Thursday, March 28, 2013

Dad: Homer Mug

I’d like to introduce everyone to Homer Mug.

Everyone say hello.

Homer Mug has been with me for four years. He brightens my mornings, no matter how early they come. Without him, I’d be a blubbering pile of father curled up on the kitchen floor singing “I’ve got a lovely bunch of coconuts” as Susan stands over me and throws books at my head while laughing. Sleep deprivation can do strange things to a person, indeed.

So instead of sinking slowly into the pit of insanity four hours of sleep at a time, I reserve one morning each week – typically after a late night at work or when the Susan Alarm goes off extra early – to drink coffee from Homer Mug. The other six days, I’m stuck with the plain (but stylish, honey!) purple Fiesta mugs that my wife picked out when we got married. But for that one special day every week, I have Homer Mug to bring a smile to my face. No matter how tired I am, every time I look at homer’s bald head as printed on my yellow mug, it reminds of all Homer's crazy antics.

How can you not laugh at a man who asks, “They have the internet on computers now?” and “There’s a New Mexico?” You should never underestimate being able to smile first thing in the morning, especially when you’re awakened by a crying baby who’s not going back to sleep anytime soon. Whatever it is that puts you in a good mood in the morning – a coffee mug, reruns of Little Rascals, Billy the Bigmouth Bass or even this blog (shameless self-promotion) – cherish it, because your mornings are a LOT different with a baby.

That said, this post is actually tribute to Homer Mug because I will retire him at the end of the week. He’ll be replaced by my daughter, in coffee mug form.  For Susan’s first birthday party, Mary Jane and I got all in attendance coffee mugs covered with Susan photos, and we kept two for ourselves that will become the new “Why am I up so early” mugs. So the next time I wake up at 5:02 a.m. and through sleep-encrusted eyes see this:

"Wake up and entertain me, clowns."
I can also remember this:

And if by some stroke of  bad luck, I have TWO rough mornings, well…at least they have the internet on computers now.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Mom: Baby Stats at Twelve Months

It has occurred to me that pretty soon, I will not be titling these "Baby Stats."  Heck, I could probably go ahead and make the switch now.  I mean, let's face it.  She isn't really a baby anymore.  She is definitely a toddler now.

Her birthday party was last Saturday.  It was such a great day.  I'll post all the photos and videos next week.  I need the weekend to sort through them all.  Needless to say it was a great day!

This past month, Susan has gotten much steadier on her feet.  About a week into walking, she realized she could also hold objects WHILE walking.  So that is her favorite thing to do.  Doesn't really matter what it is, if she can pick it up and walk with it, she will.  Her daddy's belt, mama's shoe, Oscar's rope.  Doesn't matter.  And she loves to bring us a book so that we will read it to her.  It is the sweetest thing.  And she will sit in our laps.  Up until this point, Susan was a lot of things, but once she was mobile, she was not much of a cuddler.  She was just too busy to cuddle in our laps.  But now, she loves to cuddle in our laps for a few minutes, or walk and hug our legs.  It is so sweet and I will take it for as long as I can.

Here are her stats.  Stay tuned for the end and a little update about my health.

Weight:  25 lbs, 10 oz.

Height:  31"

Next Appointment:  6/20 for her fifteen month check up and more vaccines

Teeth:  11.  About 2.5 weeks before her birthday, her bottom right first molar erupted bringing the total to ten.  The week of my medical emergency, the matching left first molar was so swollen, we just knew that it was going to erupt any day.  And she was so miserable that week too.  (Chris deserves a medal for taking care of the two of us, along with my parents.)  Well, as of this writing, it is STILL really swollen.  Tooth 11 erupted on Sunday.  It was her top right first molar.  Teeth come in pairs, so she is currently missing the match to her bottom right cuspid, and the matching top and bottom molars.  It's all good.  I have learned to just roll with it.  No one can believe how many teeth she has.  My mom's friend's grandson turned 1 in February.  He has NO TEETH.  NONE.  Oh well.  I used to think she would get a break but it's not going to happen for us.  Or at least, I am done looking for a break.

New Foods:  Now that she is one, she gets to try scrambled eggs and whole milk.  We are planning to finish up the formula we have and then switch her over.  And we are going to use hormone free milk.  We are only using fancy hormone free, cage free, fancy chicken for her too.  Both are more expensive, but we really think it's a healthier option.  We are still going to wait a little longer on strawberries.  And I am pretty sure she has to be older for peanut butter which her father cannot wait to introduce her to.  But that will be all him.  I HATE peanut butter.  Always have, always will.  Smells like vomit and looks worse.  Ugh.  But I hope she likes it.  It is very nutritious and according to most people, awesome.  We are having a big family breakfast (the three of us) on Saturday to celebrate the introduction of scrambled eggs.  (For those of you who don't know, if Chris were stranded on a desert island and could only have one food item, it would be eggs.)  So we are pretty excited about Saturday morning.

She LOVED her birthday cake.  The incredibly talented Heather Li Nelson of CRAMmy Kitchen Cakes, who I went to high school with, made the adorable "Cute as a Button" birthday cake.  Not only did it look amazing, but it tasted amazing too.  And the top layer was the perfect size for Susan to play and experiment with.  She loved it, as demonstrated by this picture.

Bottle:  Two.  We are committed to drop the morning bottle starting Monday. I'll admit - WE are not ready.  Susan is ready, will probably impress us with her seamless transition but it is the two of us who keep putting it off.  But I know we have to do it.  But it will be a sad day for her two parents.

Clothing Size:  She is still in size 12 for most things, a few size 18.  We are stocking up on 18 month stuff for all of her summer clothes.  And I think that is about right.  She is definitely no where near anything bigger than that.  And some 18 month stuff is still a little big, but by June when it's really warm, they will fit.  I have been ordering a few smocked items  from Smocked Auctions, Southern Tots, etc.  I love these Facebook clothing sales.  They are so great.  I "Share to Win" all the time and still haven't won, but I am holding out hope.  My goal with smocked stuff is to spend around $30 to $35 and to get free shipping.  Retail, in the store, smocked outfits cost about $55 to $65.  So I also utilize eBay. But just get ready to see an adorable toddler walking around (with sturdy legs) in her patriotic ruffle bubble. 

Sleeping:  10.5 to 11 hours at night, 3 to 3.5 hours of naps a day.  Yesterday, she had the best naps at daycare that she has ever had.  1.5 hours in the morning and 1.5 hours in the afternoon.  And of course, she starts the transition from the infant room to the toddler room on Monday.  In the toddler room, they only nap once a day.  She really isn't ready for that, but she is ready for the toddler room.  She is running all over those 4 month old babies.  And getting into everything.  On her daily sheet, there is a place at the bottom for the teacher to write "New Experiences of my day." Last week, her teacher wrote, "Susan really enjoyed exploring all over the classroom.  She loved pulling down all the baskets of toys from the shelves and exploring each one." That is code for "THE GIRL IS GETTING INTO EVERYTHING." So in regards to the 2 to 1 nap transition, I am not that concerned.  Her naps at daycare are all over the place anyway so I am not sure that they can get that worse.  And if she isn't ready to transition at home on the weekends, that is okay too.  I am just going to take it all in stride.  I used to freak out about her naps but there are way too many other things to think and worry about right now.  (But ask me again when we are really transitioning.  I might be singing a different tune - who knows.)

Diaper Size:  Five

Favorite Toys:  Still loves her books.  They are her go to toy, particularly Pat the Bunny and Brown Bear, Brown Bear.  Board books are the best invention ever.  Especially for a walking, "banguage" speaking, teething toddler.  Brown Bear has actual bite chunks taken out of it.  (Should I be concerned that she is eating the book and that little pieces are floating in her tummy?  Probably but I'm not.  She is still pooping and hasn't choked so oh well.  Bigger things to worry about.)  I have a feeling that a lot of the stuff she got for her birthday will be favorite toys soon, but I'll tell you about those in the birthday post.

Likes:  She LOVES to crawl through our legs and be bashful when people first come over.  She smiles and waves at whoever it is, and then immediately starts crawling through mine or Chris' legs and play Peek-A-Boo with whoever is visiting.  She has also started the leg crawling while we are doing kitchen tasks or while I am putting on my make up in the morning.  It is a fun game.

Dislikes:  Right now, nose wiped and snozzled.  She has a love/hate relationship with the snot sucker. Some colds, she doesn't mind one bit.  She leans in as if she knows it will provide her relief.  Others, like the most recent, she is not a fan and turns her head or bats it away.  Or tries to put it in her mouth.  (I do draw the line somewhere and that's it.  Snot sucker in the mouth is a "Oh here you go darling.  Let's trade and you put this teething ring in your mouth instead.")

Milestones:  Still walking all over the place.  And talking up a storm!  She has whole conversations and its up to us to try and figure out what she is saying.  She can say "bear" and "duck" for sure.  She has a version of "Brown Bear." She calls Oscar "Oh Oh" but isn't consistent yet.  She still says Mama and Dada.  And she is also trying to say Susan but she gets to about "Sus" and then looks at us as if to say "that is hard to say." 

She is changing a lot and we are just trying to keep up. 

Happy Birthday Susan Louise!
Now for a little update on me.  Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers during that terrible week that began with an ambulance ride and overnight hospital stay.  I am feeling much better but I am still definitely feeling the effects of the concussion.  I still get dizzy unexpectedly, usually if I move too fast.  But especially when I am laying down and turn to the right.  (The skull fracture is on the right side of my skull.)  And there is a good chance that this hearing loss is permanent.  But, considering the other kinds of permanent injuries I could have sustained, I will take it.  I can still hear out of my right ear, but I still have the "fullness" sensation (like when you want pop your ears on an airplane but can't).  I go back to the ENT next week for another hearing test so we will know more then.  I have been on predinosone for the last two weeks to try to help the hearing loss so we will see if it worked.

As for the melanoma, my doctor got clean margins on the first four she removed.  She was only going to remove three that first time, but then found a spare so out came four.  I have four pretty radical looking scars but other than that, am fine.  Because of the skull fracture, I postponed the second mole excision.  It is now scheduled for April 16, and she will take out the one on my scalp and the one on my calf. 

So overall, I am doing better.  We are definitely ready for spring to get here and to put this winter behind us.   Thanks again for everything.  I really am so blessed to have such great family and friends.