01 November 2020

Trick or Treat (From 6 Feet)

 Yesterday we celebrated Halloween 2020 style and it was awesome! I genuinely expected it to be a depressing experience with little candy but my neighbors made it special. I didn't have much of a plan, just to go to my in laws and stop at anyone who was obviously giving candy out. I was pleasantly surprised at how many people participated.Everyone had goody bags, tables of candy, bowls with sanitizer, or candy chutes to drop candy from. There were still people out and about but way way less people and I think that was the real treat for me. No crowds, no wait time, it was mostly self serve grab and go. It was fun to see how creative people got with the distribution too. There were lots of PVC pipes as slides and a few pulley systems. Someone even used a leave blower to shoot the candy down their pipe. One house used a spider pulley and hooked candy bags onto the legs then lowered it down. Natalie had fun running around the neighborhood with me while Matt and Vanessa visited with his parents at their houses. Our costumes this year were pretty cute too. I had the idea to dress Vana as an old lady but wanted to do a group thing. Natalie came up with Vanessa being the granny from Little Red Riding Hood, so I went as Red and Natalie as The Big Bad Wolf. Vana made such a cute Granny. 


2020 Halloween was the best! I hope a new tradition has been born and people leave candy out/come up with creative ways to pass it out so we can avoid each other on Halloween from now on! 







13 October 2020

Charm City

 This holiday weekend we took a little trip to Baltimore, MD. We always go to the beach or mountains for vacation so I thought it would be fun to switch things up and venture into the city to explore and risk getting mugged or shanked. It was fun and I loved the new scenery. The hotel we stayed at was in a great location, close to the harbor and had a Starbucks and CVS (drugstore) right there which was helpful. There was a heated indoor pool (a couple of them, actually) so I took the girls swimming in the morning because their fitness center closed at 1pm as a precaution for COVID (you know, so people don't catch that afternoon coronavirus or something...). 

Our first stop in the city was to a cemetery that we heard about from a book Natalie got at a book fair a few years ago called, "Worlds Scariest Places." The story is that there once was a boy who was killed and his ghost haunts the cemetery. If you hear his scream you won't be able to get it out of your head and will go insane. It is the same cemetery that Edgar Allen Poe is buried at. That was a cool surprise because I had no idea going in that he and his wife were laid to rest there.

After the graveyard we checked into our hotel, chilled and enjoyed the view then walked around the corner to grab some food from a place called Fiesta Taco or something. Their food was not that great tbh. It wasn't that bad either but very meh. We just relaxed (as much as you can relax with a high maintenance toddler), Natalie watched tv til late and then went to bed. 






 

In the morning I took the girls downstairs to grab our complimentary breakfast and then we went to the pool. After the pool I laid Vanessa down for a nap, Matt picked up pizza from Whole Foods and then around 2:30 we logged into a Zoom call for his aunts 60th birthday. It was nice seeing family on screen for a bit. After the call we walked down to the National Aquarium to make our 3:30 timed tickets. We saw lots of interesting things but as always the dolphins were by far the best part. They don't do dolphin shows anymore but the trainers were in there feeding them and had the dolphins do some flips and such. Natalie really enjoyed it. Vanessa was a bit of a challenge as always but we survived (without a stroller too since they're not allowed in). It was raining when we left which was a big bummer but didn't deter me. We walked over to a candy store my coworker told me about called Its Sugar. I let Natalie get a partial bag of goodies (it was fill your own and candy by the pound is expensive) and Vana even got her first lollipop. A worker there asked if she could have it and I don't turn down free, goddamnit. We then picked up some food from Shake Shack (spicy chicken sandwich is my new crack) and scurried back to the hotel as it was still raining and windy. We were exhausted and hungry and ate our food, chilled and went to bed.

The final morning (Monday) I treated the girls to Starbucks (coffee free frap for Nat and a fruit/egg/cheese box fo V), took them to the pool, packed up, took a very short stroll to the water to look at boats and absorb our surroundings one last time and then hit the road back home. Overall it was a pretty successful trip with zero issues, lots of family time and a nice change of pace. 



23 September 2020

15 Months

 My baby is 15 months old today but she looks about 2 1/2 years old, I swear. She's FINALLY started saying mama. I have been making her laugh a lot lately which makes me happy and feel bonded to her. She is so sweet and funny. 






09 September 2020

First Day of School 2020

 Well the long awaited first day of virtual school has come and gone. Yesterday was the big day and it was mildly disastrous.  Natalie did great but it was a technological shitshow. To add to the confusion the website that we use to connect to her Zumba classes and that has her schedule had an entirely different teacher listed as her homeroom teacher. For some reason in third grade her school begins to switch teachers around for different subjects. I guess to get them prepared for Middle School? Anyway, the site said that another teacher than I thought was going to be her main teacher. So we went to that teachers Zoom class. She called attendance but didn't wait for the kids to really say that they were there. She just started rattling off names in clusters of three or four. She never called Natalie's name but she noticed that a girl who wasn't supposed to be in the class was there and ask her why she was there and told her that she did not have her in her class. I assumed that meant she noticed Natalie and Natalie was supposed to be in her class. The teacher did end up saying Natalie's name but I think it was just that she saw her on the screen. We switched Zoom classrooms and were in the classroom of the teacher I was told would be her teacher. That teacher told Natalie that she was supposed to be in her class and asked her why she wasn't there initially. I explained that it was listed but the other teacher was her main teacher. Anyway, there was so much bouncing around from different and zoom lesson two different Zoom lesson. Everyone was super confused and ending up in the wrong Zoom class and there were audio and video glitches on top of it all. I am super proud of how well Natalie did though. Today she did awesome and things went a lot more smoothly. My father-in-law thankfully helped both days in the morning with Vanessa. It allowed me to spend a little bit of time helping Natalie although I cannot predict or schedule when she is going to need me during the day. It still made things less stressful because at one point on the first day I was trying to talk on Zoom to Natalie's teacher to explain a glitch and Vanessa was super tired and screaming and crying on the screen, lol. Honestly I will take anand accept the things that go wrong with computers and misunderstandings. What I will find completely stressful and hard to deal with is one Natalie gets fed up and doesn't listen or complains and whines about the circumstances. Sometimes I feel I am too hard on her and should be better understanding of her meltdowns. I genuinely think she looks for reasons to get upset sometimes though. Like she isn't actually upset about something but just uses it as an excuse to complain because she might actually be upset about something else that she doesn't want to talk about. Like if she gets the phone taken away, then Vanessa bumps into her she will cry that she's hurt and be dramatic but what she's really upset about is losing the phone. (That didn't actually happen, just an example.) Anyway she did really well and enjoyed the first 2 days. I think what really helps is she has the same teacher this year as she did last. (For some reason teachers move up and down grades every year at her school, something called looping.) Oh today there was some drama in class with their chat during a lesson. One boy started started typing some nasty things, not directed towards anyone I don't think but he used a racial slur and I didn't even know kids this age were aware of that word. One boy started crying apparently and it was obviously upsetting and disruptive to their day. I honestly think the boy should be suspended for his actions. Let's see what issues tomorrow has in store for us, haha!





12 August 2020

False Alarm

So the apocalypse hasn't happened yet and humanity is still trucking along. Since I've started actually paying attention to politics for the first time ever I am more and more disgusted by the day. I fear for the future of the country I love and call home.

Still I am hopeful and somewhat optimistic that by the time my children are my age things will be much much better.

My girls certainly keep my busy and vice versa. There isn't much to do but we fill the days with trips to the playgrounds, sometimes up to 4 times a day. I try my best to limit screen time and keep it at 2 hours for Natalie and less than 1 hour for Vana. I don't know what the actual guidelines are and I don't care. Surviving this pandemic with a shred of sanity is important and I don't want to beat myself up over how much T.V. or stupid fucking TIktok my kids brains are being rotted with. 


Speaking of surviving, we had our first semi covid false alarm. On Saturday I woke up with a sore throat but literally since the beginning of coronavirus I have had an on and off sore throat and runny nose at times due to allergies. I didn't feel bad or think anything of it because again it's normal for me. I went to work and began feeling tired, another symptom my allergies cause and also a product of being a mom and woman. (I haven't pinpointed it but I believe some point in my cycle affects my energy levels.) Anyway, come Saturday night when I was off I was beat. I had dinner at my father in laws and usually Matt grocery shops and I put Vanessa to bed but I just didn't have it in me. Natalie began saying she didn't feel well and Vanessa wasn't herself either. Sunday the girls and I woke up definitely under the weather. Sore throats, runny noses, and fatigue were the initial symptoms. I immediately scheduled a phone visit to talk to a doctor and was told to go in Monday to get tested. My results came back negative yesterday (Tuesday). I started feeling almost 100% better Monday afternoon but there are moments I feel pretty meh again like this morning. Vanessa for sure isn't completely herself as she is very sensitive lately and her nose is a snot factory. Natalie is up and down and still running a mild fever on and off, in the 99's. She started complaining of a tummy ache last night and today. If it isn't covid then I am not really sure what it is. I guess a very mild flu. I wish they would run a flu test along with the coronavirus test too to help you figure out what you're ill with .Oh well. We are on the mend and very lucky. I definitely want to be more cautious now. Not that I was being reckless or anything. I am taking precautions but refuse to live in a bubble or a fear stricken life. I let Natalie play with some neighbors and we still see family. I'm not going out and partying with loads of people or refusing to wear a mask or anything. It still puts things in perspective though and is a dose of reality for sure. 

On another note Vanessa is such a little ham! She is hilarious and smart and sweet. There are so so many funny and cute things she has done. Yesterday morning she grabbed a pillow with two hands and whacked Matt in the face saying, "bop!" She pops out from behind things and says, "boo!" too. She gives kisses and will sit in your lap and cuddle. I got irritated with her today because I was trying to get ready to head outside but she was clinging to me crying. I said, "Oh my goodness Vanessa, I just need to put on my shoes!" and went to sit to get my socks on. She stopped crying and came out from the kitchen with one of my tennis shoes and handed it to me. Instant guilt overwhelmed me and I felt so bad for getting annoyed with my sweet baby. Then I asked her to find my other shoe and sure enough she came back with it. She understands so much. Once she brought me a bag of snacks while I was cooking dinner and I simply said, "Bring it to Natalie" since my hands were covered in chicken juice and she walked out to the livingroom and handed it to Nat. There are a ton of other things she does that impress and melt me but I can't really think of them right now. 

07 July 2020

4th

Getting in the mood to celebrate the 4th of July this year was challenging. One reason is because we couldn't have a big get together with friends like we usually do but more so because of the state of despair I feel like this country is in. It's daunting and wears your soul down. Nonetheless I got festive and pulled it together to enjoy an afternoon of family. I got to see my nieces and one nephew and my parent's. We hung out at my father in laws house (for spacing purposes and because he offered to have us there), had food, cake, swimming and sparklers. 

I'm not sure why but physically I haven't been feeling at my peak. I get tired and just feel blah. I've been talking about how I get dizzy randomly for a long time but I'm off any meds except for my thyroid medication. It doesn't happen too often but it does happen. Mood wise I'm feeling blah as well. I just want to have good energy and to be able to go places with my kids and to have more structure. We can go to some playgrounds but it's so hot most days. It's just depressing. 























02 July 2020

Life Lately

So much has happened that I haven't blogged about. My 9th wedding anniversary, my birthday with a beach trip and Vana's first birthday party.

There are loads of current events that have been happening too that have weighed so heavy on my heart. I fucking hate people so much. I mean, I always have, but now I really don't have the patience for their horseshit. A civil rights movement has been sparked for the death of a black man who was murdered by a cop. Racist people are doing everything they can to discredit and call the movement anti American. (Because that's how American racism is--when you're against it you're against America...) I have a lot more to say about all this but now isn't the post for it.

May 28th Matt and I celebrated 9 years of being married! We took an aimless drive out to the country. We were initially planning a picnic as our date with a willow picnic basket (the material for 9th anniversary) but it was pouring rain that morning. Even though the monsoon ended the ground was still soaked and I left the basket at home. We ended up eating at a Mexican restaurant outside, going shopping at Walmart and Lowes (super romantic) and stopping at a scenic overlook. It was a nice, childfree date.

June 12th I turned 30! Me, Matt, Natalie, Vanessa and my niece Bridget went to Ocean City, MD. We're still in the middle of a global pandemic but life has to go on. Our new normal consists of wearing face covering, extra sanitizing and "social distancing" aka remaining 6 feet apart from anyone not in your household. Anway we stayed at a nice hotel right on the beach that had 2 pools. The girls loved it. We just hung out, went to the beach and pool and out to eat and had a nice break from the mundane everyday of being cooped up in the house.

On June 20th we celebrated Vanessa's first birthday with family. (I strongly feel I'm being judged by some for talking about going on a trip and celebrating my daughter's birthday during the COVID outbreak but whatthefuckever.) It was a super low key party with parent's, siblings, nieces and nephews. We just had food and hung out but it was nice.

I still can't believe my baby is 1! She is seriously just the silliest, sweetest, smartest little girl.

23 June 2020

One

One year since the first time we met face to face. One year of sleepless nights.  One year of waking up to see your beautiful smile in the morning. One year of trying to figure it all out. One year of your silliness. One year of milestones.  One year so full of happiness. One year of Vanessa!

Happy first birthday to my precious daughter. 


23 May 2020

11 Months

Man it feels weird hopping back on here and writing a post. It's evidently only been a month since I last blogged but it feels like lightyears ago. Living in quarantine on top of being sleep deprived has created such a strange reality to be in.  Time is so hard to keep track of. It feels like a million things have happened between my 10 month update and now. A couple of my family members have had confirmed cases of COVID-19. Amazingly symptoms have only shown up in the two people who were confirmed and no one else in their household, including the immune compromised and elderly. Their symptoms were also pretty mild, even compared to the seasonal flu (which btw, I've never had the flu *knock on wood* but that shit does not sound mild to me). I actually hope my family and I contracted it and gotten over it (without spreading to anyone else) with no issues so we can hopefully build an immunity to it. I have had an on and off very mild sore throat and slight headache but that is most likely allergy related. Natalie coughed a couple times the other day. Vanessa felt extremely hot in the middle of the night a couple nights ago and she seems a bit crankier and like she isn't feel great at times but that could be because of a million things.

I can't believe I didn't write it's own post for this but baby girl is walking now! She really started taking multiple steps 10 days into 10 months old. She isn't doing it full time but she is getting good and confident. She'll look so proud and happy and we'll cheer and clap and she'll clap with us when she walks for us. It's so sweet. She doesn't like shoes and even seems to dislike socks so she is always barefoot now.  She is still such a light sleeper and wakes up sooo much and so easily. She is also getting harder and harder to put down for naps/bedtime. I don't know what to do about it. She's hard work for sure but so precious and sweet. I can't think of much that's new with her aside from walking. She does a cute thing where she wrinkles her nose and she learned to shake her head no when she doesn't want something. She also really likes crawling under people's legs and doing something we call "baby yoga" where she peeks under her own legs upside down. The lack of sleep is really driving me crazy. A typical night is like this: takes an hours of rocking to finally get her to sleep. Then you have to hold her for an hour before daring to try and put her down. Then you finally sneak off and she wakes up 10-15 minutes later. The cycle of putting her down and her waking up continues until you just give up and go to bed. Then she wakes up every hour to couple of hours, sometimes needing a bottle, sometimes needing a snuggle/to be rocked. Around 3-5 am she'll start bouncing around and be wide awake. This takes more rocking for 45 minutes to an hour. Then she wakes up for good between 6-7:30 (7:30 is rare) and is up for the morning. Naps are no better. She needs to be rocked to sleep and held the entire time or she will wake right up. This results in a non-stop 24/7 no break ever kind of parenting. I know this sounds crazy and I never thought I would ever consider it but I am thinking about hiring a nanny a few days a week for a couple of hours. Matt is great but he works non stop and needs a break too. I feel like I constantly give him breaks and he sleeps in and I do the absolute brunt of child caring and am starting to lose my mind. His mom is my only real solace and I feel like I use her way too much as is. The other day I was so frustrated that Matt was taking forever to come upstairs to relieve me of baby duty that I took Vanessa down to him. On my way down I did not see the glass spice jar that was lying on the steps that Vanessa threw down earlier right before we took a walk. (I was in a rush and had my hands full trying to get out the door and just felt defeated that I totally forgot about it being there.) Matt obviously didn't see it either when he went down. Anyway, I slipped on it and somehow Vanessa flew out of my arms. I immediately started screaming and crying, freaking the fuck out that my baby was tumbling face first down the stairs. I couldn't tell you how I fell or how many steps we went down but thankfully she was okay. She cried for probably 2 minutes and then was her normal self. I was so scared and so so upset. I never imagined if something like that happened I would lose such control. I always imagine people in those scenarios as being less good parent's than I am. How the fuck would your instincts not kick in and you hold your baby even tighter? It happened so suddenly that I couldn't give you a single detail of the events. Just that I knew I slipped and dropped my baby and felt horrible about it. It was accident that I have learned a lesson from. I hope my head isn't ever too clouded to check the stairs before carrying her up/down them. So many fatal accidents can occur and I'm so damn relieved my baby is okay. 

I hope this post doesn't make me sound like less of a mother. I love that little girl more than life itself and think the world of her. She's the best and I can't believe she is turning 1 in 1 month, ahh!


23 April 2020

10 Months

Time is still flying by! The countdown to a year old is at 2 months! More than that my baby is growing and learning so fast!


Vanessa has said her first word, which us cat! It's not 100% clear but it's definitely what she's saying. She stared saying it a few weeks ago when our cats would come into the room. At first we weren't sure if we should consider it her first word but she kept doing it when she saw them (though she won't repeat on cue). On Easter I heard her say it and it was so clear and again when she saw our cats. She was looking at a book with a cat in it too and repeatedly said it. She has also learned to crawl up an entire flight of stairs. She's taken one independent first step but that seem to have startled her. She is so sweet and smiley and often gives random cuddles. She insists she's a big girl and demands to drink out of water bottles. Every morning she wakes up with a big smile and bounces. She then points to Matt's water bottle by the bed and takes sips. She's silly and keeps chewing on her toes or taking her socks off and putting them in her mouth. She really loves books. She has a handful of favorites including Brown Bear Brown Bear, Good Day Good Night,  Ten Little Ladybugs, Mr. Brown Can Moo and The Busy Bee or some shit. She wants them over and over and over again. Sometimes I'll hide a book she's obsessed with because it gets tedious as hell. Sorry. She seems go understand so much of what we say and I feel like she communicates so well. I'm so proud and happy this little babe is mine!

Update 5/1: She took more steps today! My mother in law still babysits her on Friday's even though I'm not working and said she took about 3 steps independently.  Vanessa did it a tiny bit for me later but it was wobbly and she was so eager to walk to my MIL she kind of lunged forward.  Yesterday she started saying my father in laws name pretty clear (PAP-PAP or Bap-Bap as she says). She actually started saying it last Saturday when he would walk into a room (we're still seeing both my in laws) but it got really clear yesterday.  She also started mimicking us sticking our tongues out, it's the cutest thing! Oh and she now has 5 teeth! 3 bottoms and 2 tops. I didn't realize until today she had a 3rd bottom tooth but my mother in law pointed it out.

12 April 2020

Quarentineaster

Easter 2020 is certainly going to be memorable with everything going on in the world and since it was Vana's first Easter. It was a pretty typical Easter but a bit sadder since we didn't get to see my family. Natalie is really missing her cousin Bridget who she is super close with. She video chats a lot with her a lot but that only does so much good. I try to tell Nat to look on the bright side and focus on the positive things and she so far hasn't gotten too too down about it. Anyway, Vanessa's sleep has been so awful lately (more than it usually is I think, hard to keep up with a baby who has never been a good sleeper).  She wakes up frequently and doesn't want to eat or even really be rocked/held. She is just getting harder go soothe and waking up much more. 9 times out of 10 she won't let Matt pacify her either, it has to be me. It's not waking up at night that really gets to me, it's also that she's reqires being held all night and is restless so the quality of sleep I get isn't great. Anyway, I got up with her this morning and made a really cute breakfast. Natalie came down a bit later than us, then Vanessa took a nap and we did an egg hunt. Vanessa found some eggs that were blatantly in sight and Natalie had to research a bit harder for hers. We then went to Matt's mom's house (my in laws are the only people we're having any contact with and vice versa) and had lunch then hung out for a bit and the girls opened their Easter baskets/gifts. We went back home, Matt put Vana down for a nap and I slept on the couch for a good while. Then we went outside and played with the bubble machine we got the girls. I thought Vanessa would really get a kick out of it but she wasn't too interested. Natalie loved it and even said to me, "that was a blast, thank you for getting it for us, " which made me so happy. We finished the evening by going to Matt's dad's house for dinner. Vanessa loves Matt's parents so so much. She actually prefers them to us, it's really funny. She was drinking out of a water bottle and cracking my father in law up. I just love how close we are to them. Anyway,  all things considered it was a good and pretty typical Easter. My mom popped by and left some groceries and a chocolate bunny on my porch. I'm bummed to not have seen my family but I'm grateful I have a family to miss!






31 March 2020

Lockdown

Yesterday the governor ordered the state of VA to stay home except for essentials (food, medicine), medical care and fresh air/exercise. The law also allows people to visit relatives and a list if other things like volunteer. This order is in effect until June 10th. I have a feeling the restrictions will be lifted before that date. I'm not sure how to feel.  I don't have the answers. We all do need to move on with our lives and jobs but at what cost? How long until it's safe? How fucked up are things about to get for the economy and health system? This is all such a disaster and still a very divided political issue with people still downplaying it or outright saying the death toll is a lie to make Trump look bad (like he needs any fucking help to do that). I'm still so angry and lost about it but thanking my lucky stars I'm here and healthy with my family.


On another note, homeschooling is still going well most the time. There are moments of frustration with getting Natalie to focus and listen without giving attitude but overall I love this. Yesterday we planted some seeds in our yard and have started a vegetable garden. My neighbor gave us some lettuce and snap pea seeds, soil and a pole for the snap peas to grown up which I had no freaking clue was a thing.  I'll be amazed if anything is harvestable because I can take care of children quite well but plants/crops are not my forte.  I always dreamed of growing my own food though and now seems like a good time to.

Vanessa is such an amazing baby. She learns so quick, though she doesn't always repeat things when you want her to (which is fine, I'm not her puppet master). Today while she was takin lg a bath I asked her to share one of her toys with me and sure enough she handed to me. Then she pulled the faucet cover off (twice) and was playing with that and I videotaped me asking her to share and her immediately turning around to hand it to me. Last night we were outside and I pointed out the moon high in the sky above us and she pointed at it and made her adorable noises. Then she looked around elsewhere and I asked her where the moon was and she looked up and pointed right at it. She just blows me away. Oh, she is also becoming super attached to Matt and prefers him to me 100%. That's exactly how Natalie was too until she was several years old. It's sad because Vanessa always reaches for him and cries when he can't hold her. I try not to take it personally.  She's still my little snuggle bug and I love being with my girls all the time. 

25 March 2020

Ranting

It has been 12 days since we got word that Natalie's school was closing for a month. Two days ago the governor of Virginia announced school is closed for the rest of the academic year. Oh, I also am unemployed for the first time since I was 16. Hopefully it is only temporary and my salon location will open back up when it is safe. We're a small company and I don't think my location pulls in enough money to withstand being closed for much more than 30 days though.


I am not sure how I feel. I have mood swings about all of this mess. I sometimes get so frustrated that I just want to rant and vent and curse. I feel so angry about what could have been done to prevent getting to this point (many other countries successfully stopped this nonsense before it spread). I get angry at the people who still laugh about it and call it a hoax or an exaggeration. I get mad (so mad) at the president and his idiocy. His bullshit, his hypocrisy and his flat out lies. I get angry at the people who still defend him and claim to be these great patriots but don't take what the country needs to heart. Trump (I get mad even writing his name) wants to reopen the country back up in a couple short weeks to prevent financial collapse despite health experts advice that it will only worsen the pandemic and kill more people who would have otherwise lived. People are all, "it's easy to criticize leaders, would you know what to do in this situation?" and no, I do not know what to do in this situation and I am not saying it's an easy place to be. I also do not have advice from some of the worlds smartest doctors and scientists who study infectious diseases telling me what to do to then act like a cocky, know it all motherfucker and not only ignore their advice but do the EXACT fucking opposite of what they say. I am not saying he will get away with opening back up by Easter (his desired timeline and he talked about how beautiful it will be to have churches packed with people, ugh) so fingers crossed that it doesn't work out. Trust me, I am in no state to be without a job and like I said I may be without that job for good. But I have a patriotic duty to fill by keeping this disease from spreading. 

Whew, okay that felt good to get off my chest. 


23 March 2020

Nine Months

With the world collapsing before my bare eyes and my brain focusing on so many worries ahead, it is a bit challenging to even think about my baby turning 9 months old.

Here we are though, world aflame and Vana being another month older. She's such a silly little baby. She does this adorable thing when I lean my head into her and say, "noggin" and gently taps her forehead to mine. She also "kisses" me by pressing her wide open mouth to my face and leaving it there. Sleep it still awful, maybe worse. She rolls around in what seems to be discomfort until we (me) pick her up snuggle her. She still feeds at night too, around 12 ozs maybe. She is down to one nap a day, sometimes an hour long, sometimes three hours or so. She is very clingy and demands to be held/entertained all day. She is back to not really playing solo and is very cranky. I believe it's mostly teething but unfortunately since she was 5 months she's had ear issues. First was an infection,  then another infection (or the first never cleared), then the ear wasn't fully healed and now she has fluid in her ear but the doctor last visit 2 weeks ago said it wasn't infected then. She was supposed to see a specialist about it but due to this global pandemic they didn't bring us into the office and just chatted with me on the phone. The specialist said that a lot of times babies' eustachian tubes are long enough and something about why that causes issues. The fluid may not be causing her pain, just discomfort but it could be muffling her hearing which would be an issue. We have to wait and see when it's safe to take her to the ear doctor to get evaluated and possibly explore the option of putting a tube in her ear.

Physically she is thriving. She was a healthy 21 lbs and 29.5 inches 2 weeks ago. I forgot the percentiles but it was like 8oth and 99th. She enjoys solids very much but is very picky about them. She won't eat fresh fruit or many vegetables. She loves canned soup, meat (any kind), and prepackaged snacks like puffs and knock off Cheerios. She really enjoys freeze dried strawberries too. It makes me nuts because I never know what to feed her. I want her to be eating baby mush and healthier fresh foods. Matt's dad is ready to give her sweets and lots of junk, haha. I am going to let him be the first to give her McDonald's when the time is right because he's been itching to do that.

Whatever she's been eating, she is getting strong! She is cruising along edges and can stand independently for 10-15+ seconds. She can also squirm and roll away from you like she does every single diaper change.  Every single one.  It is such a challenge, especially the messy ones, eww.

She's a handful for sure and an entirely different baby than Natalie was but I love and adore her all the same. She is charming and smart and amazing. Happy 9 months, Vana Vo!

Update 3.25.20: She bit me like 3 times today. It was when she was happy (when I tickled her and when Natalie surprised her, something that makes her really excited) so hopefully it was just a nervous tick type thing and not full on aggression.

 I kept having to snatch leaves out of her hands/mouth while taking these.
 I got her to eat some peach baby mush today.
I was really hoping to lose more weight before my birthday in June but it's looking like I'll be gaining 30 lbs by then with this quarantine. 

18 March 2020

Homeschooled

Wow, we are already three days into homeschooling! It has been going great! Natalie is the most organized kid I've ever met. She was so cute and was so excited about being homeschooled. Before school even shut down she was planning things out and writing out her schedule, writing lists of things she needs, and gathering supplies. Once she got her assignments from her teacher, she organized those assignments by subject order she would be doing them in. She has been cooperative and does the work but it's also extremely light and easy work. We could do all subjects in less than an hour but I need it to stretch us through a good amount of the day. I'm flexible though because I have to be with a demanding baby to care for. I've been loving it so much. Don't get me wrong, it's not perfect and Natalie and I still bicker but it isn't about homeschooling (yet).

An update on the burning world: As I write this on March 18th, 2020 at 9:42 pm almost 9,000 people globally have died from covid19. 8,953 last I checked. The numbers of cases and deaths keeps jumping up and up and up. There are more cases than reported because people can be without symptoms and you have to jump through hoops to get tested since there is a test shortage for some reason. My anxiety is all over. I fear getting sick, I mostly fear my in laws or parents getting sick and I definitely fear the economical damage this virus is causing. I think Matt will lose his job. He works for a small company that is already struggling. I don't know what the future holds. It is what it is I guess. I can't panic and do anything about what is bound to be.

Anyway, aside from all that, life is great! I asked Natalie today, "What are your thoughts on Coronavirus and everything going on?" She smiled and said, "I don't know. I'm just happy to be with you," as she dove into me for a hug. I love these girl's of mine. I love Matt so much. I'm so lucky and happy to have them, come hell or high waters.

Tomorrow the weather will be beautiful and I look forward to another day we can homeschool.

14 March 2020

Coronavirus

Remember all those times I mentioned how I love having Natalie home with me and I wish we had more time together since she started school? Well, wish granted! I get a whole month of her being home courtesy of coronavirus!

School is closing Monday (the 16th) and starts back up after our regularly scheduled spring break on April 13th. The plan is to do some homeschooling for a couple of weeks and then enjoy a trip to the mountains and waterpark but something tells me that trip is going to hell.
I really actually dread homeschooling. Vana has been having a tough time lately and attached at the hip, just yelling and crying all day. Natalie is stubborn and full of attitude lately. I just foresee my day being stress filled trying to get Natalie to cooperate with a cranky baby in hand.
Just to document and look back on all this, here's a summary of what is going on right now: a global pandemic of something called cornovirus causing the world to go to shit (even more so than all the other things that make it shit).

Things are a bit crazy at the moment, and it's only just begun here in my area. Schools closing, grocery stores out of basic necessities, and events being cancelled. All pro sports have been cancelled, concerts, parties, ect. in an effort to socially distance people and prevent this from spreading more.  I am so on board with the idea of less crowds and avoiding people as much as possible, something I do all year round.

I don't know what will happen and how bad things might get but shockingly I am staying very calm. I have my moments of, "oh snap, what if the worst case scenario happens?!" and even moments of, "what if the worst case scenario doesn't happen but we still get this virus and it's terrible and life altering even not in the worst stage?!" but overall I am being rational, which is unusual.
There are loads of mixed opinions on how things will pan out and it's hard to know what to think and feel. It's all really just a big wait and see game. I actually feel a lot of anger about the way things are being politicized. I get mad reading social media posts and feel frustation about how the country is run in general. I am not saying I have the answers and I usually just stay the fuck away from anything political because 1. I don't care 2. It's complicated and I don't understand.

Anyway, I haven't been feeling 100%. I still get dizzy really easily (like even if I'm sitting down I lose my balance and feel like I'm tipping over) and have been fatigued which is normal for a mom to a baby who never sleeps well. All this mess with what's going on is surreal and I just am hoping for the best for everyone!


24 February 2020

Eight Months

Ack, I forgot to post yesterday and almost forgot today! Vanessa is 8 months old! I feel like I updated every new thing in the 7 month post as I did so as she hit new milestones. The other day I was saying, "that's Daddy," while pointing at Matt and she said "da-da" but  I believe it was crazy coincidental timing. She's so freaking sweet and silly. I mean this in the utmost endearing way but she reminds me of a little puppy sometimes because she'll put something in her mouth and then crawl around with it. There are other things that make me feel like she is a little puppy too but I can't really explain what or why. Maybe because she's slobbery and pants around while she crawls. She has the sweetest disposition and personality.  I can't get enough of her. She fits in so well with our family and just rolls with wherever we go or whatever we do. She is finally getting keen on solids. She loves legit solids, not purees. I want to limit the amount of prepackaged stuff she eats like the puffs and crackers and such but options are semi limited at the moment. I only give her fruits/veggies in this little net thing for babies to get small amounts of without choking. She isn't ready to eat homemade dinners yet. Anyway, she's thriving and just the best! Happy 8 months,  Vana!

Update: 3.3.20 She started playing peek a boo on cue last week! She'll take a blanket and if you ask where Vanessa is she holds it over her face then brings it back down and repeats the process again and again.

3/14/20: I meant to update a couple weeks ago but it got away from me. She will occasionally wave bye-bye. She does a good amount of head butting and trying to kiss us with her little mouth wide open and pushed against our faces. She is cranky most the day and pulls on her ear loads. I took her to get her ear checked out. It's not infected but there is fluid and we're going to see a specialist. There are some other things she started doing too that I can't remember but she just seems to be such a bright little baby.