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The Heart of Life

The Heart of Life: November 2013

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Transition

So, how is parenthood going?  Oh, pretty good.  It’s a huge transition, but I figured it would be, so no surprises there.  Ching Tiger really is a pretty mellow baby, so we lucked out.  My mom tells me I had awful colic as a baby, so I was half expecting Ching Tiger to be equally bad as some form of karma.  For the first month or so changing his diaper was a holy terror—he’d scream and scream—but other than that it wasn’t too bad keeping him content.  I don’t know why he hated diaper changes so much.  It might have had something to do with his circumcision, but he hated diaper changes even before that, so I don’t know.  I’m just glad he’s moved past that phase.

He’s become pretty good at eating, although at his 2 month appointment he only weighed 9 lb 13 oz, which puts him in the 3rd percentile for weight.  I about died.  I promise I feed him as much as he wants every three hours during the day and anytime he wakes up at night, he doesn’t spit up very often, he has a healthy number of dirty diapers, he is a happy, mellow baby, and starving babies don’t smile.  We’ve been trying to pack on the pounds, but I have a feeling he’ll always be a skinny boy.

Sleeping at night has been going pretty well.  The first month he liked sleeping during the day more than at night, but I think that’s pretty standard.  When he was a month old I started doing a Babywise based schedule, and it has worked great for us.  He is happier when he’s awake and sleeps pretty well at night.  And I like having some predictability in our lives. 

I read a lot about what the first couple of weeks would be like and was fairly prepared.  I had plenty of diapers, wipes, and jumbo pads.  I also splurged on some nice toilet paper (which was well worth it).  I knew I’d be sore and sleep-deprived, and I knew he’d cry a lot.  However, there was one part that kind of took me by surprise—baby blues.  I learned about baby blues in my infancy class in college, so I shouldn’t have been surprised.  I know it happens pretty frequently, but in all that I read nobody talked about it.  So here I am.  Talking about it.  I hesitated to share because it’s kind of personal, but somebody should talk about it.  Might as well be me.

The first night home after being released from the hospital was rough.  That’s when it sunk in that I’m responsible for this little person.  This was horrifying at first.  What if something happens to him?  What if he dies?  I remember holding him that night and telling him over and over, “I love you, baby,” and all the while crying because I never ever wanted him to die.  That’s the funny thing about adding to your family—the more you have, the more you have to lose.  It’s only a temporary loss, of course, but it’s still kind of terrifying.  I spent the night on the floor next to his crib, fighting back sleep so I could keep a vigil over his breathing.  Fortunately I worked past the hyper vigilance after a few days.  I had to remind myself that God is in charge of both my life and my baby’s life.  We’ll be fine as long as I do my best.  And surely God doesn’t expect my best to include never sleeping. 

Four days after Ching Tiger was born I started noticing that sometimes I felt super sad for no reason.  It was really weird.  Things would be totally normal, then all of the sudden I’d be struggling to not cry.  A few days later was my first day flying solo while my husband was at work.  The day actually went really well, but later that night something snapped and I could not stop crying.  There was nothing wrong, but I couldn’t stop.  After a while I pulled myself together enough to go to Smith’s—I figured getting out of the house would help—but the second I pulled back into our garage the waterworks started up again.  It was ridiculous.  I asked my mom to come back for a few more days, and having someone around to keep me company helped a ton. 

Fortunately I was pretty much back to normal by the two week mark.  I know it was nothing compared to what ladies with post-partum depression deal with, but it was approximately zero fun.  It felt so great to feel sane again, even though I was still crazy tired and sleep-deprived for another couple of weeks.  I’m guessing baby blues often get shrugged off as just sleep deprivation.  It’s not, though.

So there you go.  That’s my experience with baby blues.  Too much information?  Maybe.  Oh well.  It needs to be talked about.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Two Paint Jobs Later

dark blue and goldI mentioned BCE (before Ching era) that I was in the process of painting a dresser.  I did finish it BCE, but I never got around to taking a picture of the finished product until last week.  It started out looking very 90’s southwest, which was cool for the 90’s child (my husband) but it was time for a facelift.  It’s in our bedroom, so I had to find a color that jived with the blue-ish gray bedspread and the beige walls.  I found the picture to the right on Pinterest and decided I wanted a dark blue with gold-colored handles.  My husband was down for the dark blue, but quickly struck down the gold handles.  All our doorknobs are silver-colored and he didn’t like the idea of mixing metals.  He is surprisingly opinionated on things like this.  I protested that mixing metals is ok now according to certain décor bloggers, but he’s not convinced.  For now the knobs are left as is (white) and it actually works, but I’m considering spray painting them silver (or gold—shhhhh) sometime in the future.  Knobs are surprisingly expensive, and I’m trying to keep costs down.

The tricky thing about this dresser was that the solid-colored drawers and the body were done with a glossy paint, so I knew I couldn’t just layer on another coat of paint.  Priming was an option, but the primer I have on hand says to sand glossy surfaces before applying.  Sanding that whole puppy down did not appeal to my pregnant self, so I decided to try out a DIY chalk paint (not to be confused with chalkboard paint, although it’s kind of similar).  Chalk paint has some major sticking power, so sanding and primer are unnecessary. 

If I remember right, I did 1 part plaster of Paris (a big tub I got from Michaels for about $3 with a 40% off coupon) with enough water to make it a thickish paste and 3 parts paint.  The paint was a $3 Valspar sample from Lowe’s.  I used to think you could only pick from the samples they already had mixed, but it turns out they’ll mix any color you desire.  I prefer Valspar because their samples are a little bigger for the same price.  I rolled the chalk paint on with a little foam roller (a few coats) then topped it with some wax to give it some sheen and protection.  I like how it turned out.

Before                                  After 

2013-07-10 08.35.422013-11-01 14.55.50

A couple weeks ago I decided to also paint the end table in Ching’s room.  Before, Ching’s room was looking pretty… sterile.  Almost everything was gray or white.  It needed some color.  So I primed and painted this end table (with another Valspar sample).  It looks more green in person, by the way.  It’s nothing fancy, but it turned out cute.  I’m toying with the idea of painting the knob white.  The knob is wood and glued on, so I just painted it like the rest for the sake of simplicity.

Before                                  After

2013-10-18 17.36.142013-11-01 14.27.31

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Month Two Development

-Smile responsively: smiles when talked to or smiled at (without touch). 90% pass at 6 weeks. Ching passes.
-Smile spontaneously: smiles without being spoken to or touched. 90% pass. Ching passes.
-Regard own hand: stares at own hand for at least several seconds. 50% pass.  Not yet.  We (mostly jokingly) put his hands in front of his face and tell him, “Regard your hand!”  Haha, it hasn’t caught on yet.

Fine Motor/adaptive
-Follow to midline: watches dangling yarn from the side of their head to the halfway point. 90% pass at 6 weeks.  Pass.
-Follow past midline: watches dangling yarn from the side of their head past the halfway point. 75% pass.  Pass.

-Ooo/aaaah: makes vowel sounds. 77% pass. Ching passes.
-Laughs: laughs aloud. 50% pass.  Not yet.  I can tell he really wants to, but he hasn’t figured it out yet.
-Squeals: makes high-pitched happy sounds. 55% pass.  Not yet.  He’s too busy talking.  And we’re too busy trying to get him to say, “Aggies.”  He says, “Ahh,” and “Giii,” separately, and we’re trying to get him to put them together.  It’ll be his first word if it kills us.

Gross Motor
-Head up 45 degrees: head makes a 45 degree angle from the surface for a few seconds while on tummy (without head being turned to the side). 78% pass. Ching passes.
-Head up 90 degrees: head makes a 90 degree angle from the surface for a few seconds while on tummy (without head being turned to the side). 45% pass. Passes.
-Sit head steady: holds head upright and steady (no bobbing) for a few seconds while being held in sitting position. 35% pass.  Not yet, but he’s getting close.
-Bear weight on legs: supports own weight on feet and legs for a few seconds in a standing position (holding child in standing position and slowly loosening hand support, but not letting go). 25% pass.  Not quite.  His legs are so strong that I’m kind of surprised he can’t, but the whole locking the knees thing isn’t happening.

Things to practice for next month:

-Regarding hands:  We’ll continue putting toys in his hands to see if he’ll start noticing his hands.  We have one of those dangling toy things that we set over him while he’s propped up on the (faux) boppy.  Lately he really enjoys swatting the toys, but I don’t think it’s a matter of hand-eye coordination.  I think he’s mostly figured out that if he flails his arms things move and make noises.  But hey, one step closer to regarding his hands.

-Laughs and squeals:  There’s not too much to practice here, but I do think it’ll help if he hears laughter often.

-Holding head up and bearing own weight:  Again, not too much to practice except to let him try it frequently.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Status Revisited

A few weeks before my baby Ching was born I started using a journaling app called Momento.  I highly recommend it if you’re in the market for a good journaling app.  I got it for free (I don’t think it’s free anymore), but I’d gladly pay money for it because I like it so much.  Not only does it have the typical feature of being able to do an entry (or multiple entries) for any given day on the calendar, you can attach pictures to your entries and tag people and places.  Kind of a sweet feature.  But the kicker for me is this:  you can link it to your social media so that it automatically feeds into your journal.  I’ve got it linked to my blog, Instagram, and Facebook.  So I post a picture to Instagram—Bang!  Automatically put in my journal.  I do a status update on Facebook—Voila!  Already duly noted in my journal.  It’s so great.

As a sidenote, Instagram is my main form of posting tons of pictures of my adorable child, so you’ll have to follow me if you want to see.  I’ve considered making a private blog just for him, but then I realized that Instagram meets all my sharing needs.  I won’t share my Insta-handle here, but if you’re friends with me on Facebook you should be able to find it somewhere on my profile.  If I know you I’ll let you follow me.

Anyway, back to my Momento train of thought.  I happened to be looking through my past Facebook statuses (stati?) via Momento and realized that I haven’t really said anything noteworthy, clever, or funny in a while.  Since my baby I just Instagram him with some cute caption (I flatter myself), and while I was pregnant I think I was too grumpy and tired to bother with a positive facebook status update (I avoid negative status updates whenever possible.  I don’t like to read them, so why should I post them?).  It’s been almost a year since I formed a really great status.

Thus, I decided to revisit some of my better Facebook statuses (stati? I really think this should be the plural form of status.) starting almost three years ago when I was a senior in college and barely dating my husband.  I provide context when needed, and I should note that the first several are back in the era where your name was implied at the beginning of the status, so I inserted my name at the beginning in parenthesis. 

On 9 December 2010 at 2:50 AM... (In the midst of a mouse invasion.)
"(Lindsey) sends this warning out to the mouse that just ran out of her bedroom: You are so dumb. You are really dumb. For real. You don't have to come and confess. We're looking for you! We gon find you, I'm gonna let you know now. So you can run and tell that. Homeboy."

On 18 February 2011 at 1:23 AM... (During my internship.)
“(Lindsey) said to a three-year-old boy, "Look! I made a bird out of Duplos!" The three-year-old boy immediately responded, "I hate that bird."”

On 25 February 2011 at 1:45 PM...
“(Lindsey) overheard a girl on the bus say, "She can't marry him; she doesn't even know him! When he's 40 he'll probably decide he's gay and leave her!"”

On 01 April 2011 at 4:09 PM... (After an onslaught of fake engagements on Facebook. It was also a warning to my soon to be fiancé that I wasn't interested in getting legitimately engaged on April Fools.)
“(Lindsey) is assuming that every "engagement" posted today on this lovely April Fools Day is fake. I'm ignoring every last one of them. So if you legitimately got engaged today, maybe think about getting engaged tomorrow too.”

On 13 April 2011 at 6:06 PM...
“(Lindsey) walked into a kindergarten classroom to give a Good-Touch/Bad-Touch presentation this afternoon, and the class informed "Miss Lindsey" that the letters Q and U got married today! There was even cake!”

On 27 May 2011 at 7:36 PM... (While employed at Smith's around Memorial Day.  This is my personal favorite status update—somemum?  Where does this stuff come from?  This is why some people like me.)
“If I see or touch another Memorial Day mum, I might kill somemum.”

On 12 July 2011 at 2:20 PM... (After applying for job after job post-graduation.)
“(Lindsey) is still hoping that social work job at Hogwarts will open up soon.”

On 15 August 2011 at 10:56 AM... (L=me, K=husband)
“Favorite conversation of the day: K: Well, it rained last night. L: Yeah? K: I sleep-walked. L: You did? I didn't even hear you. K: I went outside. It was raining.”

On 09 September 2011 at 12:32 PM...
“Just when I thought I was internet addiction-less, I found Pinterest.”

On 07 October 2011 at 2:23 PM... (It was a very cold couple of days.)
“Back in August our heater randomly kicked on. We scolded it (perhaps too harshly, as it was a slightly chilly morning) and it retreated. We haven't heard from it since. So, if you see a heater with extremely hurt feelings wandering around, tell it we miss it.”

On 22 October 2011 at 4:31 PM... (After attending a USU football game.)
“Well. {husband} and I were on the kiss cam. So I guess we can call that a victory.”

On 21 November 2011 at 11:40 AM...
“{Husband} (talking in sleep): "You're like sleeping beauty because you're sleeping and you're pretty." Thanks {husband} :)”

On 29 January 2012 at 8:56 PM... (I loved the old raspberry. I don't even bother with Emergen-C anymore.)
“The "improved" flavors of Emergen-C are definitely not as good as the unimproved flavors. Fail.”

On 02 February 2012 at 11:54 AM...
“I did my hair curly today, and Kindergarten boy said (while wiggling all his fingers on both sides of his face), " You have squiggley hair today!" Favorite GTBT quote of the day so far.”

On 03 April 2012 at 6:06 PM... (Plastic flamingos for child abuse prevention month.)
“I picked up some flamingos from the county jail today! Out on good behavior!"

On 22 April 2012 at 1:25 PM...
“If a brownie package says "Double Fudge" I have the right to expect chocolate chips, right? These brownies are good, but they only taste like single fudge.”

On 31 May 2012 at 9:13 PM...
“I don't understand why all these massive zit popping videos are trending on Facebook. It's gross."

On 04 July 2012 at 7:58 PM...
“My sister left this poem on my whiteboard, so I decided to share on behalf of Independence Day. "Roses are red. My name is Dave. This poem makes no sense. Microwave!"”

On 30 July 2012 at 10:47 PM... (During the Olympics.)
“I love the little Peter Pan hop the male gymnasts do during the floor routine when they're going to the corner for the next tumbling pass.”

On 31 July 2012 at 9:21 PM... (Also during the Olympics.)
“I think the girls on the U.S. gymnastics team are secretly Power Rangers.”

On 05 August 2012 at 11:58 AM...
“Fast Sunday plus 1:00 church is killer. Especially when you get on Pinterest and see a recipe for cinnamon roll pancakes.”

On 05 August 2012 at 6:55 PM... (Again with the Olympics, with a So You Think You Can Dance reference.)
“The female announcer for women's diving sounds just like Mary Murphy. I'm just waiting for her to put one of those girls on the hot tamale train.”

On 11 September 2012 at 10:06 AM...
“I was just momentarily redirected to an ad for Myspace. It still exists??”

On 15 November 2012 at 7:52 PM... (During my preschool days.)
“Yesterday one of my 4-year-olds told me that the order of the holidays is Halloween, Christmas, Thanksgiving, then Valentine's Day. When I corrected him he shrugged and said, "Well, I guess it's that way THIS year..."”