Sunday, April 26, 2009

Tent camping with an 8 month old.

This weekend the stars aligned for a perfect weekend to go camping.  These stars included the "perfect weather for sleeping outside" star, the "missed my husband enough to follow him into the Sahara" star, the "baby has been pretty happy and healthy" star, and the "i can muster up the energy to do this" star.  I was nervous about tent camping with an infant . . . since I'm not really keen on tent camping anyway.  

It turned out alright.  The tent was roomy and we set it up a ways away from the group and the campfire.  I made her a little pallet in the corner of the tent, opened the vents, and patted her to sleep.  When I officially went to bed around midnight, she was still fast asleep.  I slept in the middle of the tent between Steven and Davie.  The next morning at 6am when I woke up (even before Davie), Steven said, "Well, I guess she slept alright last night.  She never even woke up." . . . Steven is obviously a VERY heavy sleeper.  She woke up 4 or 5 times actually.  One of the times as I was desperately trying to find her pacifier and get it in her mouth before she woke up the whole campground, Steven starts nudging me repeatedly, like "Fix her.  Fix her."  Geez!  Eventually I started sleeping (or slipping in and out of consciousness out of anxiety) with the pacifier in my hand ready to insert at the slightest fuss.  

Anyway, I suppose she did do alright - better than I did for sure.  The next day we went out to the climbing area and as soon as I started to getting extremely frustrated (I could feel the hives arising from my skin), Steven swept in and slapped on the baby sling and carried her around for awhile so I could have some social interaction and a break from baby duty.  It was a good day.  A good weekend.  However, it made Steven and I both tired at the same time which is always complicated when you are taking care of a baby.  But we did alright.  One point for the Charles family!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Secret (in our case)

Over the last few days I've discovered THE secret to getting my child to sleep without a fuss - make sure her belly is full.  That's it.  Even if I've fed her within the last couple of hours, if I lay her down with a pacifier and blanket and bunny and rock her or sing to her or any of this . . . she will cry and cry.  But if I feed her again, she'll stay awake for awhile after I lay her down, she'll coo to herself for awhile and then put herself to sleep.  

It makes sense.  I like to go to sleep on a full belly too.  

In other news, Davie has also weaned herself from her sleep sack.  She is also a piano prodigy - my mom has this little piano at her house (that is now at OUR house) and Davie will sit and play at that thing for HOURS, and then cry when you take her away from it.  

Well - I have been offered a job at PC West High School.  I am 90% sure I am going to take it.  Council Road Baptist Church has a day care and it's just down the street.  Do you know how EXPENSIVE day care is?!?!  Holy geez.  There is a big part of me that would like to take a year to spend with my child full-time, but it's just not probable for us.  It's just not.  Good thing I like work.  It makes it a bit easier.  

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Her gums are swollen with teeth, and I am swollen with pride!

The night before last Davie slept like a newborn . . . which is to say, not very good.  She acted like she was starving that evening and through the night, so we thought she was going through a growth spurt (which I still haven't completely ruled out since she had 37 ounces in the last 24 hours).  The next day her Mother's Day Out report said she did not take a single nap.  WHAT?!  When I came home, Steven said, "Momma- look in my mouth . . ." speaking for Davie of course.  There I saw one little tooth bud rising from her bottom gums.  I was SO proud.  I wanted to throw her a party and invite everyone we know.  I was not expecting this pride.  

I was, however, expecting the symptoms - sleeplessness, chewing, fussiness, etc.  She is a rollercoaster of emotions.  One moment she is beaming with pride, smiling ear to ear to show off her ivory new accessory.  The next she is throwing a fit and can't get comfortable.  I think the eating is a coping mechanism.  Eating solves all life's problems for her right now.  I'm glad, because I had heard sometimes when a baby is cutting a tooth, eating causes them discomfort.  And she was already starting to look a little gaunt from last weekend's stomach virus.  

Last night she woke up every hour until 3am.  I fed her and then she slept until 6:30am.  It's rough when you get used to sleeping through the night and suddenly have a few of those thrown at ya.  (I used to think people were dumb for saying sleeplessness in your 3rd trimester gets you ready for sleepless nights coming up when baby is here . . . I thought, "Just let me sleep, and I'll deal with that when it comes."  But I think it's true.  You do get used to it.  Still exhausted of course, but used to it.)

We got some of those teething tablets, which I would have NEVER in a million years found on my own at Walmart where they keep the estrogen pills!  Those seem to be working wonders too (the teething tablets, not the estrogen).  I can't seem to figure out what she wants to chew on.  Sometimes she will chew with glee on something hard like a plastic cup, but other times she screams in pain.  Sometimes she will chew on something soft like her sippy cup spout, other times it's not good enough for her.  We also got some teething biscuits for her to munch on.  They are not a huge hit yet.  So far she has offered both her pieces to Scout, and Scout gently obliged.

She does have diarrhea, but I don't know if that's from the teething or her sudden intake of food!  Anyways, I am so proud of the little tyke . . . but I must say I will miss her giant toothless grin.  

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Career Options

We've come to the point in the school year where I have two handfuls of options up in the air waiting for one of them to fall in my lap and say, "I choose you, Kinsey Charles!"

I was pretty convinced this year I had it all figured out.  I was going to find me a high school teaching position.  Now, for many reasons, Steven is looking for a new full-time position.  This changes everything.  Thus far, Steven has been working from home while I am working at school.  No need to worry about finding childcare while earning two incomes.  Since we don't know where Steven will end up or what schedule he will be on, I don't really know what to pursue either.  What if (and most likely this will happen) we both have normal 40 hour a week day jobs?  What will we do with our child?!  I know people deal with this all the time, but we don't.  

What do you guys do?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Horseshoe Curse of the Baby

This weekend we thought it would be fun to go to a favorite spot of ours in Arkansas called Horseshoe Canyon Ranch.  It's got great cabins, climbing, and hiking.  Very family-friendly.  We were meeting up with some friends for Easter weekend.  

I'm beginning to think Horseshoe doesn't like my child though.  Last time we were there, Davie was 4 months old.  This was the time that creepy man kept coming into our cabin and made me think he was going to stab us or steal us.  This time around Davie got her first stomach virus.  

She started throwing up in the car on the way there.  We had hoped she was just car sick though.  But no, she would throw up every few hours, and she also had diarrhea and a fever.  But the girl is a trooper.  In between her little bouts, she would smile this sad little grin.  We called the doctor early Saturday morning and got some tips.  It was still a rough day and night and another day and still is a little rough.  Steven was of course amazingly helpful and willing to do whatever needed to happen.  

I was GLUED to this child all weekend.  I could not help myself.  Even when Steven would tell me he wanted to take the next shift, or watch her while I went outside for awhile, I couldn't detach myself.  Last night I hardly slept, even when she did, I would stare through the mesh on her playpen to make sure she was alright.  I was attached to that child the moment I knew she existed.  They say fathers become fathers when the baby is here, mothers become mothers when they find out they are pregnant.  Of course, I have grown more and more attached to Davie as I learn more about her.  I cannot explain a mother's fierceness for her child.  (I'm not discriminating against fathers or anything, just speaking from my own experience.)  

This is what gives me hope in a good God - God is a mother, a father, a parent.  I believe that God wants good things so FIERCELY for his child, and perhaps like us, sometimes CANNOT make those things happen (yes I know that in Oklahoma I could get strung up for this statement) . . . but can just hold us through them, letting us puke all over his shoulders, and he still holds us tighter until we are calm.  What if he cries as he is holding us as we cry, wishing with everything in him that he could just wipe away the hurt?  What if he feels helpless?  I don't know a lot of theology.  But I would rather believe in goodness than power . . . maybe because those kinds of humans are the best ones I know.  Maybe because that's the type of mother I try to be, and want a Parent who is the same way.   

Just some thoughts today.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Career Predicament

I'm in a predicament.  I am not so sure what to pursue for next year.  This year I am teaching 4th grade math (6 classes per day).  I grade 120+ papers almost every day (usually night).  If I had to check in and check out, I would probably log 12 hours a day.  This was un-fun as a non-mother . . . but it is nearly undoable as a mother.  

The position I am on schedule for next fall is 1/2 day PreK teacher (WHAT?!) and 1/2 day Title I Math tutor.  I was excited about this because it would mean not having to take my work home with me in the evening.  However, the more I think about it, the more panic it brings on.  I'm not a PreK teacher.  I'm not even a 4th grade teacher.  Three years ago, I realized high school is the one for me.  Ever since then, one thing or another has kept me from teaching high school.  But I've always thought I'd eventually go back.  

Now, I am at a crossroads.  Do I take the job that may or may not allow me to spend more time with my family, or do I pursue the career that I want and make it work?