Last week I noticed a spot on Elise’s head. At first I thought it was a scab, but it didn’t seem to have an edge, and there was no redness. And no history of her smackin her head. What could it be?!? Much like Henry, I decide to keep an eye on it and over the course of the last 10 days or so I haven’t noticed much change in it at all. Odd. Now, as a little aside… there is a somewhat well known phenomenon in medicine. Most residents, nursing students, graduate nursing students… you get the picture… go through a phase of swearing that you or your family member or your mother’s boss’s wife’s dog must have X Y or Z lethal disorder that is so rare that surely no one will ever be able to correctly diagnose it. And here we are, 2 weeks away from me finishing my Masters I have somehow convinced myself that this spot on Elise’s head can only be some horrible form of skin cancer. Ignoring the fact that she has zero risk factors for skin cancer. Ignoring the fact that she’s 15 months old. And like I did with Henry I decide I’ll mention it to her doctor. We were at the doctor this morning for Elise’s 15 month well child appointment - the doctor walks in (not our usual one - she’s out on maternity leave) sees Elise playing with my stethoscope and nonchalantly asks “Oh, are you a nurse?” My first thought (in my head) was “Why I gotta be a nurse?! Why didn’t you think I was a doctor?!”… I let it slide though, and answer (fudging just a little) “No, I’m a Nurse Practitioner” (so now he knows that I should have a fairly solid basic knowledge base of the human body). So I mention the bump. I explain that I first noticed it almost 2 weeks ago and that at first I thought it might be a scab but… and as I am telling him all this he is holding Elise’s little head still, she is pissed and screaming, and then I see it… it IS a scab. And it is just sitting in her hair. So, I pull it out, hide my face, and scurry out of the office.
As I mention, I have 2 weeks left until I graduate with my Masters. Here’s hoping they’ve got a lot to teach me between now and then! It amazes me most days that Elise has made it this far…
It was a little warm in the house this morning so when I laid her down for her nap I put her down in a diaper and tee-shirt. True white trash fashion… you can take the girl outta Cove (or some such saying…) Anyhoo. Imagine my surprise when I went in to get her, only to be met by a diaper casually draped over one thigh, a bare little bottom, and one verrrrry soaked sheet, mattress pad, and pad. Good times.
Added bonus: Since I practically had to disassemble her bed to effectively clean it Elise figured out the fun that is mattress surfing. Not sure why we’ve bought this child any toys - she has more fun with her boxes, the dog kibble, and now her mattress… I give up. She’s getting a bunch of bubble wrap, empty boxes, and cellophane for Christmas.]]>
I hate this toy. I’m sorry, Mom. Intellectually, I know that this is a wonderfully wholesome toy, teaching my daughter all sorts of good lessons about cause and effect. But God help me if I have to listen to it being beaten onto a tile floor one more time… or step on its handle… or catch Elise walking around with it hanging out of her mouth (visions of impalement running through my head). I have never been so popular as when this toy is in sight though. Who would have thought that the simple sound and sight of a top spinning round and round could be so entertaining. For now though, the WholeFoods top is hidden in a dark corner of the pantry… until Elise finds it again. *Sigh*]]>
Before I had Elise I imagined myself quite the baby person and it’s true that I loved the sweet baby that I could force to sit with me and imagine that we were cuddling. But now that we’ve come up on this first of huge milestones for Elise I’ll admit that I am loving it! Over the last year Ben and I have been the luckiest of parents to not only have been blessed with such a beautiful child, but one that is sweet and funny and an absolute joy to have. I can truthfully say that having her in our lives has made us not only better people, but truly made us a family.
Within the last month we’ve really started to see huge leaps and bounds in Elise’s development! One area that she’s still lagging behind in is size… I fear that people will look at her, look at me, and then wonder a) Why is that woman starving her baby and/or b) How did that baby come from that mama? Which is part of the reason I think I allowed myself to talked in to joining Boot Camp again. 5am, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. My brain is barely perfused that early in the morning, let alone my arms and legs. It’s only when I drop into my car at 6am that I’m really awake enough to start wondering “What the hell just happened?!” I am sore as all get out and I take comfort in knowing that that must be the fat running away. It’d better be. I hope that between boot camp, sleep deprivation, work, clinicals, and homework that I will finally shed these last baby pounds. Who am I kidding… this is all pre-baby body. Still need to work on it though. Thank goodness for clothes with spandex and billowy blouses.
Anyhoo… back to Elise. She is still small. The carrot we’ve been chasing is the elusive doubled birth weight. Before her one-year appointment I had calculated that she would have to weigh in at 17 pounds, 4 oz to have doubled her birth weight … and sure enough she just barely squeaked by! 17 pounds, 8 oz!!! Ben and I were so proud. Then we read the “Your One Year Old” newsletter which told us that the majority of infants triple their birth weight by one year. At this rate she’s going to be in 9 month clothes and in a backward facing carseat for a loooong while. It’s so great to watch her - you can almost see the wheels turning in her head as she tries to figure out the how, who, and what of the world. She had randomly started saying Mama and Uh-Oh a couple months ago and in the last month has added Out and ByeBye and as of yesterday Puppy to her repertoire. Most exciting, she took her first steps yesterday. Sadly, I didn’t see them but she walked towards Daddy and that just made Ben’s day. She has discovered wonderful world of balloons and last night she stood up from a sitting position, bent down and picked up her balloon, then took 2 steps towards Daddy to give him the balloon. My big girl!!
There are times now when I look at Elise and it really strikes me that she’s growing into a kid - at times she’s still very much a baby like when she’s tired and wants to lay on you but so much more I look at her and see the little girl she’s growing into. We’ve definitely got some separation anxiety going on - she has smartly figured out that when she and I get in the car and head right that we’re heading to the babysitter and man, oh man! Does she get unhappy!! Thankfully (and I can tell because I stand outside with my ear to the door) she settles down after all of 30 seconds. Mimi and PaPa got Elise and Keegan their own little rocking chairs for their birthdays. The chair has become an instant favorite and Elise loves to push and pull her chair around the living room. She tries to angle it so that if she stands up in it she can reach the plant and pull leaves… thanks, Mom and Dad. And thanks to Ben teaching her “No No No” (while shaking her head and laughing) it’s somewhat difficult to discipline her. As she grabs the room deodorizer, or splashes in the dog bowls, or pulls down pictures off the bookcase we’ll tell her “Elise, no!” which is her cue to turn around, shake her head at you and laugh. Then turn back around and get back to trouble. The only real way to redirect is to physically remove her from the situation. This usually lasts as long as it takes her to get back to whatever it was she was doing. She may not look a lot like me, but as her little personality develops I see so much of me in her. Determined, knows what she wants, and frustrated if someone or something (like the wall or an electrical outlet cover) gets in her way!
It’s been fun watching her troubleshoot obstacles and gives me hope that she will grow into a scholarship-winning smarty pants! Towards that end we’re starting her off early with the country’s best babysitter… Sesame Street.
Well, fast forward 13 years to this morning. If I haven’t mentioned it to you before I have taken up bicycling. This morning I got up, donned my super cool cycling gear, and hopped on. Headed down some obscure county road… which dead-ended into another county road. Figured that it was my best bet to head in the direction that I figured would lead me home. (I know, I could have just turned around and headed back the way I’d come, but where’s the adventure in that?!) So I do this. I head down this second obscure county road until it dead ends… into a major highway. You guessed it. Just past super Wal-Mart.
Not sure what the mileage on that trip was, I want to go out and map it with my odometer on my car, but it took me a little bit of time to get home. But, I did it!! And I think I only got honked at once… numerous cuss words and fingers flipped my way I’m sure though.]]>
So, back to the subject line… mom of the year. I’ve told you that Elise is getting more and more independent and mobile. You can just see the look on her face “Mommy, I DO IT!”. This attitude and her super fast baby speed has made for a stressful week and left more than a few of us wondering if indeed little miss was actually going to make it to one. She and I were sharing some watermelon the other day. I’d eat a chunk, she’d eat a bit, I’d eat a chunk, she’d eat a bit. Well, apparently I was going too slow because out of nowhere and with lightening fast speed her little hands flew into the bowl, got a hunk of melon, and shoved the entire piece into her mouth. Little chipmunk!! I could see her working it around a bit and she was handling it better than I would have thought… then all of a sudden every parents’ worse nightmare. Little arms start flailing, she’s gurgling, mouth is turning blue. I have never felt such a sick feeling in my stomach. Looking back on it, I find it interesting that in the midst of all of this I actually thought to myself “Ok, I’ve had this training. I know what to do”. Even more interesting was the fact that with a sum total of seven years worth of advanced education I still thought “But oh shit!! That’s my baby and I don’t care what my training has taught me”. So, rule numero uno anymore in basic life support is “no blind sweeps of the mouth”. Yeah, screw that… first thing I did was shove my finger into her mouth and try to scoop out as much of that blasted melon as I could. When that didn’t work I had to flip her over onto her stomach and start pounding on her back trying to dislodge it. After several blind sweeps and several thunks on her back I finally got the damn thing out… I think what finally worked was me shoving my finger so far into her throat that I made her throw up, so in the end I’m covered in watermelon puke, she’s screaming, and I’m crying. Ben is standing there with that deer-in-the-headlights look going “Good job, Mama”. Ugh… what an awful feeling!! They say kids get over stuff pretty fast, and true enough. Soon as Elise saw the watermelon again she was aiming for more. THEN… the next day…
The only way I can get ready in the mornings anymore is to distract her long enough so that I can do hair, make-up, and clothes. Maybe 20mins tops. I mean, c’mon… I’m not asking for too much I don’t think. So, whether good or bad I don’t know (and really don’t care) but the way I buy myself these 20mins is by opening my bathroom cabinet and letting Elise play in it - she loves playing with my make-up brushes, and throwing my lotion bottles on the floor, and of course rolling whatever she can pull out along the tile floor. So, I don’t know why I was surprised when I lost track of her for a few seconds and heard the distinctive sound of my cabinet goods being tossed aside… then I heard another, not so distinctive sound like someone trying to spit something out. Cut to Elise, in my cabinet. Except now she has somehow learned how to open my make-up jars. Not only that, but she has figured out how much fun it is to smear my make-up EVERYWHERE. Make-up in the grout, on the carpet, across her white shirt, and most impressively in and around her little mouth. On the other hand, the color she choose was exceptionally becoming on her.
As if that wasn’t enough… and I do promise you that I’m not nearly as negligent as I must sound in this post, it’s just that it seems that everything has culminated this week. And before I tell you this last (and worst) story I will let you know that yes, baby gates and cabinet locks have been purchased and put in place now. Whew!! So, the day after the mak-up fiasco (I know, it was a really rough 3 days for all of us!) I’m again getting ready for work… I run out of Elise’s room (where she is quietly playing on the padded floor) into my room. For maybe 20seconds. I come running out when I hear “THUD” followed immediately by a screeching that I don’t think I’ve ever heard come from Elise. =( Found her lying on her back, on the second stair. So, sadly I don’t even know how far up she went or how far down she came. But I ran over to her, scooped her up and she settled down pretty quickly. I hold her out to take a look at her… and that’s when I see it. Her first injury. Baby’s got a goose egg the size of a golf ball right there on her noggin. Oh man, how awful did I feel!! Then of course Nurse mode kicks in again… so I check her pupils (ok), assess her behavior (within normal), and notice that she doesn’t seem to be vomiting. All good signs. I knew she was going to be ok though when daddy Ben brought out her super favorite toy ever, his work badge, and she lit up like it was Christmas. That was 3 or 4 days ago and her goose egg is gone and she’s left now with just the faintest of yellow bruises. And like I said, she’s thwarted at every turn now. Our house is not nearly as exciting anymore, but it’s safe and with just less than a month to go I think she’s gonna make it to one in one piece!
This one is just because I love the picture. Taken yesterday after Daddy made her some milk and whole wheat pancakes for breakfast.
She’s definitely getting more mobile too. While not totally crawling she’s definitely figured out her own way of getting around. Elise has adopted a version of the army crawl where she throws her elbows out in front of her and then just drags the rest of her body forward. It looks like a lot more work than simply crawling to me, but hey, whatever works. She definitely gets where she wants to go and you can see the little lightbulb over her head now that she’s staring to become independent and test boundaries. The coolest thing in the world is the shelves underneath the TV; she noticed the air freshner plugged into the wall outlet this morning too. She’s certainly starting to test her boundaries too… I’ll call her name, tell her “No ma’am. Those aren’t toys”… you can almost see her nod her head “Yeah, I know Mom” … and then turn around and head straight for them again. Very headstrong this one! I fear babyproofing days are straight ahead for us!
It’s starting to get H-O-T here in Texas. Disgustingly hot. And the pool is open! I’ve started taking Elise to the pool and it’s been kinda hit or miss so far. I think she’s still trying to acclimate to the fact that it’s considerably colder water than what she’s used to having in the bathtub. But she’s starting to come around… took her down to the pool with a friend of mine the other day and she had a great time in her new floaties. Not to mention her new hair-do!
In other news… Elise’s first Easter just passed. And we celebrated by taking her to an Easter celebration at the city park. Complete with a petting zoo (and by petting zoo I mean there was a bunny and a chicken in cages that you could stick your fingers through and a couple of goats and baby kids (as in baby goats, not baby humans) and sheep on leashes that were taken up into the owners’ lap as soon as any child got within petting range). That and lots of standing in line for pony rides and balloon animals and pictures with the world’s scariest looking Easter Bunny who we decided was probably some con out doing his community service hours. Needless to say, Elise did not sit on the Easter Bunny’s lap. We did get a couple of cute pics with her in her Easter finest though. That thing in front of us professes to be an Angora goat… looked like a mutt dog to me. But it was soft.
And teeth…. yes, that’s the other big thing. Elise got her first tooth at 4 months, then waited 2 months to pop the other one. Now it seems like she’s got the hang of it and is popping them out at a record pace. Her first top tooth came through yesterday and the one right next to it is all swollen and bulging so I figure it’s coming through any day now. With teeth comes LOTS of biting (thankfully, not so much biting me anymore!) but those ding dang biter biscuits are, it turns out, a lifesaver!!! They are messy as all get out. But they make for one quiet (and messy!!) baby. They also make for funny noises. You can check out a video here and see what Elise thinks of biter biscuits.