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Monday, November 18, 2013

Resisting the Urge (Week 21, Day 3)

Labor Day weekend was a chance for our little family to lay low after several busy weeks. We had made very few plans, and were thrilled to have the weekend mostly wide open to relax. I can say we somewhat accomplished our goal. While the weekend was not rushed or busy, with Maddy's cold and diaper rash it wasn't altogether restful. Her sleep patterns have gone backwards, and she is now up every 2 hours at night, if not more. After a few weeks reprieve, this change was difficult to take on again. At the same time, I had decided to begin training for a 10k run in October, and decided to start by going back to a trainer. Trying to work out with a military style trainer on no sleep should be classified as some sort of torture.
By Labor Day itself, Madeline was starting to feel better, the rash had all but disappeared, and Mommy's soreness from training had started to subside. Labor Day itself was filled with the highs and lows that only a parent can appreciate - a lovely breakfast at one of our favorite spots, ending in a major diaper blow out and trip home to do several loads of laundry. The afternoon was spent enjoying the last of the beautiful Chicago weather at the beach, toes in the sand, listening to Madeline coo and talk endlessly. This trip ended because the nap we thought we could get Maddy to take with the sounds of the lake lapping in the background never happened, and we knew we were in for tears and a struggle at bedtime later.

At the end of the day, after bath time and story time and quiet time to prepare for sleepy time, I gently laid Maddy in her crib drowsy but awake, so that she would soothe herself to sleep. This is something we try to do routinely and she is usually fast asleep in minutes, after finding her comfy spot in the crib. Today was not one of those days. She wiggled around, and began talking intently to the mobile above her head. This is always the moment that is the hardest for moms, because you want to go in and try to get your child to sleep, however also want to allow them to learn and grow on there own, and discover and explore their surroundings. Since Madeline was not crying and in fact was enjoying herself, I chose to watch on the monitor and see what she was learning. I'm so glad I resisted the urge to go in and soothe for her, because as I watched on the baby monitor, she wiggled around the crib, until she found her binky, and placed it in her mouth. She would suck on it briefly, then take it out and hold it in her hand, talk to the mobile, and put it back in again. I'd never seen her do that before! It made me realize how important (and hard) it is going to be to allow Madeline to chance to learn and grow on her own without hovering too closely. I can see this getting harder as the years go by!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Rash of the Diaper (Week 21, Day 1)

I'm upset about my diaper rash - can't you tell?
Every parent will tell you that as soon as you start to develop a routine, something will change with your child and everything will be chaos once again. It feels that way today. Or should I say in the wee hours of this morning. Yesterday was Maddy's doctors appointment to finally get her 4 month vaccinations - we needed to wait an extra 3 weeks to fight the fever and ear infection before doing her shots. The night before our appointment, Madeline developed diaper rash, and a bad cold. This didn't preclude us from being able to get her vaccinations, but it did change up her schedule again. The (sacred) long stretches of sleep at night are now gone, replaced with short stints of sleeping, followed by coughing, crying and diaper changes.
Like any parent, I worry about Madeline, and want to make everything better. It bothers me to look at the redness on her tiny bottom and know that I can't immediately make it go away. To see her cry and feel pain  because of it and know there is little I can do tears me apart. It's the ultimate act of patience to methodically apply Desitin with every diaper change and just wait for the redness or soreness to go away. Lets hope the waiting doesn't last long.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Rush Hour (Week 20, Day 5)

End of the day smiles from Maddy
It's 5:40 PM, and Maddy is asleep. For the night. Sure, she'll wake up at least once or twice wanting to be fed or changed, but beyond that, she'll be out. It's weird how the end of my day can be the best and worst part of my day. It's the worst because I'm constantly rushing out the door at work, hoping I haven't left something behind, my task list not done and the list of work I'll need to do at night growing by the minute. I'm always rushing to get to Maddy, so I can get her home, fed, and have a little snuggle time before she inevitably is fast asleep between 5 and 6.
It's my favorite part of the day because when I get to daycare and Maddy sees me, I get a big smile and Maddy just wants to snuggle for awhile. When we get home it's just the two of us and we get to laugh and play as I rush to get her unpacked, changed and fed. Most days we manage to get a book read or sing a song. And by 5:30 or 6:00 PM, it's all done. She peacefully sleeping, and I'm wondering where the whirlwind of time just went, and wishing she stayed up just a little bit later so that we could spend a bit more quality time together.

Friday, November 1, 2013

20 Week Reflection (Week 20, Day 1)

Madeline is 20 weeks old today. I'm well beyond telling people that now - in the beginning new moms count everything in weeks, and you know you're beyond the newborn phase when you start counting in months, not weeks. But then I realized that she's only been alive half the time I was pregnant this week. At 20 weeks pregnant, we found out we were having a little girl. And we were thrilled. At 20 weeks, it all became more real for us, as we got serious about putting a name with the little being growing inside me. Before we knew the sex of the baby, we were coming up with crazy names - like Umbutu for example. It wasn't a front runner, but it certainly was joked about frequently. Now 40 weeks later, that little being we dreamed about is a happy 4 month old, and growing bigger every minute.

We spent the morning playing together as a family and making a big weekend breakfast. Mornings have begun to be  my favorite time for quality family togetherness - Maddy is always most awake and active in the mornings, and we get to laugh and giggle as a happy little family. Madeline has begun to test out her vocal chords in the last few weeks, and I swear once she starts talking, it’s going to be a real treat.Today she laid on her playmat and talked to her Owl and Squirrel forever and Phil and I watched and laughed. She’s begun cooing and calling out to people when they speak to her, and tonight she talked herself to sleep. It’s hilarious. I can’t wait to find out what she’s been trying to tell us.