Battle of Wills

Oh my gosh you guys. We are at our wit’s end with our kid. Seriously.

I thought temper tantrums didn’t start until later on, but (as with most things related to parenting) I was WRONG. So wrong. When she doesn’t get her way, Charlotte has taken to throwing herself on the floor and screaming. It’s happening about every 20 minutes. No, you can’t play with the surge protector—TANTRUM! No, you can’t shake the lamp—TANTRUM! We are going to sit in your room and play where there are fewer things to say no to—TANTRUM!

Catch is home with her so she spends way more of the day listening to it than I do and I feel terrible. By the time I walk through the door in the evening, Catch basically hands her off to me and disappears to do ANYTHING but deal with our angry child. Who can blame her?

And that’s not even counting the tantrums she throws when you need to change her clothes or her diaper. She used to LOVE diaper changes. Now it’s damn near impossible. And bath time! OMG! I just can’t. She fights me every step of the way. She refuses to sit down. She won’t let me rinse her head. It’s just a battle of wills.

On top of the tantrums, her sleep has been awful. SO BAD. I really need to break out the Happy Sleeper again, but since we’re going to Mexico in a week the timing just doesn’t feel right. Plus, I’m so damn tired I have no idea how I’ll make it through the first few nights of sleep waves because this kid can go all night if she has to. Not to mention that it breaks my mama heart to hear her cry… but it is breaking my everything else to be up with her 6 times a night. I just can’t do it. And I can’t help but think that maybe if her sleep was better, the tantrums wouldn’t be quite so frequent.

I don’t know what happened to my happy, easygoing kiddo. I haven’t even been taking pictures of her because she’s hardly ever happy. She has a permanent serious grump face.

We even broke down and took her to the doctor yesterday because we thought she might have an ear infection. She’s had low grade fevers that we attributed to tooth #8 trying to make its way through, but we started questioning ourselves because she’s just been SO awful. The doctor told us she’s perfectly healthy and that the terrible twos are starting early.

WHAT? HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE? SHE IS 11 MONTHS OLD!

I keep thinking that something is going to shift and she’s going to snap out of it. Is it possible that this is all related to tooth #8? Please tell me it’s possible. I can’t even stand the possibility that this is our new normal. It’s like someone took my baby girl and swapped her with a demon.

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That is her evil grin. I swear. It means TROUBLE.

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Poop in the Pool, That Screaming Kid on the Plane, and Other Things I’m Trying Not to Think About

When it became apparent that my mom’s recovery was not going to go according to plan, we realized that we would either have to postpone or cancel our trip to Mexico. In a stroke of genius, my mom purchased trip insurance, so at the very least we weren’t going to lose any money.

We were scheduled to leave next week on Wednesday, but decided to try to postpone the trip until the end of July. Except when my mom called the airline, our airfare was going to DOUBLE. It would have been covered by the trip insurance, but the hoops we’d have to jump through to get some of our money back would have been ridiculous. After much deliberation, we have decided to go ahead and go to Mexico.

Next week.

Mom has finally been on an upward swing, and she actually feels a vacation would do her some good before she returns to work full time. I was having a hard time arguing with her logic, so I gave in. We’re going to Mexico.

NEXT WEEK.

I wasn’t prepared for us to leave next week. I put planning and preparation out of my head when my mom got sick because she was SO SICK. There was just no way we were going to take this trip. UNTIL THIS MORNING.

On top of it all, we’re spending the weekend with my in-laws. So basically, we’re there for two nights, then home for one night, then gone for 7 days. No big deal.

EXCEPT WE HAVE A BABY SO IT KIND OF IS A BIG DEAL.

I feel like we pack the entire house just to go out for dinner. I don’t even know where to begin with trying to pack for a week.

I actually went on Amazon and ordered a car seat and umbrella stroller just for the trip. Charlotte is flying as a lap infant, so that means the car seat is getting checked at the gate. The idea of one of our expensive Clek car seats getting tossed around on a plane didn’t sit well with me, so I ordered a cheap one just for travel purposes. Am I crazy? Probably. But maybe not?

Now talk to me about your experience with swim diapers. We’ve been using the reusable ones and we’ve never had a problem, but she’s also never worn one for longer than 30 minutes. I have a feeling that if poop were involved, it might leak. Are the disposable kind decent? What’s your preference? We are planning on spending a lot longer than 30 minutes at the pool on this trip.

Do you have recommendations for keeping an 11 month occupied on your lap on a plane for 3 hours? Everyone keeps saying, “It’s only a three hour flight!” I think they clearly do not understand/remember what the attention span of an 11-month old is like. 3 hours might as well be 3 months. We have a kid who is completely disinterested in television and most toys. I feel like this is going to be absolutely miserable. I am going to need a miracle. Actually, two of them—one for the way there and one for the way home.

The internet keeps telling me to give up on any hope I have of this feeling like a vacation because kids = work. I get that, but most of the time I’M AT WORK, so not being at work + being with my wife and kid + doing it in a beautiful place with poolside bars has to feel at least a little bit vacation-y right?

I Need a Nap

I am so, so tired.

My mom was admitted to the hospital unexpectedly on Saturday. On Monday, she had surgery to remove fluid from around her heart—22 ounces of it and it’s still draining. They’re saying now that she might not go home until Friday, which just sucks.

I am my mother’s only child and she’s not married, so it’s just me keeping on top of her care. Charlotte can’t come to the hospital, so I’ve been trying to balance breastfeeding and hospital visits… not to mention work. It’s been rough.

Charlotte’s sleep is out of control horrible again so that’s not helping things, either.

Orlando has me all worked up, but I’m too tired to make sense of my feelings. We were supposed to take Charlotte to her first pride festival on Sunday, but we ended up not going because someone was arrested on their way to LA Pride with a car full of guns and explosives. After that, I just couldn’t do it. Not with my baby girl. And now I wonder if we’ll ever feel safe again.

And then a two-year-old is dragged away by an alligator and for some reason, I cannot get it out of my head. The weight of it is just sitting there in my heart making me want to cry. I’m probably overly sensitive to it because I’m already on edge, but man… I just can’t imagine being those poor parents. (Parents who are undoubtedly being ripped apart by the internet as I type this, because the internet seems to have nothing better to do than shame other parents.)

My in-laws will be here tomorrow to help us tear apart our back yard, and the timing is positively the worst because I don’t have time for a) more people in my house or b) yard work. Not to mention that sharing my daughter isn’t high on my list considering how little time I get to be with her lately.

I will be back at some point to talk about how the experience with my mom in the hospital has me giving more serious consideration to having a second child. Because honestly, for the first time in my life being an only child is really sucking right now.

Random Thing Thursday

  1. This week, we have owned our house for a full year. I forget sometimes how crazy the few months leading up to Charlotte’s birth actually were—the escrow from hell, the DIY move, the nursery reno nightmare, the fridge that didn’t fit. It was exhausting. Next week, we’re tackling the first major home improvement project since we moved in. Our back yard is a concrete jungle, so we’re ripping out some of the concrete to expand our grass area. Then we’re fencing off part of the grass so that Charlotte has a play space that’s free of dog. It means new sprinklers, all new sod, and actually installing a little white PVC picket fence and gate—fortunately, my FIL is coming to lead the way because we’d be lost otherwise!
  2. Our garden is going crazy right now. I’m thrilled that it’s doing so well because I’ve had very little time to devote to my poor plants. Does anyone have any good kale recipes? We are freaking swimming in kale.
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    My wall of tomatoes

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    Crookneck squash, poblano peppers, lemon cucumbers and butternut squash

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    Kale and our two pumpkins(!)

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    An ugly picture of my little herb garden

  3. This is Catch’s first full week of summer vacation, and I am thoroughly enjoying the slower pace. She doesn’t have to rush out of the house at the crack of dawn, so we all get to eat breakfast together and I get to take my time getting ready for work. I could get used to this.
  4. We’re now less than a month away from our Mexico vacation. I’m starting to get excited. I’m still nervous about getting us ready for the trip though. I feel like Charlotte won’t have enough clothes, and I’m terrified of navigating the airport with all of the kid stuff (not to mention the kid).
  5. We need to buy Charlotte her first real pair of shoes. We’ve mostly avoided shoes so far. She had some for her Christmas dress, and she has a pair we use when she plays in her walker out back (yes, we let her use a walker—it’s only maybe 15 minutes every couple of days and it lets us get some things done in the yard) but this kid has spent her life in socks. Now that she’s standing and cruising, it’s time for some real shoes. Any favorites for a super flexible first pair of shoes?
  6. We are back for a visit in Teething Hell. Charlotte cut tooth #7 about a week ago, and tooth #8 is now a raised, swollen bump. I hope to dog we can get this over with soon because mama needs some SLEEP.
  7. I have invitations ready to mail for Charlotte’s first birthday party. Can you even believe that? I am so excited and also totally wrecked. I cannot believe my baby is turning one next month. HOW? When I woke up this morning (after sleeping on the couch with my little teether), Catch had a video pulled up on the computer from September. She was only two months old. I cried.

Lastly, some random photos from the last few weeks…

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We let her have a few tastes of strawberry ice cream. Don’t let the face fool you – she freaking LOVED it.

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Post-swim nap on mama – the best kind of nap!

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I was experimenting with barrettes. She was experimenting with corn on the cob.

I Has a Sad

I’m on the verge of tears today because… well, because LIFE.

Charlotte slipped in the bathtub last night and hit her head HARD on the little metal switch on the bath overflow that plugs the drain. Every other surface of the tub is padded, but you can’t get a pad for that stupid little switch—and naturally, she found a way to fall directly on it. With her forehead. It’s the third time she’s hit her head (hard) in the tub on my watch, and let’s just say that it didn’t go over very well in our household.

So today, I feel like the world’s worst mom. I feel like I never want to be the one to bathe my baby girl ever again, and I hate that because I love bath time. (And now we have actual tears… sigh.)

On top of that, Catch is starting summer vacation, which means that from now through August, she gets to spend all day every day with Charlotte while I go to work. I’m having a much harder time with that than I expected. They’re already planning on swimming, visiting the zoo on Tuesdays, and all kinds of fun things that I don’t get to be a part of. I’m afraid that I’m going to become obsolete now that her other mom is with her 24/7 and it hurts. Big.

And then we have the icing on the cake… I turn 35 tomorrow. I was actually sort of looking forward to my birthday until the aforementioned and now I just want to skip it. I’m hurt and angry and sad and I’m in no mood to celebrate the fact that I am older than I want to be.

Can we just fast forward to Saturday?