Thursday, September 30, 2010

Such a klutz

At the end of yesterday's post, I wrote about hitting my shins when I ran into the ottoman. Let me tell you, it hurt VERY BADLY. It's a soft ottoman, but around the top edges, there are some hard places that give structure to it, of course. Ouch.

It all started with a bump to Audrey's head on Tuesday night. I was sitting on the floor right beside her, and she hit her forehead, hard, on the cedar chest. I felt so guilty about it, especially when I saw the knot that rose up almost immediately. I know I shouldn't feel guilty, but it's so hard not to. I know there's going to be lots of times that she's going to hit her head, especially when she starts walking, but I always think, "I should have prevented that."

She screamed and screamed, which is unusual. Since she started pulling up recently, we've said "Oopsie!" every time she falls, and she usually just smiles. I know the parents' reaction affects the way the baby handles it, so we try to remain calm.

We checked the dilation of her pupils, which I insist on doing every time she has a hard hit to the head. Yes, I'm paranoid. My dad had several brain aneurysms in his lifetime, and I'm all too aware of how brain injuries work.

The worst part was, it was almost bedtime. That means we couldn't really check on her, watch her behavior, to see how she was. Matt did her usual nighttime routine, but she still wouldn't go to sleep. She just screamed. Which is highly unusual, especially since we successfully completed sleep training a few months ago.

It turns out she was fine, but we got her up anyway; I wanted to check her pupils again. I know, the OCD was rearing its ugly head. I had her in my arms, screaming, and I practically ran to the bedroom to get the flashlight. Wham! Hit the front of my shins on the ottoman.

Matt and I are trying to watch our language now, since we don't want little Audrey to start cursing while she's at, say, the church nursery on Sunday. But I was in so much pain that I let several terribly unflattering words fly from my mouth.

Last night, I am not exaggerating when I say I could hardly walk, and I have two big bruises on my shins. And it irritates me to no end. Because ever since I was diagnosed with FMS, I've become clumsy. I knock things over, drop things, fall and hit my head...the list is endless. Part of FMS has to do with loss of muscle control. When it was really bad, I could be standing there in the kitchen, holding a glass, and I would just drop it. With no idea how it happened. Poor Matt has had to clean up so many spills in the last few years, bless his heart, usually with me crying and saying, "I'm so sorry!"

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I feel like such an idiot. As a child, I was not uncoordinated. I played church basketball and softball, and I probably would have played high school softball if I hadn't worked so much. So this loss of muscle control is tough.

At least it's gotten better in the last few months. Even though you'd never know it by looking at my shins.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Mother Goose was on the loose today

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Audrey and I went to a program today at the library called "Mother Goose on the Loose". I had no idea what to expect, other than the fact that there would be nursery rhymes. Yes, I'm a rocket scientist.

It was a lot of fun! The woman who presented it was awesome, although she wasn't dressed for the part, as shown above. Can't say I blame her for that, though. She had puppets, and she'd get down on her hands and knees, crawling, and bring the puppet around to each child. And there had to be at least 35 people there. It was packed out!

One of the puppets was some kind of bird, maybe a swan, and the lady brought it right up to Audrey. A lot of the other babies tried to get away from it, giggling, but Audrey just let the puppet "kiss" her on the nose. The lady said, "Oh, we have a brave one here!" She didn't even flinch. It's funny, since you never know how your child is going to respond to something like that.

I think most of the people were regulars (they have it each week), and most of them knew the songs. I felt a little out of it at that point, but it was okay. The lady brought around a drum, and each child (with the parent's help) had to beat out the syllables of his/her name on it. I took Audrey's hand when it was her turn, and she seemed to enjoy it.

Near the end, the lady gave out some transparent "scarves", just little squares of fabric. We played games with those, too. Audrey, however, decided she'd rather chew on hers. Needless to say, her scarf went in the "special bag" when the lady took it up. I can't keep anything out of her mouth these days.

I think we'll go again next week, if I'm not hurting too much from this time. It was a very interactive program...we were swinging the babies all around. We also ran and tiptoed around the circle, so my legs are already hurting. Of course, that could be because I smacked the $hit out of my shins last night on our ottoman. Brilliant, yes? I'll never get used to how clumsy I've become due to FMS. But that's another story, for another day.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Why won't my baby play with toys?

Okay, I'm not going to say Audrey never plays with her toys, but she definitely has a curiosity for things that definitely don't fall into the toy category. Like today, when I found her in the kitchen.

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Yes, she's playing with my grabber! That's what I call it, anyway. I'm not sure what the official term is, but my mom gave it to me when my FMS was so bad that I couldn't even pick things up off the floor.

And now, I use it on my bad days, but it's also very useful for picking up toys at the end of the day and putting them away. Seriously, I think the manufacturer should re-package it and sell it at Babies R Us as a toy picker-upper. Yeah, I can't think of a snazzy name for it right now, but people would definitely register for it.

But what is this fascination with things she can't have? Here are some items she goes after on a regular basis:

1) my cell phone, which is TEEMING with germs, according to what I've read,

2) the power cord for the Apple laptop, which she can now pull down even from the top of our "big chair". She proceeds to stick it directly in her mouth, every time.

3) my keys (see #1 for reference to germs)

4) the camera

5) the laptop itself.

And today, she crawled over to the Blu Ray player and turned it on. Her Baby Einstein video came on, and she just smiled. Unbelievable!

I'm thinking, for her birthday and Christmas, we should just wrap a bunch of empty boxes and let her tear the paper off and play with them. I remember the year that my nieces, after unwrapping all their gifts, pushed everything but the boxes and bubble wrap aside. The packaging was a huge hit, and I have a great picture of the two of them jumping up and down on the bubble wrap.

It would definitely save us some money. It might be a bit embarrassing at her birthday party, though.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Football and salad and EPIC FAIL

Thursday night, Matt had to shoot a football game at the middle school where we both used to teach. He's doing all the sports shots for them, which is such a relief because we need the extra money.

I was excited because I wanted to take Audrey to her first football game. Matt and I love football, and I hope she does, too.

Audrey had a great time, and I wish I had a picture of her enjoying everything. She loves to look at people, so her head was constantly swiveling all over the place. There could easily have been a picture, since I brought the camera...except for the fact that I was so very miserable.

I can't believe how hot it was. It was BOILING. I don't sweat very much, not at all. It must be genetic, because my brother doesn't, either. When I used to work out at the gym, friends would comment about it. Like my friend Lynn, who would run on the treadmill next to me. Her sweat would be flying everywhere, even hitting me on the bicycle next to her!

But on Thursday, I was sweating in places I'd forgotten I have. The game started at 5:00, so even though said it was be 91, I thought it would be bearable. Not!

I made it through an hour, which is amazing in itself. Matt was down on the field, so I called him to say I couldn't take it anymore. When I got up from my chair, my back was sweating. My back! I don't think it's ever sweated before, except maybe when I lived in Charleston, where the humidity is so bad it will take your breath away.

It was such a relief to get in the car and blast the air conditioning. It was 6 pm, and it was still 93 degrees. And that's not even taking into account the humidity. Audrey is hot-natured, but she was fine because she had the shade on her stroller to protect her, thank goodness.

I was so disoriented from the heat. That's one thing about FMS...the heat affects me in ways it never did before. It literally feels as if the life is being sucked out of me. I can almost picture the energy leaving my body when I walk out into extreme heat.

Since it was already late, I stopped by Chik-fil-A to get one of my favorite salads, the Chargrilled Fruit Salad.
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Doesn't it look yummy? Yeah, well, it doesn't look so great when it's dumped all over your leather couch. You read that right. I was so shaky and drained by the time I got Audrey to bed and finally had time to eat, that I dumped it everywhere.

Aaaaahhhhhhh...we need to move. This heat is KILLING me. I thought I was hot last year when I was pregnant, but please. This summer is one of the hottest on record, and I am over it already!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

There should be a law...

that every doctor's office, store, etc. should be required to have a baby-changing station. I don't care if it's just a table in a back room, really, but there should be SOMEWHERE that I can change Audrey if she needs it.

Yesterday, I went to the psychiatrist for a routine check-up. As I was leaving, I realized Audrey had a dirty diaper. I went to the front desk and said to the nurse, "Do y'all have somewhere I can change my baby, since you don't have a diaper-changing station in the bathroom?"

The nurse, who's always very nice to me, said to let her think about it for a minute. I sat in a chair and waited. When Audrey was much younger, Matt and I brought her to this same place, and they gave us an empty room to change her. So, I figured there would be no problem.

Wrong. The nice nurse must have made someone else come out and tell me that they didn't have anywhere for me to change her. Are you kidding me? There's nowhere in this two-story building, no little corner where I can change my daughter's diaper? I mean, I've paid enough money to this place over the years that I could have a wing named after me. I was so. ticked. off. In fact, I wanted to follow that woman back to her office, put Audrey down on her desk, change her diaper, and then wipe it all over her computer. Aaaaarrrrggghhhhh.

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I never noticed this problem until I had a baby, but there are so many places that don't have anywhere for a baby to be changed. If you have a bathroom for adults, then you should have a changing station! I'm not asking for anything fancy, just a level area that's big enough.

We were recently at a large furniture store with some of my family, and the place had a very nice bathroom. But guess what? That's right. No changing table. So I asked one of the employees about it, and he said, "We don't have anywhere to change her." Then my mom said, "How about right here?", referring to one of the reclining lawn chairs that was nearby. He looked totally disgusted. Then I got really angry and said, "There no baby-changing station in your bathroom."

The guy actually suggested that I change her on the counter in the bathroom. I said, "Are you kidding me?" There was maybe two inches between the sinks on that counter. I guess he could tell by the look on my face that I was going to change her right then, right there, whether he liked it or not, so he relented.

But it's not right. I think I need to write my senator or something. Because next time, I WILL change her on that woman's desk at my psychiatrist's office. And I hope she has a big poop that day, too.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

9 month appt

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Our 9 month appointment was about a week late, and now it's a week after that, so I'm slack in writing about this. But here's how it went:

Weight: 18 lbs (we were surprised that it wasn't more!)
Height: 28.25 inches
Head circumference: 44 inches.

Audrey's a little skinny mini, as you can see. And I continue to be blown away by her height. Matt has some tall family members, but mine are mostly shorties. I thought she'd be about my height, 5'2". The only person in my family with any height was my grandpa, who was 6 feet. Well, like I've mentioned before, she'll be able to reach the high cabinets for me.

So, the pedi asked me about her "pincer grasp". I just looked at her blankly. I know what the term means, but we hadn't give her any finger foods at the time, so I didn't know. Dr. W seemed surprised that we hadn't, but she didn't mention anything about it at her 6 month appt. They always give us a guide with eating, sleeping, behavioral tips, but it didn't say anything about finger foods. And for some reason, I just haven't wanted to start them without the doctor's okay.

I was shocked when Dr. W said Audrey can basically have anything now, even meat. Whoa! I wasn't expecting that. After the appointment, we all went to the store and picked out some Stage 3 meals for her, since the pedi said we should be getting Audrey used to having breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Before this, we'd been giving her two purees a day, Stage 2.

Her first Stage 3 food attempt was chicken noodle with carrots. Now, Audrey LOVES carrots. And for some reason, I didn't think she'd have a problem with Stage 3 foods. Even the foods she doesn't like, such as peaches, she'll finish eating (complete with a shudder and a small gag).

But the chicken With her first bite, she gave us a look like, What are you doing to me? Where are my nice, smooth purees? I thought she'd be okay after a few minutes, but nope. She literally gagged and spit it out. It was so funny that I had to get the camcorder. Matt and I were laughing until I had tears running down my face. That's going to be lots of fun to watch later!

The next night, we tried spaghetti with meatballs. A totally different taste from chicken, so we thought she might be okay. FAIL AGAIN. She did the same thing. She just rolled the meat around in her mouth with this horrible look on her face, then spit it out. So, she's probably going to have Matt's weird thing about textures. Great.

For now, we're back to the purees. I just couldn't do it to her anymore; plus, it was a waste of food. Bless her heart. Matt and I decided that maybe she'll be a vegetarian. Hey, we'll just get used to cooking tofu. No problem, right?

Friday, September 17, 2010

I hit a parked truck yesterday

Yep. That's right. And, to be perfectly honest, it's not the first time I've done such a thing. And it scared the #@$% out of me.

I was backing out of our driveway, and a truck was parked across the street, on the road, in front of a house. The truck was facing the wrong way to be parked on the street, but apparently, according to the jerk of a trooper who came out, that doesn't matter if you're in a neighborhood. It matters everywhere else, for some reason.

I was on the way to meet my mom for lunch with Audrey, and I definitely looked when I backed out. I really did! I'm not going to blame the car seat, but it was the car seat's fault. We have the Safety 1st Complete Air seat; it's black, and it sticks up over the seat (I'm sure most convertible car seats do). Anyway, the truck was a dark blue, almost black color, and I think the two mixed together in my field of vision.

All I know is that I heard a sickening crunch. And my heart sank to my feet. At first, I thought I hit a mailbox. Then I looked in my rearview mirror, and I saw it. CRAP. Our driveway slopes down a little, so I clearly didn't see it earlier. But by the time I got in the road, of course I could.

I didn't know what to do. I'm usually pretty clear-minded in an emergency (at least I was before FMS lifted its ugly head), but I think I was in shock. All I could think about was protecting Audrey. I knew she wasn't hurt, since we barely made impact. Of course, from looking at the truck, you'd think I hit it harder than I did.

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See the back quarter panel?

But all I could think was, somebody's going to come out of that house (I assumed a guy, since it was a truck...sexist, right?) and freak out on me. I was really afraid that someone would hurt Audrey or me, thus leaving Audrey defenseless. Why did I feel this way?

For one reason, I watch too many crime shows. For another, the three houses across the street from us have been rental properties for the entire time I've lived here. As a result, people move in, you rarely see them, then they move out again. I think a lot of them probably skip out on their rent, since they're here one day, gone the next. So I never get to know them.

Anyway, no one came out, and I called the police. I had to get Audrey in the house, because she really needed a bottle at this point. And when I came back outside, the truck was gone! People asked if I left a note, but it truly never occurred to me that this person would leave before the police got there. I was too busy taking care of Audrey.

Obviously, when the trooper showed up, he couldn't do anything without a second car. He said if the truck never came back (we'd never seen it before), there would be nothing we could do.

But when we got home from my massage last night, the truck was looming large across the street. DOUBLE CRAP. Since I had to bathe Audrey and get her into bed, Matt had to go over there by himself.

The neighbors are Hispanic, and Matt said the woman couldn't understand what he was saying. She kept saying, "La policia! La policia!" And then she got in the truck, drove down the street, turned around, and came back and parked in her yard. Matt thinks that she understood him to say that he wanted her to move the truck so I wouldn't back into it. Too little, too late!

We couldn't help but giggle about the experience when Matt came back. He said he'd never heard anyone say "La policia!" so much. He ended up talking to her husband on the phone, and they figured things out. The poor woman didn't even know the truck had been hit.

What a day. Thank God Audrey wasn't hurt, and that no one was in the truck when I hit it. I guess I'll be backing into the driveway from now on.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I couldn't be a baby

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I HATE shopping. Unless I'm alone, or with Matt. Or shopping online.

On Sunday, Mom, Michael, Matt, Audrey, and I went to Toys R Us to get some ideas for Audrey's birthmas. That's what I call it, since she was born in December. It's much easier to say, trust me.

I'm not the biggest fan of shopping in the first place, mostly because of FMS. I have a lot of environmental sensitivities, and the smells from the new merchandise make me feel a little loopy. I get light-headed, easily confused, and to top it all of...EXTREMELY irritable. So, anyone want to go shopping with me?

I much prefer shopping online, which my mom does not understand. But how could she not? I can sit here on my comfortable reclining couch, peruse items at my leisure, and even read reviews from people who've bought the product.

In the store? Oh no. Mom is always two or three aisles in front of me, telling me to look at whatever new treasure she's found. And then, I have to trot over there and check it out. Does she stay with me to see what I'm looking at? Nope. And I move a lot slower than she does, so that compounds the problem.

On Sunday, it was so much worse. Because I had Mom calling out for me, and then I had Matt doing the same thing, usually at the same time. Utter chaos! I felt like I was teaching again, with five kids calling my name over and over again. Seriously, I began to hate the sound of my name:)

So, as often happens in these situation, I became "unplugged". I had to sit down, and I had to do it RIGHT THEN. And Toys R Us has nowhere to sit, and I mean nowhere. I've started to notice that a lot of stores don't, and I think it's so rude. I guess they don't want people hanging out, not buying anything, but some people have health problems and need a rest!

Mom was asking me, "Where are you going to sit? I don't see any place to sit!" And then I must have gotten a steely look in my eye, because she immediately backed off. I can't take all her questions, even though I know she's concerned, when I'm feeling this badly. I snapped at her and said, "I have to sit. NOW."

I felt bad about it later and apologized, but I have to pay attention to my body. If it says stop, I have to stop. If I don't, I will most certainly pay for it later.

So, getting back to the title of this post, Matt found a wheelchair cart for me. I hate having to use these, but I had no choice. It was either that or leave.

And now I know why there are so many babies screaming in stores. Because they're bored! You're at the mercy of whoever's pushing you, and you can't look at what you want. It's so frustrating. I understand that disabled people have to endure this every day, and it has to be beyond horrible.

Honestly, Audrey was handling it much better than I was. She just kicked back and propped a leg up on her stroller and chilled out. Not me. I was getting so annoyed; Matt was bumping into everything (not his fault, you know how they cram as much as they can in stores), and I couldn't see anything above eye level. Someone would call out, "Hey, look at this, Emily!" And I would say, " I can't."

So, I couldn't be a baby again. Not that it's even possible, but still. And I have a new appreciation for people who are in wheelchairs permanently. They're horribly uncomfortable, for one, and for another, you totally lose your independence, unless you can wheel yourself around. Or if you have one of those cool scooter things.

I'm thankful today that, even though I hurt every day, I'm not in a wheelchair. I feel as if I need to do something for people who are, advocate for them in some way. I was in their shoes for a short period of time, and I did not like it.

Monday, September 13, 2010

We have a crawler!

Wow. This weekend was a study in contrasts. Saturday was absolute torture, since I had a horrible migraine. It's bad enough having one during the week, since I have to care for Audrey alone, and they really knock me down. I was grateful to have Matt's help, of course, but I feel as if I lost a whole day to the pain and didn't get to enjoy my time with Audrey and Matt. So annoying.

But I have to say...Sunday rocked! We didn't go to church, because the day after a migraine, my head is still very sensitive. It's like the migraine is just lurking in there, waiting to spring out and torture me again. It's the devil. And our church has a fairly loud band, so it was a no-go.

But Audrey crawled!!! I can't believe it. Still can't. I mean, I knew it was coming...all the signs were there, of course. I'm just so glad that Matt was home to see it. I was terrified that he'd be at work the first time she did it, then I'd have to keep it a secret (per his wishes) until he saw it on his own.

As you can see, this child is ready to go!

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Just a few days before crawling
I had bought Audrey a new toy, and I put some of the "linking bugs" out of her reach to see if she would crawl to them (as I've done a million times before with other toys). But she REALLY likes these, so she started lurching toward them. Something told me, This is it. She's going to do it.

So I yelled for Matt, who came running in the bedroom, and she did it! I can't believe how exciting it was, one of the best moments of my life. And bittersweet, too, since my little baby is growing up. She didn't crawl far, or for long, but she definitely crawled. Matt got it on the camcorder, so I have proof that I didn't imagine it.

Oh, Audrey. You're growing up so fast.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Yay me!

I wrote here about finally getting up the courage to email my local Mom's Club for some info. I NEED to get out of the house, and Audrey needs to be around other kids. Since I've been feeling marginally better, I decided to go to one of their events at the library today.

It was great....but really, really loud! I guess we're used to our quiet little house.

There were about 6 "stations", all with different activities for Reading Readiness (4 yrs. and under). I was afraid Audrey would be too young to enjoy it, but I was wrong. She LOVED it. I only wish I'd brought my camera. I saw another mom with one and mentally smacked myself in the head.

Her favorite station was the music one, which I could have easily guessed. There was a bin with all kinds of musical toys in it, and she was fascinated. I think she would have stayed there the whole time and been perfectly happy. She also liked the one with puzzles, since we don't have any here at home. And no, I'm not quite that's just that I've yet to see a puzzle that didn't have a 1+ age requirement on it. There were some really soft ones, though, ones I've never seen in stores.

My OCD kicked in a bit (okay, A LOT) when Audrey managed to get a couple of things in her mouth. I was watching her like a hawk, knowing that other kids had done the same thing right before her, but I still couldn't prevent it. I would turn my head for a second to talk to another mom, and BAM! Something in her mouth. If she gets sick now, it's totally my fault.

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I'd probably wear one of those if it was socially acceptable. That's why I don't like buffets. And my least favorite part of church? You got it...when people shake hands. Yuck.

I had to let it go, though, since Audrey was having a good time. I know, I know, children are exposed to germs everywhere. And I'm somewhat mollified after reading that there's something in a baby's drool that helps kill germs. But still.

Anyway, I didn't chicken out, and I'm proud of myself for going. I met some nice people, and it was good to get out on such a beautiful day. Even if I did have to wipe Audrey down head-to-toe afterward.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Labor Day Weekend

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This weekend was fabulous. I probably wouldn't change one thing about it.

Okay, I might change Nichole's meltdown on Sunday, but hey, if that's the worst thing that happens...

On Saturday, we finally took Audrey downtown to the park for a picnic. I guess it wasn't much of a picnic, though; Matt had his NutriSystem food, I had my Wendy's salad, and Audrey had a bottle. Oh well, we still ate together, right?

We spread out a blanket under some trees, with a fantastic view of the waterfall, and just hung out. IT WAS BLISS. I love being just makes me feel better, even though it does NOT make my allergies happy. But I was willing to sacrifice.

We've been wanting to take Audrey downtown for a while, but it's just been too darn hot. Heat indexes of over 100 do not equal a fun day in the park. Not for my hot-natured child (and husband). So it was such a relief to get outside and "enjoy the nature", as Nichole says.

Everyone was enchanted by Audrey. She'll smile at anyone, and her smile lights up her face like Christmas. People can't help but come closer, almost as if they're drawn to her. And she was certainly in her element on Saturday.

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She really loves dogs, and there were two women in front of us who had a cute one. They asked if he (she?) could come over and "meet" her, and I told them to go ahead. Audrey started giggling like mad, and everybody was laughing and smiling. It seemed like everyone we saw was having a great time, and I can't even explain how much I enjoyed it. I'm stuck in the house WAY too much these days.

On Sunday, we went to my parents' house, and we got to see Nichole and Elizabeth. We had the grand idea to bring Scrabble, since Elizabeth loves playing games. Well, I hate to say it, but Elizabeth (9 years old) beat Matt and me at Scrabble. And she'd never played the game before. Yes, she's a genius.

Matt argues that he technically won, and that may be true, but it's only because Elizabeth got bored at the end and quit the game to go outside and play. Wow. Talk about humility. I mean, I have a degree in English. You would think I could beat a nine-year-old at Scrabble. But you would be wrong.

We spent Monday with Matt's family; they came over here, since it's so much easier for Audrey to get good naps in her own crib. We ate outside, since the weather was still cooperating. Lovely! However, I got "unplugged" (my term for when FMS gets the best of me) and I had to lie down for the rest of the afternoon. This is what I look like when FMS catches up with me. Not a pretty sight.

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At least Matt had plenty of help with the baby. I guess all the activities of the weekend finally caught up with me.

I can't be too bitter about it, though, since not too long ago, I wouldn't have been able to go to the park at all because of the walking involved.

Like I said, there was only one scene when Nichole rediscovered her love for Webkinz (after going under Audrey's account and playing with her giraffe) and decided she must have one THAT DAY. I talked to her, though, and she was placated when I agreed to paint window sun-catchers with her. I love doing crafts, so believe me, it wasn't a sacrifice.

I love that the weather was cooler, but we're back up to past 90 for the rest of this week. That's okay. I've gotten a glimpse of fall, and me likey.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

9 month letter

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Our Lovebug

Dear Audrey,

Nine months old...I can hardly believe it. I feel like writing that in every one of your letters, because it seems as if time is flying by. You are the greatest joy of our lives, and Daddy and I are so proud to be your parents.

You make people smile everywhere you go. We took you to Falls Park yesterday, and you were a hit! People kept looking at you and commenting on how beautiful and sweet you are. And they're so right.

You're becoming more mobile each and every day. You can scoot backwards across your nursery floor in the blink of an eye. You're trying your best to figure out crawling, but you haven't quite gotten the hang of it yet. Sometimes, I think you're going to skip crawling altogether and just walk. One of your favorite things to do is stand up while holding on to the ottoman. You can do that for several minutes at a time, which just shows how strong your legs are.

You're now eating Stage 2 foods, and your favorite vegetable seems to be sweet potatoes. You're eating like a champ, and you'll try anything once. You ate two containers of peaches, even though I know you really didn't like them. After your last bite, you closed your eyes and shuddered. Don't worry; we won't be buying you peaches anytime soon.

Every day I spend with you is such a joy, and I treasure every moment. Your kisses and hugs are the absolute best way to brighten up my day. Some nights, I don't even want to put you to bed because I want to spend more time with you.

Thank you for being such a wonderful daughter. You mean everything to me.

With all my love,

Saturday, September 4, 2010

I am so slack

I did a disgusting thing two days ago. For an entire day (maybe two), I took what I thought were clean bottles/nipples from the dishwasher and used them for Audrey.

I guess you can figure out what the problem was. They weren't clean. 

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Matt and I are always joking around with each other, so when he told me he thought the dishes in the dishwasher were dirty later that night, I said, "Please tell me you're joking." He insisted, so we began to inspect the dishes. We rinse everything off so well (since our dishwasher sucks), that it's hard to tell sometimes.

We inspected coffee cups, glasses, etc. I was convinced they were clean. I JUST KNEW THEY WERE. But then Matt lifted out the offending plate, and it was clearly dirty.

I burst into tears. I'd been feeding my baby with dirty bottles and spoons. GAG. I am a total germaphobe, so I really felt nauseated at the thought. I mean, after we rinse dirty bottles, they sometimes sit there for a day or two. Imagine all the bacteria that collected on them before they even went in the dishwasher. I cried harder.

Matt came in the bedroom and told me I was being ridiculous for crying. ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME? RIDICULOUS? Men. Why don't they understand these things? Why didn't he understand that, in the job of taking care of Audrey, I had failed completely and totally?

I am soooo disgusted with myself. And I blame Oprah. That's right. I saw one of her shows years ago about germs, where they tested hotel comforters, doorknobs, kitchen sinks, etc. for germs. I've been totally paranoid ever since. Yes, I'm aware I have OCD, so don't even tell me that.

So, I suck. And I feel like a failure.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Finally, I got up the courage...

to contact our local Mom's group. I've been debating this for a while, ever since I first learned about it in the spring. Of course, I was feeling MUCH worse then, and it would have been impossible to go anywhere with Audrey by myself. Those infant carriers weigh a ton.

I was about to lose my mind by the time Matt got out of school for the summer. But then the summer was heavenly. We went somewhere almost every day, whether it was just a Target run, since Matt is the type who has to get out of the house. I'm not that way...I've been know to not leave the house for days and be perfectly happy, but even I was reaching my limits before summer.

The thing is, I'm old. Not really, but I'm older than the average first-time mom (38). All my friends' kids are older, much older...some are in middle school, which really makes me feel ancient. So I have no one to go through these first years with, only people who have left those years far behind.

And now, Matt's back to teaching. And I'm back to where I was, except I'm feeling much better these days (as compared to then, anyway). Another plus is that Audrey can now ride in the Peg, so I don't have to bother with the obnoxiously heavy infant carrier.

So, I took the plunge. And I got a really nice email from the head of the "Sunshine" committee, telling me about some things that were coming up. There's an event at the library next week, and she said she'd be there with some friends, and that she'd even email the day before and tell me what she'd be wearing so I could find her. Wow.

Now, I've never been much of a joiner. In fact, I've avoided joining much of anything, except for choir, since I was young. I'm not sure why, but I'm a bit shy. People who know me might not believe that, and you probably wouldn't if you met me for the first time. For example, one of Matt's friends from out-of-town (a girl) found me to be "intimidating" when she saw me at my wedding. Who's intimidating on her wedding day? Is that how I look here?

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If that's what she thought, she should have seen me when I was in the classroom;)

I'll have to let you know how it goes. I'm proud of myself for reaching out, though. I have zero friends around here who stay-at-home, and I could use some outings for Audrey and me. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I don't chicken out at the last minute. Because I'm very likely to do just that.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I'm shackled to Audrey

A couple of posts down, you'll see where I wrote about Audrey being so close to crawling. As a result, I am determined not to let her out of my sight until she does. I mean, what if she crawls while I'm gone somewhere? My MIL came over to help with Audrey one day this week, and I really should have left and gotten my allergy shot while she was here. BUT I COULD NOT LEAVE!

I know all you mamas who work outside the home have to deal with this all the time, and I seriously don't know how you do it. I read about some Bumpies whose daycare providers don't tell them when their little one does something for the first time, and I think that's great. That way, it's happening for the first time FOR YOU, and you don't know any differently.

So, this is what Matt has decided he wants, if she starts to crawl while he's at school. He doesn't want me to tell him about it. And I don't blame him. But how can I keep such an exciting thing to myself? No clue.

Of course, this is assuming that Audrey does crawl. She absolutely loves standing up, and she'll hold onto the ottoman and stand for several minutes at a time. It's one of her favorite things to do. See?

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That's me in the background, of course, being the hovering mommy, trying to keep her from falling on her bum. For some reason, she's not a big fan of that. Go figure.

Since she enjoys standing so much, and she can't get the crawling thing down yet, Matt and I are half-expecting her to walk off one day. Just let go of the ottoman and walk.

But I don't think I'm ready for my little girl to be mobile. She'll be 9 months old in 3 days. How did that happen?