Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A few years back...

The Banker and I were at one of those huge, obnoxious mega-stores. Rather than wait in the horrendous checkout lines, we opted to try the "Self-Checkout" machine. All was going well until The Banker swiped a coupon too quickly and jammed it into the (irretrievable) coupon slot.

"Ooohh--you did it too fast! The machine didn't read the coupon."

"So what?"

"The coupon was for FIVE BUCKS."


So as we waited for a human to lend us a hand, I turned to apologize to the woman waiting behind us. She gave me a stoned-looking smile and exclaimed, "Take all the time you need. This is like a vacation for me--my newborn is at home with my husband and I'm in the store by myself."

Then, I only vaguely could appreciate what this woman had to say. Today, I TOTALLY GET IT.

Monday, November 26, 2007

A case of the Mondays

Today sucked. Big time. Both my sisters are back in their respective states after the holidays and I feel their absence greatly. Becca is teething and refusing to eat. Every meal is a battle and her reams of saliva and screeching are winning. I'm feeling the crushing weight of cabin fever. What few trips to the gym I could muster these past few weeks aren't amounting to ANY weight loss. And out of nowhere this afternoon the glass globe over a kitchen light dropped from the ceiling and shattered everywhere. Thank goodness everyone was elsewhere in the house, but it was a big freaking mess to clean up.

Right now, I want to be somewhere else. Someone else. Ugh.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Fun: Recalled

And Becca's big Christmas gift that I was so excited about has been recalled:

I swear, I'm thisclose to buying her nothing but wood blocks and cardboard boxes. At the moment, these seem to be the only totally safe toys.

Forgive me

This morning, I committed one of the cardinal sins of parenting, and it's only by the grace of God I'm here writing about it rather than sitting in an emergency room engulfed in guilt and tears.

In Becca's room, we have an antique brass bed. It's my childhood bed, our only place for visiting guests, and a functioning changing station for diapers and baby clothes--saving both the expense and space a proper changing station would have cost. As with most antique beds, it's a good three feet or so off the ground, and as Becca has become more mobile, it's become a bit more of a challenge. And a danger.

Since she's rolling now and can go from a sitting position through her legs onto her stomach, I never stray more than a foot or two from the bed while she's on it. But this morning, even that was too much. I'd moved Becca to the center of the bed, putting her a good two feet from the edge. I took two steps to retrieve a pair of socks, keeping an eye on her tired, sitting form. Suddenly, she sprung forward with such force that she was on the edge. She'd never before covered so much ground so quickly. And just like that, she rolled headfirst off the bed.

What happened next felt like it played out slowly, like trying to move against a strong tide. I took the two steps to the bed, catching Becca mid-air, cradling her around her middle with my arms, and before the momentum brought her face-first into the hardwood floors, flipping her so that in a split second she was standing on the floor supported by my arms. It was the most graceful acrobatic maneuver I've ever accomplished. And I firmly believe it wasn't really my doing. I lack the grace and talent to pull off such a move--Someone was looking out for me.

Becca looked at me and gave a small whimper, as if to say, "What the fuck?!" I stood there stunned, holding her until my entire body began to shake with the implications of just what could have happened. At best, Becca would have been bloodied, screaming, and we would have had to rush to the emergency room. At worst? Well, I can't even begin to think about that.

Every experienced mother knowingly warns you. And every new mother tries to be so careful, remembering the warnings, dreading what could happen. But in a split second what once worked no longer does. I should have known better. But the lull of routine made me careless. Guilt and fear sit like a rock in my stomach as I try to figure out a new routine that will keep this from every happening again.

I'm so sorry, baby girl.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A head cold from hell

Becca has her first true head cold, and it's managed to turn this household upside down. For the uninitiated, congestion in an infant is a far cry from the annoyance it is to an adult. See, as adults, we're aware that we can breath through our mouths. But babies don't have that recognition yet; they're hardwired to breathe through their noses (enabling them to chug happily away at a bottle or...whatever). So when babies are congested, they can't really eat, and--what may well be worse--they can't sleep, either. Last night we were up from roughly 1 a.m. to 4 a.m.

Medically, there's little that can be done. Recent recommendations by the AAP and FDA translate to no cold medicine for children under the age of 2. We can spray saline up Becca's nose, but doing that is akin to brushing a cat's teeth--it ain't pretty and it takes at least two people. In fact, our pediatrician gave me a look of utter shock when she tried to look in Becca's throat yesterday. "My God, she's so strong, so determined, and she's only eight months old!" This sort of reaction makes me dread the terrible twos, because temperament-wise, my kid already acts like one. And she's not been happy lately.

From the looks of it, tonight will be a repeat of last night. I can't wait till Becca can learn to blow her nose. I can't wait till she's old enough for medicine to help knock this sort of thing out of her system. Because until then, there's not much recourse, and I hate seeing her so miserable. Oh, and I hate trying to function on three-and-a-half hours of sleep, too.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Tick, tock

It's with some sad irony that I marvel at how Becca is currently infatuated with clocks. My parents have an assortment of antique clocks that ticktock and chime on the hour. Her head swivels as chimes mark the passage of time. She can find the clocks in every room of the home. (My mom is encouraging this to be her first word--as it was mine.)

Seems I, too, am acutely aware that time is marching on. Yesterday we returned many of the borrowed "baby" items to my brother- and sister-in-law...the sleeping "bumpers," the extra padding for the car seat, the life-saving swing in which she passed so many hours. She doesn't need them anymore. We've moved on to bigger and better things...the exersaucer, high chair, sitting up all by ourselves.

Becca's not a newborn anymore. She's a wee person. And I just don't know how she went from this tiny, helpless bundle into this opinionated whirling dervish of movement and sound.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Happy Halloween, Little Bits

Look at our cute little puppy!