Saturday, February 27, 2010

A plea for help / ideas / anything...

I thought I had actually already blogged about this one, but realized I hadn't. Then I realized... well, that was stupid, as this is exactly the sort of thing a blog is good for. See I need some help. Ot at least some ideas / thoughts / support. And holy cow, it turns out I have this little soapbox on which to appeal for it...

I doubt this will be the only time I blog on this one, but here's my first go. The munchkin won't eat solids. Now let me be clear here, as people never quite seem to understand what I mean. She will eat baby food (though she often balks at the stage 3's - too much texture), just nothing else. I'll say this and my friends will offer banana pieces or other soft fruits. Nope, those are solids. The only way she will eat a banana that's not from a jar is if I completely mush it with a spoon and possibly mix it with something else. And then she will sort of grudgingly agree to eat a little of it. Usually understanding dawns when I explain she won't eat a cheerio. If we give her a cheerio or a puff, she throws it on the floor for the dog. I had a big break through day the other day when she let me put the cheerios in her mouth (opened for it) before spitting them out and throwing them on the floor. I managed to hide a couple in her sweet potatoes (a first), but she made an awful face on each that went down, till she managed to gag up the last one.

Yes, I guess I should explain that part... You might be thinking - look, I know she may not want to eat these things. But you are the grown up. You mix them in with stuff and get her to try them. What I haven't mentioned is that generally any time I've gotten a solid into her mouth (solids sometimes including stage 3 foods), she has such a strong gag reflex, it comes right back up.

So I'm putting this out to the universe - or at least the blogosphere. Help! Anyone! Did anyone have a child who refused / refuses solids? How did you introduce them? Do you have any ideas at all? I'm also really worried that she's not going to get enough protein as we're currently weaning (which is going very slow, as I'm feeling paranoid) - oh yeah, I guess I didn't mention that she generally won't touch the jarred meats either. We've found one exception (sweet potatoes with turkey), so she gets that several times a week. Any ideas on how to get her protein if she won't eat solids / meats? Things she will eat include - babyfood fruits, vegetables, jarred oatmeal/cereal (not the boxed stuff - as if!), yogurt and the sweet potato turkey mix. Thanks so much for ANY thoughts!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Where exactly do you think you’ve been lately, young lady?

So, in my blogging absence, a lovely commenter said in response to my note that it’s been very busy – I can’t wait to hear what you’ve been up to. I have to admit… This is a lot of pressure! Cause, crap… I’m not sure I did much of anything. I know it wasn’t all that exciting. Oh man… Here goes nothing.

Well, let’s see – there was the snow. And the ensuing digging out that seemed to take a full week in northern Virginia. My office was actually closed for 3 days – the days a week that I work. Though one of my colleagues told me she assumed a closed office meant we had the day off, I didn’t assume the same thing – as it was pretty clear to me that that was not my boss’s assumption (37 emails and phones calls later…). Now normally I like the opportunity to work from home on occasion. In the pre-baby days, I could move laundry between emails, have lunch with my husband and take calls in my sweats (or jammies)! Then, in the early post baby days, working from home was pretty difficult when I was home alone with the baby. She actually didn’t require much from me those days and would lay happily on the couch next to me (surrounded by pillows, so there was no chance of falling!) while I worked on my laptop. But I always felt like a total shit about that. The poor kid must have been bored out of her mind. Nothing to stimulate her (she was really too young for much of any sort of toy) and Mommy barely paying attention. Then I’d stop to focus on her for awhile and feel like I was being completely irresponsible in my job. (Yes, the baby is more important, but I’ve made a commitment to the job too.)

Anyway, we’ve moved out of those days – the monkey isn’t about to sit quietly while Mommy is on the computer. The cords are so pretty! As are the outlets over there (thank goodness we finally gotten the cheap outlet covers that stay in!) and the fireplace and… You know the drill. But my husband was home those days as well, so we were covered. The problem was – they wound up being incredibly busy work days! There was no “let’s ease up a bit to go for a walk in the snow or check out that sledding hill” (OK, she’s too young for sledding, but man it looked like so much fun when we saw the neighborhood kids there!). I was tethered to the laptop – with everything running slower as I queried the server. Sadly, it actually would have been better to be in the office. (I shudder to say it!) In fact, we got to my days “off” and my phone kept ringing again as deadlines had been pushed up and all was in a frenzy.

Yeah, I know, this is the way of the world and such a complaint is no different than what anyone else has about their job (and I am particularly lucky to even have the luxury of part time), but whatever! Being a grown up stinks!

The Friday of our snowmanji week was the monkey’s birthday. So my Mom was flying up Thursday and we had company coming on Saturday afternoon. It occurred to us that maybe it was time to finish putting our moving boxes away… Oh dear. When Mom arrived, I said – look, we’re sadly sort of at that point in cleaning where we’ve pulled everything out… but have not yet put it back away. Could you just avert your eyes? Happily, though, she watched her favorite (only) grandbaby while we finished up and now we are FINALLY feeling settled! Yes, the horribly ugly kitchen wallpaper still stares at me. But we actually have some pictures hung as well! (None are hung in the kitchen over that wallpaper as it is so busy that it gives me a headache all on its own. I can’t add design to that wall!)

The munchkin’s birthday was good (but I’ll update that one separately as this is getting pretty long already!). Sadly, given our changed deadlines, I had to go into work on Monday though I was supposed to be off. Ah well, it was a busy and productive day. I missed getting to spend the morning with my Mom before she flew out, but on the bright side she could watch the baby for me so I could work – and we all know who she REALLY came to see anyway! (Luckily, my sister in law had the day off and babysat for us in the afternoon.)

Then the last part of my absence… the end of last week. OK, I have no good explanation whatsoever for this. I was just plain exhausted. I don’t know what it was but I was totally worn out. I saw some friends on Thursday afternoon and as I left their house I thought – when this baby naps this afternoon, I’m napping! Sadly, she napped the whole car ride home and it was all I could do to stay awake for it! I had to push to stay awake till her bedtime (it’s ok – she head butted me anytime I was completely falling over. Nice of her…) and went to bed right after she did. S adly, I still felt the need to nap every time she did on Friday and struggled through my day till I could go to sleep right after her again on Friday. Saturday we had some friends over for dinner – something I’d considered cancelling as it meant I couldn’t go to bed at 8:30… And Sunday I worked on my 'nap when she naps' schedule again.

Yeah, so really about half my absence was explained by sleeping. I’m so cool – living the dream, baby!

Alright, so I haven’t really written anything that opens up questions, but you’ve been so kind as to listen to me ramble, so I do want to hear about you too! So… how do you deal with illness / exhaustion while being a mommy (I somehow forgot to negotiate in sick days to my package) – esp if your husband is working / not available? What gets you “snowed under” (yes, bad pun intended) that you disappear for a week or two? Or, how long does it take you clear up moving boxes (by the way, I don’t mean to imply two months later that we’re DONE or anything! Just closer) and/or make a place start to feel like home?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Post it Note Tuesdays

OK, week two of my attempts at post it notes... Here goes...

Till my random thoughts of next week... Have a great day!

Blogging for dummies....

Yeah, so that new header didn't work out so well... What's truly sad is - I didn't think I saved it. But apparently I did. Is there anyone stupider than me out there?

And yes, by the way, yesterday when I said I couldn't get links to work, that does mean that apparently I've forgotten how and can't seem to figure it out again.

Really, seriously, there are dumber people somewhere in the world... right?

Make me feel better and tell me the dumbest thing you've done recently or the stupidest mistakes you've made blogging. Feeling like the only dumb person is really putting a crimp in my Tuesday. (It doesn't help that we seem to be out of coffee...)

Monday, February 22, 2010

You can do anything you want! You just can’t do EVERYTHING you want…

I know I’ve mentioned before how a few friends warned me – when you have a baby, you’ll have NO TIME. You don’t have any time for yourself. When I’d ask – oh, did you see that show / go to that movie / do that thing, they’d say – no, I can’t! I’m a Mom. I don’t have time for that!

So maybe I should have been more prepared to be overwhelmed by my new baby. But somehow I couldn’t believe what they said. I figured it’d be a few weeks/months of that and then you could have a life again.

And the truth I came to was… you can! In those first few months, I decided you really can do anything you truly want. But what you truly want changes. And the reality check is – you probably can’t do EVERYTHING you truly want, but what did you expect?

This morning I gained a little “me” time – and it was wonderful – which is probably making me a better Monday morning mama than I would normally be. My husband had to go in to teach today, so he could leave a little later than usual. So he took the munchkin to his parents around 6:30 (I should note – she woke up at 6:25, which is early for her – but it was following a FULL NIGHT’s sleep!). And I… rolled back over for another thirty minutes of guilt free bliss! We’d gone to bed very early, as I’ve been a bit rundown recently, so this got me about ten hours sleep – tell me that’s not heaven! It’s sad that I’ve been going to bed around 8:30 to get it (and somehow when the baby sleeps, the dog will decide he needs to go out at midnight, but I digress…), but I’ll take it. Then I woke up and took a shower without listening for the baby monitor or rushing through as I heard the baby crying. I even managed to do a few exercises this morning! My husband told me that would not fall under his definition of “luxurious,” but I was pretty stoked. OK, so maybe putting on laundry wasn’t “luxurious” – but having the time to do it without a symphony of crying in the background while being well rested enough to feel OK about it was all pretty nice! I even read a magazine while I ate breakfast and managed to compose a little blog in my morning.

And doing all this, I realized that what’s hard is – I don’t need 20 minutes for myself a day. I need 20 minutes for myself when I’m already well rested and the house is reasonably clean (we had friends over this weekend, so it was). Because then I get a guilt free 20 minutes (or in this case more like 90 minutes!) that I can actually enjoy and use on me. Because, really, I get 20 minutes (or even 90) most days – during the baby’s nap or when she’s gone to bed for the night. But most days it’s all I can do to sink into my bed or the sofa for that time.

So I guess that brings back the question of… can I do anything I want? Hmm… well, when the baby is teething and up half the night – I probably shouldn’t plan on it. And when we’re midway through moving and haven’t unpacked all our boxes – well, it’s probably all going to come up a bit short for awhile then too. But those times we hit our status quo and find our rhythm – yeah, I think there is time for me to do what I want. It just turns out that pretty often what I want is to spend time with my little family. Who’d have thunk it?

So what about you? Are you feeling like you can have it all? Or wondering how you get off this crazy ride? Do you flip flop on that feeling as often as I do? And, if so, what drives that change for you? And when you’re on the far side of crazy, how do you make it back?

As seen on TV - All about MEme

Today's question from Supah Mommy and MommyBrain is to tell about your favorite "as seen on TV" products.

Well, I've already admitted to owning the clapper ( - sorry, linking isn't working for me today...) - something my husband now includes (as the piece de resistence) on our "come see our new home" tour.

Then there were the acne meds my dad got for me in HS - I don't even remember which they were (years before those endorsed by Jessica Simpson). He was a much bigger fan of As Seen on TV (ASOT) than I am. There was a long Home Shopping Network addiction that my Mom finally had to break him of... It was an ugly time and I don't want to talk about the intervention process. He's one of the few people I know who always regretted NOT buying something seen on TV. His "big regret" was the bike that folds up. I can't remember what it was called and when I tried googling - well, apparently there's a whole big market for this now, so I can't find that old original infomercial one (almost makes it seem like Dad had a point.... Nah!).

He wanted to buy the folding bike because he thought this would be perfect for my brother who took the train to HS. The train station was about 2 miles away and Dad had to get up in the morning to drive him there. He'd take the train in and then at the end of the day, walk to the library - where my Mom worked - and get a ride home. Or, on occasion, walk home. Now maybe his desire for this bike came after he broke his foot jumping into his jeans at whatever hour in the morning to drive my brother to the train... Or maybe he was just getting sick of running out so early (fair enough!). Whatever the case - he was convinced this was the solution to all life's problems. My brother could ride this bike to the train, fold it up and take it on the train to school. Then ride it from the train station to school! There were possibly a few small problems with this...

1. Yeah, you totally want to be the freshman with the folding bicycle. Cause freshman year at a new school isn't hard enough - let's add an ASOT purchase to that mix...

2. My brother is one of the least athletic people out there. Seriously. He's totally going to ride his bike 5 miles a day rather than getting a ride. Especially when the weather is less than ideal. I see this happening...

3. Any high school kid is going to wake up early to ride their bike to the train rather than get a ride...

But alas, the great fold up bicycle remained a pipe dream. And by his sophmore year, they decided to start sending a bus to our neighborhood!

So what about you? Leave a comment on your favorite as seen on TV items or head over to Supah's to join today's challenge. Or tell me your favorite proposed uses for a 15 or 20 year old fold up bike... ;)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Quick update

It's been a CRAZY week - digging out of snow, tons of deadlines at work and THE MONKEY'S BIRTHDAY!

Hopefully I will catch up soon and have more updates - particularly on her festivities. Thanks for stopping by! Hope you are all well!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Ballet might be a contact sport…

Quote of the day:

I was talking to my friend yesterday whose daughter is two and a half. She mentioned that she can’t wait to get our girls together again, but suggested that we might want to train our munchkin in self defense first. She explained that her daughter had started ballet last week and, as after seeing her first attempts, her husband summed it up with – if this doesn’t work out, there’s always the karate place across the street.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


I've heard it called Snowpocalypse and SnOMG by many - and even snowtopia by the kids next door who haven't been to school all week (or last Friday) and seem unlikely to make it there the rest of this week (poor teachers - with the Monday holiday added in, it'll be like starting over). But whatever you want to call it - this is getting ridiculous! Is it any coincidence that our first year of home ownership (and therefore shoveling!) is one of the snowiest winters in DC? Someone is laughing at me up there! And then dumping more snow!

So let's give some highlights of the snow storm at the Casa de Crazy this week...

- The dog won't go out on his own in the snow. For the first storm I was at my inlaws (my husband was working and I pictured myself in thigh high snow with the baby strapped to my chest trying to coax the dog out to go and decided I'd prefer to stay there). In the morning, I tried to 'kick' him out the front door to go - he turned right around. I kept trying to coax him (in my slippers - I didn't want to go outside! I really prefer to pee inside myself...). Eventually my mother in law threw some cheerios outside to get him to go. He ran out after the cheerios, but still didn't go! We tried letting him out through the garage and finally he gave in to his bladder. Thank goodness!

- The snow is now about as tall as my daughter. I think it's a moral imperative to get a picture of her next to a snow bank - as well as next to our dug out path - one for the ages! Apparently there is a similar picture of my Mom from when she is 2 or 3 during a huge storm that year. But our camera doesn't seem to be working!!! UGH!

- If you're looking for all the milk and bread(in the world), it's at my in laws house. Now I know why there's not enough basic supplies at stores before storms. When I was there this weekend, I think they had 3 gallons of milk and about 8 loaves of bread (they'd each gone shopping separately).

- Most people should get off the roads when it snows. There was the lady who was speeding down the road that my husband yelled at to slow down (he always does this). She opened her window to explain that she was "from NY" and "in her element." Really? I'm from NJ. I don't care. This is a crapload of snow and you were going fast for clear roads! There was also the near fight at the Safeway parking lot between two drivers. I couldn't tell what it was over, but I've never heard the F bomb dropped so much outside an episode of the Jersey Shore.

- Updated - oh, and since we live in Mayberry... one of my older neighbors was out shoveling out his car this weekend and three different neighbors came to help him out - my hubby with the snowblower (and me with my pitiful shovel!), the teenage boy next door and the guy down the street (OK, so his wife made him). Actually, hopefully in the long run that's the sort of thing I'll think of when I think of Snowmaggeddon.

Make me not feel like the only one mother nature hates - tell me your snow / storm / weather related stories! (from this week or storm or old ones) And does anyone have any good ideas to get your dog to go out in the snow - short of shoveling the backyard (which we've been reduced to!)?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

And now we have the clap(per). AKA yes, we really are THAT lazy! And creative ways to make the clapper work.

A few years back, my husband used to joke about the clapper when we’d get into bed. In case you’re not old enough to remember the commercials, there was that lady lying in bed who suddenly realized the lights were still on. Instead of having to actually get out of her nice warm bed, she could just clap her hands and her lights went off. Almost makes you want one? Well probably not if you’ve actually SEEN that commercial as the lady was probably about 102 and her arms went flailing about as she flapped and seriously – it looked like about the dorkiest thing ever invented. My husband would lie in bed and do that chicken wing arm flap and then get up to actually turn off the lights.

Still… when I saw the clapper in our yankee swap at work a few years ago, I couldn’t help but grab it for him! He laughed when he opened it and plugged it right in – but it never worked right! And I forgot about it.

I think he did too. Until he found it again in the move. And plugged it into our bedroom lamp. And randomly – it sort of works this time. Sort of is key here. Not just because sometimes it works if you clap, but because it works for a lot of other sounds too. The most notable is the baby’s cry. We’ll sometimes bring her in the morning when she’s woken up and we really don’t want to drag our butts out of bed yet. Sure, we have to be completely awake now as she’s climbing on us, but at least we can still be in a prone position at 7 on Sunday. Well, as she gets bored or mad that we won’t let her fling herself off the bad or whatever, her crying will cause the light to go on or off (well, mostly on. We’re mostly trying to keep it dark to convince her to cuddle down with us. For reference – this never works). So she cries and the light suddenly goes on and she stops for a second and looks at it like – well, how the heck… did I do that?

Then Daddy turns it off again – on occasion by actually clapping, but much more likely by knocking on the headboard or, let’s by honest, by slapping his butt hard enough to make a clapping sound. She’s recently been getting a cold, so it will also turn on the lights when she coughs – which makes me think, how much fun will this stupid thing be when I have a cold and the lights keep going on all night?

As a side note - we've noticed it will also go off to the dog barking and my husband's cell phone ringing (how handy - the phone rings and the lights come on so I can find it... Not.)

So for those of you not filling your house with infomercial rejects, what surprises your kids when it works / makes something move or turn on or off? What are their funniest reactions?

There’s acne in my crow’s feet

Seriously! How is that one fair!? I tried this new “anti-aging” skin lotion recently. At first I thought it was working pretty well on that deep line that’s starting to form between my eyes… But then, I took a closer look next to my eyes and tiny little pimples were sprouting up. Shouldn’t I be in one stage of my life or the other? Either in that crazy hormonal acne popping up everywhere stage… or the dealing with wrinkles stage? Having both is just darn depressing…

Monday, February 8, 2010

Electricians, plumbers, exterminators – oh my!

It’s really almost not possible that only one thing can go wrong at once, I suppose… Last week when my husband was at work, I went upstairs to get something and noticed the closet light wouldn’t go on. Huh, ok, I went to turn on the bathroom light for ambient light reflect – nope. Ok, that’s not good. What else isn’t working? All told – none of the bathrooms (there are 3), the closet and a number of outlets. Ugh.

The next morning I was sitting in the living room getting ready to call the home warranty people (thank goodness for that!) when I looked up and was pretty sure I’d figured out the source of the electrical problem – the water damage in the ceiling from a leak somewhere!

The home warranty sent a contractor the next morning. He figured out the electrical and – it actually had nothing to do with the plumbing issue! This was just random multi-system failure. Oh, and he didn’t do plumbing. We called back the home warranty and the plumber arrived later that day. Yup, just a random leak from the bath tub – that involved cutting a big hole in our living room ceiling. Oh, and they don’t do dry wall.

And, in our weekend of repairs, finally came the last one – the exterminator. I’d tried my best! We’d put traps everywhere! I’d gone nuts with vinegar all over the house (my dry hands attest). I’d been killing them in droves (my husband’s deerslayer jokes were getting so old…) and had the wounds to prove it! Literally – I’d noticed a huge parade of them cutting across the tops of my cabinets and kept jumping up on the counter to reach up and kill them. The next day I noticed my knees were all black and blue from this effort. (Having always been short, I’d always jumped up on the counter to reach stuff with no issue. So now, I’m not only depressed about the vermin, but also … I’m old!) So we’d brought out the big guns! He sprayed outside. He put the uber bait in the hot spots and we waited.

And they came. They came in such numbers to the poisoned bait! Holy heck! How many were living here?! What’s worse is – some traps didn’t seem to be catching much, so we’d move them to other “unmanned” areas where we’d see a few ants and another onslaught would show up!

Luckily the numbers have slowed now, but God only knows if we’re actually making any progress against them. Here’s hoping. Two out of three (electricity and plumbing) is not good enough this time!

I can’t be the only one! What were your worst everything breaks at once stories? Can you top 3 contractors in a week? (By the way, to be fair, the dry wall guy should be coming to fix that whole in the ceiling soon, so we’ve got 4th on the way…)

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Learning to talk

I always wonder what to count as first words / when. She started saying Mama at about 8 ½ months and Dada about a week later – but sometimes they are just sounds that she enjoys. Sometimes to comical ends – like when she’s happily nursing away and then pulls off and looks up at me to joyfully squeal – “Daddy!”

She also sometimes says hi / dog / book / out / hot / cold / up, but I’m not sure there’s so much rhyme or reason… The latest word, though, is a doozy. This weekend she started saying “poop!” At first I thought it was Pope (man, are we that religious? I didn’t think so…), but soon realized my error. The funnier part was – upon checking her diaper, she was right! She woke up from her nap later and over the intercom we heard – poop! And yup, there you have it – another dirty diaper. Of course she also says it when she’s not dirty and doesn’t always say it when she is (possibly because our amusement at her verbalization there just delights her!), but thank goodness we really have the basics of vocabulary down… I’m working on transcendentalism with her next week.

What were your child’s first words? And what were the funny early words?

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Post it note Tuesday

Ok, this is my first try at Post it note Tuesday from Supah Mommy, so have pity on me!

Wow, check out my mad web skillz... (It's like your grandma trying to hang with what all the kids are doing...)

I wish I could have equivalent social reactions to people I don’t like…

I went to a party recently at an old colleague’s house. My husband was working, but the munchkin came along ready to party! There were actually quite a few kids there (though she was the youngest). She generally did well with the other kids and was ok with being held by many of the adults – except maybe one…

There was a former director from the company who kept trying to hold her and she kept scrambling into my side. Now admittedly, the real issue was probably that his approach wasn’t so good – he didn’t try to play with her much first before just trying to reach out for her. But I still had to laugh – truth is he always really scared me too!

What about you? What are your favorite moments where your child reacted exactly the way you've always wanted to or managed to show your secret feelings?

Monday, February 1, 2010

All about MEme! Driving stories

Today's topic is on times you've gotten pulled over.

Ah yes... Those times. I swear I was never doing anything wrong. It was all a mistake and someone else and... oh hell, here's what happened.

The first time I was 21. It was labor day weekend the summer after college graduation and I was starting my first real job the next week. My best friend had moved to Kentucky for grad school and was feeling sad and lonely, so a friend of mine and I decided to drive out and visit from NJ. We were driving back through the extremely boring flat landscape of Ohio and I was feeling like I was made of teflon with my radar detector. If only I'd thought to look in the rearview mirror to see if there was actually a cop there. Oops... Yup, no need for a radar detector when he's clocking me nearing 80 in a 65. (Thank goodness he hadn't been behind me an hour earlier...)

So it's the end of the month, a holiday weekend and I have out of state plates. Why even try to get out of this one? He came up and it was clear he didn't want to hear my sob story. He didn't ask if I knew how fast I was going or why I was in a hurry. He just asked for my license and started writing me a ticket.

I was a bit shaken and stressed, but didn't cry (what would have been the point?) while I waited for him to finish running my license. My friend looked at me and said - man, he's taking a long time. Can't he tell we're in hurry?! And then I started laughing hysterically (you have to break the stress gauge somewhere!). Luckily I stopped before he came back and as we pulled back out into traffic, I asked my friend to try to figure out what this would cost me. $50 and no points. Really? OK, that might have almost been worth it to get out of Ohio faster! Though I did still make my friend drive most of the rest of the way home.

Ok, not a pulled over story, but someone else's post reminded me of one of my funniest car stories, so here goes:

I was actually walking for this one, but the other person was in a car. I was probably in HS and we lived on a pretty busy street. I didn't have a car, so I walked a bit - to work, youth group, etc. Since the street was busy, I got honked at a bit while walking. I guess I could have gotten upset by it or uncomfortable, but I decided to generally try to take it as a compliment. (I mean I was young and had fairly long blond hair. I doubt the drivers even got a good look at me, but were just deciding to honk at some young girl. As long as they just keep going, who cares?)

Well, one day I was walking and I heard a car honk and I didn't pay much attention. I didn't recognize the car and didn't acknowledge the honks of strangers. Suddenly the car stops and I see the door open. Well, crap! I start running! I didn't know who this was and did NOT want to find out who would stop their car for some random girl on the street when she hasn't acknowledged their honk.

Suddenly I hear my name! It was a friend of mine catching a ride from someone I didn't know (hence didn't know the car)! Oh man... I was so embarrassed. And I felt like such a snob trying to explain - look, I actually get honked at all the time on this street... No, that didn't come out right... Um, what I meant was...

Looking at crib guards – if I had a small animal that came and gnawed on my child’s crib at night, how would I protect it?

The other day I walked into my daughter’s room to get her in the morning and noticed all this white stuff on her face. I admit that I’d been a little slow coming to get her, as I was finishing getting dressed, so I wondered – was she so fussy because she spit up? As I got closer though, no… it wasn’t spit up. It was paint chips! While standing waiting for me, she’d started gnawing on her crib railing and had pulled the paint off!

I grabbed her out of the crib and started making phone calls to friends. The messages I left went something like this. “Hi. I need your advice. This is totally weird and I’ve never even heard of anything like it, so I doubt there’s much to do, but… She seems to be eating her crib! I’ve never heard of a child doing that! What do I do?” I finally got a couple of friends on the phone who said that they’d never heard of it either, but were “sure it was safe.” In the interim, I’d left a message at the manufacturers and when I didn’t get a response, my husband called too. They assured him that the paint was non-toxic (not lead based!), but that this wasn’t covered under warranty (unless it was peeling due to a defect. Nope – it’s peeling due to teeth.).

So we were left with trying to get her out the crib as soon as we could! No waiting lest she gnaw her way out! (OK, a little overzealous, but you see my point. I put her in the crib for 2 minutes so I could go to the bathroom and she’d gotten a new spot stripped – it took no time!) I had no idea how to make her stop! My only thought was, given her complete and total aversion to solid foods, I could cover the thing in cheerios – she won’t put those anywhere near her mouth! (It’s my proposed solution to anything I don’t want her to chew on. The thing is I’m pretty sure she’ll still decide to chew on those things – it’ll just be coupled with her gagging and throwing up a lot more.)

Finally another friend called back and said – oh, they sell crib guards, but I’m sure other people have already told you this. What? No! What are they? So off we went to babies r us to look for “crib guards.” We looked by cribs and bedding, but nothing. Hmm… OK, let’s ask. The first person I asked didn’t recognize the term and said – what? I started to explain that it prevented the baby from chewing on the crib while my husband said, you know, like if a small animal snuck into our house in the night and started gnawing at the wood of our crib – maybe a beaver? (Because OUR daughter would never do something so crazy…) She directed us to the safety section and we found our answer – essentially a blanket that velcro’s over the front part of the crib – like a saddle blanket (but don’t say that to her – then she’ll start trying to ride it…).

So does anyone else have a child who gnaws on his/her crib? (I’m still feeling like I’m the only one!) And, while we’re on the topic, does anyone else have a child who shows a real aversion to solid food? How did you help them over that hurdle?