Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Pre-Christmas Catch Up

There is a fair amount to write about the several days; however, time is short since I have a million other things to be doing, most of which are things I keep thinking are done but appear to be never ending (i.e. Christmas cards, wrapping).

  • Last Friday, I attended my first book club meeting! Normally, I am anxious about going to places where I don't really know anyone or what the situation will be like, but I wasn't this time, and I'm proud of myself for that. I got picked up by my neighbor's sister, who also car pooled three other women. There were a total of 13 women there for the discussion. I was a little worried about not eating anything, but there were at least two other women who didn't eat, so that took a lot of the pressure off having to explain about my allergies. When they started discussing the book, they used questions that were in the back of one of the editions. I wish my edition had had them, because even though I enjoyed this book, I really felt like I didn't have all that much to say about it. If I'd had the questions, I probably would have thought about answers and been a bit more prepared to speak. As it is, I barely spoke the whole time. The discussion did veer off topic at times, and that made it a bit worse for me because a lot of that talk was about the war in Afganatan, which I am not very up to date on. However, there was also plenty of light hearted discussion and plenty shared that let me know some of the members a little bit. They did a Yankee Swap, which I didn't know about. The hostess had an extra gift, which I felt a little funny using, but I didn't want to make a fuss. I wound up with a $10 gift card to Dunkin Donuts, so I'm going to try to use it to buy food for the book club for our next meeting, which is supposed to be the end of January. I am very excited that To Kill a Mockingbird was chosen as the next book. I've already read it 3 or 4 times, and taught it twice, so I'm sure I'll be able to talk a lot more about this book. I just hope I don't come off too teacher-y.
  • I feel like I never wrote about going shopping with my friend almost two weeks ago. It meant turning down an invitation to my neighbor's daughter's first birthday party, but I was very glad to get out with a friend and let Mike have some time alone with Natalie. The night of my book club meeting was Mike's first time putting Natalie to bed without me beign home. He put her to bed without me one other time several months ago. It didn't go that well. She was already upset before he even started bath. We weren't sure why. She calmed down some in the bath, until he rinsed her hair, then she was upset all through lotion, diaper, and pjs. He tried to read her story, but she got up and hugged him to let him know she wanted to get into her crib. He felt bad that it went so poorly and fast. She has been cranky and very tired at bed time for about a week now. I'm sure it has to do with her now only taking one nap. We keep meaning to start her bed time a little earlier to help compenstate, but it hasn't worked out yet. Last night was the first time in a while that she's heard more than one story; recently she hasn't even made it through one.
  • Sunday we had a rough day. Natalie started off great. We set up the plastic picnic table Mike's aunt gave the family for a Christmas present. Her family had used it for their three kids and took it everywhere with them. Once we got it set up, we understood why. Its very portable and strudy. Natalie loved it immediately, but she also loved standing up on the seat and trying to stand on the table. Mike was on Skype with his mom and I was trying to wrap a box, so I had to keep stopping and chase after her to get her down. So, she was enjoying running around, but she also want chewing on her hand fiercely because of teething her bottom molars. She gagged a few times, and then finally threw up all over me and the carpet in the living room. Orange juice puke, too. Mike got off Skype with his mom and came helped us out. Natalie didn't care that she had puked or that she stank. We got her clothes and mine off, rinsed her off, tried to brush her teeth, and then let her loose again. Mike cleaned up the rug. We then had to change a poopy diaper (which is why I picked her up in the first place), and get her redressed. She was upset by all this, so we tried to put her down for a nap, figuring that maybe she was just so wound up because she was tired (like happened at Thanksgiving). I went into the shower, all annoyed at getting screamed in my ear, puked on, and her naps still being up in the air. When I got out, she still wasn't asleep, so we got her up. She was happy at first, but then Mike was trying to get her take her hand out of her mouth before she gagged herself again. We tried to get her to eat some bagel, so that chewing would get her hand out of her mouth, but she refused. Finally, we gave her some Tylenol, and I put the bagel in a snack up, and brought her in to the living room and we watched Rudolph with her on my lap. After 15 -20 mintues, she was ready to eat and all better. Of course, as soon as I said that, she trips and knocks her face on the floor. She calmed down much faster that time. She went out into the kitchen to play with Mike, and he accidentally knocked a frame off the wall sending broken glass everywhere. Luckily, Natalie wasn't close enough to be hurt (and he didn't get hurt either). So, I scooped her back up and put the gate up in the living room, which she didn't mind. After that, the rest of the day was easier. She woke up from her nap crying again and looking miserable. She just lay on my lap crying and I rubbed her back. Another dose of Tylenol helped her out.
  • Since Sunday, she has been much better about her teeth, but continues to chew her fingers. Several times, she needed to be coaxed or tricked into taking her hand out of her mouth to eat. Her bottom right molar has cut the surface, but none but her bottom incisors and left molar haven't yet (as far as I know). Her right bottom incisor has looked ready to cut for over a week. She had a small freak out at play group on Monday because her teeth made her extra grumpy, so we left a little early.
  • Yesterday, we went to the high school where I taught to visit. We had three goals for this visit: 1) find a baby sitter, 2) find some to tutor, and 3) talk to the art teacher about illustrations for the allergies book I wrote for Natalie. Well, when we visited my old homeroom, a student of my friend was visiting. Turns out that even though she is a sophomore, she has a lot of babysitting experience, including watching a less than 1 year old, 3 year old, and 4 year old all at the same time. She took my phone number and said she would talk to her mom about it. I'm optimistic. I really liked how she was the only student present who was really trying to interact with Natalie. After homeroom, we had lunch in the staff room with some of the teachers from that wing. Natalie ate and ran around the room. Next, we were going to head down to guidence, but Natalie wanted to climb up the stairs, so we went to visit some teachers upstairs. I liked how with the big empty halls she could wander far away from me but still be safe. She wandered into someone's classroom before I could catch her though! Luckily, the wing was at lunch. I went down the other half of the building to see the teacher who used to teach across the hall from me. She was happy to see us. Natalie wandered off again down the hall to see some students sitting on the floor. I started to go after her as she got really far away (and I was afraid of the distraction she was causing because some of these rooms were holding class). Well, two of the girls stood up, and somehow, one of the girls knocked into Natalie sending her down flat and hitting a locker in the process. It happened so fast that I don't even know what happened. Natalie started crying really hard. I'm pretty sure it was more out of being shocked and scared than really hurt because she was able to calm down within five minutes. I told the student it was okay because it was an accident, but when her teacher came down to see us a few minutes later, she said the girls were very remorseful, which sucks. I down played it at the time because I didn't want to make even more of a scene, and wanted to calm Natalie down, but that's pretty horrible to not feel bad about knocking over a baby only a minute later. One of the Spanish teachers (who I sometimes used to car pool to work with because she leaves around the corner) came over with a singing and dancing Chihuahua toy, and a couple rounds of that got Natalie calmed down. After that, Natalie was ready to wander off without me again. We went back downstairs to guidence, where I wound up talking to the head of guidence. She said that they actually sometimes have students that can't come to school because of medical reasons who need tutors, and they have a hard time finding them. I would be working for the district (which is both good and bad). She said she might very well call me after the holidays. It sounded like she may have one or two students. Lastly, we head down to the art department, but they were at lunch, so we left. After a brief talk with one of the assistant princpals about whether we needed to fill out a accident report for Natalie's fall, we headed home. I was pretty shocked that Natalie didn't fall asleep in the car. She did however, fall asleep at the table while having lunch.
  • Natalie is now awake after a shorter nap than I would have liked. I'm trying to see if she'll go back to sleep, but I don't think that is going to happen. I have managed to move her from sleeping in the car to her crib four times now. There seems to be two keys to this trick. First, losing the morning nap seems to have made her tired enough to want to keep sleeping. Second, she needs to have only been asleep for about ten minutes, so that she hasn't slept enough to be rested for a while. She lets me take her hands out of her car seat straps, lift her up, get her in the house (today in the snow), take off her shoes, and today I even got her coat off. She hugs me for a minute, then realizes her are next to the bed and moves to be put down, just like at nap or bed time. I'm so glad this is working out, because sitting on the car with her in the middle of winter just wasn't practical (not to mention it was uncomfortable for me).
  • Natalie has been doing some cool things, mostly new words, but I really should be getting her up and give her lunch. I'll have to blog about those another time. Hopefully, I will have some more free time after Christmas. Not only will all the prep we need to be done, but Mike is on vacation until after New Year's, so I should have a little more time to myself than just her mid day nap and a couple hours in the evening.

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