Stuck in a rut

Syd and I have been working on getting into a routine and a nailing down a good schedule/routine.  It may sound easy, but it’s not, you try convincing my 7.5 month old that she needs/wants to nap…it’s hard!  I think we figured it out, but then I didn’t like to deviate from the schedule.

So the schedule is Sydney wakes up around 7-730ish, plays in bed between Mike and I while I try to convince her she wants to close her eyes for a little longer so I can keep mine closed a little longer.  We eventually make our way downstairs to play and eat breakfast (eating’s a whole post unto itself) until nap time about 1.5 hours after she has woken up (8:30-9ish).  Lately, the morning nap hasn’t been more than an hour (hopefully she’s not phasing this one out, the longer she keeps the one the better) up for 2 hours (eating and more playing and sometimes a quick errand or two in this time slot), then nap, usually for about 1.5-2 hours, but this one seems to be getting cut short too! She wakes up and then takes a catnap around 5ish wakes up again eats dinner, has a bath and goes to bed for the night…Sounds lovely, except the days when she doesn’t want to stick to the schedule…

I left her with Mike this weekend and he didn’t stick to my schedule and when I got upset he tried to convince me that it’s OK to get deviate from the schedule.  That we can’t live and die by the schedule or what fun would life be?  We should be able to enjoy Sydney and our time with her instead of fitting her into a schedule and you know what?! He’s actually right! So today, I just went with it and we had a pretty good day, I did try to stick to a loose schedule, but she ate and napped and was generally really happy and giggly all day!  So I learned that at the end of the day it’s nice to have a loose schedule of events, like I know we need 3 naps (2 short and 1 long) and that we need 3 meals, but it’s not the end of the world if it doesn’t happen at exactly the time I want it to, I am trying to learn to sit back and enjoy the ride!

Do any of you stick to a schedule?  Are you rigid about the times or are you generally satisfied as long as certain things are done like 3 naps and 3 meals?

Oh Diet Coke, how I love thee

I LOVE diet coke, I know…you needn’t lecture me on how bad it is, my husband and all my friends already do, but I must tell you I can’t survive without it! I am addicted and have a serious problem, I am trying to limit myself to only 2 or a 3 a day, it’s how I make it through the long days that start at 730ish and end around 1030ish.

While most people prefer something warm to jump start their morning, I like to drink a diet coke, something about the bubbles and the cool liquid makes it so refreshing and gets me moving!

I went cold turkey when I found out I was pregnant with Sydney (aspartame could be bad for fetus…didn’t want to take the risk).  So for 9.5 months I did not take a single sip of diet coke (it was hard).  This guy in my office always walked around drinking one and I would sit in meetings salivating, staring at his diet coke, dreaming of the day when I could have another one.  I tried switching to regular coke, it was too sweet and made the morning all day sickness worse.  I tried switching to tea, but I didn’t like how I had to remember to start the kettle before I got in the shower so it would be ready by the time I needed to leave (I slept until the last possible second).  I gave up, I stuck to water and juice for the remainder of my pregnancy.

Mike used to joke that he would have a cold diet coke waiting for as soon as Sydney had been delivered, I wasn’t joking, I wanted him there with that diet coke waiting for me!

After Sydney was born I lasted about 26 hours before I demanded my husband find me a diet coke, it was a harder task than it seemed, as the hospital only had pepsi (blech, and yes I can totally tell the difference) and I didn’t want him to leave the room because I couldn’t get up on my own.  A few phone calls and an awesome best friend later, I had my first diet coke of 9.5 months in hand!  I couldn’t wait, I ripped off the lid and took a swig, I pulled it away from my lips, something was amiss, it still had the refreshing feeling, but it tasted funny, different than I remembered!  I chalked it up to the fact that I had been eating bland boring hospital food and polished off the rest of the bottle.

The next time I got around to having a diet coke was a few hours after being home, it still didn’t taste quite right, but nonetheless I finished the can because HELLO sleep deprived and needed caffeine.  Odd taste aside I got into a routine of having 1 a day (I was worried about the caffeine in breast milk).   A few more sleep deprived weeks go by and I allowed myself to have another one in the afternoon because let’s get real, I needed caffeine to stay awake and the single can didn’t seem to be cutting it and the caffeine didn’t seem to be bothering Syd at all.  At 3 months in it was back to work and I figured well, it’s OK to have just one more because it’s still not more than the recommended 200 mg of caffeine limit and I needed to stay awake at my desk!! I made myself stop there because it could have easily spiraled out of control and I could wind up allowing myself to drink a whole 12 pack in a day under the guise of being sleep deprived.  I am now up to 3 cans per day and I can’t and won’t let myself drink more, it’s going to end there.  However, even to this day it still doesn’t taste the same as it did before I was pregnant, but I still love it just as much.  Does anyone have any drink they are addicted to?  If so, how do you limit yourself or cutback?

Happy Thanksgiving

This year I have a lot to be thankful for, a beautiful, wonderful, happy, healthy baby girl, a great husband and a lot of other things! I couldn’t ask for anything more in the world!  This year we are going to my dad’s house for thanksgiving, which is nice because it’s only about 10 minutes away!  We usually go there because it’s so close and I used to have to work the next day so it made it easy.  It’s always a unique experience depending on who is there as was evidenced by last year!  There are a lot of family dynamics at play, as with most families I am sure.  I am part of huge blended family on my mom’s side and a small blended family on my dad’s side (I will have to do a family recap at some point so you can see just how confusing it really is…try explaining this as a 5th grader…yea I did and people just got lost after the second word).  My dad lives with his girlfriend T, who has 1 brother and 3 sisters, for Thanksgiving T’s brother and his family and T’s mother and her “beau” were in attendance.

Last year, I think I was just starting to show, I guess people could still get mixed up and think I had just put on a lot of weight? (but honestly how confusing can it be? I was a stick pre-pregnancy)  T’s brother didn’t realize/know I was pregnant and when he found out he said “good I thought at first you had just put on a lot of weight!”  Umm ok, what do you say to that?! At least this year something like this won’t happen?  Although I still have a little soft middle to shed…so you never know what comments could be made.

Every year the dinner conversation digresses to the same topic about where T’s family last name comes from.  Literally, you can cut and paste Mike and I from year to year sitting around the table listening to the arguing about the family last name and which side they are really related to.  Two years ago David (my brother) turned to T and said “Didn’t we talk about this last year?” to which T replied “Oh my god you’re right! Is that sad?” I think I piped in and said we talked about it the year before that too.  So I’m sure we’re in for a repeat conversation this year, I will make sure to update you!

Another joy I had last year was being sober through the whole holiday season (drinking mass quantities while pregnant is usually frowned upon).  You really see how drunk the rest of the family gets.  I learned that when drunk my family is bunch of in your face close talkers who repeat themselves when we think we aren’t being heard…

Hopefully this year new conversation will be had, nobody will think I am “fat” and I won’t be spat upon by a close talker!

I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving and eats a ton of turkey (or Tofurkey if you are vegetarian)!

Got Sleep?

I know that before Sydney was born I was hoping that I would get a good sleeper, Mike and I both love to sleep so doesn’t that mean we should be blessed with a baby who likes to sleep??

For the first few weeks we were lulled into a false sense of security, because basically all she did was eat, sleep and poop.  We had to wake her for feedings until she was 6 weeks old…after 6 weeks she slept for 12 hours at night with one middle of the night feed.  God we were getting a lot of sleep back then and we were lucky, I know many people who were not so lucky.  Looking back I think from months 0-3 we were less sleep deprived than in months 3-7.

Fast forward to 3 months when I returned to work…our sleep schedule got all messed up! Syd still slept for the 12 hours but was waking up 2 times a night – once in the middle of the night and once at 6 AM to nurse before I ran out the door.  I would wake her up for this feeding so that she wouldn’t wake up starving for Mike.  It has been this way since she was 3 months old, she is now 7 months old and still waking at least 2 times a night to eat…   I am told this is not normal, I am told I must change this, but for some reason I can’t seem to convince her that she doesn’t need to eat an extra 2 times a night! I stuff her full of solids and milk before I put her down too!, but to no avail, she still wakes up and won’t go back to sleep until she eats!  I dream of a full night of sleep, one that consists of more than 4 hours at a time!! It’s not the getting her to go sleep portion that we have trouble with either, we seem to have worked that out, she can put herself to sleep.  I even managed to do that without employing the “cry it out” method.

Now that we aren’t in “survival mode” (doing whatever we had to do to get sleep, while I was working), I’m think this is going to be the first thing on my to do list (see earlier post about feeling accomplished), I am going to convince Sydney she can sleep through the night!! Wish me luck! *please note that I do not want to use the cry it out method because I feel that it will cause increased anxiety as an adult (I am already anxious enough, which I’m sure she picks up on, so anything to minimize anxiety is important)

What are your experiences with sleeping through the night?  If you did the middle of the night feed what did you do to drop it?

The “New” Gig

So as most of you know, I left my mostly secure job (as no job is 100% “secure”) with great benefits to stay at home with Sydney.  At least to me, when I put it like that I think to myself what the hell have I done/what the hell were you thinking?! (Don’t worry we still have health benefits, just not as great as before)  I was having “buyers remorse” the other day when I was telling a friend about how great the company I used to work for was and how amazing their benefits are and how she should try to get a job there.  Then Sydney made a cute expression and shrieked in glee and the buyers remorse fell away and I knew that I had made the best decision!

Yesterday was a whirlwind productive day! She kept her normal nap schedule and we got a lot accomplished, things I had been putting off because I just didn’t have the time and when there was time (the weekends) I was trying to spend as much of it with Sydney as humanely possible.  I am hoping most days will be that productive although I can already tell that today is not going to be as productive, since I am currently lounging around in bed still in my pj’s, spying on Sydney in the baby monitor (she has had a hard time going down for her morning nap)  I’m really hoping she doesn’t drop this morning nap before she’s one, but only time will tell! My new goal is to keep a consistent nap schedule and get more play time in with her! I have also decided that it’s important for me to write/keep to do lists of things so I can feel like I have accomplished something, basically need to write myself a list of goals! That way maybe the day in and day out of the same routine won’t drive me crazy.  This week will be a relatively nice week to make the transition into being home because it’s a holiday week and my brother will be here and Mike will be around more so more adult interaction and conversation.  Although I tend to talk to Sydney like she’s going to answer me!

Squishy and her Bun-bun

Mike and I bought Sydney her Bun-bun, her favorite toy and lovey, before she was born hoping she would love it.  Bun-bun is a bunny with long white (now somewhat gray from being loved on) floppy ears and arms and then a pink blanket body with a silky inside and a soft outside.  We thought she just had to have one because two of our favorite kids in the whole world have Bun-buns too! They are awfully loved and we thought ‘wouldn’t it be cute if Syd had one too and picked it as her lovey just like they did?!’  Turns out she loves Bun-bun just as much, if not more!

We started offering Bun-bun to Sydney to comfort her and fall asleep with when she was 3 months old.  We sent it with her the first day at the nanny share across the street because it smelled like us and home.  Everywhere we went we would bring Bun-bun incase she melted down and needed it!  She was allowed to have it to help her fall asleep, but not to sleep with.  That all changed at about 5 months old, when we started sleep training her.  I would let her fall asleep with Bun-bun, while observing her spying on her with the video monitor to make sure it wasn’t suffocating her and then when I felt she was really asleep I would sneak in and take it out of her crib, she would roll around looking for it, but would usually settle back to sleep.  As she became older and it was time for her to really start sleeping for longer stretches I realized that she needed Bun-bun to help soothe her back to sleep when she woke up, so I started leaving it in the crib for her.  Now when she falls asleep she HAS to have Bun-bun or she is not going to fall asleep.  It’s so cute, last night we realized that she loves to hug Bun-bun when she’s sleeping.  She also likes to tug on the arms and ears and drag the ear across her eyelids when she’s falling asleep.  During the day when she’s playing with Bun-bun she likes to chew on the ears and see if she can get the whole ear in her mouth!

Mike thinks that Bun-bun ranks higher in Sydney’s world than he does!  He thinks the pecking order is Mommy, Bun-bun, Daddy, some nights there may be some truth to this statement! Tonight we discovered that Bun-bun is starting to look really worn and has a few potential holes forming.  I decided that we will need to buy Sydney another one for Christmas as a back up Bun-bun, but shhhh don’t tell Syd that we are going to try alternating them, hopefully she won’t notice.  She can tell the difference between one that is somewhat like Bun-bun and rejects it when you try to use it, I’m hoping that if we get the exact same one she will be OK with alternating between them.

What are your experiences with your kids and their favorite toys or lovey? Do you have a back up just incase? How do you sneak it away to wash it? (Bun-bun is smelling a little ripe because she chews on it and gets milk on it)

The Cube Next Door

Every morning at some point I walk over to the cube next door and plop down in the chair and talk to my neighbor.  We joke, we talk about our families, and we gossip.  I am going to miss this routine, when I am staying home with Sydney full time.  While I am ecstatic about staying home and have wanted this with all my heart and know I am making the right decision, I’m admittedly  a little nervous too! Maternity leave was fantastic and I’m hoping this transition will be just as great.  I loved being home with her, but in the back of my mind I knew I would have to go back to work and would be able to resume this routine with my neighbor in the cube next door (adult conversation).  While I wished I could be home when I was at work, I loved that this routine resumed and I was allowed adult conversation once again, instead of the one sided ones I had with Sydney.  After a series of events that put the ball in motion, I put in my two weeks notice and here we stand, 2 work days between me and SAH Motherhood.

I have been working at my job for the past 4 and a half years, the people I work with are like family, we yell over the cubes and joke around.  I probably see them more than most of my family.  I get to go to work and have adult interaction without holding a baby and doing the baby sway (although sometimes I do catch myself standing around swaying without a baby in sight), I get to go to the bathroom on my own time, I get to eat one meal a day in peace and quiet.  I am ready to give up the bathroom and lunch breaks, no problem, but I am worried about giving up the social aspect of being a working mom, who will I talk to besides a 7 month old all day?  Sydney keeps a pretty tight nap schedule, so how realistic is it going to be to go out on play dates?  Will I become lonely?  I think by nature I am a pretty social person.  I know that I am lucky that I have a number of friends who are SAHM’s, but even so, as we approach the cold winter months, how easy is it going to be to get out?  I guess these are all questions we face as we embark on new roles as SAHM’s and I’m sure that the social aspect of my life will work itself out, but I sure am going to miss the lady in the cube next door, hope she doesn’t mind my morning calls and I sure hope Sydney doesn’t mind me having a morning “conference call” to help me keep my sanity!