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Random Thoughts 3
Can’t figure out why it’s so determined not to let me get rid of that. I just put that in so I can find it in the notes section of my phone. Anyway, continuing the writing of random thoughts, because I’ve been enjoying it. Apparently once I start writing I have a hard time stopping. I had intended to save these up and maybe post once a week, but in the interest of not having them be so long I’m just gonna go she’s now.

Lily’s latest weirdo baby behavior is chomping down on her binky then pulling it out of her mouth over and over. It makes a popping noise, and presumably feels interesting, so she loves it. She’s even started chomping and letting us pop it out. It’s cute. Weird, but cute.
 

Which is not what she’s doing here; it’s just a cute picture and happens to include her binky

 

-Speaking of chomping, she’s started nomming on the nipples of her bottles when she’s done eating. I gave her one of her little bottles from the NICU with nothing in it, and she’s enjoying it. Wish it didn’t roll when she drops it though. Maybe that can be just for baby jail, since it’ll hit the side and not roll too far. It does make me kind of bothered that she can clearly hold a bottle, but we’re not giving her the chance to try to feed herself because we use glass. 8 oz glass bottles are *heavy*. She tries to hold them, but no dice. And we store milk in plastic, and heat it in plastic, but still. I’d rather minimize the plastic in the house, especially when it’s coming into frequent contact with what she eats.

  
  
-Apparently teeth don’t come in at a consistent rate. Her first one came in fast and shot up. Still not in so much you can get a good picture of it, but given that it’s been a week it’s coming in pretty quickly. The second one broke through just a few days after the first, but it’s still dawdling behind. And she was out of sorts a lot longer with the second one, like it was bothering her more. I just assumed they’d come in at about the same speed, but guess not.

 

If you look really close you can see the little nub of a tooth on her left

 
-I think it’s time to make sure she has some toys just out of reach when playing, so she has to work a little to get to them. Not to be mean or try to force her to crawl, just to provide some challenge. She seems to enjoy mastering new skills, so I figure it’s our job to encourage them without pressuring her.
-She just did her smoothest, easiest belly to back roll ever!! I’m way more excited than it really makes sense to be. It’s just so cool watching her learn these things we take for granted. I swear in 2 days she’s made more progress than the previous 2 weeks, maybe months. From the day before yesterday to yesterday she went from getting stuck on her belly and getting mad (though it was taking longer and longer for her to get mad) to able to roll back pretty much every time with enough effort. Yesterday to today she went from that to putting her arms up and lifting her head (crawling is so coming) and smoothly rolling pretty much every time. How does she change so fast?!

  

-I have a baby legs (leg warmers) problem. She has 14 pairs and I NEED more. She has no pastels for her cute fox dress or navy for her multiple navy outfits! And maybe some grey. They’re the cutest things ever and I think she likes having her feet mostly bare for traction in pushing off to roll. Plus diaper changes are so much easier with no pants.

  
   
 
  

-Oh my goodness. Val (the dog) was right by Lils on the floor, and she reached for her. Val didn’t notice and got up and walked away. Lils turned and looked at me with her bottom lip stuck out SO far in the biggest pout ever. I need to work on my reactions. It won’t do to have her think mommy finds her being upset funny just because her unhappy face is so damn cute.
-I need someone to come take care of the baby for me *right now* so I can do ALL THE THINGS! I want to make a wreath and work on some valentines decorations and bake a cake and clean and organize the whole house and do all the prep for Lily’s first birthday and declutter everything and make some meals to freeze for less ambitious sorts of days and and and… It’s one of those days. Why does motivation have to come in fits and spurts like that? The other day when my mom came over for a bit, I was all, “meh, I think I’ll take a bath.” But today I want to do everything. And I have done three loads of laundry and loaded and run the dishwasher and refilled Lil’s diaper drawer, plus the usual child care stuff. But there are limits to what you can accomplish with a baby in tow, even one who is frequently content to play while I do other things. Oh well, it’s Friday. Maybe over the weekend I can maintain at least some of my motivation!
-She’s chewing on a chair. Not clear on whether I should be discouraging this.

  

-Another thing with RIE parenting is not stepping in to help all the time. Partially because you might not know what she’s actually wanting to accomplish. For example, Lils really likes to mess around with her binky and try to fit it in her mouth in different ways. When she does get it in, she promptly pulls it back out. If you were to try to “help” by just putting it in her mouth the “right” way, she would either pull it out again and possibly be annoyed by your interference, or she might give up and miss out on all the fun and learning she was doing. Another reason not to step in and help babies is because to give them a chance to learn how to work for something. I could have rolled her back over every time she got frustrated, but by waiting, she got the satisfaction of doing it herself, and learned that she *can* do things without adult help. (In case you’re wondering, when she got frustrated enough that she needed a break, we would pick her up and help her calm down if she was upset, *then* put her back down on her back. We never just rolled her back over. And by never I mean rarely because it’s really hard to pick her up when I’m pumping.) It also allowed her to learn the right way to do it for herself, and develop her muscles accordingly. 
Anyway, that was a whole crapload of lead up to another point. I’m struggling a bit with balancing not helping so that I don’t interfere with not just abandoning her when she needs something I could provide. Like when she has a toy and it rolls away. Usually she doesn’t much care, so it’s not a huge deal. But sometimes she does, and then what? On the one hand, not retrieving it for her will help motivate her to crawl. But I’m pretty sure she knows I can go get it for her. Does that send the message that I just don’t care enough to do so? I dunno. I tend to err on the side of helping though. I feel like if I’m going to be wrong, I’d rather it be wrong in a way that makes her feel like I care. And really, I’m pretty sure there’s plenty of motivation out there for her to crawl, starting with all the fascinating non-baby proofed electronics on the tv stand. Also, I don’t pick things up for her when I feel like she realistically could get to them. At least that way when she really struggles for it and succeeds she learns that hard work pays off. I guess she needs to learn to fail too, but maybe not from that. Surely she’s getting that as she’s learning to do things like roll over, which involved lots of failed attempts.
-Mr. Blue Sky by Electric Light Orchestra doesn’t have any inappropriate metaphors that I’m just oblivious to, does it? It better not. I strongly associate it with my baby bug. I remember thinking it would be fun to sing to a baby, back before I ever got pregnant. The, “hey you with the pretty face, welcome to the human race” bit in particular. And then the day she came home from the hospital, I had a doctor appointment I had to keep (stupid cyst on my tailbone), so I went to that while Christopher stayed for her car seat test. On the way back Mr. Blue Sky came on pandora. “Cause today is the day we’ve waited for” made me tear up. I blame postpartum hormones, but it really was fitting. We’d waited a long time to take home our healthy, perfect baby girl.
-I love kissing her chubby, chubby cheeks. They’re just full of squish! But she hides most of her sugars under her chin.

  
-I have this weird tendency to be sort of fascinated by my own creations. Like I read things I’ve written over and over. Not just checking for typos or to decide if I want to change anything; I keep rereading blog posts even after I put them up. And I go back to look at my artwork, whether drawings or cookies or something crocheted, whatever, over and over too. Partially because sometimes I’m really surprised I managed to make something so pretty. (It’s always been a bit shocking to me how I won’t know how to draw something (that I’m looking at), so I’ll just draw exactly the lines I see, even if I’m not sure they’ll come together, and somehow it turns out looking exactly like what I meant to draw. It’s like magic.) But mostly I just like to look at it. It makes me happy. Not in a “I want to go show this off way,” though I often do. Just in a sort of satisfying way. Like I needed to get it out and now I have and look isn’t it lovely.
-Another parenting issue that’s been on my mind is ereaders. I have a kindle and nook both (don’t ask), and use them a lot. (And have apps that let me read both on my phone as well.) I just have too many actual books to store already, so it makes sense to not buy more unnecessarily. (I’ll always prefer cookbooks and general nonfiction in a physical form though.) So the issue is that “they” say to make sure your kids see you reading a lot, to demonstrate that it’s a good thing and fun and all that. But they also say *not* to let your kids see you playing around on technology all the time. How do I make sure she can tell I’m reading and not playing a game? One suggestion I saw was to get a case that looked like an actual book, to emphasize that it’s not a tablet or anything you can play games on. That seems like a sensible idea. But what about if I want to read on a tablet? I have a nook tablet, and we’re probably getting an iPad soon. Do I just avoid reading on those in front of her until she’s old enough to understand that there are books on there, and not just games and the Internet? It’s a confusing thing, navigating all these technology issues that just didn’t exist when I was a kid.
-With this whole parenting thing, I figured going in that there would be, “what the hell was I thinking” moments. But I totally misjudged what would cause them (so far). I was expecting it to be the middle of the night wake ups, poo explosion diapers, fit throwing, things like that. Things that are exasperating, exhausting. And I’m sure there will be those moments (toddler tantrums are coming!). But right now the times I question what I’ve gotten myself into are all tied to how gut wrenchingly emotional parenting can be. It’s the moments when she’s crying like her little heart is broken and it makes me want to break down crying with her, and I wonder how I’m going get through it when she’s actually hurt, physically or emotionally, and I can’t fix it with some cuddles and a song. Or when I think about her growing up and leaving home. The thought of not seeing her all day, every day is so hard. How can I be grieving my empty nest when she’s not even a year old? Or when I see a news story about something terrible happening to a child, and I have to clamp down on my thoughts because I can’t bear to go down that rabbit trail of what if. It makes me just sick to hear about those things, much less think about what if it were her. I literally don’t know how I would get through it if something happened to her. When we were going through everything with River, people would say “how did you do it? I don’t think I could.” It seemed like such a weird thing to say. I mean, what choice did I have? It was get through it or… what? Lay down and die? Go mad? I dunno. But now, I get that. If we lost her, I feel like I might just lay down and give up. Or go crazy. I keep thinking surely other parents don’t feel this strongly, because children die every day and their parents are able to keep going. But I know they do have all those same feelings. And like I did, they don’t have a choice, so they survive. And I don’t know how they do it. 
But going back to my original point, this parenting thing really is hard, but not the way I expected. I feel like I can handle the practical bits. But emotionally, I feel so I n over my head. It’s just all so intense. I’m assuming (hoping?) it’ll ease off a little as she gets older. Or maybe I’ll just learn to handle it better. I have no regrets about having a baby, but sometimes I really do wonder just what we’ve gotten ourselves into.
-That last bit was too serious to not fix it, but my phone autocorrected gut wrenchingly to gut wee chunky. Had to stifle an actual laugh out loud because I have a sleeping baby on me.
And a few more pictures!

  
 
  
  
 

She’s quite the laundry helper

 

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