Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Dear Baby, Go the F*ck to Sleep (Helpful hints on Sleep Training)

It's no secret that my dear sweet baby has turned into some sort of gremlin this past week or two.

Not a fan of life.
 
Except for that one time he fell asleep on his own after swimming for 45 glorious minutes. And I no sooner got comfortable in my chair and did a cheers with my mom with an adult beverage then dear sweet hubby rode by on the lawnmower and woke him up...

Before all hell broke loose
 
My diesel sleeper is literally FIGHTING sleep. If this is any indication of how his Toddler life will be, I am certainly screwed and I should be stock piling the wine and anxiety meds ASAP.
 
Seriously, homeboy is STRONG and finds any way to scratch, claw, wriggle, and kick me. It's a blast.

We have a rule that he can be up as long as he's happy. Once he starts turning into Johnny Rotten, then it's time for Mom to take over and make the choice that sleeping is the right decision. He's not happy. He's miserable. That picture above? Refused to nap. Refused.
 
But, every time I find myself ready to jump off the ledge, I visit this website and feel better. This woman is amazing and she puts together a whole bunch of articles to help the clueless parent like me.
 
This post is nothing more than to share a few of my favorite articles. I know a bunch of you are Moms, new Moms, or soon to be Moms and thought maybe this could help you too.
 
Figured it would save you the time of googling, "why the hell won't my devil child sleep?"
 
Here's the main website:
 
 
And some articles I like:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
And that's just what I've looked at today...

I'm sure we are going through a sleep regression. And it's only been a short amount of time. But it feels like FOREVER. Right now we are in survival mode. As much as I love him though... I will NOT be rocking him to sleep and putting him on the couch next to me until he's 17.

Although, he'd probably still be cute...
 

Our compromise. I held him and let him sleep on the couch next to me... and he...actually SLEPT!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Mom Gut. And No...This is Not a Post About Your Post Baby Body

It's no secret that before you have kids, you constantly talk about what you "will and won't" do when it comes to your imaginary children.
 
You see other Moms and their kids and think that you would never do that. Or that you like how they did something. You are constantly comparing yourself to everyone else.
 
This obviously continues once you have kids, but I found that you spend more time judging YOURSELF more than other people. I find myself more envious of the Mothers I think have it all together. I mean, granted, I'm not at their house during nap time when they are ripping their hair out and crying because their baby won't sleep but you KNOW they are exhausted (anyone else been there? No? Just me?)
 
For the first couple of weeks of Baby J's life I had no clue what I was doing, but I just went on auto-pilot and let him tell me what he wanted. Chances are he was hungry. And tired. So I fed him and he went to sleep. And when he woke up, he might be hungry again. Or not. And we just went about our days.
 
Gradually, I got the hang of things and we got settled into a nice little rhythm. Which, naturally was about the time that I went back to work. So take that rhythm and shove it out the window. Part of our rhythm involved a walk every morning. Which was lovely because it made him take this great long nap and made the morning go by quick. But, I can't do that when I'm working and no one else could either.
 
So, we set out to find a new routine. It took a week or so of me being back to work, but he was thriving and we got back on course.
 
Naturally, I got super cocky and decided it was time to start sleeping in the crib. I started putting him in there for naps and he was a rock star. I patted myself on the Mom back and thought I was amazing.
 
Except... a couple days later all hell broke loose.
 
He stopped sleeping through the night. Waking up for an hour and a half to two hours instead of going right back to sleep. It was torture.
 
Then one day, I went to put him down for a nap and he fought me. Tooth and nail. He clawed at me. Screamed. Wriggled his tiny little body as much as he could. Kicked his feet off me. No matter how many times I repositioned myself and him, he found a way to get me.
 
It. Was. Terrible.
 
And I cried every day. And he cried every day. And Alex and I were at a loss for what to do.
 
He fell asleep on his own, ONCE after swimming in the pool and it was magical. For 45 minutes he slept in his little bouncy chair and I had an adult beverage and sat out in the sun with my mom. And then Alex came by on the lawn mower and woke him up.
 
I call him the Baby Waker now by the way. Because no matter where we are. Or what we are doing. He will FIND a way to wake the baby up. Doing something completely random. Every time.
 
It was taking me over an hour to get him to sleep at any time. It was terrible. Terrible.
 
So, I did what any sane person would do.
 
I texted my cousin, whose daughter is 5 months older than Baby J. I told her I was in naptime hell and I didn't know what to do. I was trying to get him to sleep in his crib. And not pick him up when he fussed. And let him do his thing. And we were all miserable.
 
At this point, It was noon and he had only taken two 30 minute naps and if he wasn't napping he was crying. I was at my breaking point.
 
Thankfully, (not for her, but for me) she went through the exact same thing.
 
She told me that he probably just wasn't ready for the change. And that he was just coming out of the newborn sleep phase and sometimes you just have to go into survival mode.

She said that if she could go back and take back all of those times fighting with her daughter to sleep and just enjoy herself, then she would. Her daughter slept just fine on her own as soon as she was ready.

She gave me a solid piece of advice. She said every Monday she woke up with the determination that today she was going to try. And she would attempt to get her daughter to sleep on her own. Every week she would fight her. So she went back to the normal routine. Then one Monday, she went to sleep on her own and that was it.
 
Of course there were times where she was sick, or teething, or in a new place and it didn't work so well. But for the most part, she was ready.

So that's what I'm doing.
 
I sat down on the couch, calmly fed Baby J a bottle where he had eaten every single day, all cozy, up until last week. He was falling asleep eating and right as he finished his eyes were still open just a little bit. The dryer was doing something funky so I put him in his swing, turned it on, and said I would come back in a minute to finish putting him back to sleep.
 
And when I came back. He was asleep. And he's been asleep for two hours.
 
It's been beautiful. Beautiful.
 
Every night I've gone to sleep regretting my actions from the day. I was too stressed. I fought him too much. I was overwhelmed. He was unhappy. I was unhappy. It was terrible. The guilt I felt. He was miserable. I was miserable.
 
But for right now... I nailed this Mom thing. And it is those little victories that keep me going.
 
Sometimes you just need someone to tell you that it's OK to do what you think is best, rather than what everyone else tell you that you are "supposed" to do.
 
Just go with your Mom gut.
 
It's rarely wrong. 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Baby J: Newborn Pictures

Remember when I had a sweet tiny little baby who wasn't a bear to get to sleep?
 
No?
 
Me neither.
 
Well... long ago, before we decided that we are grown and can do anything we want...(or try and then try because we can't - you are three months, you can NOT crawl sorry dude!) I had a sweet tiny little baby.
 
Originally, a friend of mine was going to do his newborn pictures, but life got crazy and we couldn't seem to coordinate. So, I called my wedding photographer and begged her to take his pictures ASAP because he was very quickly getting out of the whole "newborn" sleep thing.
 
By the time she took the pictures, I think he was about 3 weeks old and he was having nothing with sleeping during the shoot. So, unfortunately, my dreams of the sweet, sleep, bundled newborn pictures were gone. BUT, he's always been pretty alert and nosy, so it was nice to get some pictures of those gorgeous eyes and his silly facial expression.
 
So... without further adieu...
 
Newborn Baby J... (these aren't all of them, but just a few of my faves)
 

 






Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Baby J: Three Month Update



Weight: About 16 lbs 10 oz (this is estimated because I did it at home)

Height: 25 1/2 inches (Again... estimated)

Health: Doing good! No problems here!

Sleep: Well... we WERE doing great! But, towards the end of the month... not so much. You have started waking up at night and being unsettled. I'm not sure if it is because you spend some time in your crib at first or if you are just going through a phase, but it is so not fun. You have been waking up for about an hour and a half to two hours every night. No bueno.

Social: You Little Man, are quite the social butterfly. You love a good party and you are never happier than when you are being doted on by everyone in the room. You've started yelling at people when they aren't paying attention to you. Then you are all smiles and giggles as soon as they look back. Silly boy!

Diet: Still only formula. I think that your world is going to be rocked once you get solid food. Soon enough Bug!

Likes: Attention. Silly faces. Blankies.

Dislikes: Nap time. Bed time. Haha. Not being able to do something that you want, like sitting up on your own or crawling. You get mad.

Milestones: 


Monday, July 7, 2014

Shit God Damn

We are off on vacation for the week. Wish us luck. I love me some Martha's Vineyard, but I've never experienced it with a baby. A baby who is on a sleep strike and likes to whine all day... oh man... is it too early to start drinking?!

We all know this whole Baby/Mama thing ain't no joke. It's hard work. REALLY hard work.
 
You're expected to do EVERYTHING you did before, but now, you have to heal from the crap your body went through AND take care of this tiny human who you are pretty sure is partially bipolar. Or maybe part alien.

This whole working Mom thing though?

Shit. God. Damn.

I thought we were doing pretty well, but it turns out that our sweet little cherub is going through a bit of a sleep regression. Or he might be teething. It's quite possible that he needs an exorcism. Who knows.

If this is a sleep regression, then I call bullshit because he has NEVER slept this bad. Seriously.


Sleep? Who me? Nah.
He woke up maybe once or twice a night, but he always went right back to sleep while he was eating. I would hold him a little before putting him back down to let the food settle (sometimes he would sound like he was choking a little when he would lie down after eating, but he would grow out of it), maybe a few minutes. That's it.

The week I went back to work, so umm... 6 weeks ago, he started sleeping through the night. We maybe had two or three nights he had some trouble sleeping, but he slept. Sometimes he was up for the day at like 5:45, but for the most part he slept from 7-8:00 PM to about 6:00. It was beautiful.

Now?

Shit. God. Damn.

He wakes up, somewhere between 2:00 and 4:00 AM and he's up from anywhere between an hour to two hours. Well... "up". He's sleeping as long as I hold him. The second I put him down too soon though, it's over. Not to mention, I have to work to put him back to sleep in the first place like it's bed time all over again. He's fully awake, chatting, life is grand.


But it isn't. I'm dying over here. I can't even nap like I could while I was on maternity leave.

So this working Mom this is for the birds. Seriously. We need to win the lottery stat. Because I can not handle this. Anymore.

Supposedly, they can last anywhere from 2-6 weeks. And he can have this a whole bunch of times in the next 2ish years.

Ugh. I want my sweet sleeping baby back.
 
Rare moment, but sweet indeed.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Growing Up and Growing Apart

I'm going to take a little break from gushing about my Little Man, to get a little personal here.
 
I feel like, in the past 2 years, I've gone through a kind of transition in the friend department. It seems like as you get older and start going through big life events like engagements, weddings, buying a house, having a baby, etc. it really starts to show you who your true friends are.
 
It kind of sucks because who knows how long you have been friends with someone before all of this shit hits the fan. I mean, I feel like there should be some kind of friend boot camp. You get 6 months to see how you like each other, and then you can either enter boot camp or part ways. The boot camp will show you just exactly HOW a friend will act when things start to get hard. I don't know about you, but I don't really care who is there for all the good, happy, fun times. What really matters to me is who is going to be standing next to me when the dust settles. That's what counts.
 
I'd like to consider myself a ride or die kind of friend. I know I'm pretty gangster, but in all seriousness that's how I feel. I will go above and beyond for you if we are close. I will trust you completely from the start. Chances are I'll even give you a couple opportunities to screw up and STILL give you the benefit of the doubt.
 
I'll tell you when I'm pissed not because I'm an asshole, but because it is worth it to me to work on our relationship rather than stew and resent. If you really upset me and we can't get through to each other, then I'll usually take a step back. I'd rather work through things myself and come back when I'm ready than continue to fight or struggle.
 
You may think I'm abandoning you, or leaving you high and dry, but the truth is that I don't want to damage our friendship any further than it already has been and I'm trying to get through whatever bothers me myself. Because sometimes, maybe it IS me. Maybe I'm being unrealistic. Maybe I'm being jealous, or petty, or just silly. Maybe some other shit is going on and you just so happened to be in the wrong place at the right time.
 
I like to methodically think real hard before I take a step. I don't like to make mistakes. I HATE to apologize. And I will perseverate on my regrets for the rest of my life. So, I try not to put myself in those situations.
 
My problem starts when I feel like I am backed into a corner. When I feel like I have discussed something at length, multiple times, multiple ways, 'til I'm blue in the face, thinking that we have everything settled...and then the person just goes and does whatever the fuck they wanted anyway. I feel like I wasted my time, and there's nothing that pisses me off more than when someone wastes my time.
 
Another way to lose me for good? Continue to push me. If I ask for space. Give it to me. I'll come back when I'm ready. I promise. BUT... if you continue to push me, then I'm going to walk away. I don't want to snap. I don't want to do or say anything that I might regret (although, GOD it would feel good to just be able to unleash sometimes, oh the things I would say. I would like to think that I have thought about it all enough that I would be very matter of fact about it, but honest. However, regardless of how honest it is, I know it would still hurt people, so I keep my mouth shut...for now...) If I am no longer able to handle a situation constructively, I'm out. It's just how I am.
 
You can call me a bitch. Or an asshole. Or a see you next Tuesday (make sure to do this one on Facebook, like a little 15 year old girl). Maybe you think I'm a bad friend. Or I abandoned you. Or you think that I used you and just threw you away when it was no longer convenient for you. Go for it. Do your worst. But think of this... chances are... if I walked away from you, you pushed me to it.
 
You see, I'm pretty much an emotional cutter. I hang onto things LONG after they have gone from healthy to toxic to borderline abuse. I always want to work things out. I'll always try everything I can possibly think of. I hate to fail. I'm a bleeding heart. I want to believe that EVERYTHING can have a happy ending. However, at some point, I need to stop hurting myself and letting YOU hurt me and be done with it.
 
There was a whole bunch of bullshit that surrounded our wedding. I didn't talk about it a lot because I was hopeful that everything would work itself out, but here we are almost 2 years later and I don't talk to either one of my maid of honors. It was like a curse. Don't be the maid of honor in my wedding. Chances are we won't be friends anymore.
 
I just felt like for once in my life, I needed people to have MY back and I found myself standing alone a lot. It was disheartening to say the least. I felt like people couldn't get past their own shit and I found that I was explaining myself for what I was doing for MY wedding too much. I hate explaining myself. I don't feel like I should have to. To anyone. I think that I make a conscious enough effort to look at what I am doing and how it would have an impact on anyone else. So, no... I don't have to explain myself to you.
 
For awhile I wondered if I was the problem. All of a sudden there were all of these issues with all of these people and I was the common denominator. And it was true. I was. I was the problem, but only because I changed. I stopped letting people do whatever they wanted. I spoke up for myself. I called people out on the bullshit. And when the dust settled, I found myself with a few less friends.
 
So be it.
 
I'm not happy about it. It sucks that it all had to be this way. But I'm finding myself being better off. People don't change. The same bullshit is STILL going on, just now with other people. And I'm just standing back watching the mess. It's just a shame that it has to be this way.
 
It didn't need to end like this.
 
But, I guess that is just how things were meant to work out. You get older, people start drifting apart. Such is life. Doesn't mean it doesn't suck. Just means we are all growing up.
 
I guess I don't really know where I was planning on going with this post. Just that I'm sick of fighting with people. I'm sick of the drama. I'm just all done with it. So I'm not going to do it anymore. Or, at least I'm going to try not to. Sometimes I think I'm being unfair by just giving up so easily now, but honestly, I'm just over it. I'm over the fighting, the backstabbing, the shit talking, the uncomfortable social situations. I'm over it. And if at the end of the day, it's just me, my husband, my baby, and my dog, then whatever. I'm cool with that. At least I know that at the end of the day, they have my best interest at heart.
 
Except for the baby...he would sleep more if he had my best interest at heart.
 
And the dog would stop trying to trip me at the top of the stairs.
 
On second thought... I'm moving to Aruba by myself and I'll catch you all later.