Photo A Day Project: Days 77-83

I decided to try to take a photo a day with my DSLR for 100 days. Here’s this week’s batch!

My heart wasn’t in it this week. Too much sickness and exhaustion.

Day 77/March 24: Whirlwind evening. Didn’t pick up the camera until I was on my way to the couch, and I had no interest in doing anything but this.


Day 78/March 25: The first hint of sickness. She put her head down and said, “Night night.”


Day 79/March 26: No clue what’s going on here. It’s the only picture I took that day.


Day 80/March 27: We’ve been trying to get her to float on her back in the pool, so she’s teaching Abby how to float.


Day 81/March 28: The morning was ROUGH, but by late afternoon she was feeling well enough for some play time outside. Poor kid has some serious cabin fever.


Day 82/March 29: FaceTime with her auntie & uncle in Colorado while she splashed in the tub put a smile on her face for a while.


Day 83/March 30: Every Thursday morning, my dad brings her a donut. I fought it for a while, but I’ve given up. It’s their thing. Raspberry jelly today. Mornings have been hard for her this week because she wakes up feeling so lousy, so it was nice to see her happy even if it was sugar-induced.


Stick a Fork in Me

Last week, I came down with the cold Catch had the previous week.

On Thursday, my in-laws arrived for a 4 night stay.

On Saturday morning, Charlotte woke up with the family cold. Her first full blown sickness. (I know–we’re so lucky we made it this long.)

Saturday night was a shit show of epic proportions. Charlotte never slept for longer than 30 minutes. I sat on the couch with her from 10pm to 6am a) to help keep her upright so she could breathe, and b) because she wouldn’t let me put her down. Sometime in the middle of the night, she started screaming. And screaming. And screaming. We tried everything. We were exhausted and at our wit’s end (also worried about our kid)… then factor in in-laws who want to “help” and a me who is throwing some serious shade at said in-laws and you just have the most spectacular cluster fuck of a night imaginable.

All of that carried into Sunday. Charlotte was the sickest she’s ever been. I was fucking exhausted and completely touched out. My in-laws kept trying to help to the best of their ability, but all it was doing was pissing me off and I didn’t understand why they wouldn’t just GO HOME. Why do you want to be in a house with a screaming sick baby and her exhausted grouchy parents?

(In fairness–they were only scheduled to stay until Monday because we asked them to babysit on Sunday afternoon so we could go see Beauty and the Beast. Which obviously never happened because sick kid trumps all… but man, I was looking forward to that ALL WEEK and I was so disappointed when I had to call and ask for a refund on our tickets.)

I keep waiting for her to turn a corner on this miserable fucking cold, but she just hasn’t. The last three mornings alone have involved more screaming than the last year combined. She can’t breathe. Her cough is scaring her. Like, she coughs and then she jumps up and throws her arms around me in a panic and starts sobbing “It’s ok, mama’s here” in her raspy, congested little voice. (Apparently, I have said that quite a bit these last 5 days…)

She’s barely eating. We are struggling to get fluids into her. The Motrin that she usually takes with enthusiasm is being spit out and causing more screaming. She wants boobies or her paci for comfort, but she can’t breathe well enough for either and total meltdown ensues. Every inch of me, Catch, and our house is covered in snot and tears. I have not been on time for work once this week and I am SO BUSY with Big Important Things that my boss who rarely even gives me a second thought is actually checking up on me and the timing couldn’t possibly be worse.

Anyway, I am tired and stressed, and I hope to return one day very soon with Happy Words, but today is not that day.


Photo A Day Project: Days 70-76

I decided to try to take a photo a day with my DSLR for 100 days. Here’s this week’s batch!

I was in survival mode this week. It shows.

Day 70/March 17: St. Patrick’s Day. We made green pancakes and then our brilliant nanny helped me wrangle this kid into the tights her great aunt brought her from Ireland.


Day 71/March 18: Family swim at the Y wears her out.


Day 72/March 19: Talking to the birdies.


Day 73/March 20: One of her favorite songs right now is “Sing” from our Sesame Street album. I put it on when she got out of the tub and she insisted on holding the phone while it played. She runs around the house saying, “sing a song…”


Day 74/March 21: Way Joe came for dinner and they played in the rain while I cooked. I can’t really say which of them was happier.


Day 75/March 22: Just chewing on some grass…


Day 76/March 23: She likes it when we line up her bath toys on the edge of the tub and make them “jump” into the water one by one.


20 Months


This kid is pretty much my favorite thing in the universe right now. I cannot count the number of times a day that I am overwhelmed by gratitude for her very existence. My desire was always just to be a mother, but now I know that what I really wanted was to be her mother.

The last month has brought so many changes in this kiddo. She’s truly growing in leaps and bounds.


There’s a YMCA a half mile from our house. Charlotte has taken swim lessons there off and on since she was 6 months old. We’ve always wanted to become members, but we just couldn’t afford it. Then, last month my brilliant wife called and made some changes to our phone/internet/cable and ended up saving us about the cost of a family membership at the Y. That was pretty much the exact week that our nanny started hinting about how she’d really like to take Charlotte to a class there, but you have to be members for this class. Our nanny doesn’t drive, so options for the two of them to get out and about are limited. They can walk to the park or the library and that’s it. They tried the class and loved it, and we knew it would be good for both of them so we finally bit the bullet and signed us all up.

Now, Charlotte goes to three toddler classes with the nanny every week. On Tuesdays it’s Move and Groove and Thursdays are Sing & Sign and Tumbling Tots. They even hang out at the playground there on days they don’t have classes.


The Y has a heated indoor pool and they offer Family Swim time every day for a few hours. Charlotte despises swim lessons, so we weren’t sure if we’d get her on board for Family Swim, but she LOVES it. She will bring you her swim suit and say, “Swimming?” We took her to the pool on Friday, Saturday and Sunday this past weekend. She will pull herself out of the pool (from the edge) and stand up at the edge and jump to us. Huge progress for a kid who wouldn’t let go of us in her last round of swim lessons. Plus, the pool wears her the heck out and all she wants when she gets home is a snack and some quiet time. Mama break!


I credit her participation in these activities with the recent changes in her. Catch and the nanny have noticed it too. Her language has absolutely exploded this month. We have our very own parrot now. She repeats everything. She can pretty much ask for anything she wants by name. Outside, walk, snack, breakfast, water—that’s just the tip of the iceberg. On Tuesday morning, she finished her breakfast and said, “All done.” I let her down from her high chair and as she walked away she said, “Thank you mama. I love you.” It was my first “I love you” from her AND she paired it with thank you… MELT.

This morning as she ate breakfast, Rolo was whining. Charlotte looked at him and said, “It’s ok, mama’s here.”

Another favorite is, “Why you do that?” (This one is courtesy of her need to change the channel on the cable box every two seconds. We were constantly saying, “Why did you do that?!” I finally installed a glass door on the front of the TV cabinet along with a child lock!)

Even if we don’t see it happen, we know when she’s hurt herself because she starts repeating, “Okay? Okay? Okay?”

Thanks to her flash cards and our trips to the zoo, she can recognize and name a lot of animals. Dog, kitty, bird, zebra, hippo, turtle, monkey, elephant, lion, dolphin, chicken… the list goes on.


She’s also becoming more social. She’s always been in love with other kids, but now we’re starting to see that she has a better idea of how to interact with them, rather than just standing frozen and staring with a smile on her face. In the pool over the weekend we were talking to a mom with a 9 month old baby and Charlotte asked the baby for a high five. A while later she was playing with a few older kids on the steps. When the boy started swinging the pool noodle around and hitting the water with it, Charlotte expressed her disapproval with his antics. It was pretty damn funny. She couldn’t really communicate on their level, but she made sure she was a part of things regardless.

In one of her classes last week, an older little girl (3-4) was not up for participating and she sat in the back of the room on a bench by herself and pouted. Charlotte was concerned, so she climbed up next to the girl and said, “You ok? It’s ok.” and patted the girl’s arm. The nanny said that Charlotte wouldn’t leave the girl’s side for the rest of class.


She continues to prefer being outdoors to just about anything else. Outside is her happy place.


She has big feelings about her clothes. If it’s not leggings and a t-shirt, there’s no guarantee you’re going to get it on her. The nanny and I had to work as a team for about 30 minutes in order to get tights and a skirt on her for St Patrick’s day. (Catch’s aunt brought shamrock tights for her form Ireland last year and they fit this year, so we really had to at least get a picture of her in them—otherwise I never would have bothered!) Dresses, skirts, skorts, jumpers—she’s just not a fan.


Fine motor skills are still very meh. There’s been some subtle improvement, but she’s just not really interested in fine motor activities. The spoon/fork are still kind of a joke, but we continue to try with every meal. Gross motor is still more her jam.


I took a big step forward with weaning, and have cut out her morning nurse. Now, she only nurses at bedtime and if/when she wakes up in the night. It’s been almost two weeks and she still asks for it when she wakes up in the morning, but I just say, “No, baby—how about some breakfast instead?” She usually says, “Breakfast?” and then launches herself from my lap and runs to the kitchen calling, “Waffle! Waffle!” I was pretty sad about the change at first, but I’ve come around.


She is currently working on her 17th tooth and it sucks. She is about 35” tall and a bit over 28 pounds. She’s mostly wearing a 2T, but 3Ts have started making an appearance in the brands that run short. Her feet are between a 6.5 and a 7 and are finally narrowing out a bit so we’re having an easier time finding shoes that fit.

At 20 months, Charlotte is happy, healthy, and so, so loved.

zzZzzzZ Huh?

I am so tired that I probably shouldn’t even be allowed to drive home. I don’t know why this round of teething is hitting me so much harder than the 16 previous rounds, but for some reason tooth #17 is kicking my ass. I can only imagine how Charlotte feels.

Last night at bedtime, she ASKED for Motrin.

I have a really important presentation to give to our executive management team first thing in the morning, and I don’t know how I will string together coherent thoughts if I don’t get some sleep tonight. 4 hours… if I could just get 4 consecutive hours instead of 4 broken hours, I will probably be okay.

Please, universe. Let me sleep. Let Charlotte sleep. I need my job.

Send caffeine.


Yesterday morning, Charlotte was in the den watching Sesame Street with me and the nanny. The letter of the day was D and we were sitting at the chalkboard, so we pulled a D magnet out of her box and put it up on the board.

I said, “Duh duh duh dee… What words start with the letter D? Dinner starts with D. Dinosaur starts with D. Dog starts with D. What other words start with D?”

Charlotte looked at me with a smile on her face and said, “Duck!”

The nanny and I practically fell over. This is not something we have ever worked on with her before. We both kind of shrugged it off as coincidence. I told Catch about it on the phone later and she was in agreement that it was a fluke.

Even so, we tried the same exercise at dinner last night out of curiosity.

“Charlotte, what words start with the letter D? Dinner starts with D. Dinosaur starts with D…” Charlotte interrupted, “Dog!”

So–maybe not so much coincidence? I really don’t know. I feel like maybe some of it was just memory from our conversation in the morning, but still–maybe there’s something to it. We’re going to try with some different letters this week and see what happens.

Which leads me to the point of this post: School.

As of yesterday, Charlotte is registered to start preschool full time in a 2 year old classroom in mid-August. Applications were accepted, deposits were forked over (ouch), and I’m pretty sure our beloved nanny cried.

I am caught somewhere between excitement and trepidation.

I think this is going to be so good for her. She needs more stimulation. She needs more socialization. She is very ready for those things.

I feel like she’s much less ready for other things… mostly being away from home all day and fighting for attention in a classroom with way more kids than adults. (1:6 ratio for 2 year olds here in CA)

I know that she will adjust in time, but I think the transition is going to be hard. Hopefully it’s harder for me than it is for her, but I have a gut feeling that she’s really going to struggle initially. She has only ever been cared for at home by us, the nanny or one of her grandparents. I feel like it’s going to be a shock to her system. I don’t think it will be insurmountable–goodness knows that kids go into daycare programs at all different ages for all kinds of reasons. I guess I’m just anticipating some heartbreak and some second thoughts and I hate both of those things.

We are going to try to ease her into the new routine. Catch is going to spend 4 weeks with her in the mommy & me program the month before she turns two. It’s just two days a week for two hours.

Mommy & me will end the Friday before Charlotte’s second birthday, and on that Monday (one day after her birthday) she will move to summer camp in the 2 year old program. She’ll be there 3 days a week for half days. That will be another 4 weeks. Then, Catch will be back at work and Charlotte will start full time, five days a week.

I feel like we’ve worked it out so that the transition is gradual and makes sense. We won’t know how she’s going to respond to any of this until we’re in the thick of things, so until late June, all I can do is cross my fingers and hope for the best.

(The up shot to preschool: So much less $$$$ than the nanny! Not that she isn’t worth every penny, but…)

Photo A Day Project: Days 62-69

I decided to try to take a photo a day with my DSLR for 100 days. Here’s this week’s batch!

Note: So, I skipped a week due to total camera failure, but we’re back at it now that the camera has been replaced. I’m just going to pick up where I left off.

Day 62/March 9: Post preschool open house. She had so much fun, but she’s beat!


Day 63/March 10: Warmer weather meant dragging the water table out of the garage. She was pretty excited to see it again!


Day 64/March 11: First trip to the beach since last summer. She had so much fun. She loved that she could see the ocean from her window on the drive there. “Ocean!” “Beach!”


Day 65/March 12: It was another hot day, so there was watermelon in the back yard while dinner cooked.


Day 66/March 13: She would not stop trying to get this little cup to balance on top of her head. She was not successful.


Day 67/March 14: One shoe, no shirt, and minions on mama’s phone. “Happy!” she says.


Day 68/March 15: While mama was cooking dinner, we were singing, dancing, and playing on the trampoline.


Day 69/March 16: She is obsessed with minions. Catch drew them on the wall with sidewalk chalk and it was better than Christmas. “Minion! Minion!” She gave them high fives and tried to pass them the ball.


Night Four

Our doctor visit went as I predicted. The kid is perfectly healthy. She might be working on one of her two year molars, but that’s it. Is it totally insane to leave the pediatrician’s office DISAPPOINTED that your kid is perfectly healthy? It is. I know. I was just really hoping for some explanation for the sleep insanity.

I glanced at the clock at 6:58 last night and had a full blown panic attack. It was bedtime. I wasn’t ready. I couldn’t do it. My heart was racing. I felt sick. She was going to sense my fear. Not good.

I took a deep breath, walked into her room and announced that it’s bedtime. Sleep sack was zipped. Pacifier was secured. Books were procured.

While we read the last book, she got silly. She was hanging upside down over the arm of the chair and giggling up a storm. I was filled with dread.

The book was finished. Catch turned out the light and we kissed her goodnight. I put her in her crib. She fought me. She was mad. She cried and reached her arms out to me. I only got two lines into “You Are My Sunshine” before I gave up. We left the room and closed the door…

And she laid down and went to sleep.

I put on my sneakers and took the dogs for a walk. As I approached the house 20-ish minutes later, I listened carefully, expecting to hear crying. It was still quiet.

She woke up twice overnight, which is not exactly ideal, but both times she went back into her crib willingly so I’m calling it a win.

I’m not convinced that we’re out of the woods yet. All hell could still break loose again tonight, but man did I need that last night. I think another night of screaming would have put me over the edge. At least if it happens again tonight, I’ll be better equipped to handle it than I was last night.

Fingers crossed.


Game Over

So, for anyone playing along at home, last night sucked. So much. Our crib hack worked, but that’s pretty much the only thing that went right last night.

Screaming from Molly on Vimeo.

We’re headed to the pediatrician later this afternoon to rule out anything medical–like an ear infection. They’re probably going to act like I’m the crazy mom who overreacts to things, but in all of our sleep trouble, I have never heard my little girl scream like she did last night. I need to know there’s no physical cause before we proceed. Although saying, “before we proceed” makes it sound like we have a plan, which we don’t.

Eff You DST

All hell broke loose at our house last night. 

Charlotte went to bed peacefully. She was sound asleep ten minutes later. Then, just as Catch and I were getting settled on the couch debating over who was responsible for fetching the ice cream, we heard something on the monitor. 

She was up. Totally up. Standing in her crib hurling all of her pacis and lovies across the room, crying and screaming maaaamaaa. 


We waited to see how it was going to play out but it escalated big time and we went in. I calmed her down. She nursed for a minute. We decided to do bedtime routine 2.0. Catch read her books and we went through the usual steps. I put her in her crib. She FREAKED. 

We decided to walk out and see how it played out, and as I turned my back to walk to the door I heard a sickening thud. 

My kid had hurled herself out of her crib and was lying face down on the floor screaming a scream that I would love to never hear again. 

I pulled her into the glider and even in the dark I could tell she was bleeding. We moved to the bathroom to try to see. It was her mouth. It appears that she tore her small lip tie. 

We moved to the couch and turned on Frozen. It’s guaranteed to calm her down. It worked. But now we had a problem. We couldn’t put her back in her crib so how the hell were we going to get her to sleep. 

Ove the next 2 hours we tried EVERY trick in our book. We laid in our bed in the dark while she sang every song she knows and literally spun in circles (kicking us as she went).

I finally strong armed her. I held her in my arms so tight that she had to struggle to wiggle. Eventually she sang herself to sleep in my arms. 

Cue the worst sleep in the history of sleep. I got no rest last night and I feel like death today. So does Charlotte. So does Catch. 

When she woke up this morning she went straight for her stroller and watched her Sesame Street from there. She looks hungover. 

I just looked like death. 

I told the office I’m not coming in today. I did not cancel the nanny. 

First thing this morning, my dad helped me hack the crib so we can put her mattress directly on the floor. Pre-hack, there was only 21″ between mattress and crib rail. Now we have 25″. Hopefully this solves the “throwing herself across the room” issue. 

I have no idea what to do with her sudden refusal to sleep. I’m hoping daylight savings time is the problem and she’ll adjust soon. 

The up side is that with the nanny around, I was able to get a ton done at home. I left when Charlotte went (peacefully) down for her nap and I’m enjoying a quiet lunch by myself hoping some me time will keep me from losing my shit tonight. 

Please send sleepy vibes out into the universe for us. Tonight has to be better, right?