Tuesday, August 24, 2010

10 Month Update

Dear Hazel,
What an AMAZING month for you! And not just because we've gone exactly seven weeks without visiting the doctor for anything other than a Well-Child Check-Up or getting your tubes in your ears. Which, by the way, I believe is a reason behind your AMAZING month.

A couple of weeks ago, we took you to the McKay Dee Surgical Center where I was going to voluntarily let them cut holes in your ears in the hopes that it would help with the amount of ear infections you get, as well as help with your hearing. The entire procedure took less than 7 minutes... but that little piece of trivia didn't make me feel better as the anesthesiologist (who looked like Santa... and I think is what makes him so good as his job) walked with you down the hall as you played with his beard. Just knowing that I wasn't going to be there to hold you when you got scared sucked the life right out of me.

But, yep... 7 minutes later, the doctor came in and told us the surgery went well and that when he'd made the incision in your ear drum, it had retracted due to all the pressure in it. So, even if we were still questionable on whether or not we really needed to put tubes in due to the infections, the pressure was an issue and should help you start to talk more, and probably help with sleeping and balance.

When I was able to hold you again, you were crying from the anesthesia but as soon as you were in my arms, you got on your thumby and were okay. In fact, we ended up taking you to day care later that day and you had a great day there, too!

Since the tubes went in, you've been even happier (if that's even possible!) and like to babble a lot. We've also noticed that you're sleeping better at night. This may be because of the tubes... or it might be because we got tired of having to go in every night to pat your back three or four times a night/morning. It was getting old. And after we went on a walk around the neighborhood one night and ran into some friends who told us that A) they rocked their babies to sleep for FAR TOO LONG and it bit them in the butt later and B) they never let their babies cry-it-out and it, too, bit them in the butt later... well, your Daddy decided that we weren't going to have that issue and that we would let you cry-it-out that very night. I highlight that this was your Daddy's idea only to garner more favor with you when you're old enough to read this. Although... truth be told, your Daddy's strength saved my sanity because after 6 minutes of crying and six minutes of me shooting eye-daggers at your Daddy for said strength? SILENCE.




And that silence? Extended until 7:30 the following morning. And the next night... when you cried for 8 minutes and then slept until 8:30? And the following night when you cried for 6 minutes and slept until 7:30 again?

You're Daddy deserves a very large piece of cheese for that brilliant move.

And, believe it or not... that's all it took. Three nights of crying it out. Voila. A whole. New. Baby. And now we let you cry it out in the afternoon and you'll throw down a three-hour nap. This? THIS IS UNPRECEDENTED. You haven't had three-hour naps since you were 2 months old. You may be consolidating your naps into one big one, as well. Which is nice.

Anyway, we are now full believers in putting you in the crib awake and letting you cry for a few minutes. In fact, now you don't even cry. You just lay there, jump on your thumb and it's "See ya in the morning, Pops!" And in the morning? On the days where I don't actually have to go in and wake you up at 8 a.m. because I have to go to work? You don't even cry to let me know you're awake and it's time to eat. You just babble to yourself and lay in the bed while you wait for me to come get you. Or, you stand up, reach over the railing of the crib and start throwing books on the floor so that it makes noise. You love doing that.

And all of this has somehow got to have an influence on your mood because I didn't think you could get happier... but HOLY COW you're one happy pooper. You're all smiles when you wake up. And you're usually all smiles when you go to bed. Happy. Pooper. That's you.

You're also really into pointing. Pointing at Mommy. Pointing at Daddy. Really... pointing at just whoever isn't holding you at the time. You also like to point at the kitty when I feed her in the morning. I'm convinced your first word is going to be "kitty" because you sit and point as Nytro eats and I keep repeating "kitty" to you. This is after you've gone through your "OMG! SCREECH!! THERE'S A KITTY! SCREECH!" routine when you first see the kitty as we walk out the door to go to school.

This month, you've also started making a face. Or rather, The Face. Because of The Face, we've had to add a new phrase to our vocabulary... and the vocabulary of the free world: Sqwunched up. That's pretty much The Face. Sadly, I must report that The Face? Not the cutest thing I've ever seen. I mean... when you're smiling, sure. Cute. When you're not? When you're just looking at something or someone and possibly trying to figure out quadratic equations in your head at the same time? Not. So. Much.

Apparently, your Daddy used to make this face when he was young as well. I'm not exactly sure how to change this behavior... short of showing it to you in the mirror next time you do it and then shielding you from the glass when it shatters. Because, sweetie pie, I can guarantee that if you knew what you looked like doing it? CURED.

Since you've been crawling for over a month, you've gotten noticeably faster. And often in the mornings, you and I have a race to see if I can get the dishes loaded before you make it into dishwasher from the living room.

I have yet to win that race.

Into the dishwasher, Mom? Yep. You're a bit of a climber these days. You'll climb on anything. You prefer climbing on Mommy and Daddy, but an open dishwasher door will do. You love the slide in the backyard and apparently at daycare the other day, you climbed up the slide on your own. You. The girl who can't yet walk.... climbed up a slide. And again... you're your mother's daughter. Or have I not told you that my parents had to build a 5 foot fence on the farm to keep me inside the yard? Yea... I can see that you're on the same trajectory. We're totally screwed.

You also like to sit under the kitchen chairs and move them around. This is, of course, once you've gotten tired of banging on the pots and pans in the kitchen and after you've thrown the wire whisk (a.k.a.: your BFF) across the room and the empty 2-liter bottle of Coke has bored you to death. It truly doesn't matter what toys we spend our money on for you. You much prefer items that are not intended to be toys. Like the cable bill, the pots, the dishrag hanging on the oven door, the oven door, the spatulas, Mommy's ankle braces, Mommy's water bottle and anything you can get your hands on in the fridge (*cough*Daddy'sBudLightLimes*cough*)

But, for sure... your favorite "toy" is the little piece of paper that daycare gives me when each day that details what time you ate, what time you napped and your disposition for the day. If you don't get that paper within .2 seconds of me getting it - whether or not I've had time to read it - HEADS. WILL. ROLL. You hold that thing in your hand all the way home. And if you happen to fall asleep with it? Don't even think about trying to remove it from your clenched little fist. In fact, the only thing we can do is hope that we can distract you with the wire whisk or a Goldfish cracker so that you'll let your guard down and we can sneak it away from you.

This is not to say that your love affair with paper doesn't have a useful purpose. Changing your diapers these days is like trying to shove an octopus into a wet paper bag and usually ends up in tears. Your tears. My tears. Daddy's tears. But sometimes? When we think of it and give you a piece of paper during the diaper change? ALL IS RIGHT IN THE WORLD AGAIN AND MOMMY ISN'T A FUMBLING IDIOT TRYING TO PUT A DIAPER ON A GREASED PIGLET.

Speaking of a piglet... you're quite the eater these days. I'll say it... sometimes you're kinda picky. Sometimes you like strawberries. Sometimes you don't. Sometimes you like blueberries. Sometimes you don't. But you always, always, ALWAYS like bananas. And spaghetti. And Goldfish.

We're having to sneak in green veggies with the spaghetti and that's sad because you used to just eat whatever we happened to throw in your mouth. You still do at daycare apparently. For the love... you actually ate a hotdog at daycare last week.

Um... gross. You were neither camping nor at a baseball game... which is the only time hotdogs should be consumed. But, apparently, whatever the ladies at daycare give you, you're cool with. But Mommy is only allowed to feed you spaghetti, bananas and applesauce. EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. And sometimes in the mornings.

Daycare has been fun for you this month, too. Since you're one of the oldest and definitely the biggest, you have gained a reputation for stealing binkies out of the mouths of the little ones. Not that you like binkies. And not that I've been able to get you to take a binkie since you discovered the wonder that is your tongue and your hands. But for some reason, you're just not down with the binkie babies in daycare. Bully. You're THAT kid. You're also one of the happiest ones in the room. Every time I come to pick you up, you're playing and as soon as you see me or hear my voice, you start motoring over to me, happily squealing as if to say: "YAY!! You're finally here! I've been waiting for you all day so I can have my piece of paper!"

You're a big fan of playing with my hair. And playing, to you, means a lot of pulling it out by the roots. You spend a lot of time doing that. And a lot of time talking to yourself while you do that. And sometimes you dance a little while talking to yourself and pulling it out by the root. Sometimes, the only thing that can distract you is if Daddy starts the toy that sings the ABC's to you... that gets you to let go of my hair, crawl over to the toy and sing and dance to the ABC's.

You're also really good at playing ball. You like to throw the ball to one of us and then clap in delight. Because you're really proud of yourself. You are proud of yourself a lot, these days. You're starting to stand up unassisted and are so excited when you do that you forget that you need your legs to balance you and then you go right back down. But I gotta hand it to you, you're tenacious. You get right back up and try again. Makes me tired just watching you!

Last week, we borrowed a tag-a-long for the bikes from some friends and you had your very first ride with Daddy while I went to Book Club. The result? You were asleep within minutes. The next ride, though, you thoroughly enjoyed it and giggled most of the time.

We also went swimming with you this weekend and you loved the water. Loved it so much that you kept shoving your face in it and you would come up sputtering as if to say: WTF was that?

Since you're getting a little older, you're starting to get more frustrated and go into meltdown mode when you don't get what you want. Usually, this means that it's bedtime and heaven help the parents who had not prepared for this occurrence ahead of time and didn't have you in your PJ's yet. Because it will take two grown, college-educated adults to get you into said PJ's. And may possibly leave you scarred for life.

We know that it left scars on our arms and our corneas.


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Mother Of The Year

Dear Vomit-Machine,

(Or should we call you Poop Bucket?)

So... guess who got a touch of the stomach flu this weekend? That was fun.

Actually, to be completely honest, it wasn't as bad as it could have been. Considering that you and I left Daddy at home for the weekend so that we could drive up to the farm to see Grandma and Grandpa and I could go to my 15-year reunion before you and I drove back down to Provo to go to a reception... which made the weekend really, REALLY long.

And considering that you had projectile vomit Friday night at the farm.... (We can only thank our stars that we were outside on the grass, which made for an easy clean up!) But, being the Mother of the Year, I figured it was a one-time occurance and shouldn't be a problem for the rest of the trip. That night, when I woke to the smell of rancid diharrea and had to wrangle you while you were still asleep so that I could change one of the most toxic diapers I've ever seen, I figured that you'd probably got the last of the evil out of your system.


And considering that during the trip, I ended up with a broken down car that left me having to borrow Grandpa and Grandma's car to make the trip to Provo... and considering that apparently my prego brain is working overtime right now and I managed to run out of gas.....

On the freeway.

In the rain.

Because I tried to make it from Preston to Provo on a 1/2 tank of gas.

Cuz your Mommy's a rock star that way.

I mean, really... WHO RUNS OUT OF GAS. More specifically, who hears a beeping noise, wonders what it is, then assumes that it must just be a malfunctioning seat belt alarm AND CONTINUES TO DRIVE?

Also, considering that once I was able to cross FOUR lanes of traffic with my hazards flashing as the tires slowed down their rotation and was able to make it to the last exit ramp for a few miles, I discovered that you had a nasty case of the trots... and you had leaked that all over your car seat.....

And, considering that any number of weirdos could have stopped to offer "help", we ended up being helped by a nice man and woman in University of Utah shirts who got me some gas. In the rain, mind you... and refused to take any money? Seriously. I swear it's gotta be your cute little face that did it. Me alone? I would have been hoofing it to get the gas for sure....

And, considering that you had a pretty tough night that night in the hotel room and threw up all over your bed and spent the night in bed with me... which meant that Mommy slept zip, zilch, nada... because you're such a squirmer when you sleep that I was worried if I didn't stay awake (or at least partly awake) you'd squirm right over the edge....

And, not that THAT would have really made a difference because the following day when you and I finally made it home and you had yet ANOTHER runny diaper and you somehow managed to stick your foot in the poop... I broke a cardinal rule and while I was putting the diaper in the bucket, didn't have my hand on you. And the next thing I know, I felt like something wasn't right in the atmosphere and turned just in time to see you land on the floor after rolling off the table.

And one of my nightmares just came true. AWESOME.

Yep... that's me, Mother of the Year.

Luckily, you weren't hurt. Just scared. Nothing a little snuggling couldn't fix. And, hey... if that snuggling turns into an hour nap for you and me? I'M NOT COMPLAINING.

When Daddy finally got home from his volunteer activities that day, I asked if he could watch you while I took a nap. A THREE. HOUR. NAP.

But, it turns out that I wasn't the only one who needed one because when I got up? Guess who ELSE had been asleep for three hours? Apparently, the weekend had taken a toll on you, too.

But it sure was fun. In fact, we took some pics to document the fun-age.

You got to help feed 17 geese. Seriously, 17 geese?
Grandma and Grandpa need a new hobby.

And you got to take your first ride with Grandpa on the four-wheeler.

You got to rock in Mommy's old rocking chair from when
she was your age...
or maybe a bit older. Same size, though!

You got to hang out (and throw up) in Grandma and Grandpa's awesome yard.

You got to meet your cousin Grayson... who, I think might
have been a little taken aback by the tornado that is Hazel.

And you went to your first luau in your very own mumu, thanks to Aunt Carol.

Yep... it was quite the event filled weekend.

The next morning, I woke up feeling refreshed and ready to figure out a way to withdraw my nomination for Mother of the Year. I got up before you, got showered, dressed and ate breakfast all before you woke up. Then, I got you changed and fed and we had a little snuggle time before it was time to go to school.

School. There's something about that word that I think makes you nauseous because when I asked you if you were ready for school? Up came EVERYTHING you'd eaten that morning and the night before. And it kept coming. And coming. And COMING. You even buried your face in my chest as it came, which meant that it was all over your face, in your eyes, in your ears.

I gotta tell you... I wasn't really sure how exactly to clean up the mess. You were covered. I was covered. The couch was covered. So, we took a trip to the shower and decided that today, you and I would be staying home.

I think, though... getting that last throw-up out of the way really made you feel better because you've been fine ever since. Sure, sure... right now, all you really want is the bottle and have declared a moratorium on anything resembling solid foods unless it's a banana, but I'm hopeful that once your tummy starts feeling better, that will change. The good news is that I think that the yogurt I've been sneaking into your bottle is helping with your tummy... something about the probiotics calming it down? At least, that's what the doc recommended. But, he also said that you're not the hugest baby he's ever seen... so it's possible he's crazy.

In other news, you go in for your ear tubes on Monday. I don't know whether to be excited or scared for you.

Excited because, YAY! No more ear infections we have to treat with antibiotics!


I think this is our best option as the ENT said that you're hearing is a bit compromised now and that you're ripe for another ear infection given the fluid in your ears. I wonder if they'll let me be in the room with you when they put you under?

I'll let you know how it goes. Although, if you're actually reading this when you're older, you probably already know by now!