Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Who has time to be lonely when you have a baby?

I helped send Joe off to SOS over the weekend. I drove to NY to my parent's house last Thursday so that I could give myself time to settle Adrianna into their house for the weekend, settle the dogs in as well, and maybe get some rest somewhere in between. Joe drove the next day to pick me up and off we went on our quick roadtrip to Atlanta. The plan was to drive to Virginia Friday then to Atlanta Saturday. I would then take a flight back to New York Sunday and Joe would continue his drive to Maxwell AFB in Alabama that day. Everything worked out pretty smoothly and exactly as planned. It was actually a nice way to send him off for 5 weeks.

We got to spend some "us" time together. It's funny how much you forget what it is like to be with each other alone when you have a baby. It was so strange to not have to worry about feedings, diaper changes etc. It was almost like we re-bonded as an "us" even if it was only for a few days. We missed Adrianna like crazy though. I called my mom about a hundred times, "did she eat? what did she eat? what time did she eat? how many poops did she have? were they normal? I heard her cough is she ok?" Typical worrier that I am. Joe missed her the most. He had to say goodbye to her knowing he wouldn't see her for 5 weeks. We cried a little in the car talking about it. I know that 5 weeks is nothing compared to others who have to do without their spouses for months or even a year and they are deployed in much more dangerous places than Montgomery, AL (although if you've ever been there I doubt you'd feel safe, Ha!). I still feel that any time away from home, whether it be one week or one year, is hard.

My heart hurts for those who's husbands had to say goodbye to their babies and wont see them for months....it just doesn't seem fair to put children through something like that. But then you think about the bigger picture, what the work that our husbands do really means, and you feel so proud to know that they help shape and mold what our country is. It is almost beyond comprehension. Can you imagine what they must see everyday? I sure can't. But it comes with the territory of being a military family. You can explain to your child about why daddy (or mommy) has to leave and when they will come back and hope they understand. I am most definitely not looking forward to the day Joe has to deploy and Adrianna (and our future children) understand he is leaving and they just cry and cry. I struggle with that thought, but I try and mentally prepare myself for the inevitable as much as possible.

 Alas, Joe is not deployed. He will return at the end of August and things will get back to normal fairly quickly. I know Adrianna misses him, but she doesn't really understand the concept of him being gone yet. When he comes back she will be just as excited as if he were coming home from a regular 8 hour work day (she can barely contain the excitement she feels when he walks through the door every day). I miss him so much. My routine is completely thrown off due to him being away. A lot of what I do during the day and the times I do it revolve around his schedule. When he is away, I tend to slack off on schedules. Dishes pile up in the sink until I feel like loading the dishwasher, I don't cook (canned soup most nights), basically housework takes a back seat and I end up playing with Adrianna almost all day. It's nice for a few days or even a week, but 5 weeks of that can get old fast. I decided I was just going to stay at my parents' house in NY for the next few weeks. At least I will be getting some help with Adrianna and I can catch up with friends. Plus it is always nice for Adrianna to get quality time with both sets of grandparents. Basically, I wont have time to feel lonely. And hey, maybe I can actually go get that mani/pedi that I have been desperately desiring for weeks now =)
Almost one week down!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Oh, THIS is when the real work begins

As we excitedly celebrated Adrianna turning one and marveled at her attempts to begin walking (She has taken a total of 5 steps since July 6th!) I am nostalgic about the newborn days. The days where all Adrianna would do is eat, cry, poop and sleep...a lot. The days when she looked to me to tend to her needs, when she was predictable. The days when she didn't scream bloody murder when I try to put pants on her. Oh how I miss those days, yet I am having so much fun with my little toddler. I love that she is learning how to express herself and how to communicate with the world around her. For example, we were eating lunch at Quiznos and she happened to be sitting facing the door. She had to wave to every single person that walked through the door, she was a big hit! Everyone thought it was the cutest thing, it really is the sweetest thing ever!

It's the stuff she does that is not quite sweet that is hard work to handle. As I was getting ready to go out yesterday I spent most of the time getting Adrianna out of whatever trouble she was getting herself into. I would say "no no, if you climb that you'll get a boo boo" and she would proceed to scream and try and bite my hand. I look at her and say "biting hurts, ouch" in hopes that she will be the ONLY toddler that listens to mommy and doesn't bite ever...I know that it is inevitable but it is such a difficult behavior to handle. How about when I turn around for 2 seconds and somehow she finds an old razor of mine and is 2 inches from putting it in her mouth before I freak out and take it away and startle her. She can find anything on the floor, stuff I have never seen before, like the razor. I feel like I spend half my time getting her out of stuff and the other half trying to make her eat!

Some please explain to me why feeding a toddler is so difficult. Adrianna was never much of an eater but she at least would eat something. I give her so many options, make 3 different things, offer fruits I know she likes, but I feel like she just doesn't want to be told what and when to eat...she wants to make her own choices. It is a good personality trait to have, but come on Adrianna give mommy a break :) I make two or three different things for her to eat and she almost always chooses to eat bread. My only solution is to make that bread as healthy a choice as possible. I spread cream cheese and a little butter on it to give her protein and fats (her pediatrician actually encouraged more butter and other fats in her meals because she is so thin) maybe melt some american cheese on top or even spread applesauce on it. I am trying so hard to give her enough servings of the food groups I know she needs in order to be healthy but it is really stressful. As a mom, I know my baby needs to eat. When she doesn't eat I feel like I am not doing my job, like I am doing something wrong. I've tried reading up about it but that just made me more confused. Who has time to read 600+ page book (What to Expect: Toddler Years is ridiculous). The only thing that reading up on it helped me realize is that I am not alone.....everyone goes through what I am going through with Adrianna, at least in some form.

Having a toddler is very interesting, lots of work, but so much fun! She is such a bright, funny, imaginative little bug and we are just loving that she is becoming more and more like an actual person. She imitates us. The other day we had to go run errands and I picked her up then put on my sunglasses. She kept staring at me with them on. I went and grabbed her sunglasses, which she has never worn for more that a second, and I put them on her. She loved it! Huge smile on her face and she didn't take them off! She loved being like mommy and having sunglasses. She also picks up any object; her shoe, a book, a block, and holds it up to her ear and starts babbling away as if on the phone. So cute.

I guess as with every difficult stage she has gone through in the past, the biting stage will pass eventually. Being a mom to a toddler has been quite interesting so far and I am sure it will only get more.....interesting.

Don't let that innocent, sweet smile fool you :)