Friday, December 21, 2012

Friday Randoms ...

  • Bea had her dance "recital" on Wednesday. There wasn't a whole lot of dancing but there was a whole, whole lot of cuteness! Trying to get 9 two year olds to do anything at once is like herding cats, but their teacher, Ms. Rebecca, is so amazing with them. We attempted to get a group photo of them all together afterwards, but only the girls were interested:

  • Bea had a pretty serious cough on Wednesday but we didn't think much of it because she was running around and acting like her crazy, mad-toddler self. But when she started running a fever on Wednesday night, we made the call to take her into the doctor.  We still go to our pediatrician's office in Raleigh, even though there are about 2,000 pediatricians here in Durham, associated with Duke Hospital. I just can't make the break from the doctor that has seen Bea since the first day she came home from the hospital. Dr. Calm is a trained neonatologist who works as a general pediatrician now... where else am I going to replicate that knowledge of weird preemie things? Plus, her office has a fish tank in the waiting room. Bea love it:
  • Once we were in the exam room, Bea put on her best "I'm sick feel bad for me" face:
  •   But don't feel all that bad for her... about .0002 seconds later, she was acting like her normal, silly self:
  • Turns out, Bea has a sinus infection (hence the fever) and the very, very early start of what could possibly turn into pneumonia if we didn't treat it. This is the first time Bea's ever been on antibiotics, so we are watching extra carefully to make sure she doesn't have some weird reaction. So far, the only reaction we've noticed is a crap-ton (scientific measurement) of extra energy. She woke up last night at 11:30, midnight, 2 a.m., 3 a.m. 4:30 a.m., 6 a.m. and got up for good at 8. Casey and I feel like we have newborn all over again. So much for any residual Baby Fever!
  • Something else to note about Bea's appointment. Her doctor, not Dr. Calm (she doesn't work on Thursday and Fridays), said that she thinks former preemies have an extremely high pain tolerance compared to other kids their age. She thinks it's because they form their opinion of what pain is from such a tough start that anything else that happens in their lives is hardly that bad! So, when a preemie tells her something doesn't feel right or that something hurts, it almost always is something extreme. It breaks my heart to hear that but it also makes a lot of sense. Bea has never been sick more than a day. At least, on the outside anyway. She may actually have been much more sick than she let on. 
  • Aside from the antibiotic, my doula head was immediately in full force and I also requested a prescription strength probiotic to go with it.  Strong antibiotics are notorious for wiping out all the good flora in your gut and I'm not dealing with gassy, non-functioning toddler bowels over Christmas.
  • Bea's also spent a fair amount of time watching television this week. I feel so terrible as a mother, but it's the only way I can keep her still, which prevents another coughing fit from taking over! She asked to watch Dumbo and now it's on repeat in our house. It's so cute.
  • After the doctor appointment, I spent the afternoon finishing things on my to-do list. One of those things was to wrap gifts! So with a little assistance from Bea (I'll apologize now if your gift arrives a little ahem, tattered) we got most of the rest of our gifts under the tree:
  •  I still have a few items to pick up here and there and I really, really need some alone time today to get a gift for someone special in my life...
  • Speaking of gifts, we ordered most everything this year online or bought it from a local merchant. The UPS and FedEx men are my new BFFs as a result. 
  • This morning, when Bea got up for the final time she wanted to play "Baby Jesus in the Manger"... This is her interpretation:
Strawberry Baby has never played such an important role in her little Doll Life!
  •  This will likely be our last real, meaty post until the New Year. We'll be so busy visiting family, playing the Lovefeast Band, eating dinners, opening gifts, spending time together and hoping Bea gets well soon, I doubt I'll post much until then. So I hope you and yours have a splendid holiday and a Happy New Year. Merry Christmas!!


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Rapunzel has competition ...

As I was preparing a post about how much Beatrice Kate has physically changed in the last year, I just couldn't believe the amount her hair has grown in 12 short months. Her is she is last December:

And then, here's this year's shot:
Seriously, it has to be like 8 inches of hair! At this rate, she'll be carrying it around in a pocket book when she's a teenager. Sure her face is different and she's got to be around 6 inches taller or more, but that hair...
And before you even ask... no, we haven't cut it yet. Ever. And I don't know of any plans to do so in the future. And, if her Daddy has any say in it- she may never be allowed a haircut!


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Little Doctor Dolittle ...

While Casey played Santa's Elf this weekend and worked on Beatrice Kate's Christmas gift, I took Bea to visit a local family farm/petting zoo.
I honestly wasn't sure how it would go, because Bea is either really, really excited about animals or she climbs up my body like a tree trunk to get away from them. Luckily, it was pretty evident from the start that she was happy to be there:

The deer must have picked up on Bea's gentle nature and spent most of our visit trotting around with Bea, literally eating out of her hand. Bea loved it:

The deer? She loved the camera almost as much as she loved Bea:
In addition to the baby deer, Bea also met a few geese; who immediately tried to eat her shoes and were subsequently put in "time out":
Chester and Doris needed some time to calm down.
She attempted to feed one of the farm's peacocks, Justin Beiber (I'm not even making that up, I swear), but Beiber didn't want any part of a toddler-assisted snack:
He was too busy attempting to give the female peacocks Beiber Fever:
Hey, lay-days... check out these feathers.

So Bea moved on to the rabbits, who weren't interested either:

But, someone else was for sure:

I thought for a while we might be coming home with a pet deer because Beatrice Kate and "Baby" became fast friends:

How often can you say you've pet a deer?!?:

Then we moved on to another rabbit enclosure and Bea made a second attempt at meal time. Unfortunately, Baby had other plans:

So instead, the farmer (Farmer Mary) asked if Beatrice Kate wanted to hold the newborn bunnies. I think at first, she was all, "Um, really? Me? You guys know I'm two right?":

But eventually she warmed up to it and her sweet, calm disposition turned out to be the perfect environment to rest a few bunnies:

And when we got home, she kept telling Casey that the "baby bunnies were so tiny, tiny, Daddy and they were snuggling on me!":

Of course, the Mama bunny had to have a pet too:

Then it was time to feed the goats:
This goat eats crackers just like Casey!

Oh, look who it is:

It wasn't just Baby the deer who was smitten with Beatrice Kate. At one point, it looked like she was holding a meeting with the animals, and she was their leader:

The miniature donkey was just the right size for a face-to-face chat:

She led them all over the farm, even over to see the Emu eggs:
It was hilarious to see this tiny, toddling little prissy thing leading a line of animals around, rounded out with a llama caboose!
It was such a fun way to spend a morning. And at only $5, it was one of our better uses of money for quality time together. And who knows... maybe we're raising a future veterinarian. Our own little Dr. Dolittle:



Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Day of Silence

I found out yesterday that one of the children was a preemie. A preemie, who parents fought so hard to keep alive in his first few days, only to have that life cut short. It's my worst nightmare.


Monday, December 17, 2012

Unscheduled Grief...

I had posts planned for today to tell you all about our adventures over the weekend. I wanted to tell you all about the fun things we did together as a family, with our child, in celebration of The Season. But the more I sit and think and hear news stories about the shootings on Friday, the more it just doesn't feel right to me.

So today, I think we'll take small break from talking about the silliness of my child, if only for today, so that we can remember the children who lost their lives on Friday. But more importantly, the part that I can't get out of my mind and my heart, is the loss that the mothers of those children are facing today. Their all-encompassing grief is something I can't begin to image and I won't belittle their realities by attempting to.

As a doula, I'm privileged to be a witness when life begins anew. I'm present in those first few moments after birth, and get to see the excitement and joy on new mothers' faces as they bring their children into the world. So maybe that's why it's especially hard for me to think about what these mothers have faced over the weekend, and will face for the rest of their lives.

As a Christian, I think it's easy for us to shout up to Heaven, "Why God? Why children?" Our amazing pastor this week used his sermon to emphasize the point that it's okay to grieve for this loss. It's okay to be angry. It's okay to question. We don't all have to be strong; because for those us who can't right now (myself included) we can draw on the strength of those who can and use it to bolster us up. He emphasized that the world unfortunately will not end because of this tragedy, just as it hasn't ended when previous events happened. We just are to take the joy where we can find it and grieve when we need to. But life well, it's just going to keep going on.

I saw this really fabulous quote from another minister this weekend on Facebook and I think it's really insightful because a lot of folks will question and want a place to put blame. She said:

In my role as a Christian minister, I have to speak up about the lie politicians and others are putting forth, that the CT shooting happened because "God has been removed from our schools." This is a dangerous, irresponsible, and and theologically immature statement. God is not found in the rules or activities sanctioned by a school, or the doctrines that make that an issue. God is in the hearts 
of human beings, children included. And praying to God will not in fact avert the tragedies of our world...we've all seen/experienced that tragedy happens inexplicably. God does not "allow" things to happen because we do not adhere to human-concocted doctrine and superstition. Where is God? God is grieving with us. But God is not smiting children because of the separation of church and state.

Regardless, you can be sure that this weekend, I have never held Beatrice Kate any tighter in her short life so far. She spent the better part of two days within arms reach- always. I took more notice of the little things that make her... her. The little curls in the back of her hair, her little chin dimple that's so much like Casey's, the way her hands fit perfectly into mine, the quiet smile she forms when she's thinking of something happy. These are the things that I hold so dear about being a mother- knowing this tiny human so much more, in more detail, than anyone, anytime ever will in her life.
And it's these moments, when I'm noticing additional things about my girl, in the months and years to come after Friday's shooting that I will send up a little prayer of compassion and strength for the mothers who will never snuggle their babies again.

Tomorrow I'll be participating in a Day of Silence with other blogs like ours in remembrance of the children and adults who lost their lives on Friday. I'd encourage you to do the same if you have a blog of your own. Go here to find out how you can participate or donate money to an organization who is providing grief counseling and other forms of support to the students, teachers and first responders at the school.


Thursday, December 13, 2012

The Bed Ninja ...

Ya'll Bea's sleeping habits are Out. Of. Control. It doesn't matter what time we put her to bed now, she's up (for good) by 6:30 these days. But that doesn't mean we don't see her in between the hours of 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. Oh no... practically every night during the last week, Casey or I have rolled over in bed and see this:
Dramatic Re-enactment ...
Bea has gotten so sneakily good at tip-toeing into our room during the wee hours of the night that we don't notice her IN BETWEEN US until well after she's fallen asleep and/or made herself quite comfortable. You know, in the sheets with her head on our pillows! We're hard sleepers, but she's also so stealthy she could put a Navy SEAL to shame.

Yes, I'm an advocate for co-sleeping and all that jazz. As a doula, I try to teach the benefits of it to my new breastfeeding mamas. Heck, we co-slept with Bea until she was nearly a year old but there was a reason we stopped... None of us got any sleep. That's because Bea has a serious case of what we call "Jimmy Leg". Meaning, her little feet can't stop moving and shifting; seeking out our bodies and toeing the crap out of our legs/hips/thighs/etc. So in the best interest of the family, upon discovery, Casey or I will usually carry her back to her room and put her back to bed. In her own space.

However, no more than two to three hours later, when Casey gets up to get ready for work each morning, I'll roll over to claim the extra room in the bed and hit a wall. Namely, a small, lavender smelling wall who giggles when I roll on her:
Gotcha again. Suckas.
She is the master of this game and waits until the second Casey closes the shower door until she creeps into our room again and makes herself at home.

It's so hard not to allow or encourage this behavior, even in our sleep deprived fog. That's because it really is so sweet. And Casey and I both miss the days that we could snuggle in bed as family. Of course, now, instead of nursing to sleep or cuddling in our arms... she likes to cap off her Bed Ninja performance by jumping up each morning with a: Ahh! It's time to wake-up guys! I'm ready for LUNCH!:
Because on top of teaching her to tell time, we also now have to teach her the names of the three meals we eat each day ...


Monday, December 10, 2012

"Gingerbread House" is a synonym for "torture" to a toddler ...

We made a gingerbread house Sunday night, for the first time ever as a family:

And at first, Bea was totally cool with the idea of creating a house made from candy:
It's going to be AwWwWwWwWsome you guys.

Until she realized that we weren't going to be eating it at the end:
So, when do I get to help...
So, she did what any scheming smart toddler would do... She ate it while under construction:
Screw it. I'm eating this before it's taken away.

I wasn't fast enough to figure out her game:
Sneaky Candy Consumption is her specialty.
 Basically, the entire house was built under the policy of "One for you":

"One for me":

And another one for me:

And okay, a little to the house too:

Naturally, she was all about the sprinkles:

Deciding to add in a "leaf pile" to the house's front yard:
She didn't let any moment pass, without sampling every. single. freaking. part. of the house:
And at the end, Casey thought it would be cute to add in a monogram "C" to the house in icing. Bea thought it was great too:
Oh look. A letter. I love letters. TO EAT.

So great she decided to sample that as well:
She wasn't even sorry for her actions:
When all was said and done, the end result (even with the um, modifications) was adorable:

I'm giving it three days before the Carpenter Ants find and destroy this Christmas Memory...