Monday, November 24, 2014

Microblog Monday: Happy Birthday!

Today is my husband's birthday. He took today off and with Thanksgiving he was chuckling that he only has two days of work this week - and likely Wednesday will be early release. He hadn't planned it to be that way, for some reason he forgets when Thanksgiving is. Just a few days ago he asked me, "Is Thanksgiving Thursday?" I'm going to assume he knows it is on A Thursday, and was just checking that it was this coming Thursday rather than asking if it falls on a Thursday. ;)

I'm going to admit, I looked through the meager card selection we have at our post exchange and nothing popped out to me in terms of a Happy Birthday from a child card. I had long ago pinned and shared with R the idea of doing a journal instead of cards so we do that for my birthday and other special occasions. So my question is: What do you do for your significant other (from your child) for birthdays/Christmas when your children are too young to do anything on their own?

Saturday, November 22, 2014

parents day out

Now that we are here in Germany I am more tuned into events on the bases, which seems a little ironic to me since before the Bug was born I worked on our post. Anyway, every month there is a parents night out and then during the holiday season the child development center also offers a parents day out. We had friends watch the bug on two separate occasions back in the states but there isn't really anyone like that yet here so I look forward to these events so we can have some just-us time.

This weekend's parents day out couldn't have come at a better time. R's birthday is Monday so we took the day to go have a burger and beer before going to see the new Hunger Games movie. It was such a fun day!

The best part was going to pick up the Bug and watching through the window as she played with two other babies. She's been fascinated with those Busy Poppin Pals - that toy has been everywhere we play lately! The funny thing is we actually have one but since she has so many toys I haven't pulled it out of the closet yet.

Which brings me to a question: what do you do with toys? She has such a short attention span so nothing is played with for a long time so I feel like we need a slew of toys to keep her happy yet I don't like the explosion of toys in my living room. So do you swap out toys now and then to keep it interesting?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Ladybug at 9 months

Ah, nine months. Officially on the outside longer than she was in my belly. I have to say it again friends, the further the pregnancy memories are the less desire I have to repeat the experience. Maybe it's because L keeps me so busy during the day I cannot even imagine being pregnant while I am running around with her. But don't misunderstand, while she's quite the handful and I miss her snuggly newborn days I am enjoying this month.

Sleep: I don't want to jinx it, so let's just say...there are no complaints here. She takes about two naps during the day, depending on how early she wakes up and averages about 13 hours at night. We had to co-sleep while visiting a cousin about a week ago and that was just insane. I don't even know how we did it for 8 months. We get lots of snuggles in when she nurses before her naps/sleep and I am so thankful to have some time to get things done around the house or just relax.

Food: We are still loving the German baby food so we do a mix of purees and table food. She will eat anything you give her so we are thankful that table food is going so well. But our reluctance to ditch the purees stems from the fact that the German food has a lot of variety and we know she's getting a healthy meal. Last night for dinner she had spaghetti bolognese - I can't even imagine what my dining room would look like if she had that for real. Anyway, after dealing with a lot of frustration and leaks we moved away from the sippy cup and use one of her sippy cups without a lid. Someone had recommended the Tilty and it's perfect for her. When we go out with the jogger she does use a sippy cover on her water bottle though. My biggest issue with food at this point is that this girl can EAT! When she wakes up she has a nice long nursing session - oddly enough I don't get that engorged feeling anymore which at first made me nervous because hey, shouldn't my breasts be full of milk after 12/13 hours? But anyway, she nurses for at least a half hour and I have her nurse on both sides. She plays for a little bit and then she is either hungry for a snack or ready for her first nap. I nurse her before her nap, even if it hasn't been too long since her wake up feed. After she wakes up she sits in her chair for "brunch" - I throw a few puffs on her tray while I prepare her food. She has fruit or a fruit/yogurt mix at this meal. Later she will nurse and nap again. Between 5-6 (after second nap) she eats dinner, which is usually a few puffs while I prep her puree, then she eats the puree and if R came home early or it's a quick/easy dinner for us she will graze off our plates too. She never signals that she is full. But as you will see in her picture down below, she doesn't quite have the baby belly she used to have.

Play: Her latest favorite is pulling herself up to a standing position so any toys that can help her do so are her new favorites. I snagged her one of those music table things that I hated pre-baby but I have to admit it's really cool. I was reading a post on MamaOT about how to use it, and one of my favorite things is to take two of the legs off so it leans. That way it can sit in front of her or she can grab it and stand. She also has one of those Fisher Price walking things but I find on our floors it's very slippery. My all time favorite is her wooden activity cube. It's so heavy that it can handle her wobbly weight. Plus since every side is different when she gets bored with a side I can just turn it to something else.

Milestones: She has been recognizing baby signs for a few weeks now but she is finally signing back. She says mama and dada but an interesting new thing is when I say "up" she repeats the "p" sound. She isn't crawling too quickly yet, probably because she still does more of that low crawl/drag your belly across the floor kind of thing - for which I am so thankful because I'm still sad that my baby is mobile! She would rather stand than crawl at this point.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Microblog Monday: Baby sign

For weeks now the bug has recognized some of the signs I have been using with her regularly. Since birth I have used the milk sign when she nurses and now when I sign for milk she does this little excited dance. When she started solids I threw more and eat into the mix. She doesn't seem as into "eat" but she definitely understand "more."

The best part is that she is now signing back to me. She started with milk, which made sense since she has known that one the longest. But it is beyond adorable when she signs more. Rather than tapping her fingertips together, which obviously is hard for a 9 month old, she takes one hand and smacks it onto the other.

But perhaps the most exciting part of baby sign is that I think it's leading to her next word besides mama and dada - up. The sign is fairly easy and I figured it was a good one to throw into the mix but now when I sign and say "up" Ladybug will repeat the "p" sound to me.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Microblog Monday: One and Done

One thing that came up during my appointment with the GYN this past week was baby #2. I very adamantly explained that there shall be no Baby #2. My doctor seemed confused by that. He said something about how I will probably change my mind, but to be honest, I think time will only make me MORE sure, not less sure. I mean, maybe I will have some last minute biological clock ticking thing going on but for the most part being pregnant and having #2 at a later age is a very unappealing idea.

Is that weird? Because people seem put off by the idea of a 30-something who has one and wants to be done. But what's the magic number? My friend has two, but they are two boys so people pester her about when she's going to try again for a girl. So is the goal at least one of each? Maybe I don't feel like I have to be a parent to a boy. I don't know...

I also know that I'm probably done because I had a dream last night that I was pregnant and it scared the crap out of me!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Our friend the Vag-Cam returns

Perhaps it was naive to assume that once we were done TTC I would never again have a date with the Vag-Cam. Well, folks, I was wrong. I have noticed, just in our two short months here that things are very different medically in Germany. I went to see my new primary care physician two weeks ago, just to get my thyroid levels checked and to get new prescription orders. Yeah, it didn't go down as easily as I expected. Long (not important) story short - he wouldn't fill the prescriptions and referred me to a GYN. One interesting thing I noticed here is that most of the doctors I have heard about are either OBs or GYNS, not both like in the states. Anyway, I had a 7:30 PM (yay for reasonable office hours!) appointment this past Thursday and here's how it went.

First of all, I was seen right away. Not a soul was in the place aside from receptionists and the doctor. We sat down in the office and the GYN told me about the conversation he had with my PCP. One medication I am taking he said they don't use in Europe, so that was a no-go. He said the long term effects were too much and I was too young and healthy. In fact, my PCP had made a joke when I saw him about how doctors in America must be so overworked they are trying to kill their patients to lessen their workload. Weird joke aside, I do love him.

Then he asked to see my birth control - which by the way doctors do NOT refer to as birth control - every time I said that to someone at either office they thought I was pregnant. So I showed him my "contraception" and again, he was appalled because it had estrogen. It is a low dose estrogen pill, which my midwife said was a good option for breastfeeding. But again, in Germany it's just a no-go. He said it was a good thing I had a daughter and not a son. Geez.

At this point he probably assumed I was seeing doctors who got their medical licenses from the back of a cereal box so he asked when my last pap was and how it went. I told him it was fine, did it in July and they said I am good for two years. He said they do it yearly here. Ok. Then he asked how my ultrasound was after L's birth. Hmmm...well, I didn't have one but the midwife pressed around my lower abdomen - that's almost the same thing, right? Haha. Anyway, that gave me a date with my old friend. It's funny, he was trying to explain the whole thing and I assured him I was very familiar with it. What I was not prepared for was that when I would do it at the RE's office, they would leave the room, you would go into the changing area, take everything off waist down and drape paper over your lap. No, here you have a small stall where you remove everything waist down and then you trot out half naked, where the doctor has been waiting for you. I inquired about paper or a gown in case I was missing something and he laughed saying his American patients always ask but things are different here.

But the ultrasound was very thorough, he showed me my bladder, some blood hanging out in my uterus (not enough for a D&C he assured me) and then when he swung over to my ovaries he asked me if I knew what polycystic ovaries are. Oh yes, my new favorite doctor, I am very familiar. But please, tell me what YOU know because I am tired of trying to explain things to my doctors back home.

Basically he said the PCOS would be easy to control as soon as I am done breastfeeding. My new pill has no estrogen and apparently won't make me bleed. He was a little perplexed that on my American/estrogen pill I was having about a 21-22 day cycle and bleeding for approx. 10 days.

Did I mention that I love it here?

Monday, November 3, 2014

Microblog Monday: nine months

My sweet girl is nine months and it hit me today that it's been three months since we moved out of our house and two since we moved here. Ladybug's time in the US will eventually be a small fraction of her life. I'm not necessarily sad about that - the only thing I really miss about the US is people. Despite the fact that most Americans in the area are about my age and likely to have kids, it is harder to make friends here for some reason. 

Anyway, I plan to post a picture and talk more about what L has been up to - besides growing those crazy bottom teeth!