Pepper Problem and Momma Drama

I should be sewing for etsy right now. I was just getting back in the groove and then Chief got the stomach virus and that has taken all my time. But he’s better, so I should be sewing now. But I’m not. Because oh goodness y’all. I’ve got a pet problem.

It’s Pepper. Of course it’s Pepper. She has started going after the other dogs, mostly Bubba. Tonight they had a bad fight in the kitchen that Chief had to break up, which ended in him scruffing her and putting her outside as she’s trying to bite him.

Not. Good.

The dog is on Prozac already for anxiety. I recognized that my pregnancy was taking some sort of toll on her last spring, so we talked to the vet last year and he put her on fluoxetine, 20 mg a day. And it’s worked fairly well, but lately this crap has started creeping back in. The vet had wanted me to try and see if she could live without it, but it’s clear that she can’t.

But lately it’s just getting worse, and I’m faced with a bunch of options that probably aren’t really options.

1. Get Chief’s parents to take her back. She’s not really our dog. We were only supposed to take care of her temporarily while they were living in an apartment. Well they’ve had a house for two years now and we still have this dog. I’ve had her for five years, and they don’t pay any of her bills either. I’ve just sort of accepted it because we asked once years ago if they were going to take her back and Chief’s dad said to “take the damn dog to the pound if you don’t want her.” Uh, no. No sir. That’s not my style and I can’t do it. But I’m hoping that if Chief presents it as “Librarian won’t take her to the pound and she’s a risk to your granddaughter that you claim to love so much” that they’ll take her back. They have a dog that she lived with successfully for years, and a nice big yard and for that matter, a pool that she could swim in in the summer. This option is the best one to me.

2. Talk to the vet about upping her dosage. From what I’ve researched she could probably do 4o mg a day. My goal would be for her to live in a situation that didn’t stress her out to the point of needing fluoxetine, but if she stays with me that just isn’t the reality apparently. She was fine until I was pregnant, and then she just couldn’t take the change and apparently still can’t.

3. Keep her separated from the other animals and people. I hate this option. I hate it so much because it’s not nice. I barely see it as a step above the shelter. I’m not talking about just leaving her outside all the time because that’s cruel, especially in our state where the temperatures are extreme at times, but I do have this big downstairs area that’s like a garage, and it has a dog door into the yard. This is the absolute last resort option because I can’t stand it. If we had to go with this option I would probably look at fostering her through a rescue group until she could find a better home, and that would be a home without other dogs or kids-because THOSE are so easy to find. But I don’t want to be that lady who gets rid of a pet for a baby. I really, really don’t.

I feel awful considering any of this. Despite what it sounds like, I really do love her. She’s an incredibly sweet dog with some kind of terrible anxiety issues, and I get that because I have them too. I just don’t want it to ever get to the point where she actually bites a person because then that’s like an instant “THIS DOG HAS TO BE PUT DOWN” button. I will do everything I can to avoid that.

I’ve also got some momma drama going on. And honestly I always sort of do. Since Charlie was born there’s been this underlying tension between me and my mom. She wants to be involved in everything. She wants to see her three or four times a week. The problem with this is multifacted:

1.) I am very independent and have been since I was a child, a condition that became necessary at an early age due to my difficult home relationship with my mom and sister.

2.) I’m also a homebody and I like my home. I like going out, but then I like coming back, and if I have to be out multiple nights in a row it starts to wear on me, and I’ve noticed Charlie is the same way.

3.) Charlie has been a pretty easy baby and I haven’t needed a ton of outside help. Also, everything my mom did with us is now considered dangerous or just something I’m not going to do if I don’t have to, i.e. putting her to sleep on her stomach (she would hate that anyway), formula feeding (no hate whatsoever, but we are lucky to be able to nurse).

Anyway. We’re having family dinner on Sunday with my grandmother and aunts and uncles. We do this weekly. It’s not usually on Sunday but it is this week. My mom got her nose bent out of shape about this because apparently she wanted to have us over along with my sister and her husband. So she texted both of us and said she wanted us to come on Saturday since we can’t on Sunday. I could have lied and said I had plans and I considered, but then I remembered I am a GROWN. ASS. WOMAN. and I just said honestly that with us going out on Sunday night I would rather stay home on Saturday, and I also have a funeral to go to on Saturday (my best friend C’s little brother died-he was only 17 and it’s completely fucking awful and tragic and deserves more than this after thought mention but honestly I can barely talk about it because I am so broken hearted for C and her mother and the whole damn family) that is going to leave me pretty emotionally spent. So I just sent that in the text. My sister texted back that she was available but she completely understood why I didn’t want to come (sometimes she doesn’t suck. sometimes).

But nothing from my mother. Radio. Silence. No “Oh, I understand.” Or “I didn’t realize the funeral was that day.” Nothing. Nothing at all.

So she’s pissed and I’m so tired of it. She’s like this all the time. She see’s us at least once a week and it’s not enough for her. And I don’t know what to do. I have to balance seeing my dad in there somehow, and the rest of the family, and then I have to work and try to keep my LIFE together. I don’t know what she wants from me, but it’s unreasonable. A few weeks ago she even sent me a text saying that Florence and the Machine were coming to the next state over and didn’t I want to go? Ummm… no. I love them, but I hate going to concerts and I’m not leaving the baby overnight right now. She’s still nursing for fuck sake, and while I know it would be doable with pumping, why would I unless I had to? But again, I hate going to concerts. Because people. I told her that, and she said. “Oh, well if you go we’ll watch the baby.” Yes, I get it. I really do. But no. And the more she pushes me about it, the more I resist and don’t want to let her ever babysit.

So that’s Wednesday. And now my baby is awake for the fourth time in as many hours with teething pain, screaming her head off, so I have to go.

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I feel like I should feel bad

Tonight I let my kid cry herself to sleep.

Sort of.

Look, CIO is not for me. I actually don’t think that it’s cruel or damaging when done correctly-at least not for the baby. But it’s definitely damaging to me, so I’ve never had the stomach for it.

Charlie is so dadgum unpredictable when it comes to bedtime. Some nights she is the easiest dang baby. Like last night-she nursed after bath, we read a Dr. Seuss book and she started to doze off, so I walked into our room where I put her down in her PNP awake and she IMMEDIATELY closed her eyes and went to sleep.

Then tonight we had her bath, a nurse and a story. Then I even nursed her some more because she started rooting around again. Then I laid her down and she didn’t really do anything at first, but then it was fuss fuss fuss. Then crying. So I picked her up. I tried nursing her. No dice. I tried reading to her. Fuss fuss fuss. I tried rocking with her. Fuss fuss fuss.

So finally I took her back to her room and laid her down. After a minute or two she started to cry. I came out to the living room with Chief and said that I was only going to let her cry for a few minutes just to see if she would go to sleep. She cried for less than three minutes and was out.

Honestly, I don’t believe we “cried it out.” I wasn’t going to let her to continue to cry. In fact I was up and on my way to the room, and when I got there she had fallen asleep.  However, if two and a half minutes of crying is “crying it out” and it helps my kiddo sleep, then I’ll say we cried it out tonight.

I feel a little bad, but I feel like I should feel worse. But I don’t, because she’s sleeping. She needs to sleep, and after a day of having no help with her (Chief has the stomach virus-a full four days after I got over mine, which freeeaaaks me out that it lived in the house that long) I neeeed to decompress a little.

I just sat here for a full five minutes thinking about not publishing this because I’m not sure I can handle the comments I might get. Not from my good friends on here, but from the randos out there on the internet who are going to tell me that I’m ignoring the “biological urge” to comfort my child by letting her cry for a few minutes. I didn’t ignore it. I got up to comfort her, but she figured it out herself.

And I’m dang proud of her for it.

A harsh reminder

The other day my good friend C and I went antiquing together and we talked a lot about motherhood and marriage. I mentioned that I felt like parenting had actually strengthened my marriage with Chief. Becoming a mother has forced me to not sweat the small stuff so much-who has the energy? And Chief works so hard with the baby. I wish he worked a bit harder around the house, but  you can’t win them all.

Monday night we had our third night in a row of grueling bedtime. For whatever reason Charlie decided that bedtime was THE WORST and she just wasn’t doing it. This led to lots of crying in arms, frustrations, and me and Chief switching back and forth trying to get the kid in bed. At one point I was so frustrated that I put her in her bed and just had to walk out of the room for a minute. Just a minute mind you, but Chief came back and looked at me like “What’s wrong with you? Your baby is crying and you’re just standing here?”

Then later we were talking about it and I said “you understand that sometimes I just don’t know what to do and I need a minute-that’s what was going on when you walked in.” and he said “I know, but we need to figure something out.”

And it set me off. I started crying about how “WE” basically means me, because I’m the one doing all the research trying to figure this out and get the kid to sleep. I was really, really upset, overly so I now realize, and I went to bed at 8:45 because I was exhausted. At 11:30 pm I woke up nauseated thinking it was from not eating any dinner, so I ate a granola bar. With breastfeeding when my blood sugar gets low sometimes I get sick to my stomach. Then it got worse and worse. Sometimes when I have bad nausea it’s actually acid reflux. So I took two zantac. Then around 2:00 am I started vomiting. Violently vomiting. And then diarrhea. And then more vomiting. And diarrhea. And on and on and on. At one point all I was vomiting up was water, and it was the water that had barely hit my stomach.

And despite the fact that my last words to Chief had been angry, hateful ones, he emptied my barf buckets, got up with the baby when I woke her up with my violent vomiting, and stayed up with me and her all night. And then he stayed home with me from work for the last two days, drove me to the doctor, went to the store to get things I would need (and took the baby with him so I could rest), made me dinner last night (which I ate three bites of and then vomited again) and basically just did everything he was supposed to.

And I mean, that’s the deal right? He is supposed to do these things. He’s my husband, for better or worse, sickness and in health. But let’s be honest, this was a super gross few days. I’m not sure I would have handled it with the same level of grace that he has. I’ve apologized probably 20 times for various disgusting things, and he just keeps saying “Stop apologizing-you can’t help it.” Last night he came back to the bedroom to find me vomiting, naked-not an attractive sight. I had desperately cried out for him over the baby monitor because my retching had woken up the baby and I knew she was probably scared about what she was hearing. He came running back, grabbed her up, and then rubbed my back until I was done. Then he tucked me into bed, refilled my water, and got the baby back in bed.

This is the sickest I’ve ever been, at least that I can remember. My body hurt all over with aches and chills, my fever was at 102 last night and with the baby sleeping on me I was burning up. I’ve been dried out like a raisin and am just now starting to finally rehydrate. I ate real food tonight for dinner that Chief went out and got for me and I actually gave the baby her bath tonight and got her in bed myself. Thank goodness she didn’t catch this. Thank goodness Chief didn’t.

And while I would never, ever wish for something like this, it certainly has helped me realize to not take my husband for granted. I often think that he takes me for granted, but I never turn the tables around on myself and realize that I do it too. So this was my harsh reminder that while neither of us are perfect, my husband is truly my partner, for better or worse, in sickness and in health.

Etsy is a-go

Sort of. There’s a whopping TWO listings. We had a gender reveal party for a friend today also TEETHING, so it probably wasn’t the best day to try and, you know, START MY BUSINESS, but hey, it’s up. Now I must go sew.

I’ll probably only leave this post up for a little bit because it links my blog to my REAL name through my shop, and while I’m not fussed about you guys knowing about it, there are OTHERS that I don’t want to ever find the blog.

Until February 16th I have a 15% coupon code: LIBRARIAN

Thank you for all of your encouragement. I’m so. incredibly. grateful.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/CherryCheeksBaby

Etsying

Within the last few weeks I made the decision to start up an etsy store. I’m really enjoying making things and every day I come up with a fun design I want to try of a blanket, nursing pillow slipcover, burp cloth, swaddler-all sorts of things!

It’s really taken over my whole brain. I’m constantly thinking and designing and it is so. fulfilling. I love my child, and she 100% fulfills that mothering urge I’ve had for so long, but I haven’t felt creatively fulfilled in a long time. And it’s wonderful to feel that way again.

But it’s also overwhelming. Because I’m sinking money into something that might fail. I have never bet on myself in this way. I’m hesitant to even tell people that I’m doing this because OMG what if I fail?

Let’s face it, there are a lot, A LOT of etsy stores that sell baby products. Many of them with a very professional set up that i cannot provide at this time. I cannot offer clients a choice of 30 fabrics to pick from because I can’t buy that much at one time. I just can’t. I would be happy to do a custom job, but I can’t guarantee a super fast turn around time because I have two other jobs and a baby.

I have done a lot of research on marketing, products, pricing, even photography (which is my biggest stumbling block). I’ve actually “set up” my store. I’ve picked a name and gotten a banner and everything. There’s just nothing in it because of the photography aspect. I’m going to try and get my stuff in some local boutiques as well.

Basically I’m asking for advice-I know a few of my readers have stores of their own. What would you tell me is the “must-do” to get up and going successfully?

As always, your support is so meaningful to me I can’t even express. Some of you have shown interest in my products and even if you’re just doing it to be nice, your kindness means so, so much to me.

Recent creations

If you’re friends with me on fb, you can skip this, because you’ve already seen my obnoxious postings about my sewing.

 If you’re not friends with me on Facebook, first of all WHY NOT?! I’m a fun girl!

Second of all, look at this stuff I’ve made!

Ruffle jersey knit blanket I made last night:

   
   
Birdie eyelet blanket (it has a flannel back but I didn’t photgraph it because I’m dumb):

   
   
And loooots of burp cloths:

   
    
   
I love my nightly dates with my machine after Chief and C are in bed!

Socks

We’ve made a new development in the Charlie-sleep situation:

Socks.

Effing socks.

Let me explain.

When last we spoke about this topic we had gone back to the swaddle and were digging the pacifier and momma was just accepting it. That worked for a bit. Then all of a sudden she was FIGHTING the swaddle. Not at first, but in her wake up time she would strain and groan to get out of it. But at the same time, once I let her out of it, then she couldn’t sleep.

So a few nights ago I tried our Zippadee Zip that we just got. Unfortunately though I ordered it way too big, so it’ll be a while before she can use it. She was swimming in it so it did no good. In a fit of desperation I got out her Baby Merlin Suit and….she slept well. Very well. She still woke up (I’m done believing that babies sleep through the night. Probably it’s a conspiracy), but not for a while. I did notice though that her feet were like ice, even though we keep the house warm enough (I think anyway).

So last night I put some socks on her with her Sleep Suit. And the kid slept LIKE. A. ROCK. For about five hours, then a nurse, then another 3-4 hours.

The other new development is that she’s decided she needs more like 14 hours of sleep instead of the 12 she was getting. We were doing 7:00 pm-7:00 am. This whole week though it’s more like 7:00 pm-9:00 am. This doesn’t really result in anymore sleep as a whole because this means she’s basically dropping a morning nap. She takes a nap around 12:00 noon, 1:00 if I can stretch it and then gets up around 3:00 and stays up until 7:00, unless she catches a cat nap in the car or something.

So this is all fine with me. I certainly don’t mind the extra sleep. It’s made it possible for me to irresponsibly stay up late watching Downton Abbey or reruns of The Middle. Which probably means that now that I’ve adjusted my schedule she’ll revert back. But for now I’m digging the socks and the sleep.