Bye-bye baba

© Sarah Lipoff 2011

I started out this month with some pretty high hopes of getting the babe started on a couple of big transitions. My plans included getting rid of paci (I’m so not a fan – but the wee tot is), really starting potty-training, and no more babas. Yeah, we call the warm milk bottle at the end of the day a “baba” and that baba needed to go. The thing is, I think I want baba time more than the babe does.

Hmph.

During our last well-check, my pediatrician asked about the big bottle, “You aren’t still giving her a bottle, right?” Right, right.

Okay, so I lied. Are you going to tell on me?

I fully understand the baba could cause teeth issues, icky stomach stuff, and baby addiction problems. But, I sure like those few moments where I get to snuggle up with the babe. She’s SO active – it’s rare I get to wrap her up in a blanket and spend just a minute or two with her.

But, it’s time. The baba has to go.

So, yesterday, we picked up some big girl sippy-cups and figured it was as good a time as any to ditch those bottles. I tossed them far back in the cupboard behind the glasses, so the wee tot couldn’t see them, and handed her one of the new cups full of milk. She seemed happy enough – but that was the middle of the day.

Then, the true moment came. It was baba time.

I warmed some milk in the sippy-cup and offered it to the babe.

She took a couple swigs. Looked at it. Handed it to me, and said, “no baba.”

Well, bye-bye baba.

(I’ll miss you)

I think tonight we’ll try cozying up with a book before bed.

The sniffles

© Sarah Lipoff 2011

Even though we are on vacation, that doesn’t mean that the sniffles haven’t decided to make an unwanted visit. This time of year is the worst, with the wee kiddies being kept indoors when it’s cold and damp and let out to run and run when the weather is warm. And, then, the snotty-drippy nose makes an appearance.

Yup. We’re on vacation and our child has a cold.

When you’re not at home and your child is sick it seems like everything is much worse than it really is. You worry her breathing isn’t right, her temperature is soaring out of control, that she’s going to go into high temperature seizures and stuff. Basically you become the total freak–out mama that’s supposed to be relaxing because she’s on vacation but can’t because her kid is sick. SICK.

So, when we got on the plane the other day and the babe starting this hacking icky cough kind of thing, I started to panic. The minute we got off the plane I insisted on a trip to any store where I could pick up cough suppressant and infant pain remedy. But, was it all really necessary? Was I a bit out of control?!

YUP.

I did a little research in the am while everyone else was blissfully slumbering – and I was bleary-eyed awake – and found that most kids (and adults) are going to have a bit of some sort of nastiness this time of year. What I wanted to know was what I should be doing to avoid causing my already snotty-nosed wee tot any more pain, and how to get rid of this nastiness, quick!

There are a couple of myths about dealing with sick kids. I remember my mom telling me to avoid dairy when coping with the sniffles, and that going outdoors when it’s chilly (with wet hair) can cause a cold. Well, guess what. Not true. Dairy isn’t bad – in fact it provides your little sicky needed calories if they aren’t excited about eating. And, the Motherboard finds that heading outdoors in the cold (even with wet hair) isn’t going to cause everyone to get sick on the spot. Instead, it’s all about proximity. Did someone sneeze on you? Cough in your direction? Not wash their hands?

Ick.

My little one was fighting a stuffy nose pretty fierce and had a bit of a fever – nothing to get all worried about. She still had her I-can-do-anything attitude, which made me realize that she was good-to-go with some pain reliever and honey in her milk to help that tickle of a cough she was dealing with.

And, hey, hitting the beach won’t hurt either! A little sunshine will burn all those icky germs away!

What helps your child battle the sniffles?

I caught the baby with the toilet bowl brush in her mouth

 

© Sarah Lipoff 2010

I just caught my daughter with the toilet bowl brush in her mouth.

I wish I could think of a way to sugar-coat this situation, or slightly lie about it. But the fact is I caught my daughter with the toilet bowl brush in her mouth.

I guess her love of the bathroom, brought upon from our pretty lame attempt at potty training combined with her new-found love of brushing her teeth, got the best of her. The minute my back was turned, and had left the bathroom door open for just a moment, she slipped in and combined her two favorite things.

Brushing her teeth and sitting on the potty.

I’m not sure how many times washing her mouth out with fresh water and wiping her face with a soapy wash cloth will get the image out of my mind. And, of course, I’m restraining myself from calling the pediatrician because I know he’ll just laugh at me.

Really, he will.

So, I’ll just have to chalk it up to another interesting baby experience that we’ve survived.

I caught my baby with the toilet bowl brush in her mouth. It’s happened at your house, right?!

(I’m a bit traumatized.)

Baby phone addict

My adorable child has decided her new favorite-must-have-at-all-times toy is the pretend plastic phone. Just one pretend phone wasn’t good enough, she also has an old-school wall phone, a defunct cell phone and another pretend plastic phone. The real phone is her favorite, and when she finds it, I might not see it for days.

So, how did my child become obsessed with the phone? I couldn’t tell you. I don’t own a cell phone. It is rare that I talk on the phone. When the phone rings, I am a faithful observer of caller ID. Those who know me understand I’m not a big phone chatter and often don’t call loved ones for weeks on end (sorry).

When the phone rings on the television, my child gets one of her pretend phones. When she hears the phone ring at the house, she finds it AND brings it to me. When we are enjoying some imaginary play together, she wants me to pretend I am talking on the phone.

Maybe she is trying to tell me I need to make some phone calls.

Until she is able to speak, my child is super adorable when she is “pretending” to talk on the phone. My fear is the day when words come out of her mouth and she actually wants to talk and talk and talk on the real phone.

I better start saving for the phone bills.

5:30 am

I love my cats. We have two cats and they are very different. One is old and fat and doesn’t do much other than beg for food, shed her long hair all over the place and lie on the floor. She has so mastered the art of lying on the floor that I have recently started nudging her to make sure she is still alive. The other cat is small and fast, and enjoys spending time outdoors. Neither one gives a crap about us other than when they want to eat or be let outside.

When I got pregnant I had crazy visions of the cats wanting to sleep with the baby in the crib, the cats scratching my baby, the cats doing nasty things to the baby…. None of these things happened. The fact is, I don’t think either cat COULD jump into our daughter’s crib even if they really wanted to, and just like my husband and I, they don’t really care about her unless she were to start feeding them or letting them outside.

Everyone adjusted to each other fairly well after our daughter joined the household. The small cat runs and hides when she comes near her and the big fat cat just lies there. She even lets our daughter pull her tail without protest, which seriously surprises me.

So, the cats are okay. Our daughter is okay. I am not.

My side of the bed is the side that has the sliding glass doors that open to allow the cats to go outdoors. My husband, who slept soundly through the first year of nights with baby, sleeps through everything. He doesn’t hear the scratch, scratch, scratch at 5:30 am. He doesn’t hear anything. One night I tried yelling at him to see if he would wake up in an emergency. He didn’t even roll over (that’s a whole other story).

It seems the cats have decided that the break of dawn means it is time to go outside and chase the awakening birds. It seems I am the one that has to suffer through the incessant scritch, scratch, scratch of the cats’ nails against the glass. I get up in a daze, open the door, the cats go running out, and without fail my daughter wakes up.

She falls back asleep. I don’t.

I have been living life on 5 hours of sleep for two weeks. I feel like I am slowly going insane. I would like to strangle the cats, but they’re so darn cute.

So, until I figure out a way to leave the sliding glass doors open without allowing the raccoons in, causing our heat bills to be astronomical or train the cats to jump out a window to get outdoors, I will be walking around in a daze.

I did pick up some water guns the other day. Maybe some good cold early morning squirts to my kitty-cats’ heads will keep the scritch-scratching away.

I’ll let you know.

Mother’s Day

On this special day celebrating mamas everywhere, I sit here and think about my adventure thus far as a mother. I wasn’t sure IF I was going to be a mama, as getting pregnant took us a long (LONG) three years. During that time I questioned if being a mom was the right thing for me, if my body was trying to tell me something or if I should just enjoy the life I had sans children.

Then, I got pregnant. Everything changed.

My days are full of my child. She really wouldn’t have it any other way. My life is completely different. No longer can I sleep in until 9 am on Sunday mornings, having one too many drinks isn’t a possibility (because you never know if a late night trip to the emergency room might be necessary) and owning anything white is impossible. There are some sacrifices with motherhood, but they are all worth it.

So, on this Mother’s Day when my husband asked me what I wanted in celebration of “me,” I told him another fantastic day. Because, in my world, every day is Mother’s Day.

I did ask for some chocolate, too.

Art and your baby

Taking care of your baby is lots of work and sometimes finding the time to do something creative can be overwhelming. The dishes need to be washed, the laundry done and the shopping taken care of. Don’t neglect doing an educational and fun activity with your babe! Not only will it encourage your baby’s developing skills, it will help you bond with your little one!

Finger painting is a super easy way to do an art activity with your small child and also have a nice finished art product. Use red, yellow and blue finger paint on a small piece of finger paint paper taped to a table or the tray of your baby’s high chair to create a fun (and messy) art project. Protect baby’s clothes with an old t-shirt or put a bib on her. Hose baby down when you’re done or coordinate finger painting projects on bath day and toss her into a soapy tub when finished. Place the finished finger paintings in a decorative frame for an adorable display.

Create a digital picture collage with your baby. Do a quick photo shoot with your little one while they are enjoying a fun activity or eating their favorite food. Take several shots of them close up, making sure the pictures are in focus along with action shots and pictures from afar. Print the pictures out from your photo shoot and collage them on a large sheet of paper. Make sure to include a date on the collage to memorialize your photo shoot! Hang the finished artwork in baby’s room so they can enjoy looking at themselves and learning all about the parts of their face and fun expressions.

Hand and foot prints are a fun way to document how big baby is getting. Using a plain white onesie and some fabric paint, you can create a memorable print, as well as a fun outfit. Lay the onesie out flat with a sheet of paper between the front and back. Paint baby’s hand or foot with fabric paint. Press the hand or foot onto the onesie and quickly remove. Make sure to clean off baby! Allow the fabric paint to dry and then follow fabric paint directions to finish.

If you aren’t ready to tackle a full on art project with your little one, strap them into the stroller and head out to the local art museum. A walk through a gallery or art museum introduces your baby to the arts and is a great way to spend an afternoon.

No Matter what simple art projects you enjoy with your little one, know you are helping them to explore the arts and cherish them for years to come.

The toilet bowl brush is NOT a toy

While attempting to have a proper conversation on the phone my adorable daughter wobbled into the room wielding the toilet bowl brush with glee. Without thinking I told her the toilet bowl brush was not a toy and tried to continue my phone discussion. I almost fell over my comfy house pants trying to wrangle the newfound toy from my child’s hand!

Along with the toilet bowl brush, shards of wood meant for the fireplace and potentially eye-popping utensils have found their way into my daughter’s tender little hands. I’m not sure how this has happened as I have spent countless hours baby proofing the house. My child has a talent for finding ways to play with danger.

As a new mom there are times I find myself saying or doing something absolutely absurd. Nobody thinks they will one day spend hours obsessing over the best odor eliminating diaper pail or whether to allow the baby to eat cereal off the floor. These are the days of my life, the questions I conquer, the issues I face.

I used to work with someone who always said to not sweat the small stuff and thought she was quite annoying. I now have to swallow my past irritation and agree that when dealing with a growing child just learning about the world that you can’t sweat the small stuff. You learn how to adapt and adjust. You make decisions about what is serious and what you can live with.

So, while I was chasing my daughter frantically trying to recover the toilet bowl brush I decided to hang up the phone and laugh along with my daughter!

Just so you know, we did take a really long soapy bath afterwards.

Oh my is it really Friday?

What day is it today? That was the first thought I had at 5:17 am this morning, which happens to be what time I normally awaken from slumber these days, and wasn’t really quite sure. Oh my is it really Friday? Not that it matters. Every day is pretty much the same in my world.

You might think the arrival of the weekend would symbolize the opportunity to let loose, tie one one, get crazy, go out, do something different to celebrate the end of the work week, but in my world the work week is every day of the week. Having a baby is like being employed by an insane boss (I am familiar with this position) and asked to do crazy things at the last minute or stay late to work on a ridiculous project.

There is no over time pay, extended vacations or lunch breaks in parenting. Yes, I am fully aware that I could hire a sitter or enroll my wee child in daycare (there is nothing wrong with this) but I am at home and available. So, Friday doesn’t cause that stir of excitement in my tummy like it used to.

What Friday does mean to me is that another week is coming to an end that was full of watching my little one grow and develop. Another week of her life progressing. Kind of bittersweet.

Wait, that just made me think of chocolate. Hmmmmm. Maybe today I will celebrate Friday with a bit of chocolate indulgence!

Enjoy your Friday.

Baby’s in charge

While at the market the other day I let my baby hold, or actually bite, my wallet. She really wouldn’t have it any other way and needing to get the shopping done, I decided to just let her have the ridiculous pink shiny thing of her desire. Without giving it another thought (like hello, my money and stuff is in there!), I went about my shopping and proceeded to get in the shortest line amazed to be getting out of the store in record time.

Time to pay! Wait, where is my wallet? Using my ever-diminishing powers of remembrance the image of my innocent babe chewing on my pink billfold popped into my head. UGH. I went screaming through the isles like a crazed woman, which I was, looking everywhere. Before giving up all hope I checked at the front “help” counter. The smiling gentleman waved my wonderful pink wallet in front of me, obviously amused with my situation.

As I walked out of the store breathing deeply and trying to erase the memory of what just happened from my head, I decided it would be best not to tell anyone about what had transpired at the grocery store. But then I just laughed and realized it could have been a lot worse. And I am sure someone out there knows what I am talking about!