Sunday, July 21, 2013

Happy Birthday pretty girl!

Okay, so my bites healed up fine, I have some fun scars, whatever.  It's done.  I'm just sick of people saying "oh she's never bitten anyone before, you're fine"... yeah, no I'm not.  Neither had the one that bit me.  UGH.  Anyway.

The last couple of months I've worked a lot of full-time (and full-time plus a day) weeks, so things have been a little crazy, but we did manage to throw Amy a little birthday party at Storybook Island!  We got a little cake with matching cupcakes from Sam's so she had one to smash, and the rest of us packed a little picnic and ate at a picnic table just outside of Storybook Island.  She got some really fun stuff and we went into the park for a while.  She was tired and kinda grumpy all day, but we had fun anyway.  :)

Stats time!  She's a big girl!  Her 1yr appointment was just last week and she hasn't had the vaccines yet because the clinic was out of them, but I should be able to get her in for those this week.

Height: 31 inches (95% for her age)
Weight: 27lb 13.5oz (100%-ish for her age)
Head: 19.5 inches (75% or something, didn't really look at that)

She didn't really like the cake, but she liked
the whipped cream frosting.
She's the biggest of her birth group, which is saying something.  We have some big boys in there.  The doctor isn't concerned about her weight since she isn't walking yet, he's sure she'll slim down a little once she's running around everywhere and it's not like she's a Jabba-lump or anything.  She's kinda trying, but isn't very confident in herself about it yet.  She'll let go and take a step or 2 if she's concentrating on something else, but as soon as she realizes she's not holding on to something she plops down.  She'll get there soon enough, I'm not in a hurry for that.

She LOVES to swing.  She's working on fitting small things into bigger things, signing "all done" and "milk" (possibly more, but it's hard to tell what's a sign and what's just flailing lol), waving, getting in and out of her little car, identifying objects that I ask for, lots of sharing, and lots of destruction when she gets ahold of a magazine.  She jabbers a lot but no real words yet that I've heard.  Grandma says she can say "kitty" but she hasn't said it for me.  However, she does "mow-mow" back at the kitties when they're wandering around the house hollering, which is rather hilarious.  I need to get a video of it but whenever she sees the camera she stops what she's doing and grabs for it.

She loves to smile for the camera, but the flash
always messes it up somehow...
Overall, we're doing well.  I've gotten enough hours this summer that we're working on taking care of bills that we've needed help with in the past and B just got a new job that he likes a lot better than construction.  It's a lot easier on him and the predictable schedule is a lot easier on the rest of us.  On days when we both work, he gets Amy time in the morning, then drops her off with Grandma when he goes to work at 2, then I get home around 5 and we have a relaxed dinner with just us 2, then get her to bed and get my own time (to do stuff like blog!) before he gets home and we get some time together.  It's working out really well.  We do need to figure out health insurance, since our income just bumped us out of Medicaid for Amelia... so that will be interesting... and it's still a bit of a struggle to get the bills taken care of but at least we're doing that on our own now instead of depending on so much help from my parents and the state.  It feels like things are finally coming together a little bit, but I won't let down my guard just yet.

My garden is making a little slow progress, which is good considering how much I've been gone this summer, but there's a lot I want to get done still.  I don't think that list will ever get shorter. :P  Hopefully soon we'll get the front room built so I can get some bushes/ornamental grasses in the ground before fall so we have a head start on next year.  There are some planks of my cork flooring that need to be replaced and the baseboards need to be put in and the floors sealed so more flooring doesn't get ruined by moisture, and at some point the bedroom here and the 2 smaller ones at my parents' house are getting new carpet!  I'm so excited about that, the carpet in my bedroom still smells like unsupervised cats sometimes.  Not fresh, so I know it's not my cats, just leftover from before.  It used to be the least smelly room in the house, now it's the worst... but it won't be that way for much longer.  Long to-do list... and I'm trying to keep exercising on days I don't work, which is hard to do but I just need to keep at it.

Happy birthday pretty girl!  I hope this year is as amazing as the last one was.  I love watching you grow into your own little personality.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Mailman cliche comes to life...

This week and next I'm working every day to cover annual leave for both city mail carriers.  I was kinda excited about this, since that means overtime and a VERY nice couple of paychecks :)  Unfortunately, yesterday when I was delivering mail on a walking loop, I got bitten by a dog.  A German Shepherd, owned by parents of a high school friend.  :(  I couldn't see anything coming up to the mailbox because of their hedges, and as soon as I closed their mailbox I heard the dog barking and running up behind me.  The owner was there, and apparently the dog had come from inside the house to come after me, but he wasn't fast enough and the dog bit me twice before the owner could get there.  It was only about 4 seconds total, I didn't have a chance to get to my dog spray and my satchel was on the other hip.  Can't protect both.  The owner locked the dog up and took me inside, where we cleaned it up a little bit and bandaged it.  It took me 40 minutes to get ahold of my boss because she was on a conference call, so I finished that section of the route between call attempts and waited at the church for her to get there.

It was an ordeal.  The carrier that's on vacation had to come in and finish the route because we had to go to the ER and there was still half of the route to finish.  My boss called the police to the house and Animal Control went there and came to the ER to get a statement from me about what happened.  This picture was taken in the ER, before it got flushed out and before the bruises started really coming out.  It doesn't hurt too much, but the other bite on my butt does.  Mostly because of the placement I think; it hurts to sit and walk.  I had to get a tetanus shot (not rabies, thankfully) and the dog was put down this morning.  I feel bad for them, but what else was there to do?  If it happened to me, it could easily happen to anyone else just taking a walk and it could've been far more serious.  That wasn't the first run-in with that dog either, the regular carrier had to run from it twice before.  Sigh.  At least I don't have to worry about the bill because it's worker's comp.  I went back to work today, but had to get a lot of help to get done in time.  Tomorrow will be similar, until I quit hurting enough to get my speed back up. 

Amy had a really good day at Grandma's yesterday, but when I got home she started crying. :(  Only reason I can think of is that she knew I wasn't feeling good and that made her upset.  Her stomach was badly upset for the rest of the night too... not sure what was going on there.  Hopefully we're past it now and we can all get some sleep tonight without the projectile vomiting.  Poor girl :(

The bruises really started filling out last night.  We didn't get pictures of it, but I did take some tonight and they're starting to look better.  Yes, this is better than last night... The tetanus shot hurts worse, which is odd but true.  The bites themselves hurt when they happened, but since then the one on my side doesn't bother me much, despite how ugly it is.  I'm taking antibiotics for 5 days because dog bites get infected so easily and of course in combination with the tetanus shot they're making me a bit woozy.  I can't focus on things as well as I need to for work, but I started to feel better once I was out on the route and I hit a decent stride that was similar to when I was just learning the route.  I needed a lot of help to get back in time, which of course makes me feel bad, but I'd do the same if it was one of the other carriers that was hurt so it'll all work out.  I just hope tomorrow goes better so I don't have to depend so much on everyone else who already has their own job to do.

I don't really know what to do now.  I suppose I'll just let it heal and see how it goes, keep track of the progress and watch for changes, hope it doesn't get infected, and get back to work.  I'm getting a lot of pressure to sue their homeowner's insurance... not sure what I want to do.  On the one hand, it's pretty awful and we could definitely use the money to take care of some bills.  On the other, they're wonderful people and I don't want to hurt them, even if it's just a rate bump on their insurance.  I hate that this happened.  There's nothing good or funny about it, even though the dog-mailman bit has been a joke for years.  

B's job has been almost nonexistent basically since I started working so I really need to keep plugging away at my job.  Hopefully things will get better there, but if they don't soon... VERY soon, we're at a breaking point... he'll have to find a different job.  Guess I sound like I'm feeling pretty crappy tonight.  Well, I am.  However, it's time to wind down for the night and try to get some rest.  Updates tomorrow after my follow-up at my regular clinic.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

10 months, adventures in sleep training

My big girl weighs 25lbs now!  She's now very good at crawling and pulling herself up on things.  She's not quite cruising yet but we'll be there shortly, probably this week.  She's wearing 18mo clothes mostly, some stuff 24mo so she won't grow out of it so fast.  She has 3 teeth now, one on the bottom and 2 on top, with 2 more lumps.  Getting those 2 teeth in was really rough and the other 2 have been going up and down, so none of us were getting any sleep because she was so miserable.  It seems to have calmed down a little bit, but she got very used to waking up almost hourly for cuddles and a drink so we were all up all night, every night.  I decided it was time to do some sleep training.  If we were all sleep deprived, including Amy, the days were getting worse and worse with everyone running on fumes.  I had read The Sleep Lady's Good Night Sleep Tight book, but wasn't sure where to start until I got to the chapter on cosleeping. It was nice to have her right there when we were still nursing at night, but my milk is pretty much dried up and she's old enough to not need to eat much (if anything) at night anymore.  It's hard to do most of the techniques since her crib is still by the bed.  It may be time to get her moved into her own room (aka the office).  Not sure why I'm hesitant... except that it kinda requires rearranging a lot of stuff to get it done.  Maybe I can work on that a piece at a time this week or something.  I think she'll sleep better if she can't see us at night.  She always wakes up shortly after I come to bed for whatever reason, even if I make hardly any noise, and sometimes it takes a good 30 minutes so I'm just falling asleep, so I wonder if she smells me or something... it's strange.

This is what the aftermath of a 3 hour nap looks like.
We ended up having to kinda make up our own sleep training plan, since she's not in her own room.  B was gone Thursday night so I started then so I wouldn't feel guilty about keeping him awake.  Earlier in the week I had replaced all but one of her typical bottles with just water instead of formula.  At first, it worked just as well to get her back to sleep, so I weaned her down to 1 feeding that way and maybe if she's still doing well in a copule days I'll wean her down from that too.  We don't need to be rotting out her brand new little teeth with bottles.  The night B was gone I didn't take her to my bed at all, just laid there and talked to her if she was fussing, picked her up to cuddle once when she got really upset, and mostly she did pretty well at getting herself back down.  I did figure out that the more I mess with her the more worked up she gets.  Laying her down always results in sobbing for whatever reason, even at diaper changes (even tho she's fine for the actual change, just not the laying down part), so I need to stop trying.  It's totally counterproductive.  I was tired at work the next day from talking to her all night, but it wasn't too bad.  Then Friday night was awful... truly terrible.  She cried all night with very little rest in between.  She hasn't been interested in pacifiers lately and the water bottles just pissed her off, but I held off on feeding her until 3:30am, which has been her typical time to get hungry.  We were all exhausted and frazzled by morning and I had to go to work, but B got to stay home that day so they took it easy.  Then last night was fantastic!  She went down at about 8, woke up a little when we got to bed around 11 but put herself right back down, then didn't make a peep until 4.  I gave her her bottle, then she got up at 5:45, which is about when the alarm usually starts going off for B so it's about right.  Sleeping in would've been kinda nice but I won't argue with that since it sticks with our regular schedule anyway.  I thought it would take longer to make that kind of progress, and I'm sure we'll backslide a little bit occasionally but hopefully tonight is like last night.

Naps have been better too, since she figured out how to put herself back to sleep.  I think it was more about her being able to get herself comfortable than her needing to be soothed.  She has zero interest in blankies, lovies, pacifiers, any of that.  She just gets stuck in this gator roll/pushup/chinup thing when she's trying to get comfortable and forcing her to figure it out on her own has done wonders for her ability to take big naps without needing someone else to lay down with her.  She's working on 3 hours right now, without a peep.  I keep checking on her, but she's just snoozing away with her butt up in the air.  It's really cute.

So, what else?  I'm doing much better at work.  Yesterday I got to take lunch, and still did the whole route on my own and got back to the office in time for the outgoing mail truck.  I was pretty proud of myself for that.  Today we moved my parents' old grill up to our deck and grilled burgers and tin foil veggies for us and Mom.  Next week we might do it again for Mother's Day, if Dad's home so we can all do it together.  Next Monday B and I have tickets to see Sevendust, In This Moment, Pop Evil, and Monster Truck!  We're so excited!  I'm nervous about leaving her at Mom's that late since it's right on top of bedtime and I will have already been gone at work all day, so I'm not sure how it will all work out.  Maybe B needs to stay home that day or something.

Well she's awake now, and that was plenty of quiet time, so I must away :)

Thursday, April 4, 2013

9 months and new job!

It's been a while, hasn't it?  Lots has happened.  I mean LOTS.  So, let's see...

Tooth #2 is finally on its way through.  It's been a couple of months since the first one came in, so at this rate she might have all her teeth by the time she's 13. :P  She's finally rolling both ways and just in the last few days has started crawling forward instead of just scooting backward.  She doesn't have a whole lot of control over it yet but at least she's moving in the right direction.  She's good at going from sitting to all fours, and can get herself out of her bouncy chair by rolling to the side and sliding down on her belly.  Not ideal, but she really likes being able to sit in it still, so we're not getting rid of it yet since I can't find any chairs to replace it.  The exersaucer is still an important part of the day so I can get to the bathroom without worrying about where she's crawling.  She sits in the one down at Grandma's when they listen to music in the office in the afternoons.

We have baba, dada, mama, and nana, along with her typical noises and we're pretty sure she tries to sing along sometimes.  She's getting really good with her pincer grasp with teddy grahams and bunny grahams.  Smaller stuff like cheerios don't work very well yet, but we're getting there.  She's really good with food in general.  I've started giving her some of her meals in Squooshi pouches and she loves that.   Her hair started filling in around 4 months and she has lots of it now.  Luckily it's still the pretty strawberry blond, so hopefully it'll stay that way.  She can wear reds/oranges/yellows amazingly well, considering how badly my coloring works for that.  That makes things a little easier, since grandma always picks red things first when clothes shopping lol.  It drives me nuts, but it'll work for Amy.

We've had several accidents that landed various cars in body shops.  Everyone's okay, and none of it was me, but I'm getting nervous that it's my turn next.  Mom's dings weren't bad, but B hit another tree and Dad hit a deer.  When we finally got the Sentra back from the shop, I started working for the post office as a city carrier assistant!  That means I cover both city routes when the regular carriers have days off, vacations, sick days, whatever.  It was supposed to be part time, but as soon as I was trained on one route the regular carrier took a week off, so I just finished covering for him.  It's been pretty much full time so far, which is totally overwhelming and the transition has been really hard on everybody.  When I started being gone every day, Amy went gung-ho on meeting her milestones.  That's when she started rolling belly to back, babbling, scooting, all of it.  I only have today and Sunday off until next week.  I can't complain too much about the paychecks though, it's made me the breadwinner suddenly because B's hours have still been short.  I don't remember the last time he had a 40 hour week, much less an 80 hour paycheck.  At least this takes some of that pressure off and he gets to be at home with Amy more. He's better at getting the house cleaned up than I am, so it works out.  Even if I feel awful about not being able to do much in comparison.

Unfortunately, pumping at work isn't an option.  Even if I did, it wouldn't be enough to feed her while I'm gone since I can only get a couple of ounces at a time.  As a result, she's half-weaned to formula now.  She gets a good amount of solid foods too, but nursing is reserved for mornings and nights.  It makes me sad, but I'm glad I can still give her some and that we did so well for so long.  As I get better at my job, I might get some time to pump at lunch or something so I can bump my production back up. The stress level of trying to pump all day in the mail truck would be horrible anyway.  The adjustment has been really hard on everyone.  The sudden switch to working practically full time at a very demanding job means that I can't get as much done at home.  I'm feeling better now, but for a while I was feeling awful because I couldn't clean everything, keep up with the laundry, cook, and nurse.  B's been a huge help but I felt like I should be able to keep up.  I was totally overwhelmed with learning the job and trying to do as much as I could at home while still feeding us well.  We're slowly getting the balance better.

And, we have pincer grasp!  

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

7 months and Happy New Year!

Such a silly girl.  She really is a riot.  Hopefully that video works so you can see how wound up she gets lol.  We call her Babysaurus when she growls like that, but last night was more like a banshee! :P I took her in a couple of weeks ago because she was tugging on her ears again and they weighed her at 20lbs 0.5oz!  With clothes on, so it's not quite accurate, but by now she's definitely bumped over the 20lb mark.  They didn't find anything wrong, she's just been teething like a beast.  Still.  It comes and goes, and still nothing has come through, but she has a couple good lumps on her gums so maybe it'll happen soon.  I swear she's been working on teeth for like 4 months now.  She's still only rolling from belly to back, but did the other way on her own accidentally the other day so she'll get it.  She's slowly figuring out how to scoot a little on her belly, usually just to turn but she'll get there eventually too.

who's that pretty baby in the mirror?
She's doing really well with solid foods.  For a long time all she would eat was applesauce, but we've expanded to green beans, cheerios and cereal puffs, carrots, a little turkey if mixed with beans, oatmeal, yogurt and popcorn (just the fluffy parts of course, no husk).  She goes crazy for popcorn and yogurt melts.  She doesn't get much at a time and not at every meal, but she likes it when we do it.  We're pretty sure she's saying "hi" sometimes, like if she's playing and i look over and say hi she'll go "haaaaaaa" back.  Does that count as a first word?  lol!  She's starting to get the meaning of the sign language but doesn't do it on her own yet.  Her hair's really filling in and sometimes it looks red, sometimes not.  We looked at my baby pictures and it's funny, as much as people say she looks like me she looks nothing like my baby pictures!  However, she looks almost exactly like my aunt's baby picture!  It was just plain scary when we found that!

B ordered me a wedding set with his Christmas money!  It was really cheap but it's perfect for where we are right now.  We can upgrade later if we want, but the diamonds are real and I love it!  No wedding date yet, since we're not sure how long it will take to save up enough.  We're now well over a year from the horrible day last January when B almost died (and did, in surgery, until they did a complete blood transfusion) and we finally feel like we almost have our feet under us.  A little bit.  Money is still really tight but that won't change until he's getting more hours and I start working too.  I have an interview tomorrow for a seasonal position and lots of applications out at the parks around here.  They pay well but only work during the summer, which is why I never really pursued it since finding work in the winter is hard, especially finding something that will work around concerts, and I'm just starting to feel like I could leave Amy at Mom's or daycare and go to work.  Not that I really like that option, but I need to do something.

We've decided that we'll be better off if we move to Rapid City.  There are much better opportunities up there for both of us and I'll be able to go to more Symphony functions without worrying about gas or driving late at night, and if we live up there then my parents will have a place to hang out between appointments or stay the night instead of driving in the dark.  It will work out really well for all of us.  The trick will be to get up there... we're still poor and depending on my parents to cover some of the bills.  The first option would be to move the trailer up there, which would be difficult considering the deck and the front room we're working on, and it's not big enough for the 3 of us now and Amy doesn't have her own room yet.  Renting would be a big waste of money and I'd have to leave the cats with Mom, which would be okay but not ideal since Cricket doesn't like Sadie.  We want to find a little starter home to buy up there, and there are a lot available, but the trick will be coming up with the down payment.  That's why I'm trying to work at the parks this summer, as much as I hate the thought of being away from my baby girl when she's still so little.  That also means more formula.  I'm still nursing her exclusively when I'm home, but when I have to go to rehearsal or something I can't pump enough to feed her while I'm gone so she gets formula if I'm not around.  I'll be pumping while I work, but it'll still only end up being about half of what she eats.  She probably overeats from bottles, but that doesn't change the fact that I can only usually pump 4-ish oz at a time and she eats 6-8.  If I wait longer and pump when I'm full, I can get 6oz, but it's thin and we need to add a scoop of formula to it anyway or it upsets her stomach.  I'm sure she'll be fine, but I'm not happy about it.  It's something I just need to deal with while we try to better our situation a little.

Mom's officially healed from her surgery according to the surgeon.  She cried when he said that, I think we've all been holding our breath for a year or so.  She has 4-8 weeks of physical therapy still to build some strength back up, but she's doing better all the time.  She can't watch Amy full time, so I'll need to find a daycare, which will eat a good chunk of my paychecks, thus why I didn't go to work sooner.

I bought myself some Turbo Jam videos for my birthday/Christmas and I've been exercising 4-5 days a week since mid December.  I feel better and I've lost a few inches, but I can't really see much of a difference yet.  I just need to stick with it, I want to look good this summer!

This year will be better.  We'll make it be better.  We'll beat 2013 into submission to make sure it doesn't turn out at all like 2012 did. :P  Right? Right.  Happy New Year!