Ha, I just realized how huge the bean's feet look in this picture. She has room to grow in those PJs!
The boy is really the toy expert around our house and started early (was it September?) working on the bean's christmas list. We wanted to get her a big present, but there really weren't any "big" things that are age appropriate, so the boy had the great idea of getting the table and chairs set. We hope she'll get lots of use out of it in the next couple years.
Soon, little one, you'll sit at it without Mama's help!
This time of year, especially, I miss my family on the West coast, but I have to admit that there was a little part of me that was glad that we didn't have 4 christmases to attend.
Merry christmas from krafty, the boy and the bean!
A few weeks ago, the bean started having the occasional meltdown and would only be comforted by a teether, her chewing of which reached a new level of intensity. A few times she grabbed my hand, shoved my finger in her mouth and chewed so hard it hurt. Still, we saw no sign of any elusive teeth.
The last few days, however, have been really rough. The bean's sleep, while always pretty bad, has reached a new level of crappiness. She's been a colossal grump and has started grunting to express her unhappiness. I've been saying all week that I wish these stupid teeth would just COME IN already and bring our happy baby back.
So, I've read that the bottom teeth come in first and that's what we've been feeling for. There is still absolutely no sign of any bottom teeth coming, but today we looked at the top and I'm sure you already know the end of this story. There are two big bumps right there, almost ready to break through.
I hope Santa brings her teeth and a sunny disposition to go with them!
The bean is also becoming more and more mobile by the day. She's not showing any interest in trying crawl just yet, but she's discovered that she can get anywhere she needs to go by rolling there and is getting better (and faster!) at it by the day. The combination of these two things is what's causing my trouble. I'm having a hard time striking a balance between letting the bean explore and keeping her . . . well, safe.
I know that sounds silly because of course I have no internal debate about whether or not to keep her safe. But, for instance, the bean is enamored with our christmas tree. She likes to look at the lights and glittering ornaments, but what she really loves is to roll over to it and grab the lights and feel the branches on her fingers. I know she would love to get these things in her mouth and she often ends up with a handful of pine needles, which I have so far been successful in stealing away before she can eat. As I type this she is playing with some plastic packaging material, which of course is a euphemism for plastic bag. Yes, I am letting my baby play with a plastic bag, even though there is a warning label printed right on it. When she brings it close to her mouth, I move it away and tell her "bags are not for eating," but she loves the sound it makes when she crinkles it with her hands and I don't have the heart to take it away from her.
I know I'm supposed to be distracting her and replacing forbidden items with other, more appropriate, ones but do any babies really fall for this? The bean is fairly single-minded and isn't content with a familiar toy when there are so many new objects to explore. The boy and I both want her to explore all these things but a line must be drawn at some point. Of course acutely hazardous objects are off limits (hot and pointy things come to mind), but do we put away all breakables, hide the electronics, and lock up any PVC/BPA/phthalate containing object she might want to mouth?
How do you deal with this? I'd love to hear general philosophies or specific tips or even a reality check about how much more difficult this will get with a toddler. (And if you have no idea, you're welcome to comment just to say hi!)
Things I have done in the last 5 months that I never imagined myself doing:
- Picked another person's nose
- Chosen to sleep in pajamas covered with someone else's vomit rather than stay up to do laundry
- Used my shirt to wipe someone else's face
- Routinely gone more than a day without a shower
- Left the house without fixing my hair
- Forgotten to brush my teeth
- Had to cut short errands because my clothes had become covered in someone else's poop
- Slept less than 4 hours at a time, except for a handful of nights
- Spent almost every moment with someone without getting the slightest bit sick of her!
As my maternity leave came to an end, I finally got up the nerve to talk to my boss and we arranged for my job to be outsourced back to me on a part-time basis. I had fully expected that this would not be an option and that I would end up resigning outright, so I was pleasantly surprised, but surprised nonetheless that I would be going back to work. I consider myself very fortunate to have this opportunity and to have had as long of a maternity leave as I did, but I think it must be hard to go back to work whether you're home for 6 weeks or 6 years. I've been dreading the day that I'd go back, even though I love the work that I do and I'm looking forward to earning a paycheck again.
The dread has been compounded by the question of childcare. We had planned to hire a nanny to come to our house to care for the bean. Our nanny story goes like this: after screening applicants for schedule conflicts and moral objections to our same-sex status, we scheduled interviews. After no shows and last minute cancellations, we interviewed two women. We chose one to come back while we were both home to care for the bean for a few hours. It didn't work out. Just a tip to potential nannies--when a mother of the child you are caring for says, "Oh my god, she's choking!" The best course of action would be to immediately stop whatever you are doing that is choking the child. Continuing on until the child vomits while the mothers try to wrestle the baby from your arms will get you a, "Thanks for your time, sorry it didn't work out."
Thankfully, the boy's mother has volunteered to help out for the next couple weeks. After that, the boy will have some leave from work and will be on bean duty. And then, she'll go to daycare. Before the bean was born, we had picked a daycare that we love and they still have an opening, thankfully.
My first day of work was yesterday. The boy tells me the first few hours went smoothly, until the bean decided she wouldn't settle for substitutes and wanted to nurse to sleep. Mother-in-law and the boy were able to finally get her to nap for a bit (after some serious crying) and I came home to a very sleepy, but otherwise happy, bean. Me? I cried in the car to and from work.
- Is really starting to babble more. 'M' is her favorite consonant and she loves to say, "mmmm." "mom", "ma," and "mama."
- Is able to sit independently for a couple minutes at a time before she topples over.
- Is much more interested in what we have in our hands than in any of her toys.
- Loves to pet the cat, even though she doesn't yet know the difference between petting and hair pulling.
- STILL loves Itsy, Bitsy Spider. If she's crying and I can't get to her right away, I can sing this song and almost always get a smile. Other songs just won't do.
- May or may not be teething, but is definitely enjoying gnawing on all her teethers.
- Enjoys putting her left foot in her mouth.