parenting

on the perks of solo parenting.

hi and happy saturday! if you’re new around here, you might not know that Mister Man has a pretty intense work travel schedule. he usually travels about two weeks out of the month, depending on the time of year, and so that means that i solo parent that same amount of time. we’ve been on quite the run here this month, so it’s on my mind more than usual. he does such a good job taking care of us, from making the sacrifice of being away from home, to being so FULLY present when he is here. it makes it so much easier for me to solo parent when i have him as a partner. it can be tricky at times…like when i have to take amelia with me to church choir practice, or when she is just NOT.HAVING.IT one day. but even on the tough days, there are still perks to solo parenting.

LIKE…

i get to do my christmas shopping without sneaking around.

i can eat an entire bowl of popcorn and watch the paradise on netflix without being interrupted.

i can do weird blogging things (like my periscope on thursday!).

i get quality mother-daughter time with little miss amelia.

the-perks-of-solo-parenting-mother-daughter

i have more time to dig in and catch up on my blog reading. speaking of which, here are some good reads and things from around the internets lately, in my humble opinion:

  • on making self-care a conscious choice: this is a great read for all of us “recovering people pleasers”, i suggest you read it.
  • on being welcoming: “but there’s days when i see the tea cup holding my bracelets in it’s china hull and i wish she’d said, you’re welcome.” a simple phrase, but one that can make all the difference.
  • on the refugee crisis: “[the church is] always open to families coming to the United States who need help, and we are going to continue to do that.” makes me proud to be Catholic, i tell you what.
  • on new beginnings: casey’s dad is getting a bone marrow transplant! yet another reason to join the bone marrow registry with be the match (that link takes you straight to the donor registry page, go on, it’s easy…even i was able to join!).
  • jordan smith, a wondrous unicorn with the voice of an angel (he gives me full-body goosebumps EVERY TIME):

so you see, there are all sorts of good things about solo parenting. you just have to look a little harder for them when you’re working and running after a toddler on no sleep because her molars are coming in. maybe i should have included something about drinking wine and taking baths up there too…?

have a fabulous weekend folks!

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how to survive teething.

you know how everyone tells you how bad teething is?

they have no idea.

if i could remove one aspect of the child-rearing process (which includes pregnancy and childbirth and the rest of it), it would be teething. i mean, bone cutting through gums of a tiny little baby?? it’s so mean! the only thing i can think to rationalize it is that God put teething during the part of life that a child can’t remember, so they won’t be scarred forever.

amelia started teething really young, around three months old. her first two teeth (the bottom two) were all the way in by the time she was five and half months old, and now, at eight months old, she has six teeth, and is working on the next two in a big way. so we’ve been dealing with some sort of teething pain off and on for the last five months. i’m convinced that if it weren’t for that, and she were teething at a normal rate, she would have slept through the night a while ago, but there is no rest for the weary – or the teething.

all this to say, we’ve tried almost every single remedy out there, and have learned some tricks as to what works for the worst of the teething. i wanted to share them all in one place, because when you are dealing with a 6 month old who hasn’t napped all day because her head hurts, having an easy resource is a lifesaver. feel free to bookmark this and thank me later. fair warning for you sensitive types out there, there is some pretty strong sass coming up later in this post, so just let it wash over you.

teething remedies that have worked for us

1. frozen teether toys: these are the plastic, gel-filled toys that you keep in the freezer or the fridge for the babes to chomp on when their gums hurt. amelia only started to like these once she had her bottom teeth and could grip them better. they’re great for those mild pain days, or when their gums are inflamed and they need just a little relief.

2. mesh teether filled with iceyou can get the mesh “feeders” at target or most baby stores. they are actually for feeding babies softer whole foods, but we love to fill them with ice so amelia can hold them herself and chew on the ice to get some relief. these are great to bring with you places, as it’s usually not too hard to ask for ice when you’re out, and you can use it on the go.

3. washcloth filled with ice chips: i can’t tell you the amount of times i’ve walked circles around my kitchen and living room with amelia in the sling, her head on my shoulder, and me holding a washcloth filled with ice chips in her mouth for her. there is something about the texture of the cloth and the cold crunch of the ice that is magic for teething pain. a bonus is that since babies lose their appetites for both solids and nursing when their mouths hurt, they can get some hydration by sucking the water out of the cloth when the ice melts.

4. orajel: i’ve encountered a lot of people that say that orajel is the devil because of CHEMICALS and MEDICINE and DEATH and DESTRUCTION, but all i will say to that is that those moms are idiots who have never dealt with monster teething pain. orajel is a great way to relieve teething pain without pulling out the big guns. and i dare you to tell me that it’s better for my baby not to sleep than to use orajel. i guess what i’m trying to say is that i trust my pediatrician more than the crazies in mommy groups, and using this before naps and bedtime has been our saving grace during all of this.

5. ibuprofen: see above with the death and destruction of using medicine on your precious bundle of joy. if i were a good mom i would just use essential oils to fix everything, but since i’m just an okay mom, i use the stuff that’s proven by science-y folks to relieve pain. we seem to have an extra sensitive babe on our hands, so tylenol hasn’t really worked for her and we were given the go ahead by her doctor to use ibuprofen. we try our best to use it only at night to help with sleep, although there are days here and there that require it as well.

6. beer: this is not for the baby, this is for you. you will need to crack open a brew to keep you sanity and your spirits up during this time. i’m toasting to the end of this phase as i write this.

teething remedies that haven’t worked for us, but might work for you

1. hyland’s teething tablets: according to everyone and their mom, these are the best ever at soothing teething pain. i really wish they had worked for us. they are homeopathic, so they may or may not be super effective on the serious pain, but they are worth a try to see if they are effective for your baby. edit: there has been some controversy around the safety of homeopathic teething remedies lately. please do your research and only do what you and your doctor feel is best for your baby. 

2. tylenol: like i said above, tylenol only cuts it as a fever reducer in our house. but if it works for relieving teething pain, then give it a try.

3. amber necklacefull disclosure, we have not tried the amber teething necklace, and have no plans to do so. i just haven’t been able to get behind the reasoning for this working, and since i have a child that is busy and into everything all the time, this just isn’t an option for us. that being said, there are plenty of people who swear by these, so do your own research, because it could be a magic wand that i just wasn’t smart enough to use.

if you’re going through this right now, bless you and peace be with you. if you aren’t going through this right now, i’m jealous of you. high fives and hugs to everyone.

if you liked this post, here are some other posts you might like: 

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amelia: four months old.

okay, well four months has become four and a half months, so sue me that i maybe let things get a little out of control. there’s been a lot going on around here, and the fog is just starting to lift, maybe, but it also might be here for a while, i can’t really say. wow you are so profound and also seemingly in total control of your life erin.

i know.

back to the subject at hand. i am the mother of a four month old. and holy crap do i love it. four months old is laughing and smiling and dancing and joking and turning into a baby that can do things by herself. it’s totally great, and totally melancholy at the same time. because along with the fun comes the outgrowing of clothes and the independence. just the other day amelia outgrew her cloth diapers and we had to go up a size and i’m pretty sure i cried in the shower that night. but then she had a laughing fit the next day and i forgave her for getting bigger.

four months brought an end to my maternity leave. and so while i love it, i also will probably never completely forgive it for arriving and screwing up my short-lived existence as a stay at home mom. that beef will probably always haunt my relationship with four months.

but the laughing. four months brought LAUGHING so i can’t help but want to open mouth kiss it!

four months has made me almost forget the terror of the gassy months one and two and has made me so excited for what’s to come. i feel like i am really good at being the mom of a four month old and on. i didn’t do horribly the first three months, but let’s be honest, is anyone really GOOD at being the mom of an insanely gassy infant?

miss amelia, your dad and i like you a lot. we like you and we love you and that’s pretty much the best news around. your personality is coming out in a big way, and i know that we are going to have some good times around here. thank you for having such a good sense of humor, for being a trooper when your dad and i haul you around to different events, and for giving us a reason to dance to t. swift in the kitchen most nights.

we love you boo boo.

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