On our drive home on Saturday, Beanie was sleeping in the back seat and Chris and I were talking about all the fun things we’d done this past weekend.Â We were talking about seeing my extended family at the Christmas tree farm and Chris mentioned one of my relatives in particular.
This lady.Â The one with the arrow pointed at her head.Â Yeah, that one.
That is Kristi and she is married to my cousin, Chad.Â Kristi may be one of the friendliest people I’ve ever met.Â Every time I see her – which is just not often enough – she has such kind things to say and is so easy to carry on conversations with.Â And this last point is exactly what Chris picked up on when he was talking to her.
“She was really nice,” he said.Â “She asked me all about the Bean.”
“Yeah,” I said.Â “She asked me how we were adjusting to life with him.”
“That’s funny,” Chris said.Â “That’s just what she asked me.”
“Oh, yeah?Â What’d you say?”
“I said it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life,” Chris said.Â “What’d you say?”
“I said it was so much easier than I expected.”
We kind of laughed.Â And then we sat there awkwardly.Â And then we started talking about it.Â How strange that we both are in the exact same situation day after day and yet we each see it as a completely different experience!
Chris said he found parenting to be incredibly frustrating.Â He said that sometimes its hard for him to be patient when the baby is crying and that most of the time he feels like he is doing something wrong.Â Now, I don’t mean that every time Bean whines or cries or needs something, Chris gets frustrated.Â But there are times when all babies go past the point of crying for need and they lose their little bitty minds for a while.Â Bean is growing out of these little episodes as he learns other ways to express himself, but they still happen occasionally and its during these stretches that Chris gets overwhelmed a little.
On the other hand, I have become much more patient as a mom.Â I know that when Beanie is crying or really worked up about something, that its not my fault and I can think through the situation clearly until I find a solution that makes him happy. I think the difference between us is that I don’t take the crying personally.Â I know that he’s not crying (usually) because I’ve done something wrong and I know he’s not crying because he’s doing something wrong.Â To me, the crying is just part of the process.
Very seldom to I stereotype things, people, or situations.Â I think most stereotypes are wrong and I try to stay away from them.Â But in this instance, I really think this is a difference in gender.Â I think men, for the most part, tend to want to fix things.Â To solve a problem.Â To make things better.Â I get frustrated with Chris sometimes because when I get upset about something, he doesn’t let me wallow in it!Â He wants to immediately jump to what steps I can take to fix the problem.Â I, on the other hand, need that time to think through the situation.Â I need to roll it around in my head for a couple minutes at least and then come out with a plan.
In parenting, these traits show themselves in a heightened form in our house.Â Chris gets easily frustrated when Bean is crying uncontrollably for whatever reason.Â He is concerned for Bean and worried and when he can’t make Beanie feel better, Chris automatically jumps to the conclusion that something is seriously wrong.Â If I listened to Chris every time, I’d be on the phone with the doctor’s office at least four times a day.Â To Chris, when Bean cries, it is our responsibility as parents to stop what we’re doing and fix the problem every single time and if, for whatever reason, we can’t stop it, then it must be that something is incredibly wrong.Â We’re the parents.Â We’re supposed to be able to fix everything.
I usually think that whatever Bean is freaking out about will eventually pass.Â So, I hold him or rock him or give him a little juice to distract him until he can calm himself down.Â I try not to get worked up when Bean is worked up because…well…someone needs to think clearly.Â Babies cry.Â And sometimes they get themselves worked up to a point where they can’t calm down right away.Â This doesn’t bother me and it doesn’t send me into a frizzy while I try to make it stop.Â I just go with it.Â If I know Beanie is full, changed, and not sleepy, then I just hang with him until he gets himself under control.
Sometimes this is the approach that works, but sometimes it doesn’t.Â And that’s where Chris is really important.Â When Bean gets all revved up, Chris starts spitting out about 1,000 different things we could do to calm Bean down.Â Usually, this is when I take Beanie and we go into another room so that Chris can settle himself down first.Â I don’t say anything to Chris and I don’t make a big deal about it, I just mosey on over to another room so that Chris can take a break from the crying.Â I know it frustrates him and I know that he feels out of control, so I give him a little space.Â There are times though when I walk out of the room with Beanie that Chris decides to follow us.Â And this is when I want to kill him because he follows me around while I rock Beanie and he just rambles on and on and on about what all I could be doing.
“Have you given him Tylenol?Â Is it is teeth?Â Is his diaper dirty?Â Does he have a fever?Â Maybe we should call the doctor.Â Does he have gas?Â Maybe he’s tired?Â Have you tried burping him?Â Does he need his binky?”
During these times, its all I can to do not turn around to Chris and yell out, “OH MY GOSH!Â BEAN HAS THE SWINE FLU!Â BEAN HAS THE SWINE FLU!Â WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO?!??!?”
But, I have been told that this is cruel.Â So, I try not to do it.
Most of the time.
The truth is that Bean needs both methods in his life.Â He needs someone to just hold his hand and rock him when he’s out of sorts and he needs someone who will go to bat for him every single time until he feels better.Â So, while I have my method and Chris has his, we both know that neither is right or wrong.Â We’re just different parents.
I think that’s a weird concept.Â We’re experiencing the same thing, we’re parenting the same child, and yet we are both approaching it in two completely different ways and having two completely different perspectives.Â When you think about it like that, no wonder over half of today’s marriages end in divorce.Â If children are involved in the marriage, then you now have two different sets of approaches that have to learn how to work peacefully together in order to achieve the exact same outcome.Â How freaking hard is that?!?!?
I think the trick is to not think about it as a right or wrong approach.Â I think that’s what saves Chris and I each time.Â Don’t get me wrong – we have to remind ourselves all the time not to judge the other.Â It doesn’t really come naturally.Â But when we make the effort to stop and think situations through before we immediately jump to the conclusion that the other is different and so the other is wrong, Beanie is the one who benefits.
So, Bean is gonna cry.Â Chris is gonna get frustrated.Â I’m gonna assume things will just work themselves out naturally.Â And life will go on.Â We might be in this together, but we have to remember that we are three distinctly different people in this together.Â And I really wouldn’t want it any other way.
So, apparently I blinked for a second and six months passed.Â What the crap?
Today is December 1 and Bean Man is officially six months old.Â And my womb aches.Â Where has all the time gone?Â I feel like I was just pregnant yesterday and now Bean has been here for half a year already.Â That means I only have 17.5 years left before he legally doesn’t need me anymore.
Which is why it is 8:48 AM and I am drinking a whiskey sour.
Just kidding.Â I don’t drink whiskey.
Just kidding.Â I’m drinking orange juice.Â With vodka.
We went to the doctor yesterday for Bean’s six month shots.Â He weighed in at 15.3 pounds.Â The nurse kind of snickered and said that her Thanksgiving turkey weighed more than that.Â I would have been pissed at her for laughing at him, except that I was just thinking that my diaper bag weighs more than that.Â So, I couldn’t be mad.Â Glass houses, you know.
I asked the doctor about his weight.Â The dude takes an 8 oz. bottle five times a day.Â And an extra 4 oz. before bed.Â And 4 oz. of juice at lunch.Â Shouldn’t he be packing on the pounds?Â But she said that he’s doing great.Â He’s in the 75th percentile for height and in the 25th percentile for weight.Â He’s still in the normal range for both categories, but because he’s so tall he just looks really thin.Â He’s a tall, thin little man.
Like a worm.
Bean also got the H1N1 vaccination yesterday.Â I really wanted him to have it.Â We’ve had outbreaks of it in the school systems here and where I work, and with Bean being in daycare every day I was nervous about the germs going around.Â I talked with our pediatrician and she recommended it for all of her patients.Â So, I felt really confident about getting it for him.Â The only difference I noticed this time was that he ran a fever after his shots.Â He’s never really done that before.Â But it stayed right at 100 degrees, so we just gave him Tylenol and lots of kisses.Â Â I think it was the kisses that helped the most because he’s chipper this morning.
Developmentally, Bean is right on target.Â I choose to think of doctors appointments right now as little SAT’s for Bean.Â And every time we go, I wonder how he’ll perform.Â We practice at home, but how will be actually do on test day?Â Bean nailed it.Â He was a star student.Â I’m mailing his application to Yale today.Â Early acceptance, of course.
Right now, Bean can do the following:
- He can put his binky in and take it out at his own discretion.
- We hold everything he wants right in front of him and let him take it for himself.Â Even his bottles.Â I think this has helped his eye/hand coordination.
- He can sit up for about a minute before he wobbles over to one side.Â If we put his Boppy around him, he can sit up until he gets bored.Â Then he usually just falls back and lays on his Boppy for a while.
- He can suck his thumb.Â This is a new thing.Â He usually sucks his big toe.Â Don’t ask.Â He’s a weird duck.
- He is rolling over like a maniac.Â I put him down on the floor and in two seconds, he has rolled across the room.Â I try to keep him on a blanket by putting pillows on the edges so he doesn’t roll on the carpet that has dog hair on it, but its a hopeless battle.
- He can put himself to sleep in his crib at night.Â I used to be able to put him down when he was sleeping pretty good and he’d stay asleep.Â But now I can put him down when he’s sleepy but awake and he’ll talk and coo himself to sleep.Â I love listening to that.
- He has started to wake up more often throughout the night for some reason.Â It happened during October when he was really sick, and he just hasn’t kicked the habit yet.Â Usually, he wakes up around 3 or 4 AM and we can put his binky back in and he’ll go right to sleep.Â Other times, he plays in his crib for a while before he falls back asleep.Â I was worried about it for a while, but it doesn’t seem to be effecting his sleeping patterns during the days so I’m not too concerned anymore.Â He’ll sleep when he needs to sleep, I guess.
- He has gotten really good with his hands lately.Â He can pick up really small things (which has caused mild panic attacks about choking hazards…) and he likes toys with little knobs and buttons he can play with.
- He has started giving hugs and kisses.Â His kisses are the best because he doesn’t know how to pucker yet, so he just mushes his open, wet mouth against your cheek and shrieks.Â Its pretty much the best thing in the whole wide world.
- He plays peek-a-boo.Â He can’t get the burp cloth over his face, but if I lay it on there he can pull it off when I say, “Where’s Beanie??”.Â When I yell peek-a-boo he dies laughing like I’m the funniest person on earth.Â Also the best thing in the whole wide world.
We are still working on the cereal/solid food thing.Â For right now, he is not taking any.Â He was FREAKING OUT when you tried to give him rice cereal, so my brilliant daycare lady suggested that we put a little in his bottle once a day so he gets used to the taste and then we try it in a bowl.Â He’s been doing that for about two weeks.Â He still doesn’t really like it, but he’ll drink the bottle.Â I talked to my doctor about it yesterday and she said that we might want to try oatmeal or barley cereal instead because some babies don’t like the rice.Â But she wasn’t too concerned.Â She said to start letting him try more things in an informal way.Â Like putting something we’re eating on our finger so he can taste it.Â I think we’ll do this and try the cereal for a couple more weeks before we go to food again.Â We’re going to have some applesauce later.Â He already drinks 2 oz. of apple juice mixed with 2 oz. of water every day so he is used to that flavor.Â Maybe we’ll have more luck with that.Â But I felt much better after talking to our doctor.Â She was laid back about it and said to just keep trying, but not to worry too much.Â So, we’re not worrying.Â He’ll eat when he wants to eat.
Bean’s little personality is developing, too.Â He definitely has my lack of patience and my temper.Â Like me, you can push him pretty far but when he’s had enough, he’s over it completely!Â And, like me, when he flips that switch – look out!Â But he also has the sweetest little cuddles.Â When he’s tired or being silly, he likes to sit on my lap and put his head against my chest and talk.Â He coos there for a while and then gives me a hug or a kiss.Â It just melts me.Â His sense of humor is developing, too, and he will laugh when you surprise him.Â He thinks funny voices are hysterical and when we read books at night and I do all the voices, he talks right along with me.
I can’t believe how fast time has gone and yet each day seems to be so full of happiness that sometimes it seems like we’ve lived a completely lifetime in a day.Â I am not a mother who doesn’t want to see her son grow up.Â I love watching him learn and grow and change and develop.Â Each new milestone Bean reaches feels like an accomplishment for our entire family.Â But when I look back at pictures from when he was first born, I do stop and think for a split second, “Oh, stop growing, Beanie!Â Just slow down and give me a little bit longer.”
Happy Birthday to YOU, Happy Birthday to YOU, Haaaappppppyyyyy Â Biiiiirrrtthhhday tooooo Â KATIE, HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!
Today is Katie’s birthday! In honor of her birthday, I figured to would tell you a few things about her.
1 – Katie is an amazing person and I love her.
2 – Katie loves receiving gifts. Â (I love giving her gifts, but I love to mess with her and make her think that I’m a slacker and didn’t buy her anything or that I forgot about it entirely. It makes the gift-giving process much more enjoyable for me. Â And I love messing with her.)
4 – Katie is a GREAT mom. (I knew she would be)
5 – Katie is a horrible driver. One time in high school she was driving her car behind mine and crashed into me at a stop light. Â True Story.
6 – Katie gets really grossed out by the strangest things, like food in the sink drain.
7 – Katie hates coffee.
8 – Katie loves wine.
9 – Katie has ZERO tolerance for alcohol. Â Anyone that knows her can tell you this, she is the only person I know that after a SINGLE glass of wine she has this cute little grin on her face.
10 – Katie loves country music.
11 – Katie also asked me one time, “why are the Beatles such a big deal?”
12 – Katie loves to sing, really loud, but she has an ear piercing voice.
13 – Katie loves Holidays.
14 – Katie is a light sleeper and sometimes makes me wake up in the middle of the night to search the house for burglars, or squirrels, or the bogeyman.
15 – Katie won the National Spirit of Women Award when she was high school. Â She went to the capital and met Maya Angelou and got a personalized congratulations video from the first lady Hilary Clinton.
16 – Katie loves charity so much that she jumped in to the long island sound in January for the Penguin Plunge a few years ago.
17 – Katie cracks herself up.
18 – Katie has used cue-tips EVERYDAY of her life until her doctor told her last week that the pain in her ear was probably caused by that.
19 – Katie lives by Emily Post’s rules of Etiquette. Â Trust me, if she ever meets the Queen of England she will know how to act.
20 – Katie is the most loving, caring, thoughtful person I have ever met. Â I love her more everyday and I’m so happy that I get to spend my life with her. Â We have come a LONG way from the days when we could share a locker and make-out in the back of cars. Â This is only the beginning, and I can wait to see what happens next. Â I love waking up next to you, I love your smile, I love that beautiful baby boy that you brought into this world, but most of all I love to call you mine.
Happy Birthday Pookey. Â I can’t wait for Sushi Palace. Â :)
For my birthday this week, we got a babysitter so that Chris and I could demolish all-you-can-eat sushi and not have to worry that our animalistic ways were scarring Bean for life.
That’s such a carefree expression.Â “We got a babysitter.”
I’ve heard a thousand people say it before.Â It sounds so easy.Â “We got a babysitter.”Â Like there’s just some magic babysitter hotline you call and one shows up on your front porch with a bottomless carpet bag and spoonfulls of sugar.Â In reality, getting a babysitter is a terrifying experience.Â At least for me it was.Â But I scare easily.
The hunt for a babysitter started a couple months ago.Â I had this great idea to ask one of the college-aged girls that work at Bean’s daycare.Â It was a perfect idea.Â They knew him, he knew them.Â I knew them and him.Â He knew me. We knew him.Â You get the idea.
So, for a couple weeks I staked out my girl.Â I knew just the one I wanted.Â She was Bean’s favorite.Â And she was cute and friendly.Â High marks in my babysitting judgment guidelines.Â But when I went to ask her about babysitting, I choked.Â I didn’t know what to say.Â What if I asked her and she said no?Â Or, even worse, what if she said yes but really meant no?Â What if she laughed at me and said something like, “Your kid?Â I don’t think so!” Cause if that happened, I would have had to beat her with my diaper bag.
This was harder than asking out a boy in middle school.Â Oh, the rejection!Â Oh, the agony!Â Oh, the horror!
So, for a couple weeks I pumped myself up.Â I would give myself little pep talks when I walked into the daycare.
“You can do this.Â You can do this.Â You are a mother.Â A damn good mother.Â And Bean is awesome.Â Who wouldn’t want to babysit him?Â You can do this.Â You can do this.”
And then I’d walk into the nursery, see the girl, and I’d freeze up.Â I’d get that feeling like I suddenly had to pee and then I’d worry the whole time I was in the nursery packing up Bean’s diaper bag that I was going to wet my pants.Â Right there in front of her. And then she’d never babysit for us!
One afternoon, I had had enough of myself.Â As I walked into the daycare center, I got ready.Â I would do this TODAY.Â This was THE DAY.
I WOULD ASK OUT THE BABYSITTER.
So, I walk determinedly back through the daycare classrooms until I got to Bean’s nursery and I threw open the nursery door, ready to proclaim my need for her to be our babysitter.
But when I threw open the nursery door, she wasn’t there.Â It was a different girl.Â Â But I was on such a high.Â I had worked myself into such a state that I blurted out, “Do you babysit?”Â She said yes, gave me her number, I walked out with Bean, and drove home in a daze.
How had this happened?Â I had asked out the wrong babysitter!
I came home, completely defeated, and explained to Chris why we would never be able to leave the house again without our baby.Â “Why don’t you just ask the other girl instead?”
“I can’t do that!” I shouted in disgust.Â “I JUST ASKED OUT HER FRIEND!Â You can’t ask out someone’s friend and then ask them out, too!”
That’s when Chris called my doctor and asked to have my medications adjusted.
A few weeks after the whole wrong babysitter debacle, I was in the nursery picking up Bean one day after work.Â It was just me, Bean, and the girl.Â MY GIRL.Â And, suddenly, without warning, without preparation, I just asked her for her number.Â I just did it.Â And it was so natural.
“So, um, do you babysit?” I said, never lifting my eyes from the bottles I was packing in Bean’s diaper bag.
“Oh, yeah!Â Sure!Â Here’s my number,” she said.
And that was it.
It took another couple weeks before Chris and I could get the second mortgage approved on our home to be able to afford a night out with a babysitter.Â But once that paperwork came through, we were ready to go.Â So I called up The Babysitter and scheduled her to come over for a couple hours on my birthday.Â We just wanted to grab a dinner somewhere.Â It was a school night.Â We wouldn’t be gone long.Â Blah, blah,Â blah.Â It was so easy to schedule with her.
The night of my birthday, she came to the house right after I put Bean down for bed.Â He was still awake in his crib, but he was just chillin’.Â Chewing on his binky.Â Sucking on his toes.Â Picking lint out of his bellybutton.Â You know.Â Normal stuff.Â She told me later that he never made a peep.Â He went right to sleep and she never heard anything from him.
She did, however, hear from our dogs.Â Apparently, they just sat there staring at her all night long.Â She said Big Molly just stared with her head cocked to one side, tongue hanging out, like a dope.Â Lucy stared at her all night and about every five minutes would bark.Â Just once.Â Nice, Lucy.Â Way to get our money’s worth out of her.
When we got back from dinner, she stayed for a few minutes and chit-chatted.
We gossiped about the other parents in the daycare.Â And I found out about which teachers were fighting and which were the funny ones and why one of them always parked her car a couple blocks away. (she likes the exercise.Â freak.)Â It was really great!Â After polling my Facebook and Twitter followers, I decided on paying $12/hour and so for a 2 hour dinner I gave her $30 and called it a night.Â Money well spent in my book because I got to enjoy my dinner with my sweet husband.
So, all in all, the babysitting experience was eventful, but positive.Â And she’s coming back again in a couple weeks, too!Â I love second dates.Â They are so much easier than the first.