because B started for real crawling (hands and knees) today.  He doesn't have it totally down, can only make it 4 or 5 steps, but it was nice to see him make progress.  We also advantage of the time off to start B on a cup (hasn't been going great so far) and step him up to stage 3 foods (also not going so hot).  I know that these things take time and I just have to be patient, but i was glad to have enough time off to be able to get it started and not have to rely totally on the nanny to take care of it. 

Well, back to work tomorrow, but only T-minus 12 days to our big trip to Disney (more on that later...)