Saturday, November 21, 2009

Vacation and New Moon

I'm so excited to go on vacation next week! My husband and I are heading home for the holidays starting tommorow, and coming home next Sunday. I won't be able to blog there, but I'll have tons to write about when I get home.
What should I bring for the baby? I know I need to pack pretty much all of her clothes, because she has leaky diapers (We tries huggies little snugglers... super cute, they match her winnie the pooh nursery, but they leak pretty much every time you use them, even doubled up. The walmart brand parents choice leaks semi-frequently, the only brand I've never had a leak with is Pampers, but I still need to try Luvs)
and I need to bring her blankets, a towel and washcloth, her swadler, her sling, and maybe her bouncer. Should I bring her wipe warmer? She kind of hates cold wipes. She doesn't play with toys yet, not really, so I think I'm safe there, she's never needed gas medicine, or baby Tylenol, but she may while we're out of town, so I should bring those just to be safe, and of course her car seat, but is there something essential I'm forgetting? How about it mom's? What do you have to take when you leave town with a six week old?

Anyone sick of hearing about Twilight feel free to tune out now, you won't be missing anything else

One thing I'm going to do when I go down there is hang out with some friends for a girls night, and see New Moon. I'm embarrassed, I've spent the last year bashing that series, and now I sort of want to see it in theaters. Unlike most English majors, I don't have an issue with Stephenie Meyers writing, I'm not much of a literary snob. I mean as far as creative writing goes, she's sort of the desired outcome right? I wouldn't mind selling one of my stories, and making millions, I just know it's not likely to happen.
I read her books, the plots were interesting, nothing special, but I did read all four books, which means it was interesting enough to stick with, and more importantly generate three more sales. I also think her characters were very realistic.
The problem is that they realistically reminded me of people I just don't like very much.
To clarify, my daughter is named Isabella, it's a family name, she is NOT named for Bella Swan. Bella reminds me of this girl I knew in High School, she wasn't anything special, just shy and quiet, and so it seemed like she attracted every eligible guy in a hundred foot radius, not because she was pretty (just average, which isn't bad, I'm just average myself on a good day) but because they could insert whatever personality they wanted into her and she wouldn't speak up to object.
When asked these three different guys liked her for three different sets of personality traits, about sixty percent of which she didn't have. Everyone assumed she was smart, but she wasn't in particular, and she and I talked on more than one occasion about how frustrated she was that everyone kept putting all of these labels and expectations on her just because she didn't speak up to prove them wrong or ask otherwise. My friend was a doormat, and she was well aware of it.
Of course as it happened any guy I ever liked fell for her, and so I was very jealous, and then she started dating this guy I was best friends with and really liked but knew I would never date, our relationship was completely platonic, we never dated, and I still talk to him all the time, but because we never dated I still kind of wonder what if? I know "what if" we didn't date because he's sort of like my brother, or at least a very well liked cousin. It would be gross. Anyhow, she cheated on him with this other guy I liked, and broke my best friends heart, and really insulted me. It was all very immature, and dramatic, and I'm so glad I've outgrown that stage of life.
So that's pretty much who I see Bella Swan as, unfair maybe, but has anyone ever known anyone like that? The quiet pretty girl that everyone thinks is so smart?
One thing I found interesting is I liked Bella more in Midnight Sun, when told from Edward's perspective. Maybe if he could read her mind he wouldn't like her either?
What bothers me the most about the series is that Bella thinks of herself as a smart and independent woman, when really she's about as passive and doormat like as they come. She's book smart, she listens to classical music, but she is completely dependent on her boyfriend, or at least on having a boy around to lean on. The correct response to a boy sneaking into your room without you knowing to watch you sleep, following you, being incredibly over protective of you, threatening to kill you and following you is to let your dad the chief of police know about him. Edward is obsessively controlling, and is constantly making her feel inferior, and she lets him, and that makes me angry. It's a terrible message to send you young adult women everywhere, they have an extremely unhealthy relationship, and Bella lies and manipulates her way into it, and doesn't care who she hurts so long as she gets her way. There is nothing positive about Bella Swan.
Don't get me wrong, I like the books, and like I said, they portray a certain kind of person very realistically, and that person does tend to think of themself as strong and independent, and never sees the danger in being used as a doormat by their borderline abusive controlling boy friends (to clarify, Edward does not at all remind me of my very good guy friend,) but will kids reading it see the difference?
Maybe I shouldn't worry about it, if these books are still popular when Bella hits a good age to read them I'll talk to her about positive and negative relationships, but it's not like Beauty and the Beast was in a much better one.
In fiction we like controlling men who are constantly having to rescue us, my favorite couple as a kid was Sailor Moon and Darien, in literature it was Julian and Jenny from the Forbidden Games series, it took me about a week into my dating life to realize that the men who attract me on screen or in books would make me so incredibly angry in real life that I wouldn't be able to stand in the same room with them, it took me maybe another week to realize that arguments weren't romantic, despite chick flicks that imply otherwise, so I'd never be compatible with those types of guys. Even on the rare occasion I've fought with my husband I can honestly promise you we have never stopped yelling and begun passionately kissing each other, hell no, we're lucky if we can stand to be in the same room with each other until we've cooled way way off.
Ah well, chick flicks are still fun to watch

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Milestones

It's amazing how small things we take for granted are such difficult milestones for babies. This weekend Bella began raising her head all by herself, and holding it up for impressive periods of time. I still need to support her head when I'm holding her, because she doesn't have complete control, but still! How exciting :)

Then on Monday she rolled over during tummy time!

She's just started showing interest in toys, not playing with them, or even really touching them, but she'll look, and she seems much more interested in story time than before. Her squeaks and sighs are sounding a little more conversational, though we're no where near goo-goo ga-ga's, and she's staying awake for longer chunks of time (granted this chunk of time is from 12:00 AM to 3:00 AM, but hey, I'll take what I can get)

She's thinking about crawling, well not really, but she can lift her but with her feet, and lift her head and torso, just not all at the same time. She can scoot like a pro though! The baby book says she should be smiling and laughing soon, and anticipating routines, (it would help if I would establish a routine) It's all so amazingly exciting, is it strange I'm a little sad though, it's going by so fast, 6 weeks ago she was one baby, and she's slowly morphing into this other baby who can do things other than sleep and blink sleepily up at my face. I'm thrilled, and I love it, but I feel like I'm not taking enough time to cherish every second of this newborn stage. People keep telling me to watch out, they grow up fast, and I'm half afraid I'm going to blink and she'll be walking.

One things for sure, she's one smart baby. She's gotten strategic with her pacifier (see above picture) she'll cry for it, spit it out, and leave it propped on her lip for use later. I thought it was coincidence, or her just spitting out her pacifier, but when I lovingly reached down to pull up her covers and move her pacifier out of her way, she woke and cried, and this repeated a few times until I finally got wise that she likes her pacifier right where it is. She's also perfected the mommy fetch game with said pacifier, she's pretty good at throwing.

Anyone else's baby hate tummy time with a fiery passion? Seriously, she cries the second I put her down until she rolls over. Poor baby, hates to exercise, just like her mommy

Monday, November 16, 2009

Baby Shower Envy

Sunday my husband, Bella, and I went to a friends baby shower and had a blast. She had tons of people there, the boys played games in the back and drank a keg of beer, the kids played in the yard with toys and the dogs, and the girls played shower games inside, it was all very fun.
I couldn't help but compare it to my shower (or showers, actually) and while I wouldn't trade my showers for anything, I have to admit I was a little jealous. I kept thinking , "ah, I wish I had thought of that!" whenever I saw something cute, or played something fun. Then of course there was "ooh, I wish I had thought to put that on my registry," though considering that item was a boo-boo bunny, I think I did pretty good. Seriously, I have to find those boo-boo bunnies.
Then I felt bad for feeling that tiny bit of jealously. My friend deserved the perfect shower, and my shower was pretty darn perfect as well, to think otherwise is ungrateful. I think it's just in my nature to compare and contrast, but it's really a habit I would like to kick.
Of course I didn't vocalize any of this, mostly I enjoyed letting other people hold the baby for a bit, and hanging out with people. I didn't realize how much I missed hanging out with people until yesterday, it's not like I can't go anywhere, and it's not even since I had the baby, more since we moved. I don't know anyone in Athens, and having a newborn, or being extremely pregnant, makes it kind of hard to just get out and meet people.
I tried meeting people through pregnancy classes, but the ones we attended in Athens (most of ours were in Atlanta) had the most super focused, antisocial people in them ever. I mean I know learning how to change a diaper is important and all, but really? No one arrived early, or stayed late, or spoke at ALL during the break? Wow!
When Bella's older I may meet people through baby sign classes, or kindermusic classes, and the like, but thats months away. I work from home, I'm no longer a student (though I may enroll in art classes at UGA in the spring, they offer some great ones) where do you meet people? I've got another shower we're driving to Atlanta for next Sunday, and then next week we're heading to Columbus to visit family for the week, so I'll get my socialization in for the rest of November at least, but I don't want to go weeks where my only outings are to grocery stores again. I didn't even realize I was doing that until Sunday, and I can't even blame the baby, this was going on before she arrived.
I need to find a girlfriend or two that I don't have to drive to Atlanta to visit, any suggestions on where to find people? What is an appropriate place to meet friends with a newborn in tow?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Grocery stores bring out the monster in me


Seriously, I hate grocery shopping. I have got avoiding grocery shopping down to a science. Every non-perishable that Sam's sells, I order to pick up at my store. Then I go to publix and get the perishables, which are generally in the very back of the store. Today my husband and I grabbed lunch, and he announced he needed to get a hair cut, so we went to Kroger instead so he could get a hair cut at the supercuts next to kroger, and I could go grocery shopping. Bella sleeps every second we're out of the house, so why not?
So my husband gets his hair cut while I run into the grocery store to buy 6 objects
1) milk
2) bread
3) chicken
4) pork
5) hamburger meat

Simple, right?

Before I begin to bash this store, let me make you aware that my absolute favorite grocery store in the world is the Kroger that was next store to my shop, but here in Athens they don't like to organize their stores logically (seriously, the honey is in the middle of the freezer section at this random stand alone shelf, everything is nuts like that), and somehow they have more people in the stores than Atlanta ever did.

So I walk into the store, get my buggy, get Bella all set up, and walk the mile to the back of the store through impressively narrow aisles, chock full of people who are by all appearances just standing there! It takes me about ten minutes to get to the back of the store thanks to the hundred or so women who stand on one side of the aisle intently reading the ketchup labels, and have their cart on the other, and don't notice you until you actually have to ask them to please move, and then get all angry about it like you're being rude.

I get the milk,the bread and the hamburger meat, then I make a beeline for the chicken when Bella wakes up and promptly bursts into tears. I give her the pacifier and try to sooth her, momentarily becoming one of those morons who block the aisles, and slowly make my way to the pork.

Now Bella is shrieking inconsolably. I take her out of her car seat and hold her while looking at the pork, without really seeing it, just trying to find the stupid pork chops and get the heck out of the store. She quiets for a second but then starts to cry wondering why I'm not feeding her (because she ate 20 minutes ago, but she only ate for like 5 minutes and then would not eat any more, so I sort of figured she'd be hungry soon) I tell her I'm sorry and we'll be out of here in one second, well aware I'm being glared at from all angles by people wondering why I've got a screaming baby in the grocery store.

Finally my brain clears enough to see the pork chops, grab them, and try to get to the registers.... on the other side of the store. Nice.

Bella goes back in her car seat, a fact she does not appreciate, refuses her pacifier, and screams all the way to the door. This baby has never cried longer that one or two minutes at a time in her life! Then again, I've never actually not fed her the second she starts rooting and before she even begins to cry either, so it makes sense for her to be distressed, and who likes grocery stores? I don't even want to be there, why should she?

I try to get through the congested aisle, maneuvering my way around these three women who are chatting in the middle of an aisle about some recipe. As they move their carts to allow me to pass their conversation stops, when I get past they begin a conversation about how they would never allow their children to scream and cry in a store, and one of them said something about how she has such a headache now, and something else then the word inconsiderate.

I snapped. I turned around, taking the baby out of the car seat as I turned, and said "I can hear you, you know? In case you haven't noticed the exit is that way, I am trying to leave, I would have been out of here thirty minutes ago before she even woke up if it wasn't for jackasses like you taking up the whole freaking walkway."

Then we turned back around and picked our way through the crowd in a very slow motion dramatic exit. I finally got to the register, finally checked out, finally got out the door, and the baby stopped crying the instant we got outside.

I hear you sweetheart

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Shots


My baby had her "first" shot this morning :(. I put the quotes in because I know she got shots in the hospital when she was born, but this was different. She cried. It was this terrible minute long wail that just kept going until she ran out of breath, and then the real crying started :(. I have never felt so helpless, it's so silly, but I feel terrible for her, she's fine now, she's sleeping it off, but I don't know if I can do two more shots next month and then lots of shots at her six month check up. I hate to see her in pain :(

I'm very pleased with her new fleece sleepers, she loves being all warm and snugly. She especially likes the sleepers that have little feet with animals on them like the bunnies in the photo above. I couldn't get a photo of her doing it, but she keeps sticking her little feet in the air and grabbing at the bunny ears that flop down, it's very fun.

This morning we hit a landmark development (at least in my opinion) Bella is beginning to speak baby. I woke up before she did this morning, and was getting ready when I heard her wake, instead of making her squeaky sounds and then crying for food, she spent a few moments making little babbling sounds mixed in with the squeaks, which reminds me I need to make a recording of her little squeaky sounds before she stops making them.

Yesterday I began her baby book, well one of the like ten baby books I'm working on. My mil got me a baby book, and my mother got me a baby book, and I had already decided to do my own digital baby book on shutterfly of Bella's first year. What I've decided to do is fill out all the baby books, keep the shutterfly one, and give the two others to each grandmother on Bella's first birthday. I'm pretty excited about this project.

Tommorow is my husbands birthday :) and I still don't have the slightest clue what we're doing for it. I got him a dvd he wants, and Bella got him a book called "Daddy Hugs." I would love to buy him more (we spent a small fortune on my birthday this year, I think that may have had something to do with the fact that I pushed a baby out two weeks before hand though) but he's so focused on the baby, and school right now that he honestly can't think of anything he wants or needs outside of those two worlds. Ah well, we will be celebrating on Saturday, so I'm sure he'll think of something by then.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Crane Humidifier Giveaway


The crane humidifier company is giving away one of their cute humidifiers, visit RaisingMy4Sons for details!


I'm a newly converted fan of humidifiers, I never saw a use for them myself, but after having Bella, and living through her first bout with the sniffles, I'm a huge fan. We got a really plain vicks humidifier for about $15.00 at walmart, but I see the appeal in having a cute one like this.

Off to feed the baby... again, lol

Friday, November 6, 2009

What new mom's really need


When I registered for my baby shower, I put things I really needed on there. A pack and play yard that doubles as a bassinet, a bouncer for the baby, a travel system, a high chair, a baby bath, sheets, receiving blankets, cloth diapers (to use as burp clothes) baby proofing stuff, a swing, and some general things to decorate the babies room. There may have been more, I honestly don't remember. Then I put some little toys and inexpensive things that my friends could get.
My family bought all the high dollar items, a friend bought the baby bath and health stuff, and another friend got the baby room decorating stuff. Everything else was picked out by my friends.
My friends have fantastic taste. I have lots of blankets, lots of bibs, and a billion baby clothes. Seriously this kid has more clothing than I do. I do have some bits of advice for anyone shopping for a baby shower, not that the gifts I got weren't great and useful (they really are, I love them so much, and so does Bella) but just some general advice I am now keeping in mind as I shop for my other pregnant friends

1) babies can't use blankets :( We got a lot of receiving blankets, which work great while she's in her car seat, one big fluffy blanket, which works as her tummy time mat, and a hand knitted swadler type blanket which she can use in her crib. These are great, and they are all a new mommy needs. I don't really get why when you walk into the newborn section of a baby store you see all this fluffy stuff for the babies crib. They can't use it. Yes the blankets are adorable, but all the baby needs are receiving blankets, (which the hospital also gives you a lot of so actually you can forgo buying the cloth diaper burp clothes, though we put them on the changing table so it's not too cold for Bella's little but)
2) Accessories are cute but the baby does not need fifteen hats, and 8 million socks. We got two sets of six packs of socks, and one really soft yellow pair, plus a few that look like mary janes but are actually socks. We also got two sets of three baby hats, they go with all the babies outfits, and don't get dirty at this point, so the like fifteen pack of socks and hats and bibs (bibs we do use a lot of now, when bottle feeding) aren't needed. Just buy the small pack of super cute socks and hats. That's all we needed.
3) Newborn clothes. Someone out there is spreading advice not to buy newborn clothes because the baby will grow right out of them. Unfortunately we followed this advice and only bought a five pack of onesies, and have a closet full of three and six month clothes. Those will be great when Bella gets that old, but for now, newborn is actually a size large for her. I am very grateful to my mother and my aunt who upon hearing my plight bought lots and lots of warm newborn outfits and a few more onesies for my baby. She is now sleeping in warm fuzzys that don't fall off her shoulders. Buy newborn clothes for the season, and include a gift receipt. If you're really worried about the baby just happening to be born at a three month size, buy a three month outfit, it'll do long enough for an online order in the right size to arrive after the baby is born.
4) Get a baby wipe warmer and a bottle warmer. My aunt took care of these for me, and let me tell you are they life savers. My baby hates cold baby wipes, can't say I blame her. And it's really nice for those few times we feed her a bottle for my husband to just pop the bottle in the warmer.
5) A sling, I promise the mom will thank you when she can walk around the house with her sick baby who doesn't want to be put down and actually do things like type on the computer, or clean the kitchen. It's heaven. Life before the baby sling was rough.
6) New babies can't do much with toys. At this point we have three, a pooh rattle, a doll, and a Georgia Bulldog. They are just small enough for her to grab at, and we use them to work on her vision.
7) newborn pictures- a gift card to the hospital photographer is a great gift, then the parents can order all the newborn pictures they want
8) Diapers, or a gift card to diapers.com to order more diapers. We got a lot of size one diapers, and those are too big for the baby, so we're still buying newborn size, but when she gets old enough for size one, we will not have to buy diapers for weeks
9) Baby memory book or gift card to shutterfly.com, so the mom can make a digital memory book. '
10) baby pacifiers. You can buy either the soothie brand, or the hospital brand. I found the ones the hospital used by searching gumdrop pacifiers. They're made by Hawaii medical supply and you can stock up.

Just my ideas of what to buy for baby showers. I have two to attend this month, so its shopping time for me

I need to thank my friends and family for making sure I had everything I needed, and then going the extra mile and buying those things that just made life easier. You're the best.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I hate burping the baby

I love feeding the baby, I love how she curls up against me all warm and sweet, and that look of intense concentration on her face as she feeds and the way she moves her head like a zombie if she gets disconnected and the little noises she makes. It hurts sometimes, but after a few minutes she stops sucking, closes her eyes, let's go and falls into a peaceful slumber. And then I have to burp her. We've tried every position but none of them are what you would call unobstrusive. Bella ends up waking up and crying. Her pacifier never pacifies and she gets hungry again so we start the whole process over again.
The only thing worse... Is what happens if I don't burp her

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Halloween and sick babies



Haven't posted in awhile, because my little one has been sick :(. It all started on Halloween, when she woke me up in the morning with a strange gasping, choking sound. She kept struggling to breath so we rushed her to Kaisers weekend/after hours clinic, paid the fifty dollar co-pay, and had the doctor continue to mention how fussy she was, "it must be colic."
Sorry Doctor? My child who has never cried when she wasn't hungry, colic? Based on the fact that she was crying after you shoved a thermometer up her but? I would cry to!
We kept trying to explain that she wasn't being fussy, that's not why we brought her in, she wasn't breathing! Her face turned red, and she flailed around, and no she's not doing it now, but it was terrifying so fix it ok!
Then he told me about infant breathing patterns. Ok, obviously you didn't believe me when I said I know all about those from the baby book, and listen to her breath all night every night sleeping intermittently, I know her breath patterns!
Well according to the doctor she didn't have a fever (98.6, which isn't a fever, unless you are my daughter or me, who both consistently have a temperature of 97.4, of course this wasn't her regular pediatrician so he didn't know that) and she wasn't congested. They did humor me and check the o2 levels in her blood, and they were fine. So I got what I came for, my baby wasn't suffocating.
We got home, put her in her halloween costume, and she promptly fell asleep in her warm fuzzy outfit. My husband and I watched Orphan, and let me tell you, watching scary movies is a completely different experience once you have children. It's way more stressful. I now understand why my mom would randomly change the channel when hocus pocus got to intense. Stuff happening to kids is ten times more frightening.
The next morning her temperature was 99.9, she WAS congested, and she wanted to be held all the time, and be fed all the time, unfortunately being fed all the time led to her projectile vomiting. :( poor sick baby. Thankfully her fever is broken now, and besides being a little more clingy than usual, she's doing very well.
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