It has been a banner month here in the Elder household. It all started about three weeks ago when we made our trip to Florida for some family fun and fabulous wedding festivities. The trip actually went quite well – Norah did GREAT on the drive down, had only a couple minor breakdowns (both induced by end of evening exhaustion and large crowds of people) and other than a growing disdain for her soon to be outgrown carseat, the trip back was not too shabby either. Dana’s wedding was a blast – she was a stunning bride, I successfully made it through my toast (even scored a few laughs), we danced our asses off, and the only known snafu was that she forgot to put on at least one of the four garters she had available. That was promptly resolved with the help of a white ribbon, a butcher knife and some safety pins. The visit with the FL Elders was equally fun, though way too short, and Norah and her cousins will undoubtedly be BFF’s.
But let me now get to the banner part because in case it wasn’t obvious (and in case you’ve never seen The Breakfast Club) I was using a little thing called sarcasm. The wedding weekend, though awesome, was also exhausting, and kicked off a multi-week roller-coaster of fun (again, sarcasm) that I feel may soon be coming to an end? (please? maybe? at least for a bit so we can recover?) The day after we got back from Florida it was straight back to the grind, and the minimal sleep we achieved during those five days away did not afford us much energy to attack anything with gusto. Then that Wednesday, the 17th, Norah started a new game called “Wednesday night sucks.” We call it that because each Wednesday night since has sucked. She went to bed with no problems at her usual time, but then proceeded to wake after about 2 hours and then again and again until finally mom (that’s me) said fuck this. She’s going to cry it out (which henceforth will be referred to with the acronym CIO, because who doesn’t love acronyms?). Unfortunately, my middle of the night decision broke a cardinal rule of parenting – always be sure that mom and dad are on the same page. You see, Thursday morning is when Pete has to be at the Sportsplex at 5:30 to work the front desk for a few hours, so listening to Norah cry for 90 minutes straight was not exactly on his list of smart moves. The exact happenings of the night are foggy, but I’m fairly certain that my response to Pete’s questioning of my decision was less than sunny. One might even call it bitchy, caustic, rude, and perhaps immature. But hey, I’d like to meet the sleep deprived person that can listen to their baby cry for 90 minutes and be Susie Sunshine when someone suggests that they made a bad parenting call. So after the dust settled and Norah finally went to sleep, we agreed that the next day we would discuss and do our best to plan how to handle nights with Norah moving forward.
Fine, great. Next! The following Tuesday, the 23rd, I was sitting on the bed with Norah and Pete after getting home from work, and I put my knuckle in her mouth, because sometimes she just likes to bite on something, and boy was I surprised…what I felt on her bottom gums was not the usual rubbery softness, but rather two distinct jagged, sharp bits poking through. Our little bear had cut two teeth! I was tremendously excited about this, even though I knew it meant the beginning of at least two years of off and on teething delight, delight meaning misery. It’s funny how this whole sleeping through the night thing works. You get all excited when your baby puts in her first 8 hour stretch, and then it starts happening at least somewhat regularly and you’re looking at open road and clear skies, and then BAM. Teeth. Then BAM again. A cold, maybe an ear infection or two, reverse cycling and who knows what other adventures await. Terrible twos, potty training, the boogey man, despondent door-slamming pubescent adolescents, teenager out past curfew with that boy that you just don’t trust because he reminds you way too much of guys you dated in high school, and then wait, wait, what’s that? 18 and out of the house and suddenly you miss every single sleepless night and double-edged sword of a milestone and every conversation you have with your grown up child must be peppered with at least one reference to them getting married and making you some grand-babies. Whew. She’s only 4.5 months. And I look forward to all of that. And the millions of amazing, happy moments that will make it all worth it.
So, next! Right around the time that we noticed her two little toofers, we noticed two other things – a slightly scaly scalp and a worsening stuffy nose. The scaly scalp we’ve learned is referred to as “cradle cap.” My mom likes to call it cradle crack. Isn’t that cute? Norah’s case seems to be very mild, especially if you google cradle cap and look at the images. Warning, do not do this while eating. It’s gross. Fortunately, cradle cap is common, not at all uncomfortable and it will heal itself before long. In the interim we can put some oils on, keep her head clean and if we’re feeling really ambitious use a soft bristled toothbrush to gently scrub away some of the flaky skin. Ew. That really doesn’t sound that fun. For anyone involved. The stuffy nose was a bit more concerning and definitely uncomfortable for our little bear. Poor thing was full of snot and would wake up from naps and bed with crusty, red nostrils. After a week or so of suffering through this and exacerbating her misery with regular use of the bulb syringe, I called on Courtney in FL to see what things she may have tried for her kids. She herself had not found any amazing tricks, but mentioned that another mom friend highly recommended the battery operated snot sucker. Ohhhhh. I was on my way home from work when on the phone with Courtney and decided to make a stop at CVS. I’d heard of such a device and actually had one on my baby registry but no one bought it for us. Perhaps it just didn’t seem like a nice gift. Happy baby! Here’s your very own Booger Blaster 3000! Yeah, so it’s not really called that, but it totally should be. Purchase I did and as soon as I got home I popped in some batteries and gave it a whirl. I. Love. Booger Blaster. And Norah does too! She maybe fusses a wee bit when you first put it up to her nose, but once it’s in she seems totally at ease, perhaps happy even (she definitely smiled a time or two). The soft rubber insert is much less irritating than that of a basic bulb syringe and it vibrates a bit while sucking the snot so it must be a little tickly (no, I haven’t tried it on myself. yet.) On top of all that, it plays music! Little kid tunes to make booger blasting that much more fun. It won’t cure the stuffy nose, but it damn sure helps, and it’s $20 well spent.
Annnnnd thennnnnn…Pete got sick. He was up several times a night hawking loogies in the toilet, his throat was sore and he was super lethargic. Guess what happened next? Ding ding ding, I got sick! Welcome to the wonderful world of family germ sharing. If one gets it, forget it, we’re all toast. I started feeling it more and more as the day wore on yesterday and this morning it was official. Sore throat, achy, lethargic, but thankfully, no fever. Pete and Norah seem to be doing better, and I have high hopes for a speedy recovery. I just hope we don’t keep passing it around.
So that’s the word on the street here in Elderland. Really, none of it is that bad, and life in general is wonderful. In other news, this past Sunday Norah really took to rolling over. She had done it a few random times before, but now she’s a regular little roly poly. Monday morning when Pete went in to her room to get her from the crib, she was on her back (remember, she sleeps on her tummy) looking up at him, smiling and talking. Yeah, she’s a talker too. Or rather a squawker. It’s fantastically anorahble (thanks for that one Greg Payne). She also tries her darndest to mimic us when we do raspberries (you know, spit with your lips pursed kind of thing).
Looking forward to baby Norah’s first Christmas and hopefully a bit of snow! Until next time, Elderland out.