I realize that I've been terrible at keeping up with my blog since Evie was born. I had these great aspirations to write everyday during her nap time (which, as it turns out, usually happens in the car....) or I'd wake up before her in the morning, drink my coffee and start off my day with a well-written thought or two (yeah right...if she's sleeping, then I'm sleeping!)
Basically, to sum up what I've learned these past 8 months about raising a child is this: preconceived expectations of who, how and what you will use to raise your child are usually wrong.
One piece of advice I'd give expectant mothers: erase expectations. You will save yourself a lot of stress and worry.
I was at a baby shower recently and the expectant mama was opening a gift which contained these "amazing" pacifiers. "Oh, these are just THE BEST!" one mom exclaimed. "All babies love these! You must have these all the time!" I didn't want to be negative, but what I wanted to say was, "No they're not! My baby hates pacifiers and has hated them from day one! These things actually made her cry MORE." I figured I'd "let her figure it out." Perhaps her baby will like them. I've realized that just because "Babies R Us" has an item on their "must-have" list, it doesn't necessarily mean your baby will like it. I've gone through FOUR different carriers, hoping that my baby would like one. When I finally did discover one she semi-tolerated, I could only use it for 30 min because my back started hurting! I've tried two different swings, five different swaddles and several white noise devices. I've tried and tired to keep her socks on, but finally decided in April that it was warm enough for her to go barefoot now until at least October. When teething started, I gave her every potion and lotion I could find to ease the pain (although my grandma still insists that rubbing a little Bourbon on the gum line is the best remedy).
I have felt and feel like I am wading through a deep pool of sludge half the time, trying in vain to find the magic in ONE of the many devices on the market. In my quest, I have found some songs that soothe, books that make her squeal and foods that don't make her gag. All this was done through trial and error. I affectionately call her "my little science experiment."
I finally decided to give up on how I thought she SHOULD be and SHOULD act one night while at a friend's house. There were many babies in the room, and therefore a big box of toys was stationed in the middle to entertain the kids. After trying to find a toy that sparked her interest, I finally realized that she was happiest rolling around on the floor playing with a plastic cup and a paper plate. Hey, she's a cheap date right now...however, I'm sure Daddy will spoil her in the future and that will all change; but for now I'll embrace it!