Cold and Flu Season

It starts with a sniffle. It’s just the cold weather.. and then congestion. It’s just the dry air.. and then a cough. It’s just– And another cough–dang it! You’re sick.

Tis the season, after all. Cold and flu season (apparently) peak in February. Joy.

We’re finally starting to get over it at my house. I’m the last one lingering around with sniffles and coughs and restless nights. It’s not all that bad. It’s better than it was.

The worst was our little Elfkin getting sick. She had a fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and she choked on phlegm one morning so badly that we had to use the nasal aspirator to suction her throat so that she could breathe. It’s a good thing we keep those in so many places.

Before that incident, she’d had problems with spit up, so we’d tried propping her mattress. Between gravity and wiggling, she’d end up sideways towards the bottom of the slope by the middle of the night. Some of the worse nights, I’d keep her in our room, snuggled up on my chest, or sleeping in a cradle right next to me.

The worst was when we laid her down to change her diaper, and she would gasp for breath. She was fine and happy if she was sitting up straight, but seemed to struggle otherwise. We finally quit battling the virus on our own and took her to the ER. … Where they told us that she’s got a virus abd to go home. So we followed up with her regular doctor who told us that she doesn’t feel good, and there’s nothing they can do, so we should go home. Boy, I can’t wait to get THOSE bills…

All of this to say, she’s doing better. She only had trouble with the phlegm that one time, and the diarrhea is finally dissipating.  If I can say one good thing about this experience, it’s that cloth diapers are amazing. She was blowing out of size 2 disposables, so we moved her up to size 3. She still blew out. I gave up and went back to cloth and she hasn’t blown out of those. Bum genius for the win.

New Mom Injury – What a Pain In The Neck

Parenthood is filled with all sorts of new movements that were definitely not in my repertoire before having our little girl.  Daily lunges, for example, and trying to make sure I’m alternating legs when I go to change her diaper at the coffee table.  Don’t judge–it’s a 2 story house and I don’t always want to lug a soiled baby up the stairs.  Then there’s the lifting and twisting to get her out of her cradle and comfort her when I’m lying in bed more asleep than awake but willing my sluggish limbs to just move.  Then there’s the bouncing, cradling, constant hand washing, limbs-falling-asleep-snuggling, and must-sleep-on-your-back-because-otherwise-the-baby-won’t-sleep type moves.
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I’m good with all of them.  I’ve been doing really well at this whole “stay-at-home-mom” thing.  Until this morning..

It’s been usual and customary for me to hold our little Elfkin against my shoulder while I carry her around.  She’s not quite big enough to sit on my ample, child-bearing, hips–and she seems heavier when I cradle her with my whole arm, so I let her perch on my forearm and look at the world over my shoulder while I get things set and we go about our day.  This is how she sits when I’m getting things started for the day, when I’m consoling her in the afternoon, and when we’re heading up to bed.  Basically–I’ve had 11 weeks of holding her in this position and thought I had it down pat. So it’s not unusual that I was holding her that way this morning.  I had her clothes picked out and clutched in the hand that held her, her pacifier in my teeth, and was just about to go downstairs to get her bottle ready when I remembered my cell phone.  It was under my pillow because we had one of those nights where she slept on my chest… [Sidebar: she slept there for half the night because she fell asleep in a cloth diaper that completely failed to keep her wetness contained and I need to wash her cradle.]

MOVING ON.

I leaned over the bed, holding the Elfkin with my chin/cheek–as I had learned to do–when suddenly CRACK! ooooohhhhhh something was wrong.  Something was very very wrong.  Apparently the small, rather delicate vertebrae that hold up my head are not meant to also support this growing girl now that she’s 12+ lbs!  Thankfully, it was the pain of acute injury and not the burning pain of broken bones.😉

Now, I haven’t been to the chiropractor in over a year.  There’s nothing, though, more motivating in finding a doctor or chiropractor than your body screaming at you “you done f****d up.”  After giving Evelyn her bottle, and realizing just how badly it hurt to look down, left, right, or really anywhere but straight ahead, I started seeking a new chiropractor.

This brought back all sorts of nostalgia for my old chiropractor.  I miss him all the time and wish he were around.  I could just imagine him admonishing me for being so careless with myself.  This is a completely avoidable injury.
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The new Chiropractor seems effective.  He saw me right away this morning and the girls at the reception desk took care of my little girl.  She rewarded them with all sorts of smiles and I came back to find her asleep in the woman’s arms. Meanwhile, I got an x-ray and scans, had an adjustment–my bones were all too ready to move! They were cracking just by breathing–then they did even MORE.  I was treated to a massage, electromuscular stimulation, and vibration therapy.
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The DC had another adjustment and some home exercises that he wanted to recommend, but I was in too much pain and he didn’t want to do too much too soon.  I’ll be going back on Friday, so hopefully, fingers crossed, I start feeling better.

Lesson learned, though: when moving with the little one, have a care and move with intent! I’ll be keeping my core engaged and using my legs to lift her.  I’ll be using proper squatting form/technique to lift her car seat in and out of the vehicle, and I’ll be downing much more water…

We found our village

While I’m not familiar with the origin of the proverb, I’m wholly in agreement that it certainly does take a village to raise a child.  In this day and age of internet-connectedness where our closes friends could be hundreds of miles away, I feared that our village would be rather small indeed.  I have been pleasantly surprised, though, at just how large our village can be.  My close friends and family know who they are and so I’ve taken away a few paragraphs where I named names and deeds from our friends and family who have helped us with our little elfkin. The appreciation still blossoms when I think of how they’ve helped and the lessons they’ve taught us. I was most interested, though, in writing about finding unexpected people in the village that helps us to raise our child.

I was surprised the most to find that we had a village even in the strangers in our neighborhood.  Little old ladies smile with eyes twinkling and offer helpful information–where the restrooms are at the grocery store.  Other moms come congratulate me on my little one, tell me how beautiful she is, and reassure me that I’m the only one bothered by her wails of dismay in the middle of Toys R Us.  The librarian at our local branch showed me how I can put the entire stack of books on the check out all at once instead of having to scan each bar code–a real lifesaver when you’re on the count down to a melt down because it’s almost meal time.  The woman at the coffee shop who admired us as a tag-team, out on the town running errands–and who kept an eye on her while I got cream for my coffee just 5 feet away.  Yes–gasp–I let a stranger keep an eye on her for just a moment.  When I returned with my cup of coffee, we talked, the woman and I, about babies, schooling, and the variances in different Montessori schools.

It was then that I sort of realized that these strangers are the village that it takes to raise a child.  Without these people I’d be, for example, running out of a store at top speed the moment our little one’s face crumples.  I’d be stuck going no further than 5 miles from home so that I knew I could be home to change her diaper or give her more food when the time ticked down.  I’d be unable to take the time to run the errands necessary to keep the household running smoothly…

At first, the attention made me shrink.  I like attention, yes, but on my terms, not someone else’s.  But then, as the hints proved helpful, and the smiles proved warm and genuine, I began to enjoy being a part of this village and taking the opportunity to make life easier by listening.

There’s more to be said about this, but she’s calling me now.  In summary–I’m thankful for our neighborhood, our neighbors, and the kind smiles from strangers in the world.  When given the opportunity, be that kind person who lends a helping hand or understanding smile.  I think it makes the world a much better place.❤

Happy Thanksgiving.

Roasted Chicken with Lemon and Rosemary

Please forgive any typos, I’m sure to go back and fix them, but this blog is being written from my phone while the Little Miss sleeps on me.
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Things I’ve learned in two months as a new parent

1. Time flies in the grand scheme, though it may creep otherwise. Things change faster than you think.

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Newborn vs 8 Weeks

2. Sleep is still a rarity, but it’s getting easier at night. If all else fails, there are still naps.

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3. Some days, you’ll be super mom and get everything done that needs doing–even helping your own super mom with her giant ass yard😛

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4. Other days you’ll only get the bare minimum done because babies just need to be held sometimes, and that’s okay.

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5. Because, through all the late nights, early mornings, endless laundry, etc … You get to look forward to those grins.

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6. You have to *MAKE* time for what’s important to you. Don’t leave your husband out. He’s still important, as is your relationship as Husband and Wife, not just as Mom and Dad.❤

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7. A bed time routine is important. Ours starts around 8 pm… Diaper! Pajamas! Bottle! Story! Bed!

Most nights it works. Some nights she’ll just wanna have girl talk and that’s okay. Baby slumber party. The pillow fights are ruthless😛

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8. There will be tears. A lot of them. For a lot of reasons. Must of the time you can do something about it. Sometimes you can’t. Those times, you just reflect that at least she’s healthy enough to cry.

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9. She’ll be okay, too. Most of the time, she needs a diaper, some love, or some food. She’ll be thankful you took the time to figure out which.

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10. It’s an adventure. There are good days, and days that are challenging. There are so many days that fly right by and I wonder why I didn’t have time to write about them.. but it’s not that there’s no time, it’s that my time is spent with her❤ she's my priority and how I chose to spend my time. I don't see that changing any time soon.

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Pumpkin Soup with Chili and Ginger

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While I’m staying home with BabyGirl, there is a lot of opportunity to watch daytime television.  There’s an unbelievable amount of talk shows on that follow a similar format.  The Talk, The View, The Chew, The Real

I was watching Clinton Kelly (of What Not To Wear fame) on The Chew when he demonstrated a Roasted Curried Pumpkin Soup that I thought sounded scrumptious.  I happened to have everything that it was calling for and happily headed into the kitchen to cobble it together. 
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Things I’ve learned in 1 Month as a New Parent

“Sleep when the baby sleeps” is easier said than done.  Old habits die hard.

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“Blowouts” are just as much fun as they sound… Bonus–did you know that infant outfits are designed to be able to pull down over the child’s body instead of over their head? It really helps..https://youtu.be/rrISmbf8LBM

Swaddles are a miracle invention.  Nothing says ‘calm down and go to sleep’ to my BabyGirl quite like being confined😛

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Formula is a God-Send.  My girl wasn’t getting enough food to thrive, so we’ve been supplementing–now she’s healthy, alert, curious, and gaining weight on target with recommendations from the pediatrician.

Daddies do things differently–and that’s okay.  Jeff swaddles, changes, dresses, plays, snuggles, and burps BabyGirl differently than I do.

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There are more hours in the day than ever before–and yet fewer of them can be used for house work.  The house work will wait.  Baby snuggles are important.

A month flies by faster than ever possible.

8pm is a really reasonable bed time.

Waking a sleeping baby is actually really adorable.  If you get them before they get you, you get to feed them, change them, and snuggle them before they realize they need it.  If they wake up before you? Hoo boy.. hope you like your ear drums.

It’s worth it. Everything that “it” represents–from the pain of birth, injury, changes to bodily functions, exhaustion, mood-swings, fear, worry, the lot of it.  It all pales in comparison with the gratitude felt at being able to be a parent.

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