Tuesday, April 23, 2013


The past few months have been HARD! Sickness has hit the Walker house, and we just can't seem to get rid of it! First, it was me, sick for a good 6 weeks before I started to feel any real, consistent improvement. Then just as I healed Eliza came down with her first REAL sickness. It started with a fever (they don't put baby's first fever in the baby books, but man that feels like something to be remembered. Now I REALLY know what a fever feels like, scary!) then came the cough, the runny nose, the sore throat. Those were long days and longer nights. Thank goodness for Shawn's help trading off holding a sick baby every few hours at night. Without him there would have been no sleep.

Before Eliza got better Shawn went out of town for a conference. Eliza and I packed up and headed to Grandma's house where we both got the TLC we needed for a couple of days. And then, Shawn got Eliza's cold while still out of town. I think getting to sleep through the night in a hotel helped him, but having his flight coming home cancelled due to weather, putting him out of town an extra day didn't help either of us. Those were long hard days being a single mommy.

Then the bug hit Eliza again. This time just a mysterious fever. Poor little thing. But luckily I was more equipped to deal with it. I'm now a pro at taking her temperature and giving her ibuprofen all by myself. But before Eliza was better I got sick again! This time a 24 stomach flu. All Eliza wanted to do was nurse, but I had nothing for her, my reserves were low, I couldn't even sit up to nurse! Luckily Shawn was home to take care of both of us. I'm not sure what I would do without that man. I sure need him.

Eliza is on the mend but now it's a lovely rash that followed the fever that the pediatrician's office says is totally normal. Once the rash goes and the appetite comes back I'll declare Eliza well enough to leave the house, but until then we're hunkering down. Send chocolate!


Every day I hit this crossroad. Do I let Eliza nap peacefully in my arms, or do I attempt to put her in her crib? I know if I let her nap in my arms that she will get a good nap, but I'm also reinforcing that my arms are the only place to nap, and I'm not getting the nap time break I need to get anything done. But if I try to put her down there's a 89% chance she'll wake up, and the nap is over. Even if I leave her in her crib to cry and hopefully fall asleep, that has never happened at nap time and then I'm just stressed because my baby is crying and I lock myself in the bathroom for 10 minutes so I don't hear her cry and then I still am not getting anything done, baby is cranky and I'm stressed. But there is that 11% chance she'll stay asleep and I can eat lunch and get something done with both of my hands.

So, here I sit at my crossroads, a sleeping baby in my arms, typing away on my phone. I want my baby to nap on her own, with all my heart I do. But today I can't handle the crying and the cranky baby. I'm just not that strong usually. And she's been sick, so every nap, even in my arms, is a blessing these days. Maybe one day soon I'll work up the courage to let her cry at nap time. But today I choose sleep and peace.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Just Another Night

Shawn's been out of town so I've been single-mommying it for a week. His trip happened to be perfectly timed with Eliza's first cold.  At least he was here for the first couple of miserable days, but he left before she started to feel better.

I'm a night owl, AND I have a hard time falling asleep when Shawn's not home, so it's no surprise that I was up until 12:30am the other night.  What WAS a surprise was Eliza waking up at 1:00am.  I was pretty used to her 4:30am waking pattern.  And despite all of my best efforts, feeding her, walking, bouncing she was determined NOT to go back to sleep.  So, I pulled out the big guns, I grabbed Shawn's robe and held her and bounced her as he usually does. And it worked.  So, at 3:00am I found myself stumbling back into bed.  Only to be woken up at 4:30am with an upset belly!  I was confused, was I really sick?  I tried to ignore it and go back to sleep, but just kept waking up over and over.  Finally I trudged into the bathroom, and 30 minutes later, back in bed, feeling relieved and happy that the Pepto happened to be sitting on the bathroom counter. Then an hour later Shawn's alarm went off.  In my dizzy state I hit it and slapped at the alarm clock until it stopped.  10 minutes later I realized the beeping was NOT part of my dream and the darn thing was going off AGAIN! This time I put a little more effort into NOT hitting the snooze button, but still hit random buttons until it once again stopped.  Thankfully I accomplished my task. And then at 8:00 my living alarm clock (aka the baby) went off as well, and we were up for the day.

And you know, since becoming a parent, this is not such an unusual night.  Sure, Shawn's not always gone, he's usually around to help with the baby girl. And I don't usually get woken up by an upset belly.  But waking up three or four times a night is not that unusual anymore. And yes, we'll be doing some sleep training as soon as I can find a method I feel good about, but I also really love holding my sleeping baby in my arms in the middle of the night.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Eight Months

Dear Eliza,

You are eight amazing months old!  Your Daddy and I say that you get more and more fun every day.  You are crawling all over the place and climbing into things and getting into all sorts of mischief!  We are in for some trouble as you get more and more mobile! You still LOVE your walker and go cruising around in it at such speeds! You love to chase after Scooter who sometimes has a hard time getting away from you.  You also follow me around in it and I have to hurry so you don't run over my feet!

You are hot and cold on solid foods.  Sometimes you are all about solids and eat and eat and eat, and then other days we can't coax you to open your mouth for anything.  You like just about everything except peas.  You really hate peas. And there's no hiding them in something else, or adding cereal to make you take another bite.  You just hate peas. I think we'll give up on feeding you peas for a few months. You love to feed yourself Gerber Puffs. And Scooter loves it too because sometimes you drop them.  Scooter hangs out next to your high chair when you are eating, and when you eat at Grandma's house you look for Scooter. You've just started to sign "milk."  You will sign it if we ask if you want some milk, but you will also sign it when you are eating solids or if you are very tired. You still love to nurse and sometimes prefer nursing to eating anything solid.

You still love being naked. You cry when I change your diaper until you realize that I'm going to take your clothes off and then you are happy.  Until I put your clothes back on.  You prefer Daddy to change your diaper because he makes you giggle and squeal.  Daddy is usually the one to give you a bath and the two of you laugh and laugh.

Your sleeping is still as unpredictable as ever.  And sometimes I wish you could tell me if you are teething, or having a growth spurt, or had a bad dream or what in the world woke you up and isn't letting you go back to sleep at 4am!

You love to play peek-a-boo with your Daddy, but not so much with me.  You follow me around the house now crawling, or if you go off on your own will look to see if I'm following.  You love to stand up next to couches, or holding on to me. You love to walk with Daddy or I, but not so much when other people try to walk with you. You are just starting to get nervous around people you don't know very well or see very often. You need to take your time to get used to a situation and get comfortable.  But once you do you are giggly and smiley and love to explore. You've just figured out how to open drawers at our house but sometimes they close and your fingers get trapped inside.  I love how you look at me with this "why?" look on your face, and I love coming in to swoop you into my arms and save you.

I am so in love with you.  You make me laugh and smile every day. You keep me on my toes.