Monday, March 26, 2007

Zzzzz... (Part 3)

Tonight the Love Bug went to bed all by herself!
Here is the story:

Today we went got up as usual around 9 am and had her normal schedule of awake for 3 hours, then one more nursing session before napping for a few hours. In the afternoon, we went to the Park, and laid in the sun, playing with a few of her toys for about an hour (of course, with 45 spf sunscreen- if you're reading this, Aunt L). But her schedule changed at this point. Love Bug stayed up through her afternoon nap and only took a short evening nap. By 11:00 pm (her normal bedtime) I could tell that she was exhausted, but was fighting sleep so hard. I nursed her and we sang to her, which usually puts her to sleep. Finally, after she was bucking and fussing, I just decided to try to put her down and see if she was just so exhausted that she needed complete calm to fall asleep.

After 10 minutes of some babbling and playing, she was out! It is great for us, but also such a milestone for her. It still doesn't mean she'll do this every night, but there is hope!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Babies are the center of everything...

One of the scary things about raising a baby and being with her 24/7 for the most part, is that my behavior is all she knows. For a baby, you are the center of their world, and they think that everything is their doing. Anytime you smile, laugh, cry, yell, or whatever else, they think it's because of something they've done. It may seem self-centered, but not at all. It's all they know and part of their development. In time, they learn that a world outside theirs exists, and then over many years, hopefully before adulthood, they understand that the behavior of others around them, is not necessarily a reflection of them. And then hopefully they learn the true lesson of adulthood... that none of it is their fault and as grown-ups we have a choice in how we behave and react.
I read about all this a lot in my child psychology books when I was getting my degree in Education. It explains so many things, like why children think that their parents fighting or losing a job or having a bad day, is their fault.
So, anyway, it makes me think about everything I do. I am so cautious and I try not to get upset about everything that would normally bother me. When our washer broke on Wednesday, I tried to stay calm. If B and I disagree, we just talk nicely to each other. I find myself yelling at people on the road and then break into a song, like a crazy woman. "The light's green, you... hey, hey baby... I wanna know... if you'll be my girl."
And to tell you the truth, it's probably a good thing.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Happy St. Patrick's Day (one day late)

Yesterday was St. Patrick's Day and the one year anniversary of the day I found out I was pregnant. Lucky thing too, because last year we were planning to go to an Irish Pub for a big party. We still went but I knew better than to have Green Beer, and we left early to get me out of the smoky environment. Anyway, despite the fact that we don't really have much (or any) Irish heritage that we know of, it will always be a special day for us when it comes to the Love Bug. It's the day we first realized that she was coming into our lives, and I don't think I could have imagined her any better than this a year ago.

This year, we were more low-key and went to a big dinner with all our neighbors. We had traditional Irish foods, beer, and music. It was so much fun and the Bug was a big hit in her St. Patrick's Day dress! What a cutie she is in Green!

Sitting around and eating (what we do best)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

The most wonderful thing about France

Let me first say that I love the United States. It will always be my true home. Overall, I'm very proud of our freedom and very proud to be an American. But I think, in the United States, we sometimes error too much on the side of caution when it come to avoiding lawsuits. This isn't necessarily any one's fault... it's a combination of businesses willing to cave, lawyers "looking" for clients, and these clients who will sue for just about anything. So, the things that are in life... I mean really fun... sometimes get lost over time because they aren't as safe.

Last weekend, we witnessed something that is one of these fun activities, but is also really dangerous. Of course, this was not in the United States, but here in the land of "anti-lawsuit" France. I have heard on many occasions that judges here routinely throw out lawsuits that are even semi-legitimate, because they don't want to let things get out of hand. It's the "you give them an inch, and they'll take mile" problem that our courts have seen snowball. I've also read editorials where French columnists talk about avoiding malpractice suits, etc. so they don't become like us or the Brits.

So last weekend, we went to the park near the Eiffel Tower. The Love Bug really enjoyed watching the kids play. We saw a carousel and walked over to watch, thinking she would love that too. We were shocked to discover that not only was it an "open" carousel, which means that the horses are only attached above, because below them is the ground. So, once the two barkers get the carousel moving (which is done by hand also), there is nothing between the kids and the fast-moving, knee-scraping ground but a small belt around their waist, which really is also probably hazardous if they fell off and were just hanging. Then, once we started watching, we noticed that the children on the outside horses had sticks and they were trying to catch the rings, just like our carousels used to have years ago.

What fun!

They did away with these in the US because having kids waving sticks around on a carousel was probably not safe. But in France, this custom is alive and well. And it should be. It's just downright fun. This carousel looks about 100 years old and is part of history. Do kids get hurt? I'm sure. Did we witness any injuries? A few minor ones and multiple "oww"s yelled as a kid's stick jammed into the ring box and it jerked their arm back. But if you are reasonably careful, everything should be okay. If we never have anything in children's environments that is unsafe, how will they ever learn to be cautious? If we prevent injury, heartache, and pain, how will the Love Bug and her peers learn to heal?

Horse and wagon ride in the park- so cute!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Already a Football Fan

The Love Bug is already a huge football fan. She already has favorite teams with their sportswear and accessories!

1. She loves the Buccaneers... she got a cheerleading outfit from the kids that I used to babysit for when I was in high school/college. They are all grown up now, but I remember them as babies!

2. Miami University (in Ohio). Yeah for our alma mater! The Men's Basketball team just made the NCAA tournament... great news!

3. Her favorite football team of all is Northwestern! She'll be throwing a spiral with that little ball in no time. Grandpa Coach will be watching her from heaven- and will be so proud!

Actually in truth, we don't let her watch TV, and she usually doesn't try. But a few times during the holidays when bowl games were on, she was really excited by the movement on the TV... we may really have a fan in the making!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Stelmo

This blog is usually about the Love Bug, but I had to share this great story about my husband. B and my Mom share a special bond: their love of crossword puzzles. So, since my Mom is visiting this week, they are copying the daily crossword and working on them. They share hints and usually help each other towards the end when they get stuck. They were doing a new one last night and B got stuck on one section. As he leaned over to look at the clue my Mom was pointing to, he saw a particular clue (upside down from his side of the table) and wondered aloud what it was... "What's STELMO?", he says.
It was a clue about a type of fire and the answer was "St. Elmo". With the lack of capitalization (they both work in all uppercase) and punctuation, it doesn't make as much sense as St. Elmo... but that doesn't mean that him saying that was any less funny. My Mom and I laughed all night and kept calling him Stelmo. We even played one of my favorite games last night, Phase 10 (if you don't know about it, go buy it) and every time B did something funny, we'd say, "Good job, Stelmo"... "ohh, bad cards, Stelmo". I think it might be the type of thing where you "have to be there", but we enjoyed ourselves so much! I love when my Mom visits. I love how close my husband is to my family. He is the brother my brother never had. And when my Dad was alive, they loved to talk football and of course, make fun of me!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Zzzzz... (Part 2)

We decided to move the Love Bug into her own room last night. It has been a hard decision for me (I know, I'm a wimp), but I really like having her close by. The final decision to move her now was made because everyone I've talked to said if you don't do it around the 3 - 4 month mark, it could be more difficult later. It was also getting necessary because her bassinet was only made for babies up to 15 lbs. and the Love Bug is just over that now. Dr. Eye Candy advised us to move her now and said that she would be fine, given that she already sleeps easily for 8 - 10 hours a night. He was surprised (as we've been) that she sleeps so long and well at this young age.

I think it's also good for us as a couple. Poor B can hardly roll over to hug or kiss me in bed without me whispering, "Shhh... the bed is squeaking and will wake up Love Bug". Poor guy deserves his wife back... and frankly, I could use better sleep. I discovered that the sound of the monitor is much quieter than the actual baby in person.

I was a little worried about how she would adjust to a different space, but it went wonderfully. Love Bug is just such a good sleeper, how could I expect any less? We had her humidifier in her room, so she probably didn't even notice that she couldn't hear Mommy and Daddy sleeping next to her anymore. When we walked in this morning, she was cooing and talking to herself... and was her usually sunny self. Maybe she even slept better without the disruption of us sleeping next to her!

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Our Brave Girl

Today the Love Bug went in for her 4 month well-baby visit. She is doing so well... all her development is right on track or ahead, and she is very healthy (with the exception of a little dry skin around her mouth from all the drool). Her weight is at 80th percentile, her height at 55th percentile, and her head circumference is 75th percentile.
But the big news is that Love Bug had two vaccines today and she was so good. As the doctor did the first one, she made a funny face, then stuck her bottom lip out in the almost cry...

then nothing.

She went right on smiling and cooing at me. Well, when Dr. Eye Candy went in for the second shot, I thought she would howl... but no, just a small unhappy look, small squeak, and then a big smile for Mommy. I'm so proud of her! She actually did cry when I had to wake her up to be examined. Poor Dr. EC was being so patient and talking to her in a sweet voice, but every time I tried to put her down on the table, she bawled. Oh well... she did cheer up once she got over the shock of being woken up abruptly and was a peach the rest of the time!

Yeah for our brave girl!

NOTE: Dr. Eye Candy is not my name for him... it was already given to him by my friends, who all take their kids to see him, and it is a great way to keep it anonymous. If you are curious though, he is very cute... and very available for my single friends. Remember girls, she has another well-baby check up at 6 months, 9 months, and just before we leave. You could tag along! About the only thing better than a cute pediatrician, who lives in Paris, is my husband... and sorry, he's taken!