Happy Fourth!

Happy 4th of July!

[Complete side-note: I laughed so hard the other day because a mix of politics and a dash of proper-holiday-greetings culminated in someone ranting on Facebook that people these days aren’t saying Happy Independence Day anymore. We’re being …. cautious? Politically Correct? Squeamish? I don’t even know, to be honest, but their point was that we should say Happy Independence Day rather than Happy 4th. It was funny and I laughed and then I kept scrolling, but I keep thinking about it every time I’ve said happy 4th of the past week. Crazy what people get offended by these days.]

[Ahem.]

I hope you had a fantastic holiday! Little odd, with it being smack-dab in the middle of the week, but we enjoyed it nonetheless. My family came into town, so we hung out with them and the dumpling. In the afternoon, we filled his water table and wading pool and let him play with the water. We busted out the frozen treats – popsicles, ice cream sandwiches and cones, and chocolate-dipped frozen bananas. The dumpling had three cherry popsicles and his skin is still a little stained today. We had cinnamon rolls for breakfast and BBQ for our late afternoon meal. And so much champagne. It was fantastic.

I’m still enjoying my hair. I’m firmly of the belief that I’ll never go back to long hair now. I don’t think I’ll be able to because my hair is so easy now. And cute! I seriously look more put-together now than I ever have before because it doesn’t take much for my hair to look great. I feel more confident too.

In other home improvement news, we’ve finally started on a landscaping project I’ve been working on for weeks. The project has quite the price tag (sorry Luffy!), but they’re doing a lot of clean-up work for us, as well as completely redoing the garden beds around our house. The main reason behind doing the project now is that the existing garden dividers in our yard are metal. Or were metal. They’re rusting away, creating a very dangerous hazard just waiting for little toddler toes. I wanted all of that pulled up and replaced. While they’re out, they removed two old DIY sandboxes. They also removed the drab plants we had in the front and are planting some new things! It’s looking nice, though they aren’t quite done yet. I’m excited to see it all come together.

Also, you guys, I’m prophetic. Remember when I recounted our experience with the wildlife people? And I remembered having to call them back a few times to get something finished up properly? Well you’ll never guess what I’ve been doing for the past two weeks. When they replaced our chimney, they also fixed a few soffits. In one of them though, the one that had the visible nest, they placed a one-way door. It allows anything that’s still in the attic to get out. They said they would leave it for a few days, a week tops, and they’d be back to permanently patch the soffit. Yeah, that was almost eight weeks ago and we still have the one-way door in our soffit. I’ve called their offices numerous times over the past two weeks and each time the receptionist or office manager or whatever she is tells me that she’ll have the manager call me back. I haven’t heard anything from them. I got fed-up this morning and called the guy who came out to give us the estimate directly as he seemed to at least be able to schedule things. He said he’d text me with a date as soon as he could (he was driving), so we’ll see about that.

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Memorial Day 2018

Whew! We made it! We took our first road trip with the dumpling and we all survived. We had to break a few rules and we did deal with one round of puke, but yay! WE DID IT!

In all seriousness though, I am very grateful Luffy agreed to make the trip down to hill country Texas for my mini family reunion. In the end, my grandparents really only got to say hi to the dumpling, but it made their day. They hadn’t had the opportunity to meet him. Plus I got to catch up with my cousins and their children, so that was a lot of fun. We compared notes Sunday morning on how our respective children handled the night in the hotel room and our parents marveled over how it felt for their kids to have kids now. Weren’t we just in diapers and swim floaties like last summer?

We were there for less than 24 hours, but it was so wonderful to see everyone. We introduced the dumpling to the swimming pool and taught him how to kick his little legs (from his perch on the pool steps) and splash people (mainly my brother [his target] and my mom [an innocent bystander since he didn’t quite understand how to aim his splashing]). We also found a nearby neighborhood playground that he got to romp through. He also took full advantage of the VAY-CAY-TION!!! rules around food and had snacks on snacks on snacks.

To round out our holiday weekend, we spent yesterday afternoon in the backyard with his kiddy pool and bubbles. I managed to distract him enough to get him to wear a pair of sandals for the occasion (have I told you guys that I bought a couple of new pairs of shoes for him at Target that he has flat out refused to wear? because if anyone has ideas on how to convince a toddler that new shoes are not the devil, I’m all ears) and I laughed over his enormous swim trunks. He definitely had a little booty showing at the end, that poor, skinny dumpling.

I’m looking into water activity tables now because I discovered a great solution for all of those little ow-si??? inquiries when it’s 1,000 degrees outside and I don’t want to take his wagon for a walk around the block. A shady backyard and water activities are where it’s at!

Speaking of ow-si? I have to say that my favorite story from the road trip itself is sitting in the back with the dumpling and having to field the ow-si?? question as he’s forlornly pointing out the car window. No, my sweet baby, we can’t go outside. We’re driving. Ow-si?? I know it’s right there, but we’re driving, we can’t go outside. Ow-si?? We can’t go outside; I know you’re bored. All dun. I know you’re all done baby, but we’re not there yet. All dun. We’re still driving my sweet boy. All dun. If it makes you feel any better, mama and dada are all dun too.

Post-holiday Recovery

Well then, that was depressing.

In hindsight, I think that I was just really upset over my parents leaving early. Even before the holiday, I had been bummed that they were only staying for a full day (Sunday afternoon through Tuesday morning, so basically just here for Christmas Day). So the abrupt departure was something I just couldn’t deal with. I mean, don’t get me wrong, the dumpling was a lot to handle, but topped off with my parents being here for just 24 hours, and voila! Existential crisis du jour.

If I may though, the decision to have a second child has been weighing heavily on my mind lately. I’m not sure if it’s the dumpling’s mini-tantrums or my concerns over his development or perhaps the lackluster Christmas we had. Regardless, I’ve been giving a lot of thought to whether I want to have a second child.

Luffy’s ambivalent on the matter, so it’s really up to me. He does, at least, concede that I do most of the heavy lifting when it comes to our son, especially right now when we are in the grips of parent-preference (me, of course). It is nice to hear, in a way, that he sees everything that I do, but it doesn’t help the decision about a second child because I know that I’ll be doing most of the work. Hopefully, the dumpling will be a bit more independent when/if this hypothetical second child makes an appearance, but I know I can’t just focus solely on the young child and leave the older to fend for himself.

On the one hand, it feels like such a cop-out to plan my life out based on what’s easier right now. Right now, I can’t comprehend throwing a second child into the mix. Another strong-willed, uneven tempered being. I barely keep up with the dumpling as it is and I am always happy to turn him over to daycare for the day (mama needs a break too!). Honestly, just the thought of “I will only have one child” brings me a lot of relief and peace. And since it does, is that my gut telling me that I’d be no good as a mother of two? Is it taking the easy road or is it taking my feelings into consideration regarding our family’s future? After all, no one wants to be that mom who looks back at her life and regrets her children.

I feel like we’re at a crossroads of sorts. We ventured down one life path (have a child!) and we’re coming to a fork. The path that we’re on now has been fun, yes! With the dumpling’s laughter and smiles – watching him learn to crawl and walk and eat solid food. But it’s also been hard. With nursing around the clock in the beginning to newborn meltdowns to toddler meltdowns to colds and stomach viruses and febrile seizures.

This post is just all over the place at the moment. Basically what I’m trying to say is that raising a child is hard – oh so very hard – and I do a lot of the truly hard stuff. So if I choose to only have one child – is that taking the easy way out of life? Would I regret it later, that I never put in the hard work upfront to later enjoy the rewards of multiple children? Or, is choosing to have one child simply listening to my gut feeling that I’m unhappy right now and that child-rearing is the source of my unhappiness?


To add in one of my patented to be fairs, we have had a few tough weeks here recently. First with the shenanigans at Thanksgiving, then the seizure, and Roseola, and a cold, and possibly molars, and Christmas letdowns – it’s probably not the best time to be making life decisions. In the midst of the holiday blues, I even forgot that just weeks ago I seriously contemplated writing up a post about just how happy I was. At the end of October and first week or so of November, I was completely content. I felt it to my very core, the feeling that all was right in my little world. I didn’t write the post, because I thought it would come off as too braggy – look at me and my cozy little family! – but now I’m sad that I didn’t. It would have been a nice reminder of just how happy my life can be.

Christmas or bust

Sigh.

Oh you guys. I mean, after our Thanksgiving, I had really hoped that Christmas would go better. We are 0 for 2 on major holidays in 2017.

I have a hundred to be fair modifiers for our day yesterday. The dumpling has a cold. He’s becoming a toddler. I didn’t sleep well the night before. My parents, who got into town Sunday afternoon, had to cut their visit short and leave Christmas day. Our day started at 5:30am and already felt long by 8:00am. I have that telltale tickle in the back of my throat that makes me think I’m coming down with the dumpling’s cold.

Anyway, a hundred modifiers to try to explain our tiring day. The dumpling woke up on the early side, which has been happening basically since last week. He didn’t have a fever, which was good news (this cold has brought a low-grade fever since Friday). I had hoped his spirits would be better. And they were! A little. He’s not eating much right now, so our lunch out with the family turned into a pass-the-dumpling style game as we all attempted to keep him happy and quiet-ish. Luffy’s parents kept him entertained while we exchanged presents with my family. He went down great for his second nap and woke up happy, but devolved into a cranky hell-demon within a couple of hours.

Overall, the day was a bust. And then this morning, my day again started far too early. I greeted a sort of happy dumpling, but endured two separate tantrums and a litany of near-tantrums the entire morning. Over things like not being able to play with the stove and not being able to get into a child-locked cabinet and a lengthy tantrum over I’m not even sure what. He was fine one minute and had dissolved into a puddle of misery and woe the next.

Days like yesterday make me question my …. skills? Competence? Intuition? Whatever you want to call it…. as a mother. There are days, like today, when I think to myself that I’m far too selfish to do this again. I enjoy having time to myself. I miss the holidays when I didn’t have to worry about a small child’s needs – when the day could be about relaxing and enjoying time with family. I look at pictures from my friends’ days and wonder what I’m doing wrong. Their children look so happy; why did I spend Christmas picking a howling dumpling up off the floor a hundred times? I know the comparison is not fair to me or to the dumpling, but I still can’t help but make it.

I worry because I feel like all of this is so hard for me. Other families we know seem to be having a blast on Christmas or Thanksgiving – opening presents or eating turkey – and it’s just not working for us. The dumpling howls in protest over some new, infinitesimal problem. He’s sick or teething or over-stimulated in the unfamiliar place and I might as well have a newborn again. And if this is so hard for me, maybe I’m not cut out for motherhood. Maybe we shouldn’t have a second. I barely have enough patience for a tantruming dumpling as it is, how on Earth would I summon the patience for two littles? So that brings me back to the too-selfish-to-have-a-second conundrum.

It sounds trite and cliche, but parenting is so hard and I’m having doubts that I’m any good at it.

Happy holidays!

I have today off, which I feel is a little odd but I’m not complaining. Plus…. I have today off and yet I still dropped the dumpling off at daycare which means…. [ahem] I AM NOT DOING A DAMN THING ALL DAY!!!!!!! Woot woot!

Luffy and I dropped the dumpling off (he’s got some conference calls this afternoon, but he bummed around with me this morning) and went to get breakfast tacos. We decided to kill even more time by going to see the new Star Wars movie. Spoiler alert: we didn’t get to see it. I went to the restroom to pee before the movie and was faced with my own little horror show. My period – a week early. I felt like such a teenager again. I hadn’t replaced the liners I keep in my wallet and a frantic search of my car didn’t even reveal an ancient emergency tampon. I thought briefly about staying for the movie and just, I don’t know, keeping my legs crossed tightly, but Luffy laughed at me and steered me towards the car.


We’re all ready for the holidays around here. I wrapped all of the gifts and tidied up a bit, though I’m sure I’ll need to clean again before my family gets here. We’re seeing Luffy’s parents tomorrow (they want to take us to get pizza and I’m fairly certain it’s solely for the purpose of watching the dumpling eat pizza) and my family gets in on Sunday. They won’t be here for long, so I’m sure it will feel like a whirlwind.

In other news, the dumpling is battling his first cold of the season right now. And just a week after his brush with Roseola! Did I mention that? We had a follow-up appointment with his pediatrician on Tuesday and she confirmed my suspicions that he likely had Roseola. It’s a virus characterized by a sudden high fever that lasts 3-5 days. About 12-24 hours after the fever subsides, a rash appears for 24-48 hours. It can only be confirmed by a blood test for antibodies which explains why the hospital’s nasal swap didn’t reveal anything. Also, according to one article I read, about 10-15% of babies with Roseola will experience a febrile seizure because of how quickly the fever climbs. Of course, take that with a grain of salt because the internet. The silver lining is that once they have Roseola, they have immunity for life.

But back to his cold, the poor thing. He’s not running a fever, as of right now, but it doesn’t stop me from dosing him up with Motrin at nights, just in case. We’re running his humidifier on full blast and moved our air purifier into his room. And of course we’re chasing after him with tissues to wipe his nose which, according to my son, is the WORST imposition. At least my insistence that he drinks more water is met with more appreciation. I even make him a little concoction of warm, diluted (very diluted) cranberry juice and honey each morning. Honey to help with his cough and cranberry juice to entice him (that boy is definitely my child in his love of tart things). So yeah, that’s where we’re at now. And while we still can’t dose him up with, say, Robitussin, at least he’s not a tiny newborn anymore. My nerves can handle a sick toddler over a sick newborn any day.

Anyway, that’s us! Happy holidays from my little family to yours!

Turkey Day 2017

We’re back! I hope your Thanksgiving was gluttonous. Ours was…. good? Bad? Clingy? Scream-y? No-sleep-y?

Sigh

Our mistake was staying too long. We were visiting my parents out in West Texas and flew in Tuesday morning with a return flight on Saturday at noon. Honestly, if we had left Friday morning instead, we probably would have avoided 80% of the crying and woe that we endured. (Yeah, Friday night was that bad.)

It all started pretty well. The dumpling was clingier and more tired than usual, but I expected that for the most part. His waketimes drastically shorten until he’s more familiar with his location, but that’s perfectly understandable. We worked around it for the most part, holding him for most of the early days or talking to relatives from the floor as we encouraged the dumpling to play. Extra patience at bedtime and holding him to lengthen a nap (which wuh?? did we bring along a newborn??). Luffy’s patience ran out about 2:30 on Thanksgiving day when we were both struggling to get a clearly tired dumpling to go the F to sleep and he tried to change our return flight. No dice, though I did manage to get the dumpling down just in time to go snuggle my cousin’s newborn!

The true trouble started on Friday night though. The dumpling was extra cranky and resistant at bedtime and fear shot into my heart when we heard him wake up just two short hours later. I managed to get him back down fairly quickly but he only stayed down for forty minutes or so. And here is where we made the biggest mistake, I think. I envisioned a very long night for us and, in an effort to make soothing easier for myself, tried to bring the dumpling into our bed for the night. Now, the dumpling hates co-sleeping, and I know this, but I thought that since he already had been asleep that his sleep drive would be enough for him to just conk out again. In reality though, we actually just ensured that he’d be wide awake by the time we re-arranged things. Then he treated the first couple hours of the night as a nap and wanted to party while we tried to get him back to sleep. By the time he was truly ready for sleep again (somewhere around midnight), he was far too touched out, I suppose, at all the patting and shushing and rubbing and holding.

Around 12:30 in the morning I decided to give him some space, which is when he decided to howl like a banshee. My poor mom woke up (though she assured me that she woke up to check on us) and convinced me to let her take him for a bit. The dumpling started crying even harder when I passed him over to her. I gave them ten minutes and poked my head out to hear my son still screaming. That’s when I threw in the towel and resigned myself for a very long night. I gave him a dose of Tylenol, just in case, and then held him as I talked with my mom. I then moved to the living room and sat down on the floor, where the dumpling finally passed out in my arms sometime around 1:30am. My sweet mom gathered blankets and a pillow for me and I scooched my way down into a reclined position and tried to ignore my protesting back and hips. Around 3:30 in the morning the dumpling rolled off me and face-planted into the floor where he slept soundly for another hour or so. After that he wanted back on my chest and slept there until 6am, when he was AWAKE! and ALERT! BRIGHT EYED AND BUSHY TAILED! Gah mom, what is your PROBLEM?? I walked him around the dark house until I reasoned that he might as well eat some breakfast if he wasn’t going back to sleep.

So, I got about an hour’s worth of sleep that night? I’m not really sure. Thankfully, Luffy took over mid-morning while I laid back down and got a nap in. The dumpling also got a good nap in before our flight (also thankfully – praise baby Jesus!). And then….. the flight.

The. Flight.

We managed to distract the dumpling with food for most of the flight. But, when we started our descent, all hell broke loose. He quite literally melted down. My best guess is that his ears needed to pop and that sort of just set off his whole DONENESS with the travelling situation. He was over it. He wanted to be out and off and was done. With me and his dad and everyone. I have never felt more embarrassed and ashamed on a flight and this is coming from a girl who once threw up on a flight because she was hungover (which, I would not recommend to anyone, was not a fun experience). He screamed and screamed and screamed, barely pausing for breath. He worked himself up so much I seriously thought he might vomit or pass out from lack of oxygen. He screamed right up until we walked off the plane. By this point, Luffy was boiling mad and I can’t really blame him. The whole experience was just miserable and didn’t really lessen up any on our Uber ride home, though we did at least get to joke with the person we inflicted our hollering child upon (and tip generously, I might add).

Then, ladies and gentlemen, I witnessed a damn near miracle. As I walked through our front door with the dumpling, he lit up. I kid you not. He was SO happy to be home. I had not put that child down since practically Tuesday and in an instant he wanted down and was off to say hi to Jas and find his Sharpies* and visit his toys. It was incredible to feel the tension and stress just melt away from him.

Sunday was wonderful as we spent quality time together again, laughing and playing and not holding him for 90% of his day. I had almost forgotten what our little boy was like normally while we had been away.

So whew. I am glad things are back to normal around here. We did have some fun. We ate lots of good food. Drank lots of champagne. My mom and I baked and made candy. We saw the house my brother and his wife are moving to (that’s right! they’ll no longer be in DFW which I am very sad about). The dumpling played with my parent’s cats, including their four-month-old kitten, and my parents were delighted by just how well he treated them (gentle hands! I say for the millionth time). We watched movies and saw extended family. We took walks and enjoyed tickling the dumpling. If I separate out Friday night and the flight back, we had a fantastic time! So I think I’ll do just that for my own sanity.

*I don’t think I’ve mentioned this before, but the dumpling loves Sharpies. I have a colorful set of the fine-tipped ones in my office that he discovered one day. Now, he’ll just go play with them and cart them around the house. I keep finding Sharpies everywhere though my set seems to have dwindled. Oh well, it’s awfully cute.

Happy Holidays!

It’s our first Christmas with the dumpling. He won’t remember it, of course, but there are a few presents under the tree for him.

(I’m currently enjoying a blissful moment of peace as he’s taking an extended nap in his swing.)

He had his two-month check up at 8 weeks this past Tuesday. He weighed 10 lbs 1 oz and I was astounded to realize that it meant he’s gained four pounds since coming home from the hospital. Four pounds! He’s also now measuring 22.5 inches long which puts him solidly in 3 month footed jammies. His legs are so long he’s actually even stretching those out, although he can still wear a lot of his NB onesies since those don’t have the legs.

Luffy and I have finally crossed the threshold of newborn days. We now look at our son with wonder and love and joy – marveling at his little nommable cheeks and trying to get him to smile for us. That probably sounds pretty harsh – I mean the dumpling is almost two months old! Are we implying that we didn’t love him before this???? you ask. Well no, we loved him. We just didn’t like him very much, as the saying goes. He was a chore, a task, a worry, and sometimes a fear. The newborn days are just so very, very hard. And while he’s still considered a newborn, at two months, we’re at least to the point where there’s a little give from him. He recognizes us and will smile for us. He’s actually started to be soothed by my presence, which I longed for earlier. His happy awake times are starting to outnumber his fussy awake times. We’re becoming more confident in caring for him. Plus, he’s started actually going to sleep on his own sometimes which is a MAJOR milestone for us. Praise the baby sleep gods!!

Oh – he’s awake! Sorry guys, gotta run. My dumpling calls. Have a wonderful holiday season!