Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Rash that Blistered and Fun Pics Hanging with Libby

The "rash" that appeared on Hannah's bum the day after she got her vaccines turned into two giant blisters and one small one yesterday, and today those blisters popped.  They're these terribly painful looking raw sores that make me cringe (and her scream) every time I have to wipe her. I usually just wipe around them and then lay a warm cloth over them for a couple of seconds once the rest of her is clean. Amy came over after Hannah's bath tonight to take a look (it's awesome having a nurse practitioner live next door!) and said it definitely doesn't look very rash-like since it's contained to three spots and hasn't spread at all, and also since it's a BLISTER and very clearly not a rash.  She thinks it might be bacterial and said I should definitely take Hannah in to the pediatrician tomorrow...I am wondering if this could be a side effect from her first dosage of live vaccines. Any other mamas see anything like this after getting their 1 year vaccines?

Hannah spent much of Saturday naked from the waist down in an attempt to let the non-rash dry up.  Since we spent a lot of the day outside at Libby and Ben's, it was easy to do. We were inside a bit too though, and Hannah didn't miss an opportunity to mark some territory.  She peed inside three times and then peed and pooped on the porch...I'm pretty sure anyone else would have killed me but Libby was super laid back about it. I promised her that her kids could pee all over my floor and poop on my porch any time.

Libby greeted us with a colander full of freshly picked raspberries that Hannah and Esther ate by the handful, Hannah storing them in her chipmunk cheeks while shoveling more in.  Here they are showing off their raspberry stained faces and hands.

I think this might be my all time favorite picture of Hannah. I'm soooo glad that the angle covered up her privvy parts!! (Oh, this was taken shortly before she pooped on the porch.)

And now, some dynamic, action-packed trampoline jumping pics!

This shirt was a hand-me-down from Esther and was homemade by Libby--cute, huh!

I love this picture! It's so them--Asa all serious and Esther all crazy :)

Me: "See the chickens, Hannah? What do the chickens say? Hmmmm?  Do they say 'bock bock bock bock bock'?" Hannah:  Ehhhh.
We had a great day and even managed to get Hannah an afternoon nap, although to do that we had to drive around the back roads for an hour and a half.  Lucky for me, Libby offered to drive which meant that we got some quality talk time in and that I didn't get lost driving around horse country (and also that Eric got to go fishing with Ben).  Unfortunately for me, being a passenger on all those windy backgrounds meant that I was nauseas within 10 minutes and ready to pass out within 20.  It was a small price to pay for a sleeping baby and girl time.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Porch Poop and Other Small Stories

I'm getting behind on blogging and since I just took a bunch of pics today at Libby's and will probably take a bunch more tomorrow at the State Fair, I figure I better post what I've got.  Fortunately, I haven't done a whole lot of photo snapping lately so there's not much to post, but here's our life in the last two weeks:

Shannon and Atticus walked over week before last.  Hannah likes the baby but also likes to be held by whoever is holding the baby...Shannon was talking to baby Atticus while eating her lunch and Hannah was there and maneuvered under Shannon's arm and onto her lap in no time. Later Eric held Atticus which was not at all okay with Hannah.  When I held him, she insisted on being close, but otherwise wasn't too bothered, but when Eric held him, all hell broke lose.  Hannah was fussing and whining and trying to climb up into his arms.  She spent the next two days not letting him out of her sight.  I think having a little brother or sister is going to be good for her...but not easy.

Last Saturday we headed downtown to Mary's. Jen and Bland were in town with new baby Jake who I was desperate to meet.  He's so big compared to the girls!! Hannah is pretty petite and Adelaide is super petite, but Jake is an incredibly cute, incredibly huge little 2-month-old!!  I ended up doing a lot more talking than picture-taking, but I managed to get a cute pic of Adelaide:

And one of Jake too:

In food news, here's what dinner time looks like at our house these days:

Eric decided that it was no longer okay for Hannah to stand up in her high chair so he strapped her in one night. She screamed an alley cat in heat the whole time we were eating.  Since she screamed the whole time, she ate nothing. Least enjoyable dinner ever.  I spent that evening stressing about the next day and wondering how many days of strapping her in it would take before she got used to it and went back to eating rather than screaming. Then I had a eureka: the booster seat we bought to take to Chincoteague. The few times we'd used it, we'd strapped her in. I set it up at one of the chairs, and we've been using it ever since. She can only sit still for so long though before she's waving her arms in the air (our sign for "all done!"--and yes, that's her first sign!).  At that point, we unstrap her and let her run around the booth part of the dining room table for the rest of dinner. She usually continues to pick at her food, and also ours.  You could argue that I should force her to learn to sit still for the duration of a meal, but I'd argue back that it just isn't a priority to us.  Hannah has a very energetic temperament and has a terrible time sitting still. As long as we start off in the booster seat and keep working on it, I think she'll be fine. I don't see her being 15 and running laps around the dinner table while eating, but if she does end up doing that, we'll deal.  There are much bigger battles to push for--like a healthy amount of sleep.

Speaking of sleep, she's slept for 12 hours the past 2 nights!  Not straight through, but without too much fuss. The first night she woke up around 5:45 but went back to sleep within minutes, and last night she woke up twice, but also not for long either time.  As long as she's doing 12 hours at night, I'm comfortable getting rid of her morning nap. I read that babies her age need about 14 hours of sleep in a 24-hour period.  If I can get her to take a 2-hour afternoon nap (sometimes she does), then buh-bye morning nap!

In less happy news, Hannah has her first real diaper rash, and it is BAD.  Luckily we were at Libby's today and as I suspected,  my childbirth guru had the answer: teething.  Apparently it's something to do with the acidity of the saliva that they produce while teething that comes out in their pee and poo and irritates their little rumpas.  I was worried that it was some kind of a reaction to the vaccines. You'd think the pediatrician could have told me that when I called in (yes, it's THAT bad that I called the pediatrician--this was the first time ever that I've used the pediatrician call service).  The pediatrician said to not use wipes because they would irritate it more. I had actually already stopped because wiping her made her scream these cringe and pull away and scream these terrible "that-hurts-mommy!" screams that made me feel terrible. Yesterday when she pooped I just dumped her in the tub. I thought a mid-day bubble bath would be a nice way to calm her down.  This was not the case.  She started to sit down but screamed when the bubbles hit her butt and stood back up fast, refusing to sit down again. Note to self: bubble baths are not fun for babies with raw butts.  In the future, I'll just use a warm cloth to wipe her. I had originally wanted to use reusable wipes/cloths anyway so I guess here's a good excuse give it a go.  Other than that, the only other professional advice was to let her run around without a diaper whenever possible and to gob on the diaper rash cream.  (The pediatrician recommended Desitin of course, but I'm going to compare the active ingredients of that with some of the brands I use.)  Since we spent a lot of time outdoors today, we let her run around without a diaper most of the day (as a result she took a big dump on Libby's porch...ewwwww!). 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

1-Year Checkup Stats

Hannah went in for her 1-year checkup today and got stuck full of needles. It was terrible and very obviously painful. I'm expecting her to sleep a little less well tonight...Which is a bummer, since we seem to have JUST fixed the nighttime sleeping after 3 weeks of a totally screwy schedule.  Fortunately I slept GREAT last night, so I'm at least in a good place mentally to deal with frequent interruptions in my REM. As far as stats go, Hannah is 30-1/2 inches long and 18.14 pounds.  She's in the 90th percentile for length and the 20th for weight.  "She's long and lean," said the pediatrician, "like her mama!" At a mere 5'6" I don't consider myself long, but I gratefully accept compliments in most any form, even those that don't quite fit the reality.  Oh, and her head is 42 inches which is apparently also the 90th percentile.

Hannah is also getting her molars; the doc used the tongue depressor to show me Hannah's bumpy gums. Yay for being able to chew more foods! And un-yay for what is probably a very painful experience...We walked down to Soft and Cozy Baby this afternoon so I could buy her a teething bracelet, which she refuses to wear.....

I'm guessing the incoming molars are part of the problem with her screwy sleep schedule lately. I also read that kids go through "developmental surges" around their birthdays and half-birthdays and that everything, sleep included, gets a bit out-of-whack then.  I restarted the Sleep Lady shuffle a couple weeks ago and managed to finally get Eric's buy-in and cooperation this time around which has been critical to our success and has helped immensely at night (she WAS back to sleeping straight through, but like I said, I'm guessing tonight will break that streak considering she woke up an hour ago and has been unable to go back to sleep despite Eric and I being in and out of there three times already). Unfortunately, the shuffle isn't doing diddly squat for naps.  Realizing that, I tried a few other tactics including letting her skip her morning nap (in case she is prematurely ready to give it up) and also letting her choose her own sleep schedule during the day, but in both instances, she was exhausted and cranky and a complete mess.  The thing is, when given the choice, Hannah will choose NOT to sleep.  She needs two naps; I'm sure of it. What I'm not sure of is how to make her take them....

On the bright side, she learned how to plant her kisses which has been a lot of fun for me since I'm one of the main recipients of these kisses!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Conundrum: Feeling Busy While Accomplishing Nothing

I've been a slacker, not just with blogging, but with life in general. With Eric being off, life is like one long weekend, but having a baby makes like like one long weekday...So we adhere to some semblance of routine when it comes to waking, eating, and sleeping, but the periods in between are giant lulls, sometimes fun, sometimes terribly lull-ing.  I've always known that I am not much of a self-starter, but this mini-retirement of Eric's proves it.  At the same time, although life has been incredibly uneventful these past two weeks, it feels busy. I talked to another mom about this the other day--the sense that time is flying and that life has been SO busy and that there is little to no time to accomplish anything or hang out with anyone or DO anything combined with the inability to recall anything we've actually done that would constitute our claim of having been busy...Is that what it's like to be a mom? To constantly feel busy with nothing tangible to show for it??  The thing is, I haven't even been busy slacking. There are still almost 30 episodes of House on the DVR and nearly 10 of The Soup so it's not like we're watching a bunch of TV (well, I'm not--Eric's plugging through all his Mythbusters and Whale Wars episodes pretty steadily).  At any given time I've got at least 25 unread emails in my inbox, I haven't blogged, and I haven't read anyone else's blog--so what have I been doing??

At the beginning of the summer I bought all the stuff to crochet Hannah a dress and even stitched up the gage test patch, but then never picked up the hook again.  I've been meaning to get another freelance writing gig since I was pregnant and living in Virginia Beach but have yet to do anything to do get that gig.   I did motivate to look up what it would take to become a spinning instructor this morning and feel slightly better for doing that. That certification is a lot cheaper and way less intensive than a yoga certification so I'm thinking I can get that and then hopefully find a job and save the money from that to put toward my yoga certification. In the meantime, if I can get a free gym membership at wherever I'm teaching, that'll save us a pretty penny each month.

Limbo. That's what a mini-retirement feels like when you have a baby.  I'm almost looking forward to Eric starting work in September because then we'll be forced into a routine, and I'll start being a productive little housewife out of guilt.

In the meantime, after all that spewing I owe you at least one Hannah update, the cutest of which is that she has learned to kiss.  She doesn't usually plant those kisses anywhere, just sort of makes the noise with her lips anytime I kiss Eric or when I read the part in Night-Night, Little Pookie that goes "I'll tuck in your covers and turn out the lights and give you three kisses...." She also does it at the end of Bark, George (that book is hysterical by the way) when the mama dog is so happy that her little boy dog is barking (rather than meowing or quacking) that she kisses the vet who fixed the dog and all the animals that were pulled from inside poor little George (yeah, it's a weird one, but really funny in my opinion).  So she definitely knows the word "kiss" and the accompanying action.  It's pretty cute, as you can imagine.

I've got more updates including news on weaning (which I've started but suck at) and potty training (which is not really an update since there isn't much new going on there) and even some pictures that I haven't gotten around to uploading to the camera yet....

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Walking Banana

We've got a walker!  Last night while I was making dinner, she brought her big, blue ball inside, leaned over and picked it up, and just started walking, slowly and deliberately, but also with strength and confidence.  After she did a few laps around the kitchen/dining room, I decided to grab the camera and get some live footage. I love the pleased look on her face, like she's fully aware of how awesome of an accomplishment it is to learn to walk around upright on two feet.

At around the same time this evening, she picked up a toy in her room and started walking the hallway. I took her next door to show MC her new walking trick, and she grabbed a bag of nuts, and walked around MC's.  For some reason, she won't walk unless she's holding something in her hands. I guess maybe it helps her balance. I should get her one of those bar thingys that acrobats use when they walk the tight rope.

The day before her walking debut, I took this video of her pushing her shopping cart around the house.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Destroying the Pyramid of the Sun

Hannah woke up screaming her butt off at 5:45 this morning.  I was in a very deep sleep and was none too pleased about being shocked out of it.  She usually sleeps till about 6:30, but then plays relatively quietly until I go get her at 7:00.  Yesterday she slept until 7:20....Like I said, life this week has been very unpredictable.  I'm not a fan.  We are taking every effort today to get her back on schedule.  She's taken an hour to fall asleep for each nap, but she has at least taken two naps today.

This morning, after breakfast me and Eric built "an ancient Mayan pyramid of the sun" (Eric's declaration once it was built) and watched Hannah try to tear it apart. (These are the blocks my Aunt Debby bought her.)

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Family Reunion Photo Dump

I've got all kinds of wordy posts brewing in my head about how insane life with Hannah has been this past week, how she's reverted to screaming instead of sleeping, how her behavior is all of a sudden a lot more to reckon with (she's actually tried to bite me a couple of times when I've pulled her away from something or taken something from her), and how LOUD she is now capable of screaming. It has not been pretty.  I maxed out on patience yesterday morning during nap time, kirked out, and then went to bed and pulled the covers over my head to block out the screaming (Eric's still off work so manned the baby monitor).  I woke up feeling much better after a good nap (apparently Hannah fell asleep not too long after me and also felt better after her nap) and have been better since.  Anyway, I've been wanting to do a little public ranting and raving but wanted to get all my photo dumps out of the way first so I can cross them off my to do list.  That said, here's my second (and final) photo dump of the week.

Last Saturday was my family reunion which we had at Greenbrier State Park this year. I thought it'd be fun for us to have access to the lake but all that did was spread us out so that I ended up feeling like I didn't get as much QT as I'd have liked.

As for the photos....well, as it turns out, I'm a lot more mamarazzi than I realized because the only pics I did get pretty much revolve around Hannah....SO, yeah. Obsessed much?  Anyway, in the future, I will try to remember that other people do exist and that someday, I would like to look at pictures of those other people in addition to pictures of my daughter.

About 10 minutes after we arrived my mom excitedly pulled out Hannah's birthday present and helped her rip the wrapping paper off of it.  Before the paper was off, my brother was there with his present, which stole the show.  Him and Erica bought her a Ride-On car thing (similar to this one, but it's not Mater, it's just the main character from The Cars) that she can sit on and push with her feet or stand behind and push along. This was a BIG HIT and temporarily overshadowed all other presents.  It's still one of her favorites, but in the week since then she has spent considerable time swinging the mooing and neighing barns doors on the Fisher-Price Little People Animal Sounds Farm that my mom bought her, snuggling the Raggedy Ann doll from my Aunt Pam and Uncle Donny, and tearing apart anything I try to build with the giant Lego-lookalike blocks from my Aunt Debby and Uncle Wes.  She also put some money in her piggy bank from my Adam and Jennifer (my cousins) and is looking forward to using a Target gift card from my Uncle Bob and Susan on some new PJs!!  Yes, PJs, I think the kid has PLENTY of toys at this point, but she put her toe through a pair of PJs while in Michigan, doesn't have that many to begin with, and is growing out of what she does have.

Like I said, I didn't get very many good pics, and almost all center around Hannah, but here's the day as viewed through the eyes of a mamarazzi:
Inspecting the buttons on her new car.
Showing off her new ride and letting cousin Clay beep the horn.
Cutie-pie cousins.
Clay gets a turn to drive!
Playing with my Aunt Debby and Uncle Wes.
The scene inside the gazebo we rented.
Hanging out with my cousin, Adam.
The lake at Greenbrier State Park.
Hanging out with my other cousin, Kim.
Hannah loved Clay's Grover doll (and Grammy too, of course).
I'm bummed because we didn't manage to get a family photo this year. I even brought my tripod to make taking it easier, but Adam and his fam had to leave mid afternoon to take care of their dog and since Chip and Erica were out on the paddle boats when they left, we couldn't just hurry up and take it.  I'm bummed that Hannah and Clay won't have a family pic for their first reunion, but lesson learned for next year: take the photo first!!  In the meantime, this is the closest thing to a group shot that I have on my camera.  Eric jumped up on the bench as soon as everyone started eating and got a very flattering shot of us all with our mouths full.

In the two days between Michigan and the family reunion I did manage to do some research on healthy carrot cake recipes and then use those to mix and match ingredients and create my own recipe.  I used spelt flour instead of white or wheat mostly just to add some diversity in the grains that Hannah eats (she's not allergic to wheat or anything).  Then I replaced the 1-1/2 cups of sugar that ALL of the recipes called for with less than 1 cup of brown rice syrup and 2 tablespoons of honey.  I also used a combination of coconut oil and and a pureed apple instead of using regular oil.  To top them, I made a cream cheese icing that just had cream cheese, vanilla, and butter for Hannah and Clay.  I added some confectioners sugar to the rest for the adults.  Really, they turned out about as healthy as the muffins I make. At some point I would like to experiment with less and less sweetener; I'm not sure where the line is between savory and sweet, but I want to find it and then be just barely on the sweet side.

All that to introduce a couple pics of Hannah housing her first cupcake....

This toy was really a big hit with the babies. I might have to go the uncreative route and get one for Clay for his 1st birthday.

Clay managed to get ahold of some of Hannah's cupcake.  Hannah wasn't concerned about sharing that, but she was ready to kick him off her car.
The babies swam in front of each other and splashed like mad. It was really cute up close...Wish you could have seen it.
Aunt Pam and Kim catching some rays.

Hannah crawled right up on Kim and hung out there all cutely for a while.

Alright, photo dumps are over. I don't expect the rest of the summer to be so full of mamarazzi moments so get your reading glasses out and get ready for some lengthy, moaning and groaning posts. In the meantime, I broke out the Sleep Lady book again; time to read about 12-month-olds and try to get us back on track!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Michigan Files

Get comfortable, as in, take one last potty break, get a beverage, and settle in for the the biggest blog entry ever.  With this post, I cross far beyond the realm of casual mamarazzi and enter a group of women who have blisters on the tips of their right pointer fingers from constantly pushing the take picture button. It's obnoxious how many photos I've managed to dump into this post. (Not as obnoxious, I suppose, as the reality of just how many photos I took...)

I'm going to try something new and use the "add caption" option on the photos.  This puts the captions below the photos; I usually prefer them above, you know, like an introduction before viewing, but let's see how this pans out.

On the last Wednesday in July we hopped a plane to Michigan to visit Eric's side of the family.  Lucky for us, both his parents and his brother live on a lake so it was quite vacation-like and relatively relaxing.  Hannah didn't sleep too well, but I didn't expect her too, and honestly, she didn't sleep as poorly as I'd expected.  Since I ended up falling asleep every time I put her down for a nap, I ended up feeling okay most of the time. She did great on her first plane ride, better than me. I always have to focus on not puking during liftoff and landing, but it didn't phase her at all.

I felt all gross and stressed by the time we got to Grannah and Granpah's so Eric and I left Hannah with her Grannah, suited up, and swam across the lake and back.  Ahhhhhh....refreshing.  Much better.

Fine Lake as seen from Eric's parents' front porch.
Peeking over the dock
A little dip (she kept trying to walk off the dock)
Post dip (and pre-walking off the dock for another dip)
Uncle Joel trying to get some color (after 4(?) years in Alaska)
After continuously trying to walk off the deck, Eric led her to the stairs and got in. with her
Awww! A rare snuggle moment captured by Grannah.

Another photo credit to Grannah for this family pic.
Walking the plank!
Granpah's fishing boat.
Not the best pic, but I loved the face.
Sittin' on the dock of the bay--er, I mean--lake.
Relaxing with the grandparents.

Hannah gets her sea legs.
On Thursday we headed over to Doug and Becky's for a BBQ.  They've got an amazing new house with a pool and two super cute little boys.  Unfortunately, my camera went on the fritz so my ability to go mamarazzi was significantly compromised. I salvaged a couple of pics, but there wasn't much I could do.
Cooper spent a good deal of the time laying smooches on Hannah. Her reactions cracked me up.
Hanging out poolside at Doug and Becky's. 
Grannah and Hannah (photo credit to Granpah for this one).
Hanna's first pancake. (I found a box of Cascadia Farm pancake mix in Grannah's cupboard and was impressed with the ingredient list--healthy flours and no sugar.)
Trying out the life jacket Granpah picked up for her. 
She liked floating on her back in the life jacket. (Photo props to Grannah and Granpah for pic.)

This one is from Grannah and Granpah too.  We left Hannah on the dock with them while I set out for another swim across the lake. Eric kayaked beside me to make sure I didn't get run over.  When we got back, I jumped in the kayak with him and we paddled around for a while. Sooo relaxing. That's when it started to feel like vacation.
Grannah took this one while we were out kayaking.

We left Eric's parent's house in Battle Creek on Saturday and drove to Grand Haven to spend the remainder of our trip at Uncle Justin's. He rents a sweet apartment right across the street from Lake Michigan.
Day 1 of the Coast Guard Festival in Grand Haven meant a car show.  Hannah pushed the stroller.
Pizza lunch with Uncle Joel.

I thought it would be really cool to get a pic of the brothers and Hannah out swimming, one that was sorta candid but not really. Unfortunately, Hannah has her face down in EVERY pic. So I picked the one where the guys looked the best.
I think she's singing to the waves "Stop in the name of love..."
I'm guessing she thought Uncle Joel's hat matched her suit better.
It's not a beach trip until somebody gets in the wagon.
It's possible that I had more fun with Hannah's sand toys than Hannah...
The view from Uncle Justin's backyard (Trent and Stacy pitched a tent in the yard for a couple of days).  That's Lake Michigan in the distance.  I told ya it was a pretty sweet spot.
I tried to upload the rest of these pics to Hannah's birthday blog on August 5 but Blogger was giving me hell so I gave up.  Grannah and Granpah drove to Grand Haven on our last day and took us all to the toy store to pick out presents for Hannah and then out to dinner to celebrate Hannah's birthday, Eric's graduation, and Granpah's 60th birthday (which is coming up on August 16).
Walking to the toy store.

Uncle Joel's super cool 1972 Landcruiser.
The Kellogg's! (Pre-dinner family shot.)

In addition to buying Hannah a really cool Melissa and Doug shopping cart, Grannah picked out a purse and wallet for Hannah to open at dinner and play with immediately. (Hannah is always stealing mom and dad's wallet so this was much appreciated.)

Adding some flavor to Grannah's water glass.
Getting crazy with Uncle Justin.

She's got her "1" birthday candle in her hand.  Since I'm a food freak and had not yet found a recipe for healthy cupcakes, there was no place to put this candle, but Hannah didn't seem to mind holding it.

Musical shaker eggs from Uncle Joel.
Inspecting the booty. 
Hannah made out like a bandit.  Grannah and Granpah got her the shopping cart plus some Melissa and Doug veggies (to put in the cart), plus a wallet and purse.  Aunt Carlene (who visited Grannah the week before we arrived) got her Brown Bear, Brown Bear the book and the matching Eric Carle stuffed bear. Uncle Justin bought her a Calculator Cash Register. Uncle Joel got her the musical eggs. I got her the Melissa and Doug Cutting Food Box, and that's just from the Kellogg side of the family! You should see all the stuff she got from my side of the family! It's crazy. But my family reunion is another post.  For now, I'm going to heave a big WHEW that I can cross this post of my to do list. 

The Kellogg's (again! After dinner pic).