Monday, September 27, 2010

Mission Peanut

I just looked through the photos I've taken in the past month ... and I was on a mission ... to find pictures that show Charlotte's relative tininess.  At nine months old, she weighs just 13 pounds.

 Inflatable bathtub, baby Big Bird, and Fisher Price Puppy.

 Playground swing

 In the Bjorn

Mommy, Natalie and a Gator

 Uncle Tyler

Louie (our cat)

Please believe me when I tell you, 
Charlotte Jane is quite the little peanut!

On a related side note: Dr. Fancy Pants - the pediatric endocrinologist - has reviewed Charlotte's case and decided to see her ... however we have to wait another two months before that appointment.  Literally, the receptionist from his office called and said, "Dr. Fancy Pants will see you on November 29th at 3:30 in the afternoon."  There was no, "which day or time of day works best for you?"  All I can say is this guy has already lived up to his nickname ... now he better live up to his reputation as an amazing specialist!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

NHV - September 2010

Getting so tall and as cute as ever (in my biased opinion)

Your hair is finally one length and has this great wave
I love the way the left side is always a bit unruly

You have the cutest habit of pushing your bangs to the side 
and out of your face.

It strikes me as a very grown up thing to do.

You are still the best sleeper I know; 
your three hour nap is truly a delight!

You only want to wear your Ariel nightgown ...
I have to bargain with you just to get it washed!

You get out of bed asking, "What are we doing today?"
and with princess dress-up on your mind.

You race to put on your "briding" dress and 
whatever accessories you deem appropriate for the day.

You can spend an entire hour building with blocks,
lining up Little People, or reading a stack of books.

Sharing is not your favorite thing to do, and
sometimes I see you really dig in your heels ...
and you still refuse to eat almost all fruit!
But I think that's just part of being three.

It seems you need a lovey right now ....
You've started carrying around baby Big Bird
and sleeping with him, too.

Ah, yes, you are still my little girl ...

I love you, my sweet Natalie.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Great Question - Fog

The mind of a three year old is such a wonder!

This morning - on our way out the door - doing my best to load both girls plus all of our necessary crap into the car without losing my mind - Natalie made an awesome observation and asked,

"Hey, mommy, why is da 'ky touch-ing d-ose t'ees?"

Such a question gave me pause and caused me to follow her gaze to the tall trees across the street ... the tops of which were covered with a morning fog.  It did, indeed, look the clouds (aka the sky) was touching the trees.

Of course, I then did my very best impersonation of an elementary science teacher and tried to explain the phenomenon of fog ... how it is kind of like a cloud ... and why it happens closer to the ground/trees.

Based on the complete look of confusion on her face, I think she drew a much better (and simpler) conclusion,

"Mommy, it's v-ery cloudy today, huh?"

The Bite Fight

Well, it wasn't much of a fight - per say - but there was most certainly a bizarre bite involved.  Reminiscent of the Tyson vs. Holyfield rematch of long ago.  As if I know a damn thing about boxing ... I had a vague memory of the event and had to ask Chad, "Hey wasn't there some boxer that bit off another boxer's ear."  He gave me the names and then I Googled to fill-in-the-blanks.  But I still think it's a viable comparison to what has now happened TWICE in our house ...

My darling, sweet three year old has bitten her baby sister's index finger ... on two separate occasions.  The biting was completely unprovoked and came out of nowhere.  Both incident happened on daddy's watch - but I am not pointing fingers here.

The first time Charlotte was playing in her Jumperoo.  About a week later, the second time all three of them - NHV, CJV, and Daddy - were playing on the floor.  Both times Charlotte let out a howl of pain that had my heart racing and her mama hurrying to scoop her up and make it better.

Biting is not okay.  I guess it's not completely unheard of for a preschool-aged child to give their chompers a try on some flesh.  But it's still definitely not okay.   And is it just me or does the index finger seem like a strange place to bite?

Well, Charlotte is still such a lightweight (oh, the wrestling metaphor continues) and her fingers are TINY ... I mean, tiny enough that people comment about how small size of her hands and feet ... all the time.  You know how some baby's fingers look like little sausages?  Well, not Charlotte's; her hands look like a doll's.

If this biting continues, I fear that Natalie may just bite her sister's finger .... off ... or break it.

Last night's bite caused Charlotte's finger - from the base to the first knuckle - to swell up badly enough that I called our family doctor. The course of treatment was a cold compress and then wait-and-see.

Thankfully, that adorable little index finger was fully functional this morning!  And I am hopeful - after a good chat with the defending champion - that there will not be a rematch!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Butt Load of Baby Wipes

I believe I have written about my husband's historic difficulties when shopping at Costco.  There was one incident involving a case of canned green beans which resulted in his Costco privileges being revoked ... by me ... because we don't even eat canned green beans and my pantry at the time was the size of a shoe box!

Anyhoo ... my husband if frugal beyond belief.  But he also cannot refuse any deal of any kind. You wave a coupon in front of that man, and he's buying!  You offer him 15% off at REI, and he's maxing out his purchase potential. 

Case in point ... on this weekend's trip to Costco, Chad noticed a coupon for wipes.  I think you saved $4 and there was a limit of two, which is all fine and good - it's also $8 worth of savings as my husband pointed out.  And perhaps even a reason to get a bit excited ... IF you need wipes.  I suggested that we probably don't need THAT many wipes but Chad balked and then explained - in his most practical tone of voice - that Costco hardly ever has coupons for wipes.  And so, we brought home - the limit of TWO boxes of wipes. 

Upon returning home, I inventoried our existing baby wipe supply and found THREE boxes.  Granted one of those boxes only had three packages, but still ...

I had to do the math ...

Inside each box is 900 wipes!  900.  We have 4 full boxes - two boxes in each of the girls' closets - plus additional random packages scattered throughout the house - but I am just going to forget those for the sake of calculation - and not having to break out the calculator. 

Each box holds 900 wipes.
We have  4 boxes.
That's 3600 wipes.  
About 10 wipes per day for an entire year!

Now, tomorrow, I will be counting wipes ...
because, honestly, I don't have any idea 
whether or not I use 10 wipes per day.

What do you think?   How many wipes do you use in one day?
Does your husband have a similar shopping mentality?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

First and Final Day of Preschool

Ah, my gut.  Why is it always right?  Especially when it comes to my little girl?

Today was the big day.  Natalie wore her new owl dress from Grammy. She picked out the barrette she wanted to wear. She carried her new school bag packed with all the paperwork I filled out.

We took pictures on the porch with Grammy and baby sister. 

I was excited and nervous ... I bet she was feeling the same way.

During the ten minute drive, Natalie talked about her first school experience.  She mentioned hitting other kids and how that wasn't nice.  She yawned.  She talked about her two teachers, Ms. S and Ms. A.  She yawned.  She talked about going potty at school.  She complained of being "so tired."   I was not feeling very optimistic, but I continued to show excitement.

We pulled into the circular drive, and I reviewed the procedure with Natalie.  I wanted to make sure she understood that I would not be getting out of the car with her.  She seemed fine with that idea.  As the teacher opened the door to help her from the carseat, I told her to have fun at school.

She took the teacher's hand and started walking away ... and then ... I snapped this photo ...

... wiped the tears from my eyes and drove myself back home.

An hour and a half later - only half way through the "school day" - I got a call from the director.

Yeah, that's NOT a good sign, by the way.

It seems Natalie has three incidents involving other students.  And she was complaining of being "so tired."

Big fa-reakin' surprise.  Right?

The director was so nice about the whole thing, but she also asked that I come pick up Natalie now - rather than risk anymore incidents, which could cause Natalie "to start feeling badly about herself." 

Her first school experience - at least from my point-of-view - was not a good one.  And that made me so sad ... in all honesty, I was feeling sad for both of us.

So, I drove back to the school.  Spoke to the director and told her the afternoon class just wasn't going to work out for Natalie.  She suggested some things we could try to ease the transition, but I was only half-listening.  I know what is best for my child, and afternoon preschool just isn't good for her.

I want her to be able to listen to her body when it's telling her to lie down and rest. 
I want her to be able to control her emotions and have positive interactions with her classmates. 
I want her to be mentally and physically able to deal with the challenges of a new learning environment.

I do not want to set her up for a negative school experience. 
I do not want bullying behavior to become habit - for her sake and her classmates. 

On the drive home, Natalie was very quiet.  I didn't push her to talk about it because I wasn't really sure what to say. I wasn't angry - at all - except maybe at myself because it was my fault she was in an afternoon class to begin with.  My fault she had been pushed beyond her limits.

As soon as we got home, she asked for a nap and fell right to sleep.  I had to wake her at 5:00, and she didn't climb out of bed until 5:45.  She was exhausted.  Poor thing! 

I made the call.  After just two days, I am pulling Natalie out of preschool. It just wasn't the right fit for her because of the timing.  The director and her teacher were fantastic and supportive of my decision.  It was hard for me to let go of the expectations associated with sending my first off to preschool ... but I know it is the right decision for her right now.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

That Kid, That Mom

I had been looking forward to today for a very long time.

Today was Natalie's first day of preschool.  Well, not the official first day.  But the day when the two of us went together to meet her teacher, see her classroom, and ... unfortunately became that kid and that mom ...

I should start by explaining that - back in January - I looked at five different preschools before deciding on this one.  I had to be chosen by lottery for enrollment.and was offered an afternoon class.  I was very hesitant to put my three-hour napper in an afternoon preschool, but the director seemed hopeful that a morning spot would become available.  Natalie was put on the waiting list for a morning class.  I put some faith in two scenarios: A) Natalie would outgrow her nap in the summer she turned three. B) An opening for the morning class would become available.

Neither of those two things happened, and I approached the school year with some trepidation.

So off we went to our first day of school ... well, technically, it was only an hour of school ...

On the ten minute car ride, Natalie spoke excitedly about going to school and yawned ... a lot.  During the next hour, I saw my poor little - tired - girl show a side of her personality I have {never} seen before.  She was very aggressive ... 
  • She made a little girl cry by snatching away a set of markers - no words, just snatching.
  • During circle time, she had a hard time choosing a square to sit on.  Someone else sat down on a square she had been considering.  Natalie found another square. While the teacher was talking,  Natalie got up from her square, charged across the circle, and pulled the carpet square out from under the other student.  This time there was just one word, "Mine."
  • Outside for "recess" Natalie immediately went inside a play house, grabbed a pretend phone from the hand/ear of a five year old boy.  He - naturally - took it back, and Natalie responded with another, "Mine" and a decent amount of shoving/hitting ... just to prove her point.
  • There were two more incident involving the house in the mere 15 minutes we were outside.
  • Before we could even get her new school bag and walk to the car, she completely melted down.
  • It was only 2:00.  A normal school day lasts until 3:00!
During the ordeal, I maintained my cool and felt good about how I handled the situations.  I wasn't that mom until I got home, put Natalie down for a much-needed nap, talked to my mom, and came to the decision that I need to call the school. Oh, I was so that mom!

The mom who calls the teacher before school even starts. Yeah, that mom.

I spoke with both the director and the teacher.  I told them that Natalie's behavior today was highly unusual.  I told them she is a child who requires a lot of sleep ... including a three-hour afternoon nap.  Both assured me that preschool is a tough transition.  It would take time for her to adjust.  However, no one offered a morning class - or even mentioned that as a possibility, which was pretty much the only solution that made sense to me.
I agreed to give the afternoon class a try.  But my gut tells me this is not going to work out.

We have the weekend to rest up before Tuesday, when  Natalie will go to preschool - for the first time - all by herself.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

ES(minus the P): 9 Months

It occurred to me today that my baby has spent as much time growing outside my body as she did inside!  As hard as it is to believe, Charlotte Jane is NINE months old!  Before too long, we will be celebrating her first birthday!  She is still a tiny little peanut, but we've seen good developmental strides this month.

Weight: 13 pounds (projected to be about 14.5 pounds at a year!)
Clothing Size: 6 months (even a few 3 month outfits still fit) 
Teeth: two - bottom front

EAT:  Charlotte is still nursing 6-8 times a day ... and through the night.  Just in the past month, she has taken a liking to solids ... but that has not helped our sleep problems.  She refuses to eat rice cereal or oatmeal, and I am guessing it's a texture issue ... based on the contorted faces she makes and my own past issues with texture.  At this point, her menu consists of apples, pears, bananas, prunes, squash, sweet potatoes, carrots, and peas.  If I had to name favorites, I would say apples and squash with carrots running a close third.  Charlotte also loves Mum-Mums which she self-feeds quite enthusiastically.  Sometimes she can even get a puff in her mouth - picking them up is not a problem.  I've introduced the sippy, but size is an issue here; can't seem to find a cup small enough for her to manage.  Perhaps she'll just have to grow into it :)

SLEEP:  Oh, this is a hard one for me to talk about.  Mainly because I am (and have been) so frustrated by her inability to sleep through the night.  And by "through the night" I mean for a stretch longer than three hours.  She is just not a good sleeper.  In fact, it's 3:15 am right now, and she's awake.  Has been since about 12:30.  Sometimes swaddling helps.  Sometimes it doesn't.  Seems ridiculous to swaddle a 9 month old, but I have literally tried everything.  I've read three different books ... none of which account for her size / slow weight gain or the fact that she doesn't really CRY - she fusses some, she pedals her legs, she talks to herself, ... she doesn't seem all that discontent.  However, I cannot sleep when she doesn't sleep.  And the sleep deprivation has really, really taken a toll on me.  It doesn't seem to bother her, but I worry that she is not getting enough of the rest that her brain and body need.  Charlotte takes two naps a day - one in the morning from about 9:00 to 10:30 and another from 1:30 to 4:00. Here's what a typical night looks like:
  1. Bedtime is between 7:00-7:30; she gets a bath, a book, and a feed.
  2. Sometime between 9:30-10:30 she wakes up and eats like she's starving.
  3. Between midnight and 1:00 she is awake again.  Usually a pat and the binky put her back to sleep.
  4. Some nights (like tonight) Charlotte is awake this entire stretch - for two to three hours.
  5. It's time to eat again between 3:00 and 4:00.
  6. Her internal alarm block wakes us up again at 6:30 - binky or feed.
  7. And then we are out of bed by 7:30 at the latest.
Does it seem right for a nine month old to be waking up at least four times?

Well, it's been 30 minutes - it's now 3:45, and I can hear through the monitor that she's in her crib pedaling her legs and humming. 

I will save the P (poop and personality) and Milestones for another time ... did I mention that I am so ridiculously tired?!
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