Category Archives: sleep

single parenting and death

How’s that for a headline? Don’t worry – DW and I are just fine 🙂 Her grandpa died on Thursday and she had to fly to LA to be with her mom with no notice, so I’m on my own with the boys from last night (Friday) through Tues. when my mom will arrive to help me out (she has my brother’s kids for the long weekend). DW returns Tuesday PM.

Grandpa was 99 years old – his 100th was coming up this week. He was a great guy and an amazing grandfather, so of course we are sad at his passing. That said, his quality of life has been bad for several years, so it’s also a positive.

We decided to tell Monkey about it since he visited Grandpa many times and we thought since they weren’t super close, it might be a good way to start talking more about death and dying. He took it well initially and had lots of questions. Later than night, he expressed concern about my dad (“Papa is old, is he going to die?” “We only have one Grandpa left.”) and his uncle (Muncle John) and he cried and said he was sad about Grandpa.

We dropped DW off at the airport last night and came home and started getting ready for bed. My plan was to get the MM down first in his bed, then Monkey in our bed, and move the MM to our bed when I went to bed. I got Monkey involved in a Wii game and told him not to come upstairs so that I could get brother to sleep. It took FOREVER, but I finally managed it. Then I got Monkey ready for bed and we talked some more about Grandpa, but there were no tears. Took from 6:45-8:15, but both boys were offically out and I was on Mama time. It was very exciting: iPad and HGTV!

I went up around 10 and got myself ready, moved the bedrails from the MMs room to our room, moved the baby gate from the MMs room to our room, woke Monkey to go potty, then transferred the MM. I slept in the middle and it was, shall we say, very cozy, even though we have a California king size bed. All was well until the MM woke up yelling at 2:30AM (“I DON’T WANT THIS BED! I WANT THE OTHER BED!”). Monkey woke up, I told him to lay down and I walked around with the MM to get him back to sleep. He did, but the minute I tried to lay down with him, the screaming began again. I decided to try to get him down in his room and then transfer him.

Got him down fairly quickly, but when I tried to get up, he woke up and cried. I brought Monkey into the room and had him get in the (full size) bed. Realized Monkey was crying. I asked him what was wrong and he told me he’s sad about Grandpa 😦 I sat down next to him and comforted him while rocking with the MM. Got him calmed down and got back in bed, this time with the MM in the middle. Then both boys got the giggles. For like 40 minutes. I thought I was going to lose my mind, y’all. They finally dropped at 4:30AM. I had to move the baby gate from our room to the boys room and then collapsed on the 3 inches of mattress I had.

Boys woke up just before 7. Sigh. We moved to the big bed (along with the baby gate) and they played on the iPad while I snoozed for half an hour. Came downstairs, fed cats, fed kids, got ready to shower in our small bathroom downstairs with stern warnings of no fighting. Just as I was stepping into the shower, Monkey runs in and says the MM wants to get in. Sigh. Get him stripped down and in the shower. After the fastest shower on record, I get us dried and dressed. Finished getting ready and headed to the mall to hit STAR.BUCKS!!!!, the play area, the Disn.ey St.ore, Leg.o Store, and Ga.me Sto.p. They did pretty well considering the sleepless night. We have had lunch and they are now watching a movie and eating popcorn, which is how I have the time to write this novel.

Planning to order pizza for dinner, and hit the local kids museum in the morning and maybe see The Goo.d Dino.saur in the afternoon at the $2 theater. Monkey is supposed to be back to school Monday (year-round calendar here and he’s been out for three weeks), but there is a good chance of ice and snow, so I may have both of them stuck inside. Pray for me. I got lucky with work: they give you up to 5 bereavement days that don’t count against your PTO, so I’m taking Monday and Tuesday, and will work from home Wednesday and Thursday while my Mom is here.

Other random updates:

  • Monkey is having his tonsils and adenoids removed on April 20.
  • We found out yesterday that he got into the local magnet school we applied for.
  • My mom will be here for her birthday (2/16).
  • DW’s birthday is 2/22 and I have no idea what to get her. She just buys what she wants during the year. I told her to go on a shopping spree while she’s in California, but she probably won’t. What should I do?????

I’ll try to update again tomorrow with more wackiness. I figure this will be a good post to read when I’m reminiscing about my perfect babies in the future. LOL.

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Filed under grief, sleep, travel, Uncategorized

no more nurslings

DW and I took the opportunity of my 3 day trip to Los Angeles last week to wean the Marshmallow. I have tried twice in the last 3 months to night wean to no avail. My hard-headed babe would go 10-12 nights with very little sleep, and very much wailing. I literally dropped with exhaustion at a certain point and gave in both times.

Since I was to be gone for 3 nights and 4 days, we thought this was a good time to just try going cold turkey. Here’s how it’s going:

  • Night 1: The MM was up from 12:30-4:30AM. Let’s all give it up for Mommy (DW) who had to deal with that mess. He was not crying or unhappy during that time, just awake. Fortunately my mom was on hand to help, so DW did get some nap time the next day.
  • Night 2: The MM was up for the day at 3:30AM. Poor, poor Mommy.
  • Night 3: The MM was up for the day at 5:30AM. A little progress…
  • Night 4: Mama was home! The MM was asking for milk! I very nearly gave in as I just ached for him, even though the crying was not inconsolable. I was able to get him to sleep with no nursing. He woke up several times wanting to nurse, but I was able to get him back down with very few tears. He was up from 3:30-4:30AM, woke for the day at 6:30.
  • Night 5: Baby slept through the night until 6:30AM! He stirred several times overnight but never woke up. YES!
  • Night 6: Baby woke up several times through the night, but I was able to get him back to sleep quickly with some butt patting and shushing.

Pretty good, right? He does ask for milk a couple of times each day, but accepts it when I tell him, “I’m sorry, there’s no more milk. Would you like water, juice, etc? Would you like a hug?”

It is both great and sad. The thought that I’ll never nurse my babies again does have my heart breaking a bit. I wish I could have one more nursing-to-sleep session, but I also know it’s time to be done. I was really resenting having to nurse so often, and not getting restful sleep as the MM woke several times overnight to nurse. I also feel kind of guilty not waiting for him to end things – even after 2 years and 8 months of bfing. That mom guilt is strong and merciless!

I nursed my babies for a total of 4 years and 11 months. Neither had a drop of formula and were EBF for their first 6 months of life. I pumped for a total of 1.5 years while working full-time. My initial goal was to reach a year with each baby, so I kind of killed that one! I am so proud and so thankful that I was able to experience nursing my children. It was a transformative experience for me, something I’ll treasure always.

Goodbye, my sweet babies. Hello, my beautiful children.

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Filed under breastfeeding, nursing, sleep, Uncategorized

my son, the unicorn

I remember when Monkey was an infant and we were so beyond sleep-deprived, I’d hear about these easy babies who slept through the night, rarely cried, and hit every milestone right on time. I’d resentfully think they were mythical creatures, as rare as unicorns. Everything with Monkey was just so so hard. I’m sure part of it was us figuring out how to parent and coming to terms with life as we knew it being gone. Don’t get me wrong – we love our Monkey with everything we have and would do it all over again for our little guy. But I have to say that I am SO happy to report that our second is indeed one of those unicorn babies.

Baby F coos and smiles, hardly ever fusses, and sleeps like a dream (pun intended). He is a roly-poly gorgeous little Gerber baby and we are all ridiculously in love with him. I am so happy to be able to truly soak in all of his baby-ness since he is our last baby. We are both so glad we decided to have another child and can’t imagine life without our sweet babes.

Monkey has been sick all week with a nasty cold, poor guy. We’ve been stuck inside for days and it sucks. We have a family picnic for his co-op Sat so here’s hoping he is well enough for us to attend and meet the new kids before school starts.

And that is what is happening in our world these days. Once I’m able to get to my computer (instead of just my iPhone & iPad) I’ll try to update more frequently and comment on your posts more often. It’s hard without a keyboard. #oldskoolmama

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Filed under baby #2, love, sleep, smiles

baby’s first cold

We consider ourselves very lucky that baby never caught a cold his entire first year of life. Then a couple of weeks ago, DW got sick. A few days later, I got sick. And a few days after that? Yup, baby got sick. He ran a slight fever and was really congested. The first night he was sick was just terrible and sad. He woke up every hour and would cry and cry and nothing we did would console him. Finally, we found a Yo Gabba Gabba on NickJr On-Demand and that did the trick. We don’t let him watch TV, so this was a first for him. (Sidenote: Now we let him watch a YGG every now and then. He just loves it!) The next day, he was cranky but the fever was gone and he was able to nap and go to bed normally, so it was a quick cold at least. The hell of it? The bad night was the night we went back to Daylight Savings – we were hoping to pick up an extra hour of sleep in the mornings, but the cold threw him off so we are still at 4-4:30AM. Groan.

We’d really like to switch him to one nap as that might help with the early wakings, but how do you do that when he’s starting his day so early? He’d never make it to 11 or 12…

(Every post finds its way back to the sleep issue.)

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Filed under sick, sleep, Uncategorized

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Filed under 13 months, milestones, nursing, sleep, words

13 months

Before I get to S’s update, I just wanted to thank you for your kind words on my work post. As it turns out, I managed to get a plan in place and got us where we need to be by end-of-day Friday (with a lot of help from my awesome co-workers). Now my crazy boss is treating me like a hero – I saved the day! Whiplash. Well, now I know what needs to happen and I’m going to get off my butt and stop slacking. (I may also need to talk to someone about upping my AD meds.)

S turned 13 months on 1/21! His biggest advancements are in language: he understands (and is trying to say) several words. He knows book, ball, truck, wheel, kitty, milk, and “Is Your Mama a Llama?” I ask, “Where is the ball?” He crawls to one, holds it up, and says, “Ba!” (Does that count as his first word? I know he isn’t totally saying ball, but he knows what it is and is making the attempt.) I know he understands “Is Your Mama a Llama” because out of the blue, I looked at him and said, “Is your Mama a Llama?” He crawled over to the coffee table, where there were a few books, and picked up the Llama one! What a genius! 🙂

He is not yet walking, but I think it’s more that he hasn’t quite figured out he could. He finger-walks and cruises like a champ and is very sturdy on his feet. It’s going to happen any day now.

Baby is teething like a madman right now. He doesn’t let us get a good look, but I’ve seen at least two coming in on top, and 3 coming in on the bottom (molars, too). We are doing a lot of Motrin these days, poor baby.

Sleep continues to be a challenge. It is usually not a problem to get him to sleep (nurse, bounce him around while singing, put in crib – generally takes about 10-15 minutes). It’s that he wakes fairly frequently throughout the night to nurse, and he is up EARLY. The other day he was up for the day at 3:30AM. OMG. I’m really hoping that once his teeth are in and he can walk, his sleep will improve. (BTW, we move him to our bed for the night on his first wake up once we are in bed.)

The sleep thing is so so so hard. I know my extreme lack of sleep is the main culprit behind my inability to focus at work and my need for meds. It is also a major factor in our discussions on having another baby. We’re thinking that if we decide we want another, we would try this summer (assuming my period is back – still nursing, no period now). The thought of two babies with sleep issues to deal with is enough to make me say HELL NO, but I don’t want to look back and regret it. I know that the baby stage is over so quickly in the scheme of things.

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Filed under 13 months, antidepressants, baby #2, nursing, sleep

december bits

I swear, S has a talent for having terrible nights when we have plans the next day. Today is his new buddy O’s birthday party (this is the son of the 2 mom family we met a few months ago). What time was Mr. S up for the day? 4:01 AM, after tossing and turning and keeping me up all night long. Argh. Here’s hoping he wakes up in a good mood from his morning nap.

I have developed a big crush on a girl’s name. It is so perfect – not in the top 1000, unique without being too out there, strong and kind of unisex sounding (though it is a known valid name and it is a girl’s name). I was getting sad because the girl’s name we had picked before we knew we were having a boy is gaining in popularity thanks to a certain TV show. We’ll see if we decide to go for #2 and if it’s a girl. We are still going back and forth on whether we want to have another. Sometimes I’m envious of straight couples who just have “oops” moments. This planning every last detail thing is too hard!

We have our tree up and S is being really good with it. We have a TON of ornaments, so we decided to do a plush/unbreakable ornaments tree this year. It looks really cute and is nice in that S can pull stuff off the lower branches and we don’t care. We put larger plush ornaments and small stuffed animals down low specifically for this purpose.

S’s birthday party is next Saturday. We aren’t going too crazy with it. It’s nice that our house is already decorated and festive and will require very little to make it work for his gathering. We have a ton of baking to do this week!

Edited to add a big congratulations to 2 Chicks 1 Hatchling on the birth of their daughter! In a funny coincidence, their daughter’s name is the one I mention above as our pick had S been a girl 🙂

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Filed under baby #2, baby name, birthday, christmas, sleep

birthday bits

In other news, we are busily planning baby’s Winter Onederland party. We have switched the colors from blue/silver/white to red/silver/white as it will match our house better (hahahaha). We’ve also ditched the chili plan (could be too messy) and are instead getting a platter of sandwiches, fruit, and various nibbles. Still doing the hot cocoa thing and also cider. It’s gonna be a full house – we have around 25 adults and 7 kids coming. Our place is not that big! The guest list just kept expanding. Hopefully it won’t be too crowded in here…

S is teething like crazy right now. Several molars seem to be coming in and he is hurting, poor guy. Sleep has gotten a bit nuts again – it had gotten a little better (5:15-5:45AM wake time instead of the old 4AM), but the last few days have been back to 4AM. Argh. Those teeth need to just come on in already!

I’m gearing up to stop daytime nursing (sob) when he turns 1. I plan to continue nursing at bedtime and morning, but I’m just over pumping. Here’s hoping he takes to regular milk. On that note, anyone know how to make the transition? Do you combine breastmilk with cow’s milk for a bit or just go cold turkey to cow’s milk? We’re also not having much luck with the sippy cup. Need to get that going.

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Filed under 11 months, birthday, nursing, sleep, teething