Thursday, June 24, 2010

Its Easier Yet it Isn't.

Gianna turned 8 months old Tuesday. This past month has been filled with so much joy and yet so much frustration.  In many ways having a 8 month old has gotten so much easier and yet it just as difficult as having a newborn.  I am guessing that being a single parent Mon through Friday plays a major role in most of my frustration.  I am alone during the week and never get a break, but I also know that it's not 100% the reason.  Gianna is just getting older, exploring her world and understanding her surroundings.

When she was a newborn I had to deal with sleep depravation and that alone was enough to make me go crazy.  I do not do well on little sleep and am not a person who can nap during the day.  I was a walking zombie.  There was also the "getting to know your baby" period.  Is she crying cuz she is tired?  Is she hungry?  Is her diaper wet? What is her deal? How can I make is stop?  Another difficult hurdle was getting her naps down. Do I swaddle do I not swaddle?  I know she is tired so why is she screaming as soon as I put her in the crib?  Then I rocked and rocked and she screamed and screamed.   But in the end she was a good baby.  An easy happy baby.  Most of the time she cried when she was hungry, slept when she was tired and cooed and smiled when she was awake.  I didn't know how good I had it even if everyone told me so.

Gianna now sleeps through the night and has no issues going down for her two daily naps which is awesome.  No matter how rough the day prior was I start the following day refreshed and ready.  Even when she is teething she sleeps through the night and takes her naps without any issues.  That alone is a miracle in itself.

She is mobile.  She is everywhere.  She is pulling up on things.  Pulling things down.  Eating the dogs food and toys.  Pulling the dogs hair.  I cannot take my eye off of her for a second.  She is climbing the walls, literally.  No matter how much baby proofing I do, unless I keep her in a bubble or have her in a full bodysuit made of styrofoam, there are bumps, bruises, and tears.
I am going to get that laptop!

She has found the power of her voice.  She has learned that her crying and hollering to me is like kryptonite to superman.  Mix that with her recent development of separation anxiety, oh my goodness!!!  Separation anxiety is the devil.  If I am not in Gianna's eyesight the screaming and crying ensues.  She crawls to me and once she gets to me she will claw at my legs screaming with these massive crocodile tears until I pick her up.  It gets me every time.  This makes it impossible to get anything done when she is up.  I can no longer be in the kitchen unloading the dishwasher while she is happily playing with her blocks in the family room.  She can see me and she can hear me but its not enough.  If I am not sitting right there next to her she is not having it. Not only is this mentally exhausting to me but it's physically exhausting too.  Who needs to go to the gym when you pick up a 20 plus pound baby every 15 mins?

Fear.  If separation anxiety is the devil then fear is his partner in crime.  Gianna has developed fear of the strangest things.  Just as an example she is scared of the vacuum, the hair dryer, and most men.  When she is scared her lip starts to tremble, then her whole body shakes and she cries.  If I am holding her she looks away from whatever it is that is scaring her and holds on to me as tightly as possible.  If she is on the floor she will scream and cry and reach for me.  How do I handle this fear?  Do I keep exposing her to what scares her the most hoping that with time she will begin to loose these fears as she gains more exposure?  Do I stop vacuuming my floor while she is awake and a month later try again and keep doing so until she is fine with it?  Do I rescue her every time she throws a fit when her grandfathers hold her or look her way?

Gianna is too smart for her own britches.  I think that its just that as she gets older she is has become more aware of her surroundings.  And this is where MY difficulties lie.  She is doing what she should be doing at her age.  She is aware that her great grandmother is someone new and doesn't want to be held by her.  She knows that Grammy's crib is not her own crib and will stand up and chuck her chooch (pacifier) clear across the room if you so much as think you are going to try to make her sleep in anything that is not her own bed.  She knows that if she screams she is going to get your attention asap.  There is no fooling her.  Gianna is a big girl now.  She has a personality and she know what she wants and what she doesn't.
Yeah right, Zoey.  Your pillow is now MY pillow. 

But with all these new challenges that month 7-8 have given me its also given me so much joy.  When she is scared or upset she reaches for me.  She looks for me.  I am her person.  How scary and totally awesome is that?  To be someone's person? She is also learning something new everyday and to see the sense of accomplishment splash across her face when does something new is amazing.  Afterwards she looks for me with pride on her face as if she is saying "Did you see what I just did, Momma?"  It makes the total meltdown an hour earlier a distant memory.  I love see the concentrated expression she makes when I give her something new to eat.  Like she is trying to figure out what it is, how to chew it and if she likes it.  99% of the time results in a big smile followed with her mouth opened wide begging for more.  I love our morning snuggles.  Its about the only time she will lay and cuddle with me.  She wakes up in the morning and I go into her room change her diaper and bring her to bed with me to feed.  She will snuggle up close to me and place her hand on my chest as she eats.  It's the best way to start the day.

In some ways its easier now because we have a routine.  Things run more smoothly.  I feel I better understand her wants and needs, but yet at the same time it isn't.  As she gets older I am faced with new challenges and hurdles that together we learn from and get through.  I love it though and wouldn't change a thing about it.  I can totally foresee that 12 years from now I will be laughing at myself for thinking that this is anywhere close to being a difficult time when Gianna wants to wear that short skirt out to the movies.


  1. Happy 8 months Gianna!!! I still can't get over how pretty she is, she needs to be in commercials!

  2. We went through the same thing with Sugar Plum being afraid of her grandparents - who she sees all the time. We had them wait a few minutes after arriving before getting to close - to give her time to get used to the fact that they were there. Then we would try to allow them to hold her - sometimes yes, sometimes no. She is outgrowing it now and will even let strangers hold her - it took about 2 months to completely outgrow it.

  3. I gave you an award on my blog today!

  4. I have a seven month old who will be eight months July 17. She is starting some of what you described, but she is also a very, very laid back baby. Nothing seems to bother her at all.

    Gianna sounds a lot like Tessa, my seven year old. She's my drama queen, was a huge momma's girl and still is, was content to explore and climb and look around as long I was near, etc. Ella is happy just about anywhere and doesn't seem phased by anything.

    I am following your blog. It's nice to see someone out in blog land whose baby is close in age to mine. I hope you'll follow mine, too.