It's Mommy Time

One Mommy, Two Daughters, Zero Time

Friday, June 29, 2007

Dog Meet Baby Update

Ok. I got more of a full version of the story yesterday from Luke. Apparently, Hailey was harassing Josie repeatedly. I believe that may have included messing with Josie’s injured leg. Josie growled once to warn her and then got snippy, but didn’t bite. So, now I’m looking at this as a positive thing. Obviously, Hailey was really bugging Josie despite warnings. Josie didn’t bite her although she certainly could have. Now, it’s up to us as the parents to just watch their interactions very closely and intervene whenever Josie gives any type of mixed message. Josie really is a very sweet and obedient dog. I don’t think that she would hurt any of us on purpose, but accidents do happen. We just have to do our best to minimize the chances.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Dog Meet Baby

During our move from Nashville to Atlanta, we were in a period of rapid housing transition, which included living in a one bedroom condo for several months. Because of the considerable upheaval, our three year old border collie, Josie, went to live with my Mom and Harry temporarily. I'm sure that she had an absolute blast with them as they live right on the water and have considerable land on which she can roam.

Last Wednesday, Mom and Harry returned Josie to us and her new life here in Atlanta. Our new house backs up to a dog park, so we were convinced that Josie would be very happy as long as we took her to the dog park at least once a day. So far, that's pretty much true, and we've kept to a once or twice day routine. What I didn't really know how to plan for was the baby/dog dynamic. Josie is a herding dog; Hailey is a crawling baby. Do you see where this is going?

For the first few days, the two really kept their distance, but I kept a very watchful eye on their interactions because Josie seemed very unsure about how to react. Today, I came home from a dinner function to hear that Josie had growled and nipped at Hailey. Although she didn't bite and probably wouldn't, it was a really scary revelation both for me and for Hailey at the moment. Hearing this news was the first time that I've had to come to grips with the fact that Josie may have to find a new, childless home. I'm obviously crying as I write this because I absolutely LOVE this dog. She's been a great friend to us, and we've invested an unbelievable amount of time in training her and loving her and caring for her. We just failed her in that we didn't expose her to enough children at an early age, and I don't know if there's anything that we can do about it at this point. That's not to say that Josie's fate is inevitable, but I'm asking myself, "Would she be happier elsewhere?" "Is it fair to keep her?" "Is it unsafe to have her around the baby?" I'm sure that I'm probably overreacting a bit, but that is my job now that I'm a mother. In all likelihood, Josie and Hailey will learn to coexist in a peaceful and respectful way, but I still have to worry because that's what I do now.

Everyone Loves a Good Routine

Before we had children, one of the pieces of advice that we heard most frequently was “children love routine.” So far, we’ve found that to be 100% true with Hailey. Our daily routine means that she gets enough naps, eats regularly, goes to bed painlessly at a normal hour, and wakes up at about the same time we do. Unfortunately, with the number of visitors that we’ve had at our house in the last month, Hailey’s routine is often interrupted on the weekends. She sometimes gets one nap instead of two, eats later than usual, and/or is up until well past 10pm. But, the truth of the matter is that she adjusts fairly well. Sure there’s a little crankiness here or there, but in general, that crankiness is coming from me, not Hailey!

It’s true. I love our routine. Life is so much easier when we are all in sync. Now that Luke works a regular schedule, he’s home with us in the evenings. It’s great to do things as a family, even if that just includes making dinner, cleaning up, and playing with Hailey before bedtime. It’s funny how less stressful life became when I started thinking and planning ahead. Now our dinner menu for the week is prepared and posted by Sunday. The groceries are purchased for each week in one batch (hopefully), lunches are prepared the night before, and the kitchen is cleaned every night after dinner. Having life this routinized takes some time, patience, and sacrifices, but I think that the payoff is huge. I’m trying not to let life get too monotonous, to not schedule everything, to leave room for spontaneity. That part is more of a struggle for me than creating and maintaining a routine. But, we’ll find the right balance. Slowly but surely, I think we’ll figure it out.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Another Baby, Already?!?!?

Ha! Made you look!!! No, we're not pregnant, but I have been thinking about it a lot lately. Maybe it's because Hailey's getting close to a year old so more and more people are hinting that it's about time for us to have another one. A few months ago, I was really into the idea, but I've since come to my senses. So, here are the top 10 reasons why I'm not ready to have another child:

10) I've only been able to fit into my pre-baby clothes for a few months and I'm liking this thin thing.
9) I just stopped breastfeeding about a month ago which means that I just now actually got my body back
8) Hailey's toys have already taken over the house. I can't imagine having to pull out more infant toys again.
7) Hailey sleeps through the night. A new infant wouldn't.
6) Although I wouldn't do it any differently the second time, natural childbirth is a bit tough and not something I would look forward to right away.

5) I haven't found a midwife that I like in Atlanta.

4) We are just getting settled into our new life here, and a new baby would certainly complicate things.
3) I just started my new job and maternity leave is not something I'd like to bring up at the moment
2) We can't afford it. Daycare is expensive, and I can't imagine paying for two.

1.5) I'm really looking forward to going through the pregnancy/childbirth process again (I'm one of those weirdos that enjoys it), but this time I'll know for sure that it will probably be my last time. So, I want to be able to savor it.
1) I just got good at being a Mommy to one, and I've heard that one plus one does not equal two when it comes to children!!!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Since When?!?!?

Living with an early toddler is like... well, I don't know what it's like exactly! All I know is that everyday I learn something about Hailey, and Hailey learns something about the world around her. So, I find myself trying to teach her the name of everything. Today, I tried all day to teach her to point at her nose when I said "nose" - a very useful skill. Unfortunately, she just wouldn't catch on. Then, while I was cooking our Father's Day dinner Luke says, "Look, I taught Hailey where her nose is!" Since it was Father's Day, I let him revel in his great teaching skills for about 3 seconds (at least 2 seconds longer than usual) before I told him that I'd already been teaching that to her all day. Geez!

I also find myself saying things like "Since when do we hate to get in our car seat" and "Since when do we roll over onto our belly every time I try to change your diaper." It's like she's constantly trying to exert her will over mine. Perhaps she hasn't realized that I'm the stubbornest person in the whole world (so is her Daddy by the way). There will be an epic test of wills from here on out. If you were going to place bets, who do you think is going to win???

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Teachable Moments

Every once in a while Hailey has a moment of complete clarity in the middle of her baby babble. It’s in these quiet moments, when I can point to something, sound out the name for it, and wait for her to try to say it. We had one of those teaching sessions just the other day when I tried to get her to say “ducky” in the bath tub. I kept saying “duh kee” very slowly, and she would say “duh blah” or “duh pa,” but she was clearly trying to mimic my sound. That’s how we’ve taught her all of her words so far. It doesn’t happen very often that she has the type of focus to really listen and try, but when she does it’s amazing, regardless of whether she gets it or not. Just the fact that she’s trying and she knows what she’s supposed to be doing is such a wonderful feeling.

In other news, she has two top teeth now, and I think that she’s getting one of her eye teeth as well. There’s a lot of teething going on. I’ll try to post a picture later tonight.

Friday, June 08, 2007

By Golly, I Think She's Got It!!!

There's nothing better than the moment that your child understands something for the first time. We've been trying to teach Hailey the signs for "more" and "all done" so that she doesn't just sit in her high chair and whine. We started this when she was about 6 months. She's 10 months now, and I think that she just might have it down. It's not a perfect system. No, there are still moments of whining and crying, but I think that she gets the basics. This morning she not only said more when she was out of bananas (without whining), but she also very calmly did the sign for all done just before she started whining o get out of her chair. It was amazing. Tomorrow I'm sure that she won't do it at all, but at least for the moment she gets it. So, I'm going to go bask in the glory of success before I move on to trying to teach her how to finally say Mama!