Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Beaming

About a month ago, I sent pictures and a short article to ohdeedoh.com detailing the inspiration behind Sylvia's room.  They are one of my favorite blogs and I always marvel at the creative kid rooms they feature.  I never thought, in a million years, that they'd put MY baby's room on their website, but guess what?

I got an email today from one of their writers and she said Sylvia's room would be featured this afternoon!  I have the tiniest little chip on my shoulder tonight.  I already shared the link on Facebook, emailed everyone I know who is not on Facebook, and (gasp!) sent the link to my entire school!  (My principal's gone this week, so....heyo!  Let's have an email free for all!)

I admit, I'm awfully proud of myself.  But you know what else has me beaming?


 The fact that Sylvia insists on holding her own bottle, but still prefers to be held while she drinks it.
 

And this picture from a couple nights ago.  She was having some major diaper rash issues, so we busted out this bath towel / hoodie / robe which Sylvia received as a gift from Papi and Mamie Fasciotto.  They ordered it handmade from a lady in their town in France, so we know there's not another one like it!  We use it all the time as a bath towel, but it's cut in a T shape and has Velcro in the front so it closes like a robe. Instead of whisking her straight to her room for bedtime, I decided to close up the Velcro and let her play for a little while to get some air up to her hiney.  She loved it!  I managed to snap this gem of a photo which takes my breath away every time I look at it. 

Right in the middle of a busy (bbbuuuussssyyyyy) week, I was handed a reminder to stop and give thanks for my sweet baby girl.  Happy Wednesday, everybody!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I'm a Crazy Lady

For 361 days of the year, I'm and SO SO glad to be married to a teacher.  But for those other four days, I hate it.

Sylvain and I both have parent-teacher conferences this week on Wednesday and Thursday night. I wish we could stagger our days for conferences, but our district mandates that we make ourselves available for three hours a night, two nights in a row - the SAME two nights - if we want to get paid for our time.  Boo!!

Since we're both occupied until long after day care closes, we've had to enlist the help of some very loving relatives to take care of the Nugget.  Mamie (Sylvain's mom) is picking her up from day care tomorrow night and watching her until we get home.  Grammy (my Mom) is rushing down here Thursday evening to take care of her, but she can't get here until just after day care closes, which means we had to call in the big guns....


Jordan gets to pick up Sylvia from day care on Thursday and bring her to our house until Mom gets here.  Can't you just see the excitement (or mischief) in her face?!  Does she not look like a total evil mastermind in this picture?!  I love it!

I know she'll be totally fine and they'll have a blast, and to be honest, I don't even care if she cries for two solid hours, as long as SOMEONE has her in their possession.  Does that make me a terrible mother?  Meh.  Whatever.

In my attempt to be organized and ready for this two day whirlwind adventure, I managed to type up a two-page instruction manual on how to take care of a 10 month old baby.  For two hours.  It's a little much, I'm sure, but I just want to make sure they know everything they need to know!

Wish us luck.  It's gonna be a long week!

Monday, February 14, 2011

What Valentine's Day is All About

Valentine's Day makes me nervous.  I have a tendency to expect too much out of silly holidays like this one.  I need to remind myself that Sylvain cannot read my mind (although, I don't know how much clearer I could be - I practically run my hands through the beautiful flowers at Kroger EVERY STINKING SUNDAY when we go on our shopping trips).  Sigh.  I need to remind myself that the only thing he hates more than getting surprises is orchestrating them.  I have to remind myself that the love we have flying around this place is enough to last for today, the rest of the year, and then some.  Seriously.  We could fill a good 10 to 12 houses with all our love.  It's GIGANTIC!!

I knew all of this going into V-Day and I forced myself to semi-ignore the day altogether.  But that's impossible when you're a teacher with a baby!

I used to the think Valentine's Day was a made up holiday to sell Hallmark cards, but now I know better.  It's a made up holiday to eat candy at school!  My kids were SUPER excited about exchanging Valentines, and I love any excuse to make cupcakes, so we had a teeny, tiny, no-instruction-time-lost Valentine's Day Exchange.  It wasn't a party.  Don't tell my principal it was party.  We were learning.  I promise!

I also made cupcakes for Sylvia's teachers at day care, because (as I've mentioned before) I'm not above bribing the crap out of some college-aged girls if it means they'll give my baby an extra squeeze or hold her for an extra second each day.  I also sent in treats for the Valentine's Day Party in the crawler room.  I'm not even kidding.  Babies were having a party which involved treats.  I sent bananas.  Lame?  Or totally practical?  You be the judge.

So, after preparing for the school version of Valentine's Day, all of the energy I had left in my own Lover's Tank was used to get my hubby some of those awesome Peanut Butter Snickers that he adores.  I bought him three candy bars and a card.  Oh, and a pack of gum.  Romantic, huh?  Are you jealous?  He got me some chocolates and a card, which was really nice, and honestly, more than I expected.  Then, when Sylvia woke up from her early evening nap, we decided to go out to dinner.  On a MONDAY!  Who do we think we are?  People trying to salvage Valentine's Day, that's who!

Sylvia was very well-behaved at dinner and we had a lovely time.  We went to a very familiar restaurant and the food was okay.  I had just about given up on Valentine's Day altogether because I was so tired before we even started eating.  When I walked away to go to the bathroom, I was already thinking about the work waiting for me at home and at school tomorrow morning.  I looked at myself in the bathroom mirror and thought, "When did you get so old and boring?"  Then I walked back to the table....

and my heart melted.  Finally the Valentine's Day warm gushy goodness I had been waiting for.

Sylvia's high chair was sitting next to Sylvain.  I guess she started getting restless because he had pulled a bunch of toys out of her diaper bag and they were strewn all over the table.  But the two of them were leaning toward each other, head-to-head, looking at her favorite book: The Going to Bed Book.  Sylvain was reading to her and she was squealing and bouncing and turning the pages every time he finished a sentence.  His face was bright, cheery, and proud.  Her cheeks were chubby, smiling, and adorable.  There they were - sharing a sweet moment together in the middle of a crowded restaurant.

I sat down across from them and took a sip of my drink.  I sat back in my chair, watching them, and thought to myself:

How could I ever want more for Valentine's Day (or a birthday, or Christmas, or any other special gift-giving day EVER) than this?  This picture in my mind - of a Daddy that gave himself to me, loving a girl that he gave to me - well, that's worth more than any amount of flowers in the world, don't you think?  It's about these sweet, sweet, people.  It's about my sweet little family.  It's about the teeny, tiny, almost unnoticed moments that prove we all love each other, no matter what.  He's a thoughtful Daddy.  He's a wonderful Husband.  She's the smartest, cutest, most amazing little creature on the planet.  They are my Valentines and I love them more than I could ever hope to explain.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

To Justify Our Purchase

Sylvain and I went out and bought matching iPhones today!  It was certainly NOT an impulse buy.  We've been hoarding our money for a while now, using it for very practical things, and we've been living with super cheap phones for at least two years.  In Sylvain's case, he's been carrying around a ten dollar "made from 95% recycled materials" phone for about four years.  Christmas was not the right time to buy new phones, but we started doing our research around then, just to see what was out there and what we wanted.  I used to have an iPhone, but it was stolen two years ago, hence the super cheap phone I've been using!  Well, Sylvain's been scouring the internet and looking for deals, and after all that scouring he magically decided that today was the DAY!   Yippee!  I was pretty surprised when he said he wanted one, and I haven't been able to pry him off of it all day.  Now that Sylvia's in bed, we're both playing on our phones and the internet and we've become downright sinful with the amount of media being thrown around this place!  Here's the first video I took with my phone.  I think it's super cute, and made the entire purchase worthwhile, if you ask me!

video

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Joy of Love

I signed up for a free, on-line photography class from Willette Photography.  This lady takes super sweet pictures and I'm very attracted to the words "free" and "class," so you can probably guess that I'm in love with this idea.  I signed up late, so I'm starting on day eight, but I got the gist of the first seven days and will try to post as much as I can during the month of February.  I have a lot to learn about my camera and editing photos, so for now, you'll have to bear with me.  It might just seem like an excuse to post pictures of my baby and my husband, but I PROMISE I'm fiddling with the aperture and ISO and exposure on my fancy camera!  Who knew that natural light was so hard to come by?  Especially when you leave before the sun rises and get home when the sun is setting!  Good photography is HARD!  Here are my first feeble attempts:

What They Do:
I was supposed to take a picture of a person I love, who is doing something they love to do. This weekend, Sylvia was in her second full week of NOT eating any food I tried to give her.  Since she was really lovin' on her bottles, I took a picture of her drinking a bottle: her favorite thing to do!


(Update: tonight she ate a ton of real food, so I'm very relieved!) 

What They Wear:
Sometimes I walk by the office to catch my husband wearing these amazingly old and nostalgic headphones.  Earlier this year, he took his computer speakers to his classroom, so he claims that these are his only option when it comes to getting good sound from his computer.  I think it's just an attempt to get me all riled up for a hot guy in headphones.  And it works.






Side note:  I'm totally cheating when it comes to editing these photos.  I just use picnik.com and choose the feature that makes them look the way I want them to.  Someday, I hope to be proficient in photoshop or some other photo editing software, but for now, I'll rely on the easiest things I can find!

I'll do my best to keep up with the whole "one assignment a day" thing, but I foresee a lot of weekend photo shoots in my future.  I might need to spread out these classes over a few months instead of just one day at a time.  I might just take my camera to school and see what kind of natural-light photos I can catch during my work day.  Lord knows our recess time is filled with all kinds of amazing fourth grade moments!  Stay tuned!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Ten Months

Dearest Little Girl,

Tonight is the perfect night to write your ten month letter because you and I just had a little moment that I never, ever want to forget.  You've had a very busy weekend, clutching onto the furniture and the walls while you motor around the house, forcing me and Daddy to stay one step behind you all the time.  You are very good at letting us know what you want, and what you DON'T want, and your independent personality is really a sight to see.  I won't lie, baby.  There were a couple times this weekend where I thought to myself, "I'll be glad when you can just TALK!" or "I'll be glad when you can feed yourself, or dress yourself, or go to the bathroom!"  I was beyond exhausted trying to keep up with you and give you everything you need.  But tonight I was given a drastic reminder to slow down.

After a rowdy jaunt in the bathtub, where you constantly tried to crawl and stand up and grab everything within your hand's reach, Daddy and I wrestled you into your pajamas, and I sat down to give you a bottle and put you to bed.  You were very tired, so as soon as that bottle hit your lips, you laid your head on my arm and finally....stopped.  Your fingers curled around the bottle and your eyes got droopy and before I knew it, you were asleep.  It's been a long time since you fell asleep in my lap.  You usually drink your bottle, we read a book, and you climb into bed to snuggle with your Dou Dou Bunny and fall asleep.  When I realized how asleep you were, I thought about just tossing you straight into bed, but I decided, at the last minute, to put you up on my shoulder to see if you'd let me rock with you for a little while.

Your head flopped onto my shoulder and your arm wrapped around my neck.  I thought you'd certainly wake up and start pushing away, begging for your bed, but you didn't.  I wrapped my arm around your back and closed my eyes while we rocked, and I just let the love and warmth of you flood my heart.  All of a sudden it hit me -

You are so big.

I used to prop your little butt up on my chest as you laid your head on my shoulder, but not tonight.  Tonight your knees reached all the way down to my waist, and your feet laid in my lap.  Your back seemed so wide across my chest and I could not believe how much bigger you felt to me than just a few months ago.

At the end of a day where I spent most of my time wishing you would grow up, I suddenly found my heart screaming for time to slow down!  I knew that with every extra rock, I was spending one extra second with my sweet Nugget, who won't let me do this for much longer.  I stood up and walked to your bed and I didn't want to put you down, because I knew that tomorrow morning, you'll be another day older.  I just wanted to stand there and hold onto you forever.  

I eventually did put you down to bed and I've been sitting on the computer looking through pictures of you from the last ten months.  I am so excited to see you grow up, Nugget.  I can't wait to see what you'll be able to do, and who you'll become.  You have already exceeded all of my expectations for the last ten months.  I never, ever, in a million years, ever thought we would love you this much.  You are the greatest.  Happy ten months, little girl!




We love you!

Forever and ever,
Mama

Update

Well, Sylvia's face has totally cleared up!  I guess it was just dry skin, but boy, was it scary!  It looked a little better yesterday and it looks completely better today.  I had nightmares Friday night about getting her up Saturday morning and seeing that red spot across her whole face!

It looks like we'll be starting this week with a clean bill of health, knock on wood.  Here's to hoping we get a full five days of work and day care under our belts.  Come on, Spring!!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Seriously, I've Had About Enough

Okay, people.  I'm at my wit's end.  Actually, I'm within inches of my wit's end, but it's getting really close.  Let's talk about babies and their crazy health problems.  Perhaps someone out there in cyberspace might know what the heck I should do!

Three weeks ago (on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, to be exact), Sylvia went in to the doctor's office for a well visit and walked out of the doctor's office with RSV.  For exactly one week we fought major cold and flu-like symptoms with breathing treatments and Robitussin.  Honestly, it wasn't that bad.  She had about two days of really bad symptoms and one week of a runny nose.  Never did she ever have a problem sleeping, so I should thank my lucky stars.

This week, when I thought all was well and we were back to normal, she developed the world's most heinous diaper rash.  I would post a picture, but the hubs has moral issues with me posting pics of our daughter's "up the skirt" area.  He wouldn't even let me post the ultra-sound that PROVED she was a girl.  That's how protective he is of this little gem.  Anyway, on Wednesday morning, I dropped her off at day care and tried to pull the whole, "I know she had a fever yesterday, but I promise she's fine today, she just has a really bad diaper rash, let me call the doctor so they can fax you permission to give her Tylenol, I swear she's fine, I gotta go, bye!"  That did not work.  When I called at 9:00 to get the fax number, I made the mistake of telling them who I was, which was followed by...."Ohhhh.  Linda wants to talk to you."  Linda is the director.  I knew it wasn't good news.

Long story short, she played the game where she beats around the bush long enough for me to realize that she needs me to come and pick up my kid.  I really wish she would have just said, "Come pick up your kid."  I'm a person who thrives on concrete and clear directions.  Just tell me what to do, and I'll do it!  So I left school (thank heaven for my student teacher!!) and took Sylvia to the doctor.  It turns out she has a yeast infection!  Yippee!!!  Seriously, I was thrilled to hear this.  That meant it wasn't food related and there was actually something we could do to help her.  She prescribed Nystatin, which I've heard really good things about.  So we started using it on Wednesday and so far it seems to be working, little by little.  She still has a crazy rash, but it doesn't look nearly as painful.  I dropped her off this morning and thought we were finally in the clear.  I had a great day with my kiddos, I was happy to see Friday roll around once again, I pulled in the driveway whistling a chipper little tune.....and then I walked in the front door to find...

SYLVIA HAS AN ENORMOUS RED SPOT ON HER FACE!  She was standing right by the front door and she looked up at me like, "Oh!  Hey Mommy!  Welcome home!  I'm just playing with my toys and paying no attention to THIS GIGANTIC RED SPOT ON MY FACE!  How was your day?"  Sylvain was sitting on the couch and I looked at him like he had brought home a stray dog.  "What is wrong with her face?!!!"  He shrugged his shoulders and said, "Oh yeah, they said they saw that today at day care.  She was scratching it.  It might be bothering her."

WHUUUUUU??????

She had red cheeks when she went to bed last night and I thought that was weird, but she did NOT look like this when I dropped her off this morning!  I dropped my bags and hung my head in despair.  Are you KIDDING ME?  What more can this poor kid go through?  And how do I even begin to figure out what the hell this is???  You can't look up "gigantic red spot on baby face" on Google and expect to get any sort of reasonable answer!  It's not on her eye, it's not on her cheek, it's not on her forehead.  It's on THE SIDE OF HER FACE.  And I have no idea what it is or how it got there.  We watched her play for a while and decided that it didn't seem to be bothering her.  I took her temperature before bed and it was normal.  I guess we'll just wait until tomorrow and see if the gigantic red spot on her face has taken over her entire body by then.  I really don't want to go to the doctor for the fourth time in three weeks.  They might deem me "unfit."

Here are some pictures.  Does anyone have any clue what this is?  Is it just dry skin?  I'm afraid to put anything on it for fear she might rub it into her eye!  I'm stumped, and frankly, I'm tired of mystery baby ailments.  So I thought I'd let someone else try to figure this out:





Honestly, the pictures don't look nearly as scary as real life.  My baby looks like she got beat up by another baby at day care.  Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!