29 January 2009

Life goes on

I now get to see this sweet, smiling face a lot more. Sadly, after 9 years with my company, due to the economy sucking big time I was laid off. It's a bittersweet end for a lot of reasons. This job is THE reason I moved to Texas, so I feel as if a part of me is now missing and I'm a little lost. My husband and I will financially be able to manage for a while, but unless we can find some big ways to reduce our expenses, I will need to find something else and I have no idea what I want to do. On another hand, this is the age where Ruby really begins to start her learning and developing process, where she starts giggling more, sitting up and crawling, and all those other things that will be wonderful for me to watch and experience. While I would never have quit my job with our current situation, there is definitely a big part of me that is excited about staying home with her for a while - just don't let my responsible side hear that! My biggest concern when I got the news was how this would impact Ruby's health insurance since both her and I were on my plan at work, and this alone really made me feel sick. Luckily, my husband talked to his HR department who said that we can be added at anytime since I lost my job and coverage. Thank goodness. I know that everything else will work out, maybe not ideally the way we want it to, but we know what are options are and as long as we keep our eyes open on our situation, we should be able to make it without an issue. We know others who work with my husband and have wives that stay at home with their kids, so managing on my husbands salary alone is do-able, it just might mean moving and / or selling a car and such. Now, I will admit that if we have to move, I am going to cry because of all the work we did in the nursery!

Anyhow, life goes on and I know we'll be okay. It is tough times for a lot of people and while it sucks, at least we have a plan.

Oh yeah - and I've never been happier that we decided to go the cloth diaper / wipes and breastfeeding route. At least we know we won't have to spend any more money on those items!

22 January 2009

Long overdue update!

Wow, the time has just flown by! I apologize for not having any updates sooner and I'll do my best to post more often, but on to the good stuff!!!

Let's start with month 3 - December. This was a rather rough month for both myself and Ruby, and I can honestly say I'm glad it is over. We continued to struggle with her showing signs of some sort of allergy and after a little research and talking to the pediatrician, I was going to eliminate soy from my diet as well as dairy. For any of you label readers, you'll know that almost everything seems to have either dairy or soy in it - and forget processed foods and easy freezer meals. Luckily, everything I read stated that most people allergic to soy could still tolerate soy oil, soybean oil, and soy lecithin. After a short time, the diaper changes started going better and I know we finally found the issue - so I've been both dairy AND soy free ever since. It's hard and we are basically rotating a few meals at this point in time, but its working. Hopefully we can start to branch out and make more meals, but with all the other changes that have gone on recently, we'll wait until things settle down to really worry about it.

This was also the month where Ruby quit falling asleep for naps easily, and since we didn't realize it, we had several evenings with complete meltdowns. Between swaddling and shooshing and gentle rocking and nursing and laying her on her side and various online conversations and books, we managed to get through that rough patch and are back to happy baby.

On to some good news, Ruby began really smiling in December, smiling more than just in her sleep - an it feels so good to see it. Right now, there is nothing better than peeking over at her in the morning when she first wakes up and she greets you with that big, open-mouth smile.

This month however has been crazy-busy, which is both good and bad. I returned to work on January 7th, which meant Ruby was starting daycare. I am still torn about having to send her to daycare and basically let a stranger raise my daughter, but my husband and I have had several conversations on this subject and while WE are willing to give up things NOW to make it possible for me to stay home, we are NOT willing to give up all the dreams we have for Ruby in the future - from traveling to private school and college. I know its the right decision but I still don't like it. Lucky for me, my husband was on evening shift at the time and could take Ruby to daycare, because in all honesty, if I had to do it, I don't think I would have left her there. Of course, my husbands schedule has been changing constantly since the beginning of the month so its been a bit difficult to get into any sort of routine. We're managing on a day to day basis now, but we both agree we need to sit down and get a sort of daily list of what needs to be done and what needs to be ready before bedtime. From washing bottles and pump parts and diapers, to getting the diaper bag packed, making dinner, bathing Ruby, and getting my work stuff together, plus dealing with my husbands new school schedule, its been quit chaotic around here. I know with time, things will work out better and we'll develop a more efficient routine, so I just need to survive until then.

Oh! Another update - we visited with the hematologist after Ruby's test came back with abnormal hemoglobin and it turns out she has a strain of J-Baltimore hemoglobin, which she got from either my husband or myself. All the information they have on this strain indicates it is completely benign and she should have no health issues from it - which also means that whichever one of us has it has nothing to worry about as well. Now, if I never have to go back to Childrens Medical Center, THAT would be great. Walking in there and seeing all those children who are going through chemo is heart-wrenching. I can't even imagine what it feels like to be a parent of a REALLY sick child, and I hope I never know that pain.

Ruby is really starting to learn now, as she has begun rolling over, both from back to belly and belly to back. She hasn't completely mastered it, but she is sure getting there. She has also been gaining better control of her arms and hands. She loves to grab the items hanging from Mr. Octopus and, another new habit, stick them in her mouth. She will suck or chew on anything she can - rattles, stuffed toys, paci's, shoulders. She is so alert and always taking in everything around her, it is so fun to watch all these changes! This parenthood thing is so much better than I could have ever imagined, and even on the hardest of days, I will never regret my decision to have a child - Ruby really is the light of my life.

I have a feeling she is going to be a daddy's girl though, notice which ducky she likes. That's okay though, she'll always be my little Pebbles.