Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Hitting the road

We're leaving tomorrow afternoon for our trek to Colorado. The last time we made the drive was about 9 months ago. I'm expecting the trip to be a little more challenging this time, as the little coyote is much more active and used to being able to run and climb all day. Being confined to her carseat that long is really pushing it. We're dividing it into two days, though, which should help.

I'm really looking forward to the trip, for myself. I've been getting the travel urge pretty bad lately. I do love road trips! And I'm especially looking forward to being in that part of the country again. I miss the mountains, the pines, and the dry air.

Mental note: remember to pack outlet covers for the hotels/etc.! Good tip, Jo.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Moving on up

Well, we finally found a house we both (supposedly) agree on, and we close on 9/23. I say supposedly, because we both have been having the "big purchase jitters". I'm sure once we get moved in and settled we'll be perfectly happy with the decision. I hope. Otherwise that's a pretty big oops. It's got a sprinkler system, so it's worth the move right there, really. But most importantly, it has an extra bedroom, which hopefully we'll be filling in another year or so. Pretty much the whole point of finding a new house.

So we're getting the current abode tidied and spruced up to be shown to prospective buyers. Not an easy task with the little one hanging on me. I'm trying desperately to spend quality time with her AND get things done. Very tricky. Not sure I'm succeeding at either.

I hope the little one does well with the move. She's a pretty easy going girl, and I don't expect her to be too upset by it. She seemed to like the new place when we looked at it, especially crawling into the cupboards and sitting on the low hearth. We'll see how it goes. The next month or so will be pretty chaotic, as we're taking a road trip to Colorado for a friend's wedding and to see family, then we'll be packing for the next few weeks, then the big move. I'm going to try to keep as much of her regular schedule during all of this as possible, so it hopefully won't be as hard on her.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Sleepless nights

I had one of those horrible "something bad is going to happen to my baby" dreams the other night. Madison was about to walk out into traffic in the middle of the highway. Thankfully it was a very short dream, and I woke up before anything actually happened. Of course, I was up for another hour and a half after that.

I think the hardest thing to get used to about being a mother is the fear. Has anyone else noticed that the staggering amount of fear is directly proportional to the staggering amount of love we feel? I admit, I could probably be classified as a worrier anyway, but having a child steps it up quite a few notches. First, I was afraid that I just wasn't qualified to be somebody's mother. What were they thinking, sending me home with something so precious? I had almost no experience with babies. There were a million things I didn't know. But eventually I realized that I could figure out the details as I went. After all, the baby didn't know I wasn't already a professional diaperer. And I was lucky enough to have a husband that was happy to take on the complicated task of bathing that squirmy little girl for the first few months. She broke us in slowly by being a mostly agreeable, healthy baby.

But now she's getting older, and toddling is surely much more dangerous than lying there looking cute. The big bad world is scary enough when it's You against Them. Now it's Them against My Baby. Horrifying! And even though you can keep them out of the big bad world for a while, there are enough scary scenerios in the home to keep a Mom from ever sleeping--or blinking! again. From falling bookcases to choking hazards, from dog bites to house fires, the possibility of tragedy striking is always lurking, always hovering just over my shoulder. In the light of day it's possible to go about life, vigilent, but calm. At night sometimes the possibilities are simply too overwhelming. So I check on the baby and put that hand down and feel the reassuring rise and fall that tells me she is asleep and safe.

I suppose this fear is helpful in keeping us watchful, keeping us from letting down our guard right when danger looms, but that doesn't make it any more enjoyable. Especially at 3 o'clock in the morning. The good news is that most of the fear and worry is just fear and worry, and the bad things we imagine happening to our precious child don't. The bad news is that I've been told it doesn't go away...ever. Well, I guess I can get some reading done in those wee hours, since I'm up anyway.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Do you like my hat?

Like most parents, I realize that my toddler can be either a constant source of frustration or amusement. I choose to be amused. I can't count the times a day I think, "Why does she do that?", but it helps to have a sense of humor about everything, and keep it all in perspective.

What makes her think blueberries will make a nice hat? That was the question today at lunch, when I turned around from doing some dishes to see her accessorizing with fruit, several of the little blue things (halved to avoid that scary choking hazard!) perched atop her head, at least one well mashed into her hair (later I would find that quite a few had already fallen behind her and left fun purple stains on the back of her shirt). After a bit of puzzlement, I thought, "well, what's the harm" and finished my task before stepping over and removing the largest chunks.

I guess I'm starting to loosen up a little. Toddlers can do that to you.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Just tickled

Madison did the cutest thing last night. We put her to bed, and after a while we thought we heard her fussing. After listening closer, we realized she was laughing. We peeked in on her, and there she was, just lying in her crib giggling away at who-knows-what. Something had really tickled her funny bone. Oh, to be able to crawl into that little mind and find out what was going on in there! Jay and I both really got a kick out of the whole thing. It was definitely one of those "Oh my God! She is so great!" moments.

I'm going to hang on to that little moment this week, as she and I are both dealing with a cold, and Jay is out of town until Thursday. I have a feeling I'm going to be a little worn out by the time he gets home.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

A hunger for knowledge

At almost 14 months, our toddler has a real hunger for knowledge. Or maybe just hunger. She's eaten all the corners off her board books. They're supposedly non-toxic. Happily, she also loves to be read to. For about a month now she has been bringing me her little books and climbing into my lap. I can't get enough of that! I really hope she continues with this love of books. I have fond memories of my own mother reading to us at night, and I'm sure that's why I love to read so much. We have made it a nightly ritual with our little girl as well, and it seems to be making an impression.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Oral habits

Is there anything sweeter than toddler kisses? Our little coyote has finally mastered the closed-mouth smacker kiss. Not that the open mouthed kiss wasn't sweet, but it always reminded me of baby birds waiting for tasty tidbits to be delivered.

Unfortunately, she's started biting again. My shoulder is carrying teeth marks from last night's tired baby chomping. Most of the resources I've read say a firm "No biting!" and putting the child away from you is the best response. She laughs when I tell her no, but the being set aside appears to make a statement. Her tears hurt me worse than the teeth, but then, it's not about me.

Speaking of oral habits, the teeth brushing thing is quite a challenge. I remember when I used to try to brush my dogs' teeth. Eventually I gave that up and decided various tarter bone treats would be good enough. I guess that's not going to work on our little girl. Luckily, her Daddy seems to be having better luck with it than me. Guess who's job that's going to be from now on?

Thursday, August 04, 2005

A beginning...

A friend of mine started calling my little girl Coyote when she was a few months old. Now that she's one year, she has her share of wild moments. I think the nickname Coyote might turn out to be more appropriate than I expected.

Though I'm trying to keep up with my traditional journaling, I think an online format might be a good way to record some of my daily adventures in parenting and share them. I'm going to give this blog thing a try. Wish me luck!