Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Teething, Tantrums, and Toddlers

The past few weeks of dealing with the little one have proven to be quite the adventure. Wesley and I were both excited to be out of school and able to spend more time with the little one. Good thing, too. Because exactly one week from the day we got out she started to do big girl things. And I mean just about everything... In a 24 hour period little Aimee taught herself to clap, crawl efficiently, pull herself up, and wave goodbye. Though she's crawling at a point that many would consider late, I am thankful that she waited. Others have babies her age tat are already toddling along, wreaking havoc among everything they can touch. The fact that she's taking her own sweet time only gives me more opportunity to enjoy her baby-hood and watch her grow.

These new developments, however, have brought along a few issues with them. Her excitement at her new found talents grants us a trip back in time to a period where we never slept. Taking turns throughout the night watching her and wondering how she could stay awake for as long as she did left us feeling exhausted and helpless. Well we're back to that and wondering how long we will wait this time before she decides sleeping will not force her to forget how to do all those awesome things. It's proving to be just as exhausting as before, and even more frustrating. Her crankiness is at an all-time high due to her never ending teething and lack of rest. The two put together equal a baby who has learned both independence and how to show defiance, resistance, and throw a complete fit. Don't get me wrong here... I feel completely helpless at the thought of not being able to console the little one during this uncomfortable time of constant teething. I can only imagine how painful it must be to have pressure on your gums for 5 months straight. But now she's learned the art of tantrums, and is experimenting with throwing one as the main alternative to a much needed nap. This, in turn, brings about a new level of crankiness in both her and me. It seems to be a never ending battle between sleep and this monster I like to call 'baby adventure.' Her thirst to explore has created a beast not to be defeated by something so childish as an afternoon nap. So, once again we are left to what little patience we have left in hopes of repeating the cycle and gain victory for the nap.

Occasionally sleep overtakes her and I am left to my own thoughts and future strategies against the beast of sleeplessness. It seems as though I've tried everything possible. We've made car trips around the block at 5 in the morning and tried stroller rides in hopes that fresh air might encourage relaxation. Some techniques bring about even more problems, others work occasionally. The goal is sleep, for both parties. I'm sure there is a light at the end of the tunnel, however, I don't think I've worked myself far enough in to see it yet, which is hugely discouraging. But everyday brings more discoveries for little Aimee and I can't help but smile when she looks at me with her smug little grin when she's pulled off something new. It seems funny that in the midst of complete exhaustion we still find humor and light in the simple things the baby does everyday. Her transformation into a toddler is both exciting and terrifying. I am a neurotic first time mom and everything scares me. But she's taken a couple dives off the couch and I'm glad I don't know what else she's got herself into. I've realized through the whole endeavor that babies are pretty sturdy and seem to have a heavy layer of armor that we as adults have forgotten about. I get more and more excited everyday about what she will surprise me with next and look forward to seeing her take her first steps.

So bring it on, universe. This baby ism heavily armored and heavily guarded. Teething and sleeplessness won't defeat this fighter... Her mother, however, well that's a different story. You can pick me up off the floor when she's out of this crazy stage. I'll pick up where I left off I suppose! For all moms who have been there... Kudos to you.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Post 6 Months: The Downhill Slope

Hello all! I'll start by apologizing for the ridiculous time lapse between blog posts. School has created a time warp in which I am constantly running around like a chicken with my head cut off. As it is, I am writing this post from my iPhone... In a critical lit class. Ignore this fact as it is irrelevant!

During the course of time over which I have not posted I have had numerous epiphanies on future blog posts. Of course, these were forgotten amidst the constant rain of Spanish and literary theory beating down on my head. Waking up at 3 in the morning with a fantastic idea proved pointless, too, as I was just too exhausted to pick up my phone and make a note of what I should post the next day. So when I was struck with a lightbulb moment in class today I didn't hesitate to act on it. To ignore or forget it again would just be more proof of my imminent erosion due to this thing we call an education.

So, while I'm talking about education I'll also bring up the incredible development that has occurred in my little one. Aimee is now 8 months old and it seems as if she has something new to show me every day. Each morning I drop her off with my mom and each afternoon I am left shocked at the learning rate of her young brain. I envy her learning rate and wish I could retain things in the way she continues to.

Over this journey of watching Aimee go through the struggles of being a preemie, the discomfort of colic and asthma, and near constant teething I have realized that making it to the 6 month mark is truly a huge stepping stone for infants. I believe it is at the point of 6 months that the period of adjustment to this harsh world ends, and the period of true learning and growing begins. Aimee had proven this in the short period of time since her 6 month birthday, which was on Christmas Eve. Days after she met this milestone she was sitting up by herself, anxious to try table foods, and learning how to put one foot in front of the other with assistance from mom or dad. As I mentioned before, every day presents new developments and new discoveries. I love watching her eyes as she picks up a new toy or object and carefully analyzes it and tries to figure out what it is or what it does. She is fascinated by anything with a technological influence. She will steal our cell phone when we're not looking and finds incredible fascination with pounding on the computer keyboard.

What I'm getting at here is the up and downhill progression of infants in their first year of life. It seems that after meeting the peak of 6 months infants are able to focus on learning and forget about trying to get used to their new hectic lives. It is safe to say that the 6 month mark is the start of the downhill progression into toddlerhood. I am sure we can all agree that the progress our kids make everyday is astounding and mind boggling. So with this in mind let us strive to open our minds up to further development just as our little ones do. Perhaps if we tried to learn as much in one day as our children do we could revolutionize the way our lives are progressing. Think of the possibilities! Cures to cancer, flying cars, answers to alternative energy... All just because we chose to try to learn as much as our little ones.

So since class is ending I will leave it there. God bless and happy learning!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Keeping It Together

School has started and with it has come regression.  Though I'm not entirely sure I can blame all of Aimee's new developments on my 'abandoning' her every day.  I'm sure it has some to do with it, yes.  But I also believe she's just growing, and I'll be the first to say she's not the average baby.  In fact, she's probably about as far away from average as you can possibly get.  She even stumps her pediatrician! But I digress to my real subject for this long procrastinated post.

As I have mentioned I am finally back in school, and for the first time in a long time I am loving it again.  So, now comes the really tricky part.  Wes is at school, too, and we are both still figuring out how this whole thing is going down.  My mom has taken up the role of part-time mommy and takes care of little AJ in the morning while I'm at school.  Then, I come back and proceed to carry out this juggling act I like to call 'homework/happy baby'.  Each day brings new changes in both her development and her temperament as she grows and develops and gets used to this new routine we have thrown her in.  In the week that school started alone, she learned to sit up independently, roll from her back to her stomach, and decide that all baby food was for the dogs.  Soon this baby food for doggies could become a literal concept.  So as I'm trying to handle a little one who's anxious to get things moving, I'm also balancing on a very small wire of 16 credits that could tumble at any moment.  And yet, the further we get into this whole thing, the more realistic it becomes.  It almost seems like we could pull it off.

Our nighttime sleeping routines could be compared to the ocean tides... Always coming and going.  A good night's rest has evaded us for more than 7 months, now, and I have a hard time considering that I could ever sleep through the night again.  The little one refuses to sleep for more than an hour at a time, and although this sounds grossly exaggerated, it's really not.  Needless to say, dragging my butt out of bed in the morning is a feat of epic proportions and making it to school on time seems to be completely out of reach.  But so far we've pulled it off and I have lots of hope for this coming semester.  So much will be happening and little Aimee will surprise me every day with what she's learning.  It will prove to be both busy and rewarding, and worth every little bit of the effort it takes to get through it.  I'm looking forward to seeing where the next few months will take us.  And I'll make sure to check in now and again... After all, the action in this family is not to be missed!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

My Baby's 6 Pack

Hello all! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season.  If you're like me, you love to see it come, enjoy it while it lasts and almost whoop in celebration when it's over.  Our holidays were spent passing around a cold.  Little Aimee got it first, with lots of coughing and wheezing on Christmas day itself.  My cold quickly followed, and I spent New Year's Eve going through an entire box of tissues and trying not to sneeze all over the puzzle we were doing for entertainment.  Wes came down with his a couple of days later and is taking longer to get over it than we would really prefer.  I am happy to announce that Aimee has fully recovered and during the course of her illness has seen the wonders of napping.  How wonderful it has been!  Now we can only hope she continues this!

The title of this post seems strange at first, given the supposed chubbiness that every baby should possess.  Don't get me wrong; my baby is not excluded from this category.  But as her 6 month birthday came and went on Christmas Eve, little Aimee developed many new talents that she loves to show off to anyone who will look her way.  These include sitting up, attempting to hold her own bottle, and just smiling for long periods of time to get a reaction.  What we find as one of the funniest of these, however, is this semi-crunch, semi-situp that she does while grunting and squawking.  This little maneuver of raising her head and feet to her chest has been named by my husband as the 'fat lady situp' and is now a common phrase in our house when we see her doing it. I am convinced these 'fat lady situps' are the reason for her increased strength and is probably the reason she seems so much more happy.  Though this can't possibly seem any more politically incorrect there really isn't another term we can use to describe this act.  And we see her doing it everywhere... In her car seat, in the tub, on the floor with her toys, in her crib in the morning when she wakes up. I walked into check on her during a nap and instead of sleeping, there she was, going through her aerobic exercise routine.

Now, make no doubt about it, this new talent has brought me to the realization that I am WAY behind in childproofing my home... And looking around I see so many hazards.  I find myself panicking when I see a dime on the floor by my dresser, or a computer cord I can just imagine her trying to chew on.  The thought of all the hazards in my home make me want to leave everything behind and go live in a sterile bubble... away from everything I have brought into the house that could harm my child.  I have, however, determined that situation is far from reality and have done lots of research on childproofing, knowing that I may never be able to make my home a perfect sanctuary for babies.  In light of this new realization I thought I would post a few websites I found helpful with tips on making your surroundings safe for the new mover in the home in case anyone else out there freaks out about it as much as I do!  Anyway, happy new year, all! May 2012 bring you much happiness and lots of learning opportunities!

BabyCenter Tips
About tips 
ParentWonder Tips
Parents Magazine Tips

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Recent Article Releases 10 Strange and Illegal Baby Names

So I know the top 10 stuff gets a little old, especially this time of year, but when I stumbled across this article I couldn't help but share the wealth of hilarity that I found within it.  Posted on Yahoo! Lifestyles, this article was the perfect antidote for cranky, scrooge-like feelings, though it is not at all related to Christmas.  I am re-posting the names I found in this article, with a few that I found on my own that I believe should be illegal! Take note: this article came about from a recent announcement from the pope denouncing naming your children after fruit, celebrities, or popular sports cars.  It is, therefore, Christian common courtesy to name your children purely secular names... Like Judas, or Job, perhaps. Anyway, here ya go.  I hope you get a kick out of these as much as I did.  Happy naming!

  1. Ovnis: A 'name' originating in Portugal.  It wouldn't seem to be such a bad idea to name your kid something like this... Unless you have carefully read and analyzed this 80 page illegal-name encyclopedia. Inside are names that seem to be the same, however, have been banned as legal names.  Tomas is okay, for example, but Tom is not!  (By the way, Ovnis is translated as UFO).
  2. Making it on the list of the top weirdest names of 2011 are Easter, Air, Palin, Soso Favor, and Tangy, just to name a few.  One can only imagine how life will be for these kids in school.  'Favor, can you do me a favor?' It seems hard to imagine these kids becoming anything other than the brunt of a classmate's bad joke.
  3. Though making names illegal seems a little extreme, after reading these names from New Zealand I believe these judges were doing these kids a 'favor'. Taking the top of failed New Zealand names is a girl called '4real', whose parents were devastated by the judge's harsh ruling.  Also appearing on the stupid and deft name list are 'Fish and Chips' (twins), Keenan Got Lucky, Sex Fruit, and Yeah Detroit. I am sure the Lions Football Team appreciated the attempted support.
  4. Ironic names seem to pop up everywhere, however, finding out that these names are illegal in the country is heard of much less often.  A couple in Sweden were denied when attempting to name their baby IKEA.  Personally, I would want compensation from the furniture company... I would also endorse their products.  Other illegal names showing up in Sweden include Veranda, Metallica, and Q.  One could only guess why Google was okay, though.
  5. Appearing on the top weirdest boy names of 2011 were names that related both to music, pop culture, and Roman mythology.  My personal favorites were Banjo, Draco, Octavius, and Scooby.  Once again, if my name were Scooby, I would gladly endorse Scooby snacks.
  6. Chow Tow (AKA Smelly Head from Malaysia) made me chuckle.  In 2006, the Malaysian government released a list of undesirable names that weren't in keeping with the religious traditions of the country.  Other names appearing on the much dreaded list were Khiow Khoo (AKA Hunchback), and Sor Chai (AKA Insane).
  7. Though it really comes as no surprise that the notorious Deutschland has an entire department devoted to regulating names that parents choose, I believe some of these names were forbidden out of the goodness of the hearts of the government.  These names, however, are very similar to names that were accepted as okay.  Woodstock, Miatt, and Grammophon were denied while Jazz, Lafayette, and Speedy were accepted.  Take note that Miatt was denied because it was not immediately clear if the child was a girl or boy.
  8. Out of Japan comes the name Akuma.  This seemingly harmless name is directly translated as Devil.  Occurring in 1993, authorities determined that this was an abuse of the parents' rights to decide on a child's name and a brutal court battle immediately ensued.  Sometime later, the father surrendered and junior was given a somewhat less evil name.
  9. With China having the greatest surplus of people in the world, it must be very difficult to think of a unique name for the new little one.  One couple was denied access to the name '@'.  Authorities were irritated at this and took the name down as a very good example of bringing bad and bizarre names into the Chinese language.
  10. Last on this list but certainly not the last forever comes a name from Italy.  In 2008 a couple was banned from naming their child 'Venerdi', (translation: Friday).  The judge believed the name would subject the child to unneeded 'mockery'.  The parents got the last laugh, however, when they threatened to name their next child 'Mercoledi' (translation: Wednesday).  
See the full article here

Enjoy the laughs!  You can find other weird baby names at

Friday, December 16, 2011

Totally Strange Baby Gear: Top 10

While surfing the net during this holiday season I have come across a number of things that I absolutely never would have imagined even existed.  Though some of this stuff would make for great gag gifts, the majority of it seems to be crap received at your baby shower.  You then spend the next 3 months trying to figure out where this ridiculous stuff came from and how you could ever return it.  Upon realizing you are never going to be able to find a place to return it you begin going through your list of facebook friends for someone who is going to have a baby or recently had one. I found a few of my favorite ridiculous baby items and thought I would share them with you.  Hopefully they will give you the laugh they gave me and take your mind off the holiday stress for a minute or two!

The BabyKeeper Hanging Harness.  So, you're wearing your baby and suddenly you realize you're going to burst if you don't get to the bathroom immediately.  But there's a problem. There's no where to put your baby! But wait! There's a solution to your problem.  This hanging harness fits snugly in your already overflowing diaper bag! Available at for the great low price of $39.99.

Enter the Daddle.  Guaranteed to save your back and your child's sensitive skin use the Daddle for those great horsey rides around the house.  Because just using your back is clearly not a possibility, hurry out and get one of these before your child insists on leaving you begging for the Tylenol! For those dads who are really serious about giving their kids their nightly jaunt around the living room the Daddy-O Rodeo T-shirt is also available to complete the full effect.
Everyone knows a wardrobe is never complete without a pair of matching heels.  Hence, baby heels.  Next on our show, introducing the push up bra for infants! Get them accustomed now to prevent issue later!

The iPhone cry-translator app.  The funny thing about this one is how often I have wondered if something like this was out there.  Should have known... "There's an app for that."
 Here's the thing about the battery powered aspirator... SCARY.  As if having something sucking your brains out through your nose isn't scary enough, now it can be down with a noisy and thorough contraption.  Having a baby with an overabundance of nasal fillings I can honestly swear this is not a necessary item when shopping for your newborn.

 The Tinkle-Tube.  Though I am absolutely certain no explanation is needed for the inherent stupidity in this product I have to say something.  Then again, perhaps I should keep my typing fingers still. Please, if you insist on forcing your potty training child to use this, keep it away from the eyes of the public.  

This so-called infant pillow is designed to offer baby the same comfort given by mom. I guess if mom is made of dismembered body parts this would really do the job.  On the other hand, if I rolled over and saw those hands hovering over my body there would definitely be no sleep in my house that night.

 The baby care timer tells you when baby needs to eat, have a diaper change, and according to the website, has a soft glow that helps parents move around in baby's dark room without waking up the little one.  Perhaps it's just me, but last time I checked, nearly everyone uses their cell phone for this purpose, and as far as timing goes, babies have a wonderful alarm clock of their own.  It's called crying.

 Apparently the latest and greatest in baby manicuring is nail clipping in the dark.  These lighted nail clippers are complete with safety guards to prevent nicking baby's tender skin.  There is also a very handy compartment within that gathers the nail clippings so they don't fall into babies bedding!

Your baby can swim! Or, that's what the caption on this scary looking product says.  To me, it looks like a death trap.  And somehow, this particular baby doesn't seem to be enjoying himself much.  Go figure! Products like these make me wonder how they get out for consumers to buy. And what worries me more is how some mom out there was actually okay with putting her baby in this thing long enough to take this picture!
Well, there you have it.  My top 10 weirdest, strangest, most ridiculous baby products ever.  And what makes this even more exciting is how they keep coming up with more and more stuff.  I believe this excitement will never end!  Keep it coming, for the laughs we get from these are downright priceless.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Swing: My Baby's Addiction and My Dirty Little Secret

In relation the last post, I have decided to voice a little about my opinion on baby swings.  God bless whomever it was that invented this incredible device!  As the mom of a very fussy baby who refuses to sleep at all times, I have decided that the swing is a tool that every mom must have to get through everyday life. Research has suggested that less than 5% of babies actually require a swing for deep sleep.  I guess I must have a kid within this small range.  There are countless websites that make suggestions for proper sleep in babies and starting sleep training as early as 3 months.  But, if you have followed my posts at all, you already know that sleep training has proved to be impossible for my little one.  I did find a website that made these common suggestions, and also gave some information on the research of the swing.
  1. Don't Make Eye Contact: After lots of experience in trying to get the little one to even close her eyes, 'W' and I have discovered that even peeking over the crib has had fatal outcomes.  Looking at her in her swing has also shown to be effective in the art of waking the monster within.
  2. Keep a Cooler Temp: To me, this one seems to be a given.  We all know we sleep better when it's cooler and bundled up in blankets.  This is no different for infants.  A velcro swaddle blanket and warm pajamas are guaranteed to keep baby comfy in a cooler environment.
  3. Make Some Noise: Nearly every parenting book out there will have a section dedicated to the use of white noise machines.  Whether you use a washing machine, dishwasher, or pay the money for one of these fancy machines, this is a subject that is constantly preached about.  We have found that the ticking of a clock and a small fan in the room does wonders for uninterrupted sleep.
  4. Time the Diaper Thing: After weeks of following a newborn's almost perfect patterns of eating, pooing (often simultaneously), and sleeping, parents often have a difficult time figuring out when it is appropriate to change baby's diaper.  Contrary to popular belief, baby doesn't need a change after every feeding or crying jag.  My suggestion to this conundrum is the diapers with wetness indicator. (Pampers and Huggies both use these). Put a diaper on baby just before final bedtime that has a higher absorbancy than the ones you use during the day and let it be.  Don't wake the little one with an unnecessary diaper change.
  5. Do the Swing Thing: Often times the rest of these suggestions do not do the trick for baby and she will continue to wake up every 2 or 3 hours.  After doing this nonstop through 4 or 5 months mom and dad are tired and aching for a longer night's sleep.  Dr. Karp, who wrote the popular book The Happiest Baby on the Block, says that throwing a swing into the mix of your nightly routine can help baby settle in for the night.  "It's a myth that you're starting a bad habit," he said about using it to get the little one to sleep for the night.  As I mentioned earlier, only 5% of babies often need this technique, you can gradually stop using it as she learns to better soothe herself.
Lil' Boo Boo asleep in her swing at 2 months

 Sleep seems to be an evasive topic among parents and doctors.  Differing opinions and hot tempers often lead to disagreements that don't need to come around.  As I continue to learn more and more about my daughter's elusive nocturnal habits, I have realized just how much babies have to learn in their first year.  We, as parents and adults, often don't give them the credit they deserve.  If I were trying to learn a new thing every day that was crucial to the way I would live my life in the future I would probably have a hard time sleeping, too.  So give baby a break.  Let them follow their own course.  Eventually she will do what she needs to do to get her growth and development up to par.  So, in light of the season, Silent Night, everyone. Sleep peacefully and remember all the parents tonight who won't be!