New Year, New Firsts, New Info

So here it is, New Year’s Eve 2012. Can you believe tomorrow will mark the start of 2013!?!? A big deal considering the Mayan calendar has ended completely (well, the original one anyway). Yes, I did have a fear that it meant something… I know, I’m silly. I took off work just in case. Hahaha.
So, as I look back at the last year, the only thing I see, of course, is Emma. No, I still cannot believe I had her. I.Had.A.Baby. Crazy! Best thing that I ever did.
Anyway, this post isn’t really about the year in a recap – mainly because if it was it would consist of a big blank spot for January 1 through July 11, and then it would begin on July 12th starting with this:

My sweet baby girl.
I must go on… this post is for Emma’s recent firsts.
 I’m not nostalgic. I’m bad about remembering to fill in the blanks of Emma’s baby book. Heck, I even forget her little book of shots and stuff when we go to her doctor’s office. I need to get better at all of that. I’m going to blame it on the fact that I spend all of my time loving her that I just don’t have the time for anything else. J
So, here goes:
-          Emma’s first Christmas consisted of playing for over an hour with all of her new toys. She got a baby basketball hoop that teaches numbers 1-5, a push cart (or pull wagon for later years) that does all kinds of fun stuff, a little tv remote control that makes tons of noises, a frog that you pull on a string, one of those things at the doctor’s office that you push a wooden bauble down a metal loopy thing (omg, really?!?), a hammer peg set… okay, due to my headache and lack of sleep last night I can’t remember the rest. After play time we went and opened gifts at my Parents’ house, where Emma got more toys, then a trip to my Aunt’s house for family Christmas time, and then it was back home to play some more. Needless to say that Emma was wore out and slept all night (unlike last night, to throw that out there).
 -          Going backwards, Christmas Eve, Emma met Santa (who was a dear friend Tony Lococo) and his elves. As most of you already know, we don’t “do” Santa. It was the annual Lococo Christmas Party and all of the kiddos were gathering around Santa, and my Mom felt the need to include Emma. She even sat on his lap and tugged at his beard. Seeing her enjoy this time made me devise a plan of action for Santa that I think might allow her to enjoy the merriment without hindering the reason for the season. I plan on explaining to her that Santa is a fictional character from the get-go. He is a key figure in the Christmas season for media and economic purposes (like Valentine’s Day). He is fun, and we can take part in the fun, as long as we understand that he is not real and Jesus is. When it gets closer I can iron out more details and actually have a specific plan, but for now, that’s the gist. Getting her to not tell all the other kids will be the hardest part I think.

-          Christmas night Emma sat on her own. Not the leaning-forward-pushing-out-vomit sitting up like she had done before, but the sitting-straight-up-playing-with-toys kind of sitting up. It was so magical! It lasted for about 5 minutes, and then she fell to her side (I caught her of course). She sits all the time now, but with Momma’s legs to the side of her in case she goes either way. Only one time did she topple forward onto her face… my bad. She has always been so independent that it doesn’t surprise me that she insists on sitting on her own. She’s even walked across the room while holding onto our fingers before, but it was very wobbly so I don’t count it as the real thing.
-          Emma got her first cold this month. The first day was December 17th. I asked Gene if he wanted to take her in to see the doctor on the 18th and he said that she seemed better so we didn’t. Well, the night of the 18th was a rough one! She couldn’t breathe. I ended up sleeping on the couch with her so that she could be reclined to breathe. I called the doctor the next morning and they said that there was no reason to bring her in if it was just a cold (which I knew that much), and their suggestion was this: Nose sucker for snot, q-tips to get boogies, humidifier NEXT to bed at night and saline drops/spray (fyi- we use a holistic doctor… meaning no meds unless absolutely necessary, so no Vicks). Well, Emma didn’t seem to like any of it except the humidifier, which I don’t even think it helped. On day 9 of her cold I called again and they said the same thing. They said that if she went past 14 days that we need to bring her in. Well low and behold day 14 was her last! She still sneezes and coughs off and on, but stuffy and runny nose is gone! Oh, did I mention that I caught her cold too? I was able to shake mine at 11 days. My first cold in YEARS! And let me tell you, catching a cold from a baby is the worst cold to catch! They seem to last forever.
-          Emma will have her first tooth at any moment! On Christmas morning we woke to a little tooth corner sticking through Em’s gums. By the next day it was gone because her gums swelled up from her teeth pushing through, but there’s now a nasty looking spot where it’s going to push through any second. I tried to take a picture, but in the photo it just looks like normal gums. Weird. She seems to be handling it all pretty well too! She gnaws on everything right now, and drools a lot! Occasionally she will bite down and it will hurt a bit so she makes a face like she ate a bug or something. Lol. And the stuff that she likes to chew on is nothing that was made for chewing on. Lol. So much for teething rings and keys. Maybe those come into play later.
-          Emma’s first party was a Christmas party on the 22nd with quite a few people on my Dad’s side of the family. We met at Helen Fitzgerald’s in South County for dinner and then did a “rob your neighbor” type game and had fun afterwards. Emma got passed around like crazy. She slept good that night. J
-          Emma’s first cake icing was on Christmas morning. As usual we did the birthday cake for Jesus. Well my Dad, being the nutcase he is, says we all have to eat some since it’s Jesus’ cake and it therefore is a blessing to eat it. Then he says Emma has to have some. I was not for that at all! I gave in though and gave her the teeniest, tiniest bit of icing. She probably couldn’t even taste it. But, it pleased my Dad. *He just goes nuts with things. He didn’t want her to sit on Santa’s lap because then she wouldn’t be a blessed baby. Ugh. I get annoyed with all of that crap. I better not get started though. I’m sure that Emma will love Jesus (and God of course) just as much as her Momma does. I hope she confides in them growing up just as I did, and still do.
-          Lastly, Emma’s first boo-boo came on December 30th. She was playing in her jumperoo. She had some close calls before with it, but we raised it up a bit so she wasn’t able to lean over as far anymore. Well, I had put her in there and she started playing away. I went and made hot chocolate, sat down to take my first sip, and then a horrible scream started. I ran over right away knowing what happened and picked her up but I couldn’t see where she was hurt. I tried to check her eyes but she was just crying and crying. I held her and kissed her and kept looking her over, but nothing, and she wouldn’t calm down. After what felt like an hour (probably one minute in reality) the scream went to just a cry and her face wasn’t so red anymore. Once the flush started to fade I saw this spot right next to her left eye. It was quickly swelling. I gave that spot tons of kisses and grabbed her frozen teething keys to put ice on it. After about 5 whole minutes I got her to take the binky. Then she laid in my arms for almost ten minutes breathing heavy and staring into the distance. She was traumatized! I cried. My poor baby girl got hurt. Her Daddy came home and I told him what happened. He gave her some kisses and then took her to eat dinner in the kitchen (I was scarred a bit from the whole thing I think). She sat in her chair and babbled on and on and on to him. I think she was telling him what happened. It wasn’t like her normal talk either… it was like traumatized talk. The knot next to her eye was still there this morning. L I hope that is the worst injury she will ever have because even something so small is heart-breaking.
I’m sure I’m missing lots of firsts. Like her first glitter in the eye, rolling back to belly, and first boogie sucked, lol.
So, this January 12th makes a 6 month old Emma. She will have her next check-up and round of shots on the 14th. Yes, we are doing shots. Having a holistic doctor does not mean that they don’t care about vaccinations.
I can’t remember if I’ve discussed vaccinations on here before. Gene and I don’t have serious conversations much. We give our opinions on things and then argue our side if they don’t match. We never have an educated debate about anything. It works for us as we think alike. When it came to vaccinations we both agreed to get Emma her shots.
Now, don’t get me wrong, the whole shots thing terrifies me. Gene has never raised any concerns with it, but this whole autism thing creeps me out… not autism itself, but how a shot could be the culprit. I’ve read tons of articles that argue both sides, and honestly, they both seem correct! I mean, there is science proving both! Go figure. Then I read something from Benjamin Franklin…
In 1736, I lost one of my sons, a fine boy of four years old, by the smallpox…I long regretted bitterly, and still regret that I had not given it to him by inoculation. This I mention for the sake of parents who omit that operation, on the supposition that they should never forgive themselves if a child died under it, my example showing that the regret may be the same either way, and that, therefore, the safer should be chosen.

So, from that moment on I decided that if I didn’t get her vaccinated, and something did happen, I would never forgive myself. So, I’m choosing the path that was recommended to me by her doctor. I find him to be a very wise man, and he works side-by-side with my pediatrician who I saw from birth to 18. I am putting my trust in them.

Dr. Murphy did explain to me that while there is no smallpox right now, it doesn’t mean it will not return. Fewer and fewer people get vaccinated each year. Once the amount vaccinated gets lower than 80% we are at a higher risk of putting a disease out there in full force.
On that note though, Gene and I don’t get flu shots and might not ever allow Emma to get them. I guess it’s contradicting, huh? We have mixed emotions about flu shots. We might change our tunes though once we get the flu. L

Have you seen the movie Contagion? If you haven’t, add it to your rental list!

Okay, that’s all I have for now. Until another day. J



Five Whole Months

(This post was started on the 12th but wasn’t finished until now.)
Five months ago today I was handed an itty bitty baby girl. The most gorgeous sight my eyes had ever seen. I held her tight and stared at her for what seemed like hours and then once everyone left the room (I barely noticed they were there) I began to nurse her. In the successful attempt at nursing (but failed attempt at producing milk), in that 20 minute time, I fell in love. I was able to give my little girl what she needed (at least I thought I was). She was relieved to have me to help her along.
Each month that goes by, I replay the entire experience through my head. Each time I cry. Why God chose me to have such a wonderful blessing I have no idea. I probably don’t deserve such a gift, but I thank him every day, that he picked me.
While that day feels like a year ago, it was just 5 months. I’ve only been a Mom for 5 months! I’ve learned Emma’s cries and whines. I know when she’s tired, or hungry, or hurt. I analyze her dirty diapers. I can sense when she’s going to give me a hard time, or when to keep her focused on something other than being put into the car seat. In 5 months, I’ve learned all of that and then some. I didn’t realize that before I typed this, and now I’m amazed. Haha.
We still have bumps in the road every now and then. She will cry for no reason at all and we just have to let her. If it’s not that she’s tired, hungry or dirty, and she’s showing no signs of teething aches, or upset tummy, then what is it? Your guess is as good as mine. When that happens we bounce her around the room and try to get her mind off of whatever is bothering her. After her first 3 months of nothing but screams (every 30 minutes!), we’ve got this part down. Another thing that calms her down when the reason for crying is unknown, is sitting in front of the front door. We put her in her bumbo seat and let her stare outside. One day she was content for almost an hour.
Shopping is a joy for her. We will go to Schnucks or Target and she loves to look around. We are trying to take her out of her car seat more because she gets annoyed with sitting in it for so long. So Gene will hold her while roaming the store, or Gene will “wear” her in the little carrier thing on his chest. I like this option better because Gene would have to fall in order for her to fall. When he’s just carrying her I always worry that he will trip and drop her. *FYI, women really do fawn over a man with a baby (especially a baby girl). Gene isn’t allowed to go out too much with her, without me. J
She still hates to roll. Since her first official roll, she’s gone belly to back 3 times and back to belly once. I worry that she’s having development issues, but since it has been done I’m praying that it’s simply the fact that she doesn’t want to.
Her sleeping is the same (for the most part). We start bedtime at 7:30 on bath nights and 8 on the others (bath is every other night). She gets her bottle, with an extra ounce in it, at 8pm. Half way through her eyes close, she finishes her bottle, I pat her lips dry, she turns her head to the left and off to Dreamland she goes. After about 10 minutes, when she’s in a deeper sleep I pick her up off my lap (we don’t hold her, she just lays across my lap with her head on the couch arm), I lay her in bed, roll her to her belly and after she gets situated she’s back asleep. She sleeps with a thick blanket. I know she’s not supposed to have a blanket, but she wont stay asleep without it.
When we first stopped the swaddle, she slept in her pjs. I think they are called “Sleep n’ Plays.” They were all fleece at the time so I thought that was good enough. She’d wake up like every 2 hours. I was miserable. After three nights I called my Mom and asked her how she got Em to sleep without be swaddled, with only one wake-up. She said on her belly with a blanket. That’s it. Well I explained to her that blankets are a big no-no. She said that was ridiculous. After just one more sleepless night I gave in. I had bought this thick blanket before she was born that I had intended more for decoration but it’s the exact same width as her crib so I thought I’d try it. Sure enough, she slept through the night and then some; 8:30pm until almost 7am. I had to wake her up to get her going to my parents’ house. I’m still doing the blanket and we have minimal wake-ups. I put it up to her underarms when she’s first put in bed, and when I get up in the morning she has moved to the top of the crib but the blanket didn’t move an inch. I love it! Until the blanket starts making its way up towards her face I am going to stick with it. J I’m telling you, our Moms know it all!
Her hand-eye coordination is getting much better. She can grab her bottle and get it in her mouth (although most of the time it ends up in her nose). Everything she can get her hands on ends up in her mouth. She tries to grab her spoon, but I don’t let her, and she’s tried to get scissors and things that would potentially be dangerous to her that I didn’t realize had to be stashed in a hiding spot yet.
She also can hold onto toys longer. Meaning that when she throws her arms around while holding her toy car, she doesn’t lose it, and instead smacks herself in the head with it. Poor baby. It’s a delayed reaction too. Smack. Blank stare. Realization of how it hurts. Pouty lip. Screams. She had a red mark on her forehead for much of Sunday. Then Sunday night the cloud on her jumperoo flung back and smacked her in the face, next to her eye. Her Daddy was there to pick her up as soon as it happened and comfort her before the screams started in.
Speaking of Daddy, he’s getting to be so good with her. He still can’t realize that when he’s alone with her, every second of the day needs to be “for her.” So what happens is that when she’s playing, he’s playing. When she’s done playing, he’s not. So she is forced to cry for longer than it would ever happen with me. I know it doesn’t hurt her to cry, but she’s my baby and I hate it when she does. I lecture him constantly on how he can’t do that, but I know it still happens. It’s in one ear and out the other. However, I can already see that Daddy/Daughter bond. I’m not sure if it’s because of the fact that out of everyone close to her she sees me the least, or if it’s just because he’s “Daddy.” Yes, it hurts my feelings. But, his were hurt for so long that I’m okay with my feelings getting hurt every once in a while. She still loves me. J I still think her Grandma is her favorite (just like Okie).
Speaking of Okie, Emma pets her now. It’s so cute. She’s super gentle (for now) and doesn’t pull hair. She pulls my hair, but that’s beside the point. Okie though cannot stop from licking Emma. Em will try to pet but Okie will lick her hands, which we don’t want. So it’s a constant battle. If we let Okie lick her hand though, Em will laugh and laugh and laugh. Super cute.
It’s sad to think that my baby girl is growing up. I keep saying that I want her to crawl, and walk and talk, but now I think I just want her to do that at the size and age she is now. Haha.
I still cannot believe I have her. I say that to Gene every day. I’m sure he’s annoyed with me saying that all the time, but it’s so true. I’m in awe. I never thought I’d have a child, let alone an awesome one. I can’t wait to see what else is in store for us. J

I wasn’t going to post a single thing about the Newtown shootings. I have a hard time getting the entire incident out of my mind so I wasn’t going to encourage my thoughts by putting them in a blog. However, I have to.
Where I go from here is simply my thoughts. Do not get mad at me for putting my thoughts into words into a blog because it is MY blog with MY thoughts.
I’m not going to say anything bad about Adam Lanza. He was sick in a way that most of us cannot fathom. I’m not going to say anything bad about his mother. She knew that he was sick but encouraged him to find new ways to control his sickness (like any parent would do), and she tried to curb her sadness of her family problems with things that made her happy; like target practice.
I can almost guarantee you that Adam’s mother did not know that he would do something like this. Just like while he may have said hurtful and damaging remarks to her, she probably did not think he would shoot her in the head (may she rest in peace).
Where he got his bulletproof vest I have no idea (didn’t even know normal people could buy them actually), where he got the idea to take out his anger on babies I don’t know either. Yes, those children were babies. They were still the tiny newborn babies just born 6 or 7 years ago in their parents’ eyes.
As soon as I heard, I was devastated, depressed, sick to my stomach… everything but mad. I take that back. I was kind of mad that God let it happen (not at God, but that it was allowed to happen). But, as soon as the thought went in, and I repeated it numerous times, it went away just as quickly as it had come.
Life is a series of tests. Hard, awful, strenuous, faith-shaking tests. My heart breaks for those parents. I wonder if I were in their shoes, would I lose my faith? Literally. I hope and pray to God that I will never be tested like that. If I were one of those teachers, would I have dismissed my life to be a hero for those children? Another test I hope to not encounter. And as I’m typing this I hope that my questions do not put me into a forced test somehow. Yes, I think that way.
God loves us. To him, dying is not bad. It may hurt us to lose a loved one, but to him it is just the beginning passage to heaven (or the other direction I suppose). I think that what hurts us the most is to never see the person, or people, that you love again (well, until it is our time).
Even though I do believe that Adam will not make it into Heaven for his actions and his suicide (if it really was as such), I hope that he found the peace that he needed. I’m doubtful that he has, of course, but I still hope for it because he must have been seriously hurting to do such an awful, unforgivable act.
I pray for those children. I’m sure that in Heaven there is no sadness, so they will not weep for their parents whose whole lives were crushed. I’m actually pretty sure they don’t need praying for because they are in a much better place than we are, but I will pray for them anyway.
I pray for Adam’s mother who I’m sure, if she weren’t content in Heaven would be heavy-hearted at what she allowed her son to do (although I don’t think it is her fault at all).
And because they have the worst of it all, I pray most for those parents. I can’t even get this out because I don’t want to break down again. But, if you are a new Mom or Dad, or a veteran one, I’m sure you know the thoughts I have.
And because I can, I am going to add a prayer tonight. That all parents out there will never have to go through the heartache that the Newtown parents are going through.
As for a solution, I don’t have one. What I would like to see is more officers at the schools. Possibly a locked gun cabinet with extremely limited access by only those who have gone through psych evaluation. I understand that adding guns is not a real solution, but until we can remove guns (nearly impossible), I don’t see harm with the “right” people having access to defend our children. But, I’m no politician or lawmaker, I cannot foresee the future, I am probably too na├»ve to even voice an opinion. But, like it said, it’s MY thoughts and MY blog. I hope I did not discourage you from reading future posts.