Thursday, March 31, 2005

Pity Party (Read at your own risk!)

Talk happiness. The world is sad enough without your woe. No path is wholly rough.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850-1919)

I'm in a funk today. Don't worry, I don't expect it to last for long, but I am feeling consumed by it at present. I'm pretty sure that I'm not pregnant (which isn't, I guess, necessarily a bad thing considering circumstances). I guess the coming days could prove me wrong, but I think that I'll start early next week. Oh, joy. I can't tell you how excited I am.

My husband might have found a house for us to rent! I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

My daughter woke up 4 times last night. That's right, four! I don't know what to do with her anymore (about sleep, that is). I've even considered giving her back the pacifier, but I have rejected the idea because I'll eventually have to take it away again, so why put myself through that twice, you know? It's only bad because when we stay at my parents house, we stay in the same room. That means that when she wakes up and just kind of wimpers, guess who else wakes up. If you said, "Mommy (or anything like that)," you win the prize! Let's tell them what they've won, Johnny. A lovely night in the same room with my daughter. Johnny, that's not much of a prize.

So, here I am. Tired. Bored to tears. Ready to go home. Where I have to clean and feed the dogs before heading out to my parents house. Where I will sit and mope while they take care of my daughter. And then I'll feel guilty for letting them do that and not doing anything. Come to think of it, if the choice of prize is between spending the night with me or my daughter, I would choose her hands down. Hopefully, tomorrow's post won't be quite so pathetic. Maybe my pity party will be over.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005


If we can recognize that change and uncertainty are basic principles, we can greet the future and the transformation we are undergoing with the understanding that we do not know enough to be pessimistic.
Hazel Henderson

The glimmer of hope won't go away. I keep telling myself (yes, I have been talking to myself a lot recently) that the odds are so slim that I shouldn't get my hopes up. And I keep reminding myself that it will completely interfere with all the plans of going to school and moving (all our health insurance is through my job, so leaving a job with great benefits would be very, very stupid if I'm pregnant). But, that part of me seems to be in the minority. The majority of me desperately hopes that I'm actually pregnant. That part has already looked up what the due date would be and early pregnancy symptoms, etc.

I don't want to be disappointed, and I'm afraid that this might end in disappointment for me. And, yet, the glimmer is still there. I took a home pregnancy test this morning, and the negative came up pretty quickly, but the line to make it a positive was there. By there, I mean it is either a very, very, very faint line (which it would be at this point) or I burned the test with the rays shooting out of my eyes trying to see a plus sign. I'm going crazy. It is all that I can think about. I haven't gotten any work done this morning because I'm sitting here focusing on every little twinge that goes through my body. This week is getting very long.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005


Pregnancy represents one of the great unknowns in life. Everyone’s at least a little worried about how it will turn out.
Lawrence Kutner

No I can't think of a better title than that. My brain has been overtaken by hormones. Just what kind of hormones remains to be seen. You see, I don't know if I'm pregnant or not.

I definately wasn't trying to get that way, but I have a beautiful 19 month old daughter who was conceived on birth control pills, so I haven't had a lot of luck in the contraception department. AF is due April 4th or 5th.

These are the symptoms I'm having (as well as what the voice in my head says are the reasons that I'm not pregnant):
1. My breasts are big. I'd say as big as when I was nursing my daughter. My breasts swell every month during PMS, but I don't think they've ever been this big. They are also very sore more so than usual.
2. I'm having headaches all the time which I never have during PMS. But, I am a little stressed over the situation, and that could be causing the headaches.
3. I am exhausted. I normally have lots of energy before AF arrives. But, I'm not sleeping very well.
4. I'm not sleeping very well. But, I'm a little stressed.
5. I've had some light cramping over the past day which I've never had during PMS until the day before I start. It's not nearly the same intensity. No explanation there.
6. I'm feeling queasy a lot. Not just sick to my stomach, but almost dizzy. Still going with the stress.
7. I have to pee. A lot. I'm drinking more water in case I am pregnant.

And the voice in my head would also like to add that I took a hpt yesterday got a negative. To which I would like to respond that it would probably be too early to tell. This is going to be a very long week.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Here Comes Peter Cottontail...

Hoppin' down the bunny trail!
Hippity, hoppity, Easter's on its way!
Steve Nelson and Jack Rollins

Well, I guess Easter's not on its way -- it has come and gone. We spent Easter afternoon at my parents house where my daughter hunted for Easter eggs in the backyard.

She was a natural. We didn't really even have to explain to her what to do; she's just naturally such a little neat freak that she went and got the eggs and started throwing them in the basket. And when I say throwing, I don't mean just dropping them gently into her basket. She was literally throwing the eggs into her basket (a few of them were broken when we were through). Of course, a few times she missed and the egg would hit the ground with a resounding thud! But, she had a good time and did not want to go in for fear that she had missed a few. I, being the great Easter bunny that I am, knew that she had picked up all of them. We had good food (with deviled eggs, of course) and a good time.

Of course, last night I slept horribly, so I'm exhausted today. I just couldn't go to sleep, and then when I did manage to get to sleep it was only for a few minutes before something would wake me up. Needless to say, it was a long night. Then, of course, my daughter decides that 5 AM is a perfectly acceptable time to wake up. Uh, no! I don't think so! So, I never really went back to sleep after that, and I am dragging through my day at work which ends in exactly 12 1/2 minutes.

Couple that with the PMS I'm having (worse than usual -- headaches, backaches, my hips ache, everything aches!), and well, I'm not a lot of fun to be around today. My poor husband only gets to see me for part of the week, and I'm not feeling well, so I'm going to try to grin and bear it and act like I'm doing fine. He'll see right through it, appreciate me making the effort, and treat me all the better. I love him.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Up With The Lark

Go to bed early, get up early--this is wise. Some authorities say get up with one thing, some with another. But a lark is really the best thing to get up with. It gives you a splendid reputation with everybody to know that you get up with the lark; and if you get the right kind of a lark, and work at him right, you can easily train him to get up at half-past nine, every time--it is no trick at all.
Mark Twain

I loved the above quote as soon as I read it. The problem is that he never explained how to train a child to get up at half-past nine. That's a real trick. My daughter woke up at 6:00 this morning. 6:00!! She went to bed at 9:00 as usual, and didn't fight me (very unusual). However, she was ready to begin her day at 6:00 this morning. Seeing as I had stayed up to watch Sleepless in Seattle (I love that movie), I wasn't ready to get up at 6:00. Oh, well. Such is life.

She then went down for a nap at 2:00. She finally fell asleep at 2:45. Then she started stirring at 3:30. I don't think so. Go back to sleep. I turned her music back on, and I haven't heard another peep out of her. I only hope that it lasts.

Tonight, I think I will be decorating Easter eggs. If I "hide" them in conspicuous places, I think she'll enjoy having an Easter egg hunt. I hope that everyone has a very Happy Easter!

Friday, March 25, 2005

Patty Cake, Patty Cake, Baker's Man!

Patty Cake/Patty Cake/Baker's Man
Bake Me A Cake As Fast As You Can
Roll It/And Pat It/And Throw It In The Pan!

That's how I learned patty cake. I later learned that many people say it this way:

Patty Cake/Patty Cake/Baker's Man
Bake Me A Cake As Fast As You Can
Roll It/And Pat It/And Mark It With A B
And Put It In The Oven For Baby And Me!

That one is cute, too. But my daughter has her own version. The problem is that I don't know her version. Right after, "roll it," she mumbles something and does a hand gesture that I can't figure out. She makes an L with her index finger and thumb (think: when people would say, "Loser!" and make the sign over their forehead). She does this with both hands and starting at about eye level in front of her, she moves her hands down to about chin level.

This is obviously a way that she learned it from someone, somewhere. I didn't teach it to her. My husband didn't teach it to her. Daycare workers thought I was off my rocker when I asked them to do patty cake for me. That was kind of funny, actually. I emailed my mother-in-law to see if she taught my daughter this version.

I thought at first she had her songs mixed up and that she was doing the "Down came the rain," line from the Itsy-Bitsy Spider. But she does it during the same point every time. I don't know. I'm not trying to make her stop, but I at least want to be able to sing along with her.

If anyone knows what she is trying to do, please clue me in!

Wednesday, March 23, 2005


Life is playfulness... we need to play so that we can rediscover the magical around us.
Flora Colao

I love playing with my daughter. I don't do it often enough. I try to make sure that I read to her before she goes to bed so that she learns to love reading and that I talk with her often so that she learns to talk. But when we get wrapped up in the day-to-day parts of life, work, the cleaning, cooking, laundry, bathing, etc. , playtime falls by the wayside. And it shouldn't.

Last night, I just played. My husband was making dinner, and she kept getting in the way. So, I took her and her doll, Emily, back to her bedroom. First, we played a little
piano. My daughter, the little booger, loves an audience. She alternately banged on the keyboard and smiled at me.

From there, we had to take care of
Emily. She needed her diaper changed which of course means that we had to take off her clothes which can be a long, drawn out ordeal with a 19 month old who thinks she needs to do everything by herself. She starts by unfastening the velcro, but from there, she pulls at the feet rather than pulling the outfit off the dolls arms first (trust me, it's much easier to get it off that way). But, we managed to get Emily changed and sitting in her chair.

Then, we had to make Emily dinner in her little
play kitchen. She carefully washed her hands in the sink before starting (and we had to wash Emily's hands, too, what a good little mommy!). From there, we made bacon and eggs and spaghetti with meatballs. She pretended to feed me some food as well with a big grin on her face (which, of course, puts a huge smile on my face!)

When we got the kitchen, I was concerned because it was so interactive. I never had a talking kitchen. I had to use my imagination, and that was good for me. I wanted my daughter to have an imagination as well, not have a bunch of electronics do the thinking for her. Well, I shouldn't have worried. She hates the talking voice. She likes the sizzle sound that it makes, and the sound of running water coming from the sink, but the voice pleasantly asking her, "What do you want to eat?" she doesn't like. Actually, it sounds more like, "What do-- what do---what do you---what do you want to eat?" She likes to keep turning the knob (which starts it over).

It's always such a joy to play with her. It keeps all the other stresses of my life stuck in the back of my head while I just sit and enjoy playing with my baby girl.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Lifelong Learning

By the time we hit fifty, we have learned our hardest lessons. We have found out that only a few things are really important. We have learned to take life seriously, but never ourselves.
Charles Dickens

Things my father has taught my daughter:

1. To say, "Ahhhhh...." after taking a drink from her sippy cup.
2. To roll up a piece of paper and say, "Pow, pow!" while swatting at the air. She says it in a whisper because that is what he taught her.
3. To play with the microwave. He gets out a step stool for her to stand on so that she can reach. When we visited my grandparents house, as soon as she identified where the microwave was, she started moving chairs around to get where she could reach the microwave.

Of course, I can't really be mad. He hasn't taught her anything really bad, just how to have fun and be a kid. I should probably take lessons.

And, on the dummy front, we have not had a dummy since last Wednesday morning on the way to daycare. She woke up last night at about 2 am, and I heard her wake up. I was about to get up and check on her when I heard her say, "Du-duh? (her word for dummy) No!No!No!" Then she went back to sleep. It was so cute.

Just to clarify, in my defense, I never told her "No!No!No!" in reference to the dummy. I never made her feel bad for having it. I simply stopped giving it to her. She has done surprisingly well. I'm very proud of her.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Bye-bye, Binky!

Give your child loving attention and do whatever else you can to help make your child's life less stressful. That's a good habit for all of us to have.
Dr. Deborah Pearson, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston, on breaking childhood habits

We have finally given up on the pacifier. As you know, I have been trying to come up with a good time to wean my daughter off the pacifier. I was tired of having to find one before I left the house and searching for one before bed, etc.

We had gotten down to just naptime, bedtime, and car rides. The car ride pacifier had all but been eliminated.

Then, on Wednesday, when I picked her up from daycare, they told me that she hadn't used the pacifier at naptime! Well, I knew that I had Thursday off, and I had been told that it takes about 3 days and day 2 is the hardest. I would be off on day 2. I knew that my husband would have a hard time not giving her one, so since he was out of town for a few days, I saw my chance.

So, Wednesday night, my mom patted her to sleep. And she did pretty well yesterday. She only asked for it a couple of times. We ran a few errands yesterday morning, so she wanted it in the car. But after our last errand, she fell asleep in the car. And she fell asleep with me in the chair last night (very, very unusual).

So, here we are on day 3. When I dropped her off this morning, they said that none of the kids had used a pacifier since Tuesday. We are doing well!

The funny thing is that I'm used to seeing her sleeping with a pacifier. She now sleeps with her little mouth open and sucks on her tongue (just like her daddy did). It's kind of cute. It's probably bad for her teeth or mouth. Oh, well, she's doomed for orthodontics no matter what (everyone in my family and in my husband's family has worn braces -- she can't escape it).

I'm thinking of getting the dummy bronzed. Not really. Tempting.......but no.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

My Own Pillow

No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.
Lin Yutang

Things I never want to do again:
1) Open the door to the women's bathroom at work (we have a one room, no stalls, just one toilet bathroom) when someone is in there. Really, who doesn't lock the door!?!
2) Have to buy a new Winnie the Pooh doll in Kansas City, Kansas (or were we in Missouri by then?) because my daughter can't sleep without one.
3) Travel 18 hours one way with a 19 month old. And then 3 days later, turn around and drive back.

Why didn't we fly, you ask? Wouldn't it have been faster? Wouldn't it mean that you only had to be on a plane with the 19 month old for about 4 hours instead of in a car with her for 18?

Very good questions. Neither my husband nor I like to fly. Not at all. No flying. In fact, we would rather spend 18 hours in the car with our daughter than fly for 4. Plus, we would have had to depend on other people to get rides and all of that mess.

To be fair to my baby girl, she was perfect. Well, kind of. Of the 18 hours, she only spent about 1 and a half screaming at the top of her lungs. Okay, I exaggerate. Crying. And only when she was tired and we weren't ready to stop for the night. We just popped her CD in the stereo, and within 3 minutes she was asleep. Why didn't we think of that an hour ago?

She did well on the car trip, and she was very well-behaved while we were there. She shows no tendencies toward the social anxiety that I have. I don't like big crowds in small places (like a funeral home). I'm fine with hundreds of people at an amusement park or a big open place, but don't close me in with them. I also don't like places where I know practically no one. In this case, I knew my husband, my daughter, and my in-laws. Of course, I didn't have time to be anxious because I was chasing my daughter around as she tried to meet everyone who showed up (upwards of 300 people). Fortunately, being 19 months old smooths over almost anything.

She and I spent most of the funeral in the basement where there was a Sunday School room set up. It had a little play kitchen, so she could not have been set up better.

Having never been to Iowa, I enjoyed the trip. Obviously, I wish that it had been under better circumstances, but I loved seeing all the old farmhouses and miles upon miles of farmland. I was assured by almost everyone that I need to come back in the summer when the corn is tall and everything is green. Then I would know the beauty of Iowa.

I must say although I enjoyed the trip, I was glad to get home to my own bed and my own pillows. You really can't beat that.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Bad News

My husband's grandfather passed away last night. I will be gone for a few days.

Friday, March 04, 2005

PD Day (aka Pacifier Disappears Day)

Limit sleep-time use. article on 5 tips for breaking the pacifier habit

Oops! I guess I broke that rule. I am fast approaching PD Day. My daughter is slowly but surely trying to give up the pacifier (called a dummy in our house--I'll explain in a minute). She's giving me all the signs. She only wants it in the car and when she's napping or sleeping (in case you think those two are the same thing, napping is during naptime and sleeping is during the night). And when she does have it, she holds it in her hand. She hardly ever has it in her mouth anymore. So, it's time for it to go.

Let me explain quickly where the word "dummy" came from. In Europe and other places around the world, they call pacifiers dummies just like they call diapers nappies. When I was pregnant with my daughter, my father was big into bicycling (and still is), so we would watch the Tour de France. One of the men who won a stage dedicated it to his son or something like that and held up a pacifier. The announcer (who was British) said something about the man holding the "dummy" for his son. Well, my father and my husband thought that was a great thing to call the pacifier, and insisted that no matter what I called it, that's what they were going to call it. So, therefore, we call the pacifier a dummy. Try explaining to a daycare worker who's heard almost all the nicknames (passy, binky, etc.) that your child calls the pacifier a dummy. They give you an interesting look.

Anyway, I'm almost to PD Day. Thursday, March 10th, the dummy disappears forever. Seriously, when I have another baby, I don't know if I'm ever giving him/her a pacifier. Well, we'll see when that time comes. I shouldn't rule it out. It would probably come back to haunt me. So I have 5 full days of pacifier use left.

I better warn daycare.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

A Father's Pictures

A father carries pictures where his money used to be.
Author Unknown

Well, we finally got our tax return in (which was a big mess, but that's a whole different story). My husband and I went to run a few necessary errands (meaning we went to Walmart to get diapers before we had to start potty-training for lack of said diapers).

We went to Circuit City to buy a movie that he's been wanting to see. While we were in Walmart, he had asked me if I needed anything. I said, "Yeah, a haircut (because yes, I very much need a haircut) and a digital camera (because I would like one, but it's not a necessity by any means)." So, after about 15 minutes of waiting in the parking lot of Circuit City while he "ran" in, I had run out of songs to sing to my daughter (which is saying something because she knows a lot of songs). I was starting to get a little annoyed at how long it was taking him. When he finally appeared, he had a bag that was way too big for just a simple DVD.

He bought me a digital camera.

We had earmarked those funds for some things that he needed for work, but he told me that he could get what he needed much cheaper, and he knew that the digital camera would get a lot more use. And, yes, I was PMSing enough to be crying because it was so sweet. So, of course, now I have to take lots and lots of pictures. And someone was telling me about digital scrapbooking, so I'll have to look into that as well. I can't wait. The batteries should be charged when I get home.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

A Little Lefty?


1a. Using the left hand more skillfully or easily than the right. b. Sports Swinging from left to right: a left-handed batter; a left-handed golfer. 2a. Done with the left hand. b. Intended for wear on or use by the left hand: left-handed scissors.

I think that my daughter might be left-handed. This causes me no alarm or anything since I'm left-handed. My husband has already informed me that if she is left-handed, I have to teach her to tie her shoes and write and things of that nature.

Things that make me think that she might be left-handed:
1. She colors with her left hand most.
2. She uses a spoon or fork with her left hand.
3. She reaches with her left hand.

Things that make me think that she might be right-handed:
1. She still colors with the right hand.
2. She uses her right hand to shovel food into her mouth (bypassing the spoon).
3. She still does a lot with her right hand.

I guess it is yet to be determined. I asked my mother last night if my being left-handed might be influencing her. You know, the nature vs. nurture thing. Being left-handed myself, do I naturally hand her the spoon into her left hand? Do I put the crayons into her left hand? I'm not sure. It's not something I consciously do. But I wonder how many left-handed people have a left-handed parent. I don't. Both of mine are right-handed as is my brother and my husband and almost everyone in my family, so that theory probably doesn't hold too much water. Still....I wonder.

Another thing I noticed that my daughter does is hold a crayon "correctly." Most children her age that I have observed wrap all their fingers around the crayon (basically making a fist around it). My daughter holds the crayon like a child learning to write. She will even use the other hand (the one not holding the crayon) to adjust it and make it fit right. It's pretty cool that she's already developing writing skills although to see her "drawings," you wouldn't think so yet. They are drawings that only a parent would love.

So, in case you're wondering, YES, the drawings now decorate our refridgerator.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Sleepy Kisses

The only thing worth stealing is a kiss from a sleeping child.
Joe Houldsworth

My husband is out of town, so as usual, my daughter and I are staying with my parents. Last night, he called and we talked for a little while. Then he wanted to talk to "his little Putt-putt (his nickname for her)."

I have no idea what the conversation was on his end, but on her end, there was a lot of smiling, and she tilted her head to the side. In the process, the side of her face hit the button to hang up the phone, so we had to call him back. When she was back on the phone, she tried to hang up on him because she's 18 months old, and that's what they do. It was funny the first time, so I'll try again.

Anyway, as per her custom, when she is getting off the phone, she pushes the phone away from her head so that I am holding it in front of her. Then she says, "Bye-bye" and waves. If prompted, she will also say, "Night-night." Last night, out of the blue, she tried to kiss the phone! It was so adorable. (I know. I'm her mother. A lot of things she does are adorable.)

I can't believe that it's only Tuesday. I've been very busy at work the past couple of days (yesterday and today), so this week is not going very fast. Hopefully, it will get better once we get over the hump day tomorrow.

I have decided that the pacifier has to go. When she was born, she wasn't going to have a bottle or pacifier past a year. Hey, I got it half right. :) The bottle was gone at about 10 months or so. With the pacifier, well, we haven't had as much luck. She seems pretty determined to hang onto it.

Well, let me clarify. I can't stand to drive home everyday with a child who literally screams in the back seat. LITERALLY. It's not fun. We have weaned the pacifier time down to naptime, bedtime, and car rides.

At naptime, her daycare teachers tell me that she doesn't even put it in her mouth. She just holds it in her hand. They're going to love me when I tell them not to give it to her anymore. :)

At bedtime, she does pretty much the same thing. She'll take it when I give it to her, but within a few minutes, she is just holding it.

The car rides are going to be the worst. But, I've already been working on those. A bag of goldfish should get her to and from daycare. Should I worry about replacing one comfort item with food? Maybe I shouldn't make food a comfort item. I'll have to think about that one.

I have decided that next time my husband is out of town for 4 days, all of the pacifiers are going to mysteriously disappear never to be seen again. I have been assured that it normally (and my child is hardly normal -- a fact of which I am very proud) takes about 3 days with day 2 being the hardest. That's going to be a long 3 days. Or 4 days. Or longer. Eeeek!

If you have any hints, good ideas, our would like to leave moral support, the comment section is open. If you have horror stories, well....leave those, too. Best to be prepared, right?