Thursday, April 29, 2010

Wiggles and jiggles and feels so real...

It's my water baby!

How many of you remember these commercials? Just in case you've forgotten, let me refresh your memory.

Well, I have a water baby. Not one of those that you fill with warm water. That's just weird and freaky. But, and actual baby that loves the tub.

So, the other night, I was bathing Ansley. She LOVES her bath time. No.Joke. If she's fussy and doesn't want to be held but doesn't want to be put down, bath time is our hero. It's a great break for mommy too. She'll play and squeel in delight while mommy takes time to rest. Tubside, of course.

So, here we are. We've had several exciting bath experiences. Last week, I wanted her to take a LONG bath. Partially because she's so happy in the bath, and also because as soon as she's out, she's ready for the lotion, bottle and bed. Normally, she's in bed by 8:15 p.m. and she talks to herself until about 8:30. Then, she's out.

So, this bath started at 6:45. Following the typical schedule, she would have been in bed by 7:30, meaning she would wake up the next morning at 6:30. Sorry. I know I'm a mother and no longer a college student, but I'm pretty sure it is a sin against nature to get out of bed that early. At least, it's a sin against my nature.

So, obviously, that wasn't going to jive. So, I was faced with a dilema. How to stretch out bath time. Well, give her a playmate, of course!

Now that the kiddo is a tub sitter, she seems to enjoy the few bath toys much more. She and Rascal still battle over the rubber duckies, but Ansley doesn't just hand them over anymore. I debated sticking Rascal in the tub, but quickly decided that would not be the best idea. Rascal doesn't mind the water, but I did not see it ending well at.all.

So, what was to be the next option. I thought, and thought, and thought, and eventually decided I would be the bathtub playmate.

The last time I took a bath with someone else was, well, let's not think about that. But I couldn't get over the fact that this was just too weird. So, I opted for the more sensible choice. I dug out a swimsuit, and hopped in the tub with Ansley.

There were several reasons I decided to try this option out. Mainly, I didn't want to sit in 2 inches of water, naked. That's just a little too weird for my tastes. Especially with Rascal constantly trying to join the tub. I can't go to the bathroom if I think someone is listening in the next room, so bathing with someone watching me, even a dog, is out of the question.

The second reason I opted for the swimsuit was because I didn't want to scar my poor little girl. Now, I've taken a few showers with the kiddo, especially when she was younger. They worked out well, overall. However, I did learn that if a baby is breastfed, that naked boob means food. It doesn't matter if she just ate and isn't hungry. If it's there, she's after it.

Now, I stopped nursing Ansley after about 10 weeks. I had gone back to work full time, and she was already asking to supersize her meal AND add an extra order of fries on the side. I simply couldn't keep up. Plus, I was constantly hungry, and couldn't eat enough to stop losing weight (go ahead, flame me all you want, but it isn't any fun to be skinny when your husband continually tells you that you look like you're sporting an eating disorder). So, we stopped nursing, and Ansley hasn't been at the breast since.

I wasn't concerned about her all of a sudden backtracking. I was concerned because she's getting much better at grabbing things. And pulling. And pinching. And, honestly, I hadn't trimmed her nails in a few days and it wasn't a risk I was willing to take. So, the swimsuit seemed the best option to extend the bath time.

It wasn't nearly as strange as I expected it to be. We had tons of fun splashing each other, and Ansley got to experience more than 2 inches of water. We pushed the ducky back and forth, and enjoyed the warmth of the water. And when suddenly our tub became a jucuzzi tub, I knew it had come time for the fun to end.

I learned a few things though. Even if you think your maternity swimsuit is cuter than your regular one, you probably shouldn't wear it. Cause even if you haven't gone back to normal in other places, chances are, your chest isn't the same size. I'm glad I discovered that before heading to the beach this summer.

Secondly, I learned that thinking outside the box can be a lot of fun. Ansley and I play all the time, but it was great to take a simple everyday activity and make it something new. I hate when everyday is the same as the day before, and even just something as simple as putting on a swimsuit and taking a bath with your kiddo.

What are some ways you bond with your bundle of joy? How do you think outside the box?

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Big news!

You know how sometimes, it's just easier to hide behind your computer screen to make an announcement, because you don't have to deal with the cheers and hugs, and even potential tears that come along?

Well, that's what I've decided to do. Partially because I can express myself much better through written words, and partially because I'm not a real touchy-feely kinda person. This is my space. That is yours. Don't invade my space without being invited, m'kay?

Anyhoo, the announcement. Paul and I decided to add another to our family. ::gasp:: Yes, it's true, and it's already happened.

We have been talking about it for some time now, but just didn't know if it was a commitment we were ready for. Ansley is a handful, and I can't even imagine adding more to my plate. But, things just seemed to fall in to place.

The first opportunity presented itself, and Paul was much more on board with the idea than I was. I mean, he's gone during the evenings, and that leaves me to handle a lot. But, I agreed, and we soon discovered that it didn't work out.

I felt relieved, but at the same time, I had that nagging feeling like I missed out. You know, like when you get the opportunity to enjoy a nice Mudslide, but pass up the drink because it's way expensive and is approximately the same price as that cute shirt on sale at Old Navy, and then they don't have the shirt in your size? Yeah, that's what it felt like.

But, a second opportunity came along, so, I took it.

It has taken me a while to let the cat out of the bag. I guess because I didn't want to be considered one of those people. You know, the ones that have a house full and are in way over their heads and still sign up to host a small group, a Mary Kay party and dog sit for their neighborhood? Yeah, I judge those people. I'm sorry, but if you can't properly care for one, and are nearly bald after a hectic day of feedings and cleanings, should you continue to add more to that already full plate?

How long has it taken, you ask? Well, we are certain of his status as a male. There is no doubt. We've even decided on a name already! We tossed a few around, like Jack, Max, and Remington. I also really liked the option of Hugo, but Paul said it was weird and I needed to get over my fixation with Lost. But, we finally decided.

We decided on Rufus. Yeah, a little bit out there, but we like it. It's different, and unique.

So, go ahead. Consider use those people. Judge us. Yes, our plates are full, but that's the way we like our house as well.

Hopefully, I'll do a much better job uploading pictures. I haven't been very successful in the past, but we'll see. So, world of the web, I introduce you to Rufus!

Oh, I'm sorry. Did I forget to mention that Rufus is a puppy? I hate when I leave out the most important fact!

Our house is full! Ansley, then furbabies Rascal, Bunker and Rufus (who will hopefully encourage the hubs to add a fence so he can live outside!)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Moving Forward

I am not one to air my laundry in front of people, be it dirty or clean. But I finally feel like I'm making progress, and that needs to be celebrated.

To understand my excitement, you'll have to venture back with me to that time of swollen joy, aka: pregnancy.

Near the end of my pregnancy, actually, at my 34 week check-up, my blood pressure was a little high, and my right leg was swollen. My doctor decided he wanted to send me for an ultrasound on my leg to check for any potential clots since only one leg was swollen. He also wanted my blood pressure to be monitored, fearing that I may have been developing pre-e.

So, I was sent to the hospital, where my leg u/s checked out fine (it was actually a pretty cool experience overall, minus the whole being pantless while a reformed hippy, complete with his long locks, squeezed my leg for about an hour). I was then hooked up to a blood pressure cuff, told to get comfy, and settled in for 23 hours of monitoring.

My BP stayed elevated, and it wasn't a very restful evening, because every time I would hear the cuff begin to tighten, I also felt my heart start to race.

Anyhoo, after 23 hours of monitoring, I was given a prescription for BP, then sent home to rest. My water broke just three days later.

Well, my BP ended up staying "elevated" (you'll understand the quotes soon) even up to my 6 week pp appointment. So, I made myself an appointment with my family care doc to figure out what was going on.

As a pregnant woman herself, the doc felt that I had developed "white coat hypertension" during my pregnancy, in that I had a perfect pregnancy up to that point, and had explained the stress involved with the 23 hour observation. She suggested to monitor the BP at home, and let her know the results.

After a few good results, I was free! Or, so I thought. I got a high reading, and that's when I think my downward spiral started, or, at least came to the surface.

I totally freaked out. I started shaking, I couldn't concentrate and just kept thinking that something awful was going to happen and no one would know. I couldn't calm Ansley down, and in turn couldn't calm myslef. I ended up calling my dad over, at 9:30 p.m., to sit with me until the hubby got home from work.

And, it happened again, the next day. We were traveling two hours for a wedding, and I freaked out in the car. I couldn't sit still. I felt like my heart was racing and my throat was closing up. I needed room to stretch my legs, and felt trapped in the car. That night, I decided something had to be done.

After talking with a family friend, it was suggested that I see my family doctor regarding what she, as a NP, felt was an anxiety issue.

To make an already long story seem a little shorter, we realized that I had been struggling with anxiety for a while, and pregnancy only helped me realize it.

I can now say, that after 6 months on a low-dose SRI (seratonin re-uptake inhibitor), I've now been given the go ahead to come off of it! I've developed this sense of freedom. I no longer have to go through certain steps to calm myself, such as driving by my house whenever I hear a fire alarm, or checking five times to make sure I locked the doors, or pulling to the side of the road to make sure my tailpipe wasn't smashed in, leaking car exhaust into my vehicle which would kill me and my daughter.

I no longer have to go into her room every hour to make sure her chest is still rising and falling, and feel her face to make sure it is warm. I don't have to get sick to my stomach whenever it starts to rain in fear that a tornado will surely come and rip my house apart.

And, it feels good. It actually felt good to know that the high BP was a result of the anxiety that developed and my tendency to fixate on the problem. It feels good to know that there was actually more going on than mere lack of faith. And it feels good to know that I may have reprogramed my thought process.

For a while, I've known that I was much more than a worry wart, but felt ashamed admitting it, especially when Ansley came along.

I was worried that people would judge me, especially my friends who are very strong in their faith. I was worried that I was making it up, and it bothered me that I couldn't just "get over it" as people would tell me.

Will I come of the meds? I don't know. It is something that the hubs and I will have to talk long and hard about. But, I feel like we're moving in the right direction. I feel encouraged that this isn't simply a lack of faith, though one can never have to much of that. And, with each step I take, I am constantly reminded that I'm not in this alone.

As cheesy as it sounds, I feel like I'm kicking anxiety's booty. It wore me down for a little while, but I'm finally starting to figure out it's moves. Watch out, anxiety. Tiffany has got your number.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Here comes Peter Cottontail...

Hoppping down the bunny trail.
By this point, you probably understand that if I'm not running behind, something is terribly wrong. So, here's an update about Easter, only a few days (ok, weeks) late.

Easter was wonderful! The weather was beautiful, Ansley was cute as a button, and the Easter bunny was good to us! We even tried, with marked failure, to catch a baby bunny that was munching on some grass in the back yard.
Though Ansley is a bit too small to go hunting for eggs, she did get to enjoy *part* of a chocolate covered marshmallow bunny. Needless to say, it was a very trying task to get it away from her, but we managed.
She wore her beautiful "Jackie O." dress, and afterwards at lunch with some close family friends, no one commented on my handsome son!
Now that the weather is warm, I've filled her dresser with a ridiculous quantity of dresses. That should help curb the problem.
Easter was such a huge event for me as a child. In fact, believe it or not, I think I can say the anticipation of that furry friend's visit was just as high as the excitement of the jolly fat man's annual squeeze down the chimney.
Growing up, my whole family was within about 50 miles. Christmas was divided between the two sides, but Easter was a different story. Easter was reserved for Mom's side of the family. And it was HUGE.
Typically, there were only about 9 of us that would hunt for eggs. There were 13 of us all together, but the youngest ones weren't really on the scene yet.
There was always a prize egg. And there was always money inside. There was also a prize for the most eggs. It was always difficult to decide if I should only hunt for the prize egg, and be assured of a nice monetary blessing, or, if I should use my position as the oldest and push the other kids around in an attempt to collect the most eggs. However, seeing as how I was the oldest by three years but the smallest by a few inches, there really was no point in putting myself through the turmoil. I went for the prize egg.
The aunts and uncles would hide the eggs, and then line us up by age. I was at the back because I was the oldest, and, quite frankly, the best stinkin' egg hunter in the fam. I was unstoppable.
I was famous for finding that prize egg, despite all the ridiculous hiding places. In the bottom of a trash can full of rain water (that involved a dive to the bottom, and assistance getting out), in a briar bush, in a dog house, and in a cedar tree. Funny thing is, I can't seem to remember what I even spent the money on.
Gradually, as the years went on, we all seemed to outgrow the event, yet we still managed to gather for some rockin' good food. Then, eventually, as time went on, we just stopped all together.
Now, this isn't a sob fest, but I have a lot of memories tied to Easter, and every once and a while, it's nice to look back on those events. The good as well as the bad.
Not only was Easter time for the egg hunt, but it also marks the anniversary of a huge event in my family. Our house was destroyed by fire one Easter Sunday a few years ago. On that day, we lost everything.
Which, really is contrary to the purpose of Easter. No matter how much I enjoy the ushering in of spring, and the ability to wear open toed shoes and white skirts, Easter is so much more to me, and I hope it will be for Ansley.
Easter is the day that death was defeated. It doesn't matter what was in that house as the flames engulfed it, because death was conquered! His word was kept.
So, I hope you enjoyed your holiday, and I look forward with great anticipation to the things I can pass on to Ansley. She's sure to be a master egg hunter, but, more than that, I hope she understands that on that day, so many years ago, the tomb was empty.
Ok, fine. And I hope she learns not to wear white shoes before that holiday.
He has Risen.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Yesterday I peed on myself.

Literally. Ok, well, maybe not literally, but not all of it made it in the toilet, that's for sure.

So, I was picking the kiddo up from the grandparents (hers), and I decided to stop by the grandparents (mine). I left the little bucket of slobber outside in the beautiful weather, while I ventured my way to the bathroom.

Now, you have to realize, my grandparents are in their mid-80s. And I love them. To death. But, you know how when you're a kid and everything at grandma's house is covered in plastic and smells funny, and you find things in the bathroom that you're pretty sure belong in a museum (or, at least the trash)? I can remember the time I realized the horror that is dentures. My grandmother hadn't put them in their clever little case, and I walked in and their were teeth on the counter. Yeah, it was pretty freaky.

Actually, I'm always reminded of the movie "Dennis the Menance" when I think about my grandparent's bathroom. If you haven't seen it, check it out. There is a super funny scene which involves mouth wash for nose spray and cleaner for mouth wash. Hysterical.

Anyways, back to the peeing on myself. So, since spring has sprung, I opted for a skirt that morning. And, in the rush to get the business taken care of and out of the museum of things found in the bathroom's of senior citizens, I just pulled the skirt up rather than down. Or, so I thought.

Luckily, I noticed what was happening before anything too awful happened, and what did happen only happened to the hem of my skirt. So, I dried it off, and coyly found my way past the plastic covered sofa and china cabitnet full of every tiny beeny baby McDonald's has ever released, back outside.

And I left my little secret to myself. And maybe those people that kept looking at me funny in Walmart.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The grass is always greener

I am a working mommy. And I love my job. And I also love my kid, in a completely different way. I don't feel like I'm a bad parent because our lifestyle requires two full-time jobs. I've never felt that by working I am not providing for the personal needs of Ansley.

But, sometimes, it sucks. Sometimes, I think it would be so much easier if I just stayed at home. And, sometimes, I even think that SAHMs have it easier than working moms.

Yes, I said it. Before you fill up the comment section, hear me out.

This is an age-old debate, one that I've participated in before. And, I'm not just stealing the topic because I have nothing better to write about. The past few weeks, the difficulty of our position has really come to light.

Normally, the hubs works second shift. Since I work first shift, it leaves about a three hour span- at most- for Ansley to be at the sitters. And, typically, that's only 3 days a week.

Recently, however, a shift change has put us needing a sitter for about 5 hours a day, 5 days a week. And it isn't fun.

Our sitter is great. She has two small children of her own, and she's wonderful. But we aren't able to pay as much as even a 13 year old would expect to make babysitting. And she says she doesn't mind, but Ansley can be a lot of work. She's high maintenance, sometimes. Other times, she's so easy, but she's unpredictable.

And, then there's the problem of sickness. Just like any daycare, we battle the sickness that is present at the sitter's. Normally, I try to keep Ansley home if she's sick, or if the sitter's girls are sick. But that is a whole other problem because then we have to result to a back-up sitter.

Which normally means I am texting or calling people nonstop trying to locate a sitter. And, sometimes that doesn't work. Which means Paul has to take off, or I end up taking off. And, sometimes, I end up bringing Ansley to work with me.

And, that is fun, most of the time. But forget getting anything accomplished. She is sitting up now, so she's plays a lot better on her own, but this kid is already dependent on technology. If there is a cell phone nearby, she has to have it. If a computer keyboard in clicking anywhere close to her, she wants to be pounding on the keys. Which means, on days I bring her to work, I get very little accomplished because she is always pounding on the keys. Cute, until a project you're working on ends up getting deleted.

And then, I have to deal with the fact that Ans is starting to get a little personality, and is starting to show likes and dislikes. All in all, it is a neat thing to watch, until I pick her up from the sitter's and hold out my arms and she decides she doesn't want to come to me. Yeah, that hurt. Big time.

My work day isn't finished when I get off. I don't get to nap while she's napping, and my house has recently been named a local disaster area. I know SAHMs are busy, and many have more than one kid at home, and some even opt for homeschooling, which I know doesn't make things any easier. But I have two full time jobs. Especially with Paul working in the evenings. And once the baby is in bed, that's finally my time to eat dinner and try to clean up the house, all while doing laundry and trying to get stuff together for the next day.

I do know that I am extremely lucky. I know that some working moms don't have any other option. I know that some SAHMs have very busy and trying schedules. And I know that much of this is a result of decisions I've had a part in making, but it still stinks.

So, working moms, know you are not alone is your frustration. And SAHMs, know that you are respected, because very few are able to juggle and balance as well as you manage too. And those of you that are trying to decide which is the best option for you, just wait to have kids until you win the lottery. Then you can stay at home, and pay other people to take care of your house while you sit and play with the kid all day. And eat peanut butter cups.

Now, that's the life.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Ah, thanks honey. I love you too.

So, I was brushing my teeth before bed the other night.

I'm already in my jammies, the make-up is off, and that mess on top of my head (traditionally called hair, but looks more like Medusa is renting the space) is already pulled back.

Enter, husband. Stand behind wife, and offer a kiss on the top of the head. Then, pull back.

"Hmm. Hey, you may want to think about coloring your hair sometime soon."

Did that really just happen? Did my sweet and loving husband look at my hair and tell me I needed to dye it? Am I really getting gray hair, I mean, I'm only 26!

"If I need to dye my hair, it's because you made it this way! Oh, and, you may want to leave the heat on tonight, cause I have a feeling I'll steal all the blankets."