Friday, May 30, 2008

The war in my kitchen

Yesterday we squashed a few dozen ants in the dining room. This morning, there were a few hundred swarming the kitchen.

This infuriates me. This is the kitchen where I prepare food. The place where my baby eats. Down with the ants!

I spent, I kid you not, the first two and a half hours of my day fighting the battle of me versus the ants. I washed and scrubbed everything in sight. My husband squashed a few dozen ants with his bare thumb (gross). I used Windex on every possible surface I could see because the pest guy said it destroys the ant pheremone trail so they stop following each other to my countertop. Then I called the pest control place, and they said our pest guy will stop by on Tuesday.

In the meantime, we are going to buy more Windex and continue to squash ants in this ongoing battle. *Sigh* For the moment, there are no ants in the kitchen. I have seen a couple of stragglers roaming around since the major combat this morning, but I'm keeping the Windex close at hand and trying not to go into the kitchen too much.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Our little germ incubator

I always knew that people with little kids seemed to catch more colds than I did. I just assumed that this was because they had kids in daycare or in school who were catching and transmitting everything that other kids had.

Olivia and I are in the midst of the third major cold of this year. Before Olivia, I had maybe one or two colds the entire year. This nasty bug is the second one THIS MONTH.

Luckily, Olivia's colds are much less severe than mine. I can cope. I can take all manner of cold medication, decongestants, knock-you-out nighttime kind of things so I can sleep. She can't. As far as I can tell, beyond Baby Vicks and a vaporizer, there's not much you can do for a baby's cold but wait it out. Though snotty and a bit grumpy, Olivia is still sleeping well at night an napping adequately, and for that we are doing a little dance of joy.

Also, we have ANTS. According to our pest control guy, most people are having the same problem. Anyway, he sprayed last week and they disappeared. They are no longer anywhere in the kitchen. This morning, though, they have managed to find something of interest in the dining room. They were climbing all over Olivia's highchair this morning. The highchair is now being quarantined to the screened-in porch until I figure out where the little pests are coming from.

This is so annoying. And I am pretty good at keeping things clean in the kitchen/dining area. It's not like we can keep the place spotless...we have a baby who still spits up a good bit, is eating jar food and manages to be wearing food in some form for most of the day. Not to mention the food she leaves behind in the chair, on the floor, on the counter...

So, we'll be calling the pest guy back to spray some more. In the meantime, does anyone have any suggestions on some baby-friendly products that will keep ants off of her high chair and away from her food?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

So blessed

Way back in the dark days of infertility, I used to spend a lot of time wrestling with God. I felt this undeniable calling to motherhood, but we kept hitting brick walls in our search for the cause of infertility. I cried out to God in frustration for giving us this desire to start a family and keeping us from fulfilling it.

Slowly, gradually, we opened ourselves to adoption. And then everything happened so quickly. In the blink of an eye, we were parents.

And now, even though infertility is still our cross to bear, it doesn't seem so heavy. We have a beautiful baby girl, one we would never have met had we not had to travel the road of infertility. That fact is not lost on me.

Now, I thank God every day for the infertility that led us to Olivia. We still pray and work to overcome infertility, but if that never happens, we will adopt again. And we will undoubtedly thank God for the continued infertility that would lead us to our next child. Because every child is a gift...a unique an expression of God's love.

We would be thrilled to experience pregnancy and childbirth. But if God's plan, ultimately, is to bring us more children via adoption rather than pregnancy, we will consider ourselves just as blessed.

In the end, our family may end up being smaller than we would have planned it to be. But we are learning to let go of our plan, because God's plan is so much better than our own.

Deep down, I truly believe that we were meant to be Olivia's parents. God led us to her and to her birthmother. And I believe that God will lead us to our next child. I am learning to sit back and take the steps at God's pace, and not mine.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Olivia has a snotty cold...again. *Sigh* She has a hard time breathing comfortably and gets really irritated and irritable. In the meantime, I don't think I ever got over the last cold, which (if you remember) started around the first of May. I've had this nasty cough and sneezing ever since.

On the plus side, though, our baby girl is Sleeping Through The Night. Yes indeed...usually a solid ten hours or so. This has been going on for about ten days or more, so I can say with confidence that it's true, and not just a one-night fluke.

This required some work on our part. For a couple of months now, Olivia has been waking up at 3:00 a.m. or so, and for a couple of months I have been dragging myself out of bed to feed her. I did this because it was easier than letting her cry. She ate quickly and went right back to bed, so I was usually back in bed in 20 minutes. Life was was easier this way.

Then Olivia turned six months old. I thought, "Six months...shouldn't she be able to sleep through the night by now?" Then I started paying attention to her cries at 3:00 a.m. She sounded tired. Not hungry, just awake and tired.

So we tried the "cry it out" solution, knowing full well that it could take several days for her to kick the 3:00 a.m. habit.

The first night of CIO was torture for me. I got out of bed and lay on the couch waiting for her to fall back asleep. It took 45 minutes TORTURE. I went back to bed thinking she'd probably wake up again in an hour and I'd probably cave and make her a bottle because PLEASE, I AM NOT INTO THAT MUCH TORTURE. Plus, LET ME SLEEP PLEASE.

But then she didn't wake up again until 7:00 a.m. And when she woke up, she didn't scream for the bottle. She was playing...happily. It wasn't until I heard her musical crib thingie that I knew she was awake. When we went in to get her, she smiled and waved her hands up and down like nothing bad had ever happened in the world, and wasn't it great to be alive and have such cool crib toys?

The next night, she woke at 3 a.m. and cried for 15 minutes. The next night it was five minutes. Then 30 minutes the next night. Then not at all the next night.

She's been sleeping through the night ever since.

Not only that, but she continues to nap well. Over the holiday weekend, she got a bit off schedule. It's hard to nap when there are so many people to see. But she's right back on schedule today. A little fussier than normal, but that's to be expected with the onset of the cold again.

Also, we need to lower the crib mattress. Because our crawly baby is now trying to pull up on things. Oh yes. She is growing up.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Or she could be napping because of this...

Since she learned to manipulate her position by crawling, climbing, rolling, etc, Olivia has been very active. She woke up at 5:45 a.m. (after sleeping straight through the night, yeah girl!). After her bottle and diaper and new clothes (yes, mismatched hand-me-downs, but in all fairness, she was trying to roll off the changing table, so I grabbed the first things I could get my hands on), we headed to the living room for play time. It is now 8:00 a.m., and she's in her crib sleeping. This is what she did in the meantime:

Spun round and round looking at all the toys in her exersaucer.

Pitched a fit to be taken out of the exersaucer, only to insist on playing from the toys from outside of it.

Spotted her mirror on the floor.

Ooh, look, there are more toys over here.

Discovering that the coffee table has little doors on it.

Determined to figure out the doors.

Wait a minute, what's this toy I rolled onto?

Oooh, look, there's Mommy. I can climb on her awhile.

I'm exhausted from all that activity. I think I'll take advantage of this nap time and sneak a snooze while I can. Then I'll go in later and probably see something that looks like this:

Oh, hi Mommy. Is your nap over too? I was just playing quietly. Not causing any trouble at all. Aren't I the sweetest angel?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Active and well dressed

Olivia's been exceedingly active lately. She scoots, climbs, grabs, throws and speaks in a yell. I think she's just trying to express herself. She also screams silently. I don't know where she gets this, but when she's angry, she screams, and it sounds like she's trying to belt a high note that's too high so nothing comes out but air. Don't get me wrong...we are thankful that she screams like this, because I can't imagine the headaches that would come with the alternative. It's just weird, that's all.

Anyway, yesterday we spent all day running errands and visiting with people. Olivia napped about two hours, total, all day yesterday. Which is a sharp decrease from her usual 4-6 hours of nap that she gets most days. She wasn't all that fussy, either. She just played hard and observed everything. She slept very well last night as a result.

Today is pretty much the opposite. She's in the middle of her third nap and has clocked more than four total hours of nap at this point. She's been exceedingly fussy and impatient with me when she's awake.

I think she may be bored. I think she hates it when we stay home all day. Maybe I'm not stimulating her enough, or maybe she just wants to be somewhere where she can see new things and play with new people.

So how do you do this? I know I could schedule more playdates, but honestly, yesterday was exhausting for me too. I need a recuperation day. I need to do laundry and pick up around here. I need gasoline to not be so expensive because 95% of our friends and family live ten to forty miles away, and that's not conducive to frequent playdate scheduling.

Bleh, I'm finished complaining.

So this morning, when Olivia hadn't yet decided to be upset with me for being so incredibly dull, she and I were putting away some 6-9 month clothing that we just picked up from a friend who is lending all of her little girl clothes to us as Olivia grows into them. As I was putting the 200th adorable little t-shirt onesie in her drawer, it occurred to me that this child has had at her disposal more cute and fashionable clothing choices in her short lifetime than I've had EVER. I am not complaining...I am stating a fact. And it occurred to me that I wanted to share with the internet how amazingly wonderful this baby share thing is.

When we were anticipating Olivia's birth, friends came out of the woodwork to empty their closets and basements and storage areas of all the baby items they no longer needed. My husband commented just yesterday that, besides diapers, we have had to spend VERY little on baby stuff. The list of things we have that we did not have to buy include:

Crib, bedding, changing table, baby tub, assorted toys, carseat (which was only 6 months old), bassinet, pack-n-play, rocking chair, and other assorted items. Also:


We currently receive hand-me-downs from three sources...all friends with little girls who are a bit older than Olivia. These are marked and can be passed back when we are finished, thus eliminating our need to store massive amounts of clothing that she has already grown out of.

This is absolutely the best way to clothe your child. I'm serious. I'm all for buying new things to doll up your kid, and Olivia has some of that too, but for the everyday clothing needs, this is brilliant. The kid has no idea she's in someone else's clothing, and since she'll grow out of it faster than she'll wear all of it, there's absolutely no reason that we need to be spending extra money.

So, if you are having a baby, make friends with people who have recently had a baby of the same gender. Trust me, you won't be sorry.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Little Miss Excitable

This weekend was beautiful, and we decided to pack up our little girl and all her things and drive to our beloved former parish in our beloved former city for their annual social.

Now, in our beloved former city, these socials (called Summer Socials, and spread from May to September) are held at just about every parish in the city. These are big fundraisers for the parishes, but we always liked attending because we'd always run into at least a couple dozen people we knew. There are rides and games for the kiddos, and food booths and silent auctions and big wheel tickets for the adults. It's a great way to guiltlessly drop $40 because it's fun and all the money goes to the church.

Olivia was loving it! She just kept looking intently at everything and taking it all in. And, of course, we ran into a couple dozen people we knew, who all just had to see Olivia and talk to her. But her eyes kept darting around at all the lights and the activity.

We were sure that after a couple of hours at the social, she was bound to fall asleep as soon as we hit the car. We visited my in-laws for about an hour after the social, and the entire time Olivia was charged up! She was shouting out excited little exclamations and giggling and stomping. And then we put her on the floor, and by golly if that girl didn't crawl! Not a real crawl, mind you...more like an army crawl.

Now that she's discovered her mobility, she thinks she's big stuff. Between the army crawl and the rolling, she can get herself into just about any kind of trouble accessible within a foot of floor level. Any day now, she'll discover how to pull herself up on things. Then the crib will become a danger and we'll need to lower her mattress. And get foam cushions for the coffee table edges. And move all the knick knacks to high shelves. And either bolt down or throw out the bookcases, because OH THE TEMPTATION of climbing on them.

Not that I'm complaining. She's a lot easier to entertain now, and that's good. In fact, I noticed about 10 minutes ago that she is up from her nap, but since she's in there doing baby acrobatics and entertaining herself with her crib toys, I'm taking advantage. Not something I could have done a few weeks ago...

Our little girl is growing up!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Social eater

What is up with the baby of ultra distraction? Up until about a month ago, eating time was all business. She was ravenous and downed bottles like we were starving her.

Now, even at her morning bottle when she's gone 7 plus hours without eating, any little sound or activity going on in the room is enough to make her drop her bottle, sit up and look around. She is, of course, livid if you remove the bottle from her hands, but she's not exactly interesting in eating from it right this moment.

Today has been a good nap day, and I got so much accomplished during naps that I actually decided to lay down and take a bit of a nap myself while she was still sleeping. That lasted all of ten minutes. I think she has some sort of sense about when I'm wanting to nap and decides it's time to get up. Not that I get a lot of time to nap these days.

My husband had an out-of-town work obligation last night for the first time since we brought Olivia home. So I haven't seen him since yesterday morning. And everything went really well, but I'm starting to jump out of my skin here. Thank goodness he'll be back tonight. What are we going to do for those more-than-one-night business trips?

The baby has finished her bottle and is now talking to it. She says "bye computer people".

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


Since I'm too busy to start a baby book and this is the only place I keep vital stats, here are Olivia's measurements from her March 12th doctor visit and her May 12th doctor visit:

Height - 25.75 inches
Weight - 13 lbs 13 oz

Height - 27.25 inches (93rd percentile)
Weight - 15 lbs 4 oz (34th percentile)

So we still have a tall, thin girl. She's checking out healthy in every way.


I have many things jumbling around in my head, and I'm going to put them in this blog today. Forgive the free flow of randomness coming from my brain.

Sunday was Mother's Day, of course, and my first time to celebrate as a Mom. As a gift, I asked my husband for one uninterrupted night of sleep. I don't really mind getting up with Olivia, but it does interrupt my sleep pattern, and I thought this would be a nice treat. He agreed to feed Olivia when she woke up on Saturday night so I could sleep through the night without getting up. Well, the little one must have heard my request and thought I was asking her to give Mommy this gift, because she slept straight through the night. 8:30 p.m. to 6:15 a.m. So Mommy and Daddy both got a treat, but I reserve the right to cash in on this idea again later.

Yesterday was Olivia's 6-month appointment, with FIVE shots. This is the third time she's had shots at the doctor, and it was by far the worst. Since she's more mobile, I had to hold her still. After the first shot went in, she just WAILED. It was the kind of surprise and shock that comes with a bee sting, only I was helping to inflict it on her...FIVE TIMES! I hate this. Her little tears were just streaming. When it was over, she was sobbing. I have never seen her sob. This was simply pain and surprise and the utter unfairness of it all thrown in together. I held her close for five minutes while she sobbed and intermittently looked me right in the eye and complained about her experience. Like a five-year-old would tell you about how she skinned her knee between sobs and tears, except without actual intelligible words. She calmed down after about five minutes and flashed a big smile to the doctor when he came in to examine her later. Thank God for short memories.

I've been thinking about Olivia's birthmom lately, with Mother's Day and Olivia's 6-month photos coming in soon. I've lost her...I think I mentioned that she moved back to the area and left a message at the agency where she first met us, saying that she had a new address and wanted to see Olivia. Well, I called that number, which turned out to be a local homeless shelter. I learned that she'd moved to another shelter. Then I tried that shelter a few times and now she's not there either. She wasn't in when I called, and now I don't know where she is. I guess I'll just have to mail photos to her mother (whose address I also have) and let her know that I am interested in contacting Sarah, but don't know where she is. I feel bad for her because obviously she's in a bad situation, and I wish there was something I could do to help her.

Well, my little one is up from her morning nap and wants to eat, so the randomness must end here.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Six Months (*Sniff!*)

My baby is six months old today. Here are some of the things she can do...

*Move around via rolling and a little bit of scooting.
*Sit up on her own...almost.
*Carry on a conversation with her plastic spoon.
*Wake up happy and play in bed for awhile before getting Mommy and Daddy up.
*Pull her hair out...she twirls the tiny bit of hair under her right ear and pulls at it. That will be a problem.
*She can go down for a nap without actually being asleep when she gets in the crib. She puts herself to sleep. Usually without crying.
*She can now scream like she means it. Not just the fussy baby cries, but an all-out, angry kind of scream. The kind you see in a temper tantrum. Oh boy.

We're off to the doctor for her six-month check-up (and shots). I'll leave you with a photo of the princess with her oh-so-elusive mommy on Mother's Day.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Transitions and changes

When we first brought Olivia home, everyone says "she'll get into a routine, and then just when you think you know what that routine is, she'll change it on you."

This has turned out to be mostly true. I use the term "transitioning" to describe any of these changes in behavior or routine. Seemed to want to eat more food less often...transitioning. Sleeping longer intervals at night...transitioning. Having more happy playtime and less fussy playtime during the day...transitioning.

Now, I fear, we are entering the first period of transitioning that I've truly been dreading...the regular two-nap-a-day schedule. I've heard many moms tell how their babies, at some point, began taking one regular morning nap and one regular afternoon nap. I thought to myself...not my baby. She insists on at least a short nap between every feeding cycle. After being awake two hours, she simply MUST lie down. She usually did this willingly and usually had at least one long nap a day (2 hours).

For the past week, Olivia has been more alert and playful and interested in everything, and I've noticed that, although she will easily go down for a nap when I determine that she's tired, she's not sleeping nearly as long. So far today, we've had two 40 minute naps. And now she's up again, complaining in her crib to be picked up. And it's not time to eat yet, but she will want to eat.

Transitioning? Or growth spurt? I'm sort of hoping for the latter because I'm not really ready to give up my nap time yet. That's when I get things done. And since I decided to pick TODAY to finally pull out all of her photos for the last six months and organize them into piles ready to be scrapbooked, I'm a little frazzled. Maybe I can get her to play in her exersaucer for awhile so I can clear all of this stuff off the coffee table. Ha! Fat chance of that happening.

In the meantime, we've started leaving soft rattles and other little toys in her crib so she can entertain herself when she wakes up in the morning. I don't know if she's playing with them, but she has been waking up happy. In the morning, at least.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Almost 6 months old

Olivia had her 6-month photos yesterday, just a few days shy of 6-months old. Even with the snottiness (which is still in full force) she was quite cooperative. Unfortunately, she had a lot of watery eye shots and drooliness. More photos are on her photo blog, but here's one of her sweet shots from yesterday.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Road trip

Now that I'm finally finished with the adoption story, I return you to our regularly scheduled programming...

Last Wednesday, the three of us packed up the car to travel many, many hours North to visit my husband's 92-year-old Grandpa. It's a trip we have always enjoyed and try to do at least once a year. Grandpa is quite a character and gets around much better than most people in their 90s. We'd been planning this trip for awhile because we wanted to introduce Olivia to her great-grandpa.

Well, traveling long distances in a car with a baby pretty much beats the desire to travel right out of you. Olivia actually did pretty well, considering. We cut the drive in half because it's about 10 hours straight through and CAN YOU IMAGINE A BABY SITTING STILL AND HAPPILY FOR THAT LONG? Me neither. But she slept much of the time and could be entertained for quite a bit of the rest of the time in the car.

Nighttime sleep was another story. Spending hours and hours in the car threw her off her sleep pattern. Besides that, there was this pesky little problem of being stuck in the same room with our noisy baby, who kicks and talks to herself in order to get herself back to sleep. Needless to say, none of us slept very well or very much. Hats off to those of you who can stand to sleep in the same room as your baby, but it has just never worked for us. Olivia likes her quiet space, and so do we.

As you can imagine, several days in a car isn't all that fun for anyone, but she did OK. All in all, Olivia had a chance to meet her Great Grandpa, her Daddy's cousin, her Aunt J and a friend of Daddy's from college. Lucky for them, she was all smiles for most of our visiting time. Must be due to all the car napping she was doing.

Unfortunately, all the sleep disruption and hotels and excitement wore us down, and now Olivia and I both have a nasty cold. Ugh. And with 6-month portraits scheduled for Wednesday! I hope Her Snottiness can cooperate with the nice photographer-lady, despite her cold.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Adoption Story, Part Four

Olivia was born on November 12th, a Monday. The laws of the state where she was born required a 72-hour waiting period before the birthmother could sign papers relinquishing her parental rights, and she would also be required to do this in the presence of a judge, in court, after a period of questioning to be sure she knew what she was doing, etc. Because our birthmother had just endured surgery and required some recovery time before she could reasonably be expected to appear in court, her attorney scheduled our hearings for Friday, November 16th. Olivia would be required to remain in the care of the hospital until after this hearing, so we camped out in the hospital for the week.

Although I was a little disappointed with the wait, it really was a great week for us. Olivia was born in a Catholic hospital that had a wing of rooms they used for guests who wanted to stay to be near a patient. The rooms were in what was probably once a residence for nuns who ran the hospital. They were like little monastic cells, with a couple of twin beds, a sink and a little closet. There were communal bathrooms, showers, kitchen area and TV room, but as far as we could tell, we were the only ones staying there. So this little residence worked out nicely for us. The worst part about staying in this wing was that it was a good 15-mile hike (just a slight exaggeration) through the maze of hospital halls to get from our room to the baby nursery, but it was a small price to pay for staying in a cozy, on-site room for just $10.00 per night.

We spent much of our time in and out of the baby nursery. The nurses always let us take Olivia out of the nursery to an unoccupied maternity room, where we would feed her and rock her and change her and stare at her for long periods of time. We spent some time visiting Samantha as she recovered from surgery. Mostly, we just sat and enjoyed this new sensation of being parents of this amazing little baby.

On Thursday, Samantha was discharged at around noon, and shortly before that she shuffled (slowly, with much pain) down to the room where Olivia and I were staring at each other. She sat with us and held Olivia for awhile. Just before she left to go back to her room to change and pack her things, she held Olivia up and said, "Well, I sure am glad I got to meet you, little girl. I know you are going to have a great life and great parents. And I sure am happy about that." It made my heart break and leap at the same time.

On Friday at noon, we sat in the waiting area at the courthouse for our turn to do whatever was required of us to complete this process. Samantha was a little late and walking very slowly...still very sore from her surgery. But she managed to get into the courtroom. After about 20 minutes, she came back out with her attorney and said to us, "Take good care of that little girl." We assured her that we would.

Then it was our turn in the courtroom. We sat as an attorney read the papers we signed and kept asking questions like, "Is that correct?" to verify that we had understood what we signed. Then the judge said something like, "This court finds that this couple is well suited to be adoptive parents of this child, Infant Female LastName, and recommends that the child be released to their care and custody, pending finalization of adoption..." blah, blah, etc. Then he turned to us and congratulated us with a smile. My husband turned to me, hugged me and said, "Let's go to the hospital and get our baby." At which point I started to cry.

So, we went back to the hospital, dressed Olivia in her "leaving the hospital" clothes, strapped her into her carseat for the first time and waited for the attorney to bring the papers to the hospital so they could let us leave. While we were waiting, the nurses gave us bags and bags of goodies...several packages of infant diapers, cases of nursette bottles of prepared formula, a diaper bag with samples of this and that...they were so good to us. I'm sure this is built into the cost of her hospital care, but still.

Waiting to be released from the hospital.

The attorney finally came and we were escorted out of the hospital by the social worker. We all piled into the very packed car and headed out.

Just the first of many, many car trips.

I wish I could say that we were headed home to happiness and joy, but we were stuck in Olivia's state of birth (not our state) for another five days. For those who are not familiar with adoption law, there's this interstate compact thingie where the birth state's office of adoption affairs (or something) has to review the adoption paperwork, make sure everything was completed according to that state's law, and then forward the paperwork to our resident state's adoption affairs office, where they have to review to make sure their state laws were satisfied. We were informed that it was against the law for us to take this baby across state lines until this paperwork was approved by both states and we received permission to go home. After spending five nights in hotels with a newborn, I don't think the internet should have to hear what I think of this law.

In retrospect, those five hotel days weren't the hell I thought they were at the time. The hotels we had were nice. We got to visit some very generous friends. We got to spend more time staring at our beautiful baby before the onslaught of visiting family members began. But at the time, I was crippled by the incredible lack of sleep, which fed my insecurities about my ability to care for this tiny human, and we were also anxious about the timing of the paperwork. Since Olivia was released on a Friday, the paperwork processing didn't start until the following Monday. And if it wasn't finished by the end of Wednesday, we knew that we would be camping out for at least another four days because of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Please take me home so we can find some clothes that actually fit!

Thanks be to God, we got a call from our lawyer on Wednesday afternoon, November 21st (my birthday), saying that the paperwork had been approved and we could come home. This was just about the best birthday news I could have received at the time. We arrived home, at our house, around 9:00 p.m. that night. We were welcomed by a few family members, including my parents, who volunteered to take the tiny sleepy baby home with them so her physically and emotionally exhausted parents could get some sleep. We were too tired to refuse.

The next few days were a blur of Thanksgiving celebrations, and it was a lot of stress (to be honest) with a little tiny baby who was overstimulated, but we were so elated to be home that we didn't care.

Finally home! Take me out of this carseat already!