Thursday, December 30, 2010

Help! My Baby Doesn't Speak English!

Ok, this is a question for all you supermoms out there:

What can be done when my baby is in one of those "don't-you-dare-put-me-down-or-I-will-scream-and-cry" moods and you SERIOUSLY have to get something done? 

I am the queen of procrastination as it is, and I'm a true believe to responding to my baby's needs and cries, so I'm no stranger to the whole "the work can be done later, your baby needs you now" mentality. This is basically my life 24/7. However, there are times when something legitimately must be done that requires both hands and all of my focus. Like finishing a resume by a deadline. 
I can't very easily edit a resume and type out a cover letter with Gemma on my lap. Not very quickly either. I also cannot concentrate with her crying like a lunatic either, which is what she does when I set her down.

So. Sad.

So ladies... what do you suggest? (And no, she does not take a pacifier.) Right now, my only answer is to one-hand it and pray that this skill continues to improve with time and practice!

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Favorite of the Day: Sleepy Time

Let's face it, there's just nothing more amazing than a sleeping baby. Why do I love a sleeping Gemma? Where do I start?

Back when she was only about 2 weeks old!
First of all, she's absolutely, breathtakingly adorable when she's sleeping. Her little hands curled into tiny, relaxed fists. Her breath steady and subtle, making her chest move gently up and down. Her eyes moving around beneath her beautifully lashed lids she got from her daddy. I just love it! I could watch her all day.
But, this lady's got things to do! Which leads me to my next question...

2 Months!
About a Month!

What else do I love about sleepy time? Well, for one, I actually have two free hands with which to type this blog. And wash dishes. And unpack from the Christmas trip we've been back from for three days now. 
I also love taking picture of Gemma sleeping. She's the perfect subject when she's just lying there, still, looking gorgeous. Lastly, I love to dream about what it is she's dreaming about.

My little 4 month old dreamer!

I assume babies dream about the things that they see and experience throughout the day. So in Gemma's case I'd say she is currently dreaming about teddy bears, light-up sea creatures, boobies, water, bubbles, mommy's and daddy's faces, little purple lamb blankie, and angels (I am convinced she can see her angels! She's always looking off into the corner of the room and giggling!), all to the soundtrack of Jingle Bells and the Itsy Bitsy Spider.

I have no way of ever knowing if that's truly what goes on in her baby brain while she dozes off, but I sure wouldn't mind having a dream or two like that myself. Unfortunately for me, one has to actually SLEEP in order to have dreams. Someday, someday...

She slept through her whole Baptism! (She was 5 weeks old here)

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Friday, December 17, 2010

Favorite of the Day: Dress-Up!

"Be careless in your dress if you will, but keep a tidy soul."  
-Mark Twain

Dresses. Overalls. Booties. Tutus. Onsies. Bibs. Leggings. Hairbows. Tights. Skirts. 
The list goes on, my friends. 

When I was a little girl, there was no end to my doll-playing. I wanted every doll and every doll outfit there was! I could sit in my room for hours just dressing up my dolls in never-ending, ever-changing outfits. So, naturally, what could be better for someone like me, than to have my very own real-life doll to dress up every day!? Not much, folks, not much. It is so much fun having a baby girl! 

Every morning when I lay Gemma onto her changing table, I just start dreaming about the possibilities. I always ask her, "What do you want to wear today?" Now, she can't quite answer me yet, but we're practicing for the day when she can start picking out her own outfits. (And as a side note, I cannot WAIT for some of those wacko toddler creations she comes up with!) So anyway, I hold up various outfits, colors, and combinations for her to see before I finally settle on some always-adorable baby fashion for her to wear. We get all gussied up in, say, a butterfly onesie and pink tights under a purple tutu and matching bow around her head. It's all so girly and so adorable.

And then, the drool begins. Now, this girl can DROOL. She's like a leaky gushing faucet! So, since a bib didn't quite go with the butterfly outfit, before I know it, she has literally drenched her onsie down to the belly-button level. Now, I could just put a bib on her, or just change her onesie, but c'mon, where's the fun in that? Onto outfit number two!! 

Outfit number two definitely includes a bib. So I find a cute little pink and black panda outfit with matching bib for her to sport during the late morning/early afternoon phase of the day. 
And then, the megapoo occurs. No matter how perfectly the diaper has been placed on that precious little booty of hers, somehow, the megapoo will always win. Up the back, or down the legs, or out onto the belly. I'm pretty sure I'm keeping Oxyclean in business with all the stains we accumulate around here.
So, we switch gears to outfit number three of the day which Gemma will sport for the rest of the evening, and sometimes, when I'm feeling lazy and no more messes have occurred, will double as her pjs for the night. Therefore outfit number three is usually one of those super cozy button-down-the-front footie outfits. With a bib. Which will turn into three bibs by the end of the night. 

Then we have a usually have a bath and change into pjs for sleepytime. All in all, we AVERAGE four outifts a day on this little one, but it has been as many as seven outfits in a day. And I guess if you include the number of outfits I go through after all the spills, poos, and spit-ups, we're racking the numbers up to double digits every day! 

All I can say is, get me out of this apartment and into a house with my own washer and dryer!

And then there's just good ole fashioned costume dress-up!

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Favorite of the Day: Baby Forgiveness

"To err is human; to forgive is divine."
-Alexander Pope

Today's Favorite of the Day actually deals with a topic that is very difficult for me, and moms everywhere, I'm sure. As moms, we want to be perfect all the time. We want to believe that we can give our child(ren) everything good in the world, and somehow protect them from everything bad in the world as well. Unfortunately, not only are we unable to protect them from everything bad, sometimes we are the source of the bad! 

Of course it's always unintentional, but crazy things happen with babies, no matter how careful we try to be. They fling themselves out of your arms and fly face first into the floor. You accidentally bonk their head on the way in or out of the car. You clip that fingernail a little too closely and end up drawing blood. You lay the baby on a cool beach blanket tent that your mother-in-law gave you and while trying to shift the blanket, you kick up a bunch of sand into your baby's eyes.
I have done all of these things. At first, Gemma would scream bloody murder. I would immediately respond by picking her up, holding her close, kissing whatever bumps and scrapes she received, all while crying hysterically. I swear, I cry harder when Gemma gets hurt than she does. After cuddling and or nursing her for a few minutes, she is completely over it. No longer crying, she's moved onto the next activity and could care less about what happened five minutes earlier. 

I, however, require intensive therapy to get over the trauma. I literally cried for three hours the first time I banged Gemma up. I was SO sad that I caused her to cry, even if she only cried for a few minutes. I kept snuggling her and apologizing to her. At some point, I quit my sniffling, looked Gemma in the face, and smiled. She looked back at me and beamed this enormous smile at me. Of course, she couldn't speak to me in words, but that smile spoke directly to my heart. That beautiful, toothless smile said more in the way of forgiveness than a thousand "I forgive you"s ever could. It was a special moment; a special connection. 

Too bad I couldn't forgive myself as easily! I was still shaken up about it for days. Eventually, over time, it all fades a bit, but I will never forget that day! Gemma, on the other hand, completely forgives and completely forgets. A little over a week ago, Rocky had his first run-in with an accident resulting in Gemma getting a few bumps. He. Was. Devastated. Of course, I'm home with Gemma everyday, so by this point, I was an old pro at the experience. I assured him that it's okay, accidents happen, and Gemma will be over it long before he would.

Later on that night, we were all cuddling, and he was just looking down at Gemma who was merrily busying herself with her hands. He said something that I'll never forget. He said, "She's just like God." He was referring to her ability to forgive so easily, to forget so quickly, and to move on so happily.

It's such a blessing to live with this gentle, little person who teaches me so much about God's love for us. I'm learning something new everyday, and I am so grateful.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Favorite of the Day: The Laugh-Cry

I've been putting off writing my next blog post recently, because for awhile now, I've been wanting to write a "My Favorite Things" post, highlighting all my favorite things that Gemma does. The problem is, almost every day, she comes up with a new one! So, I've decided to start a series, cleverly entitled, "Favorite of the Day". As a personal challenge, I will try to write a post each day, but we all know how crazy life can get, so I may miss a day here or there.

Onto the topic at hand. My favorite of the day is something Gemma has been doing for a few weeks now. I call it the "laugh-cry" and it's awesome. One of the most entertaining things about babies is that every moment is something new and exciting to them, leading to an overall state of amused bewilderment with the world around them. In short, they don't know what's going on. Mommy does something ridiculous and baby laughs. Then baby hears herself laughing, and finds the sound to be hilarious! She laughs more heartily. By this point, she doesn't even know why she's laughing; she just likes to do it. Then she looks at Mommy, who is laughing and clapping with joy at her baby's state of jubilation, and baby finds this to be altogether pleasurable, so she laughs at Mommy some more. Then she hears herself laughing again! How hysterical this sound that is coming from her! It's all so blissful until the moment she realizes she would rather be in Mommy's arms right now.

At this time, ladies and gentleman, I would like to introduce you to, the famous Laugh-Cry. In order to best represent how it works, let's illustrate it from Gemma's point of view.
Look at Mommy's silly face. It's so funny, she makes me laugh! Oooh! This laughter sound is amazing! It makes me laugh even harder. And I love when Mommy claps. She's so great. Wait a minute, that's Mommy. Pick me up, Mommy! Nooo, Don't make faces, pick me up!! Oh, that felt funny on my belly! And laughing is so fun!! But I want you to pick me uuuup, Mommy! Mmmm, maybe all this growling will make you realize!
Funny face. Laugh. Silly sound, so funny. Pick me up. Noww, uuuugh. Mommyyyyy, grrrr. Oh. That's a funny face too! Pick me up! Cry. Laugh. Cry. Laugh. ... Confusion. Amusement. Laugh-cry.

Greatest. Thing. Ever.
I will catch it on video someday soon, so I can share the splendor of it all with everyone.
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