Tuesday, February 28, 2012


First of all, the weekend continued in loveliness...I want to record it so I can look back and remember what a weekend SHOULD be like, when we inevitably regress to our  more-exhausting-than-work-days chore-fest weekends. After my "me time" on Saturday we got the kids ready and headed across the street to the bar/restaurant and had a lovely dinner and some beer. We came home and put both boys to bed and watched some more Downton Abbey before bed. Sunday we all hung out in the kitchen as G & I started our prep for the week---cooking up stuff for our lunches and B's, cooking for dinners, organizing and finishing laundry. Then we all went to the park, dog & all, and B got to run around for over an hour. Then quick lunch & on to nap time. G & I tried again to watch a movie but B didn't sleep much so mission aborted. We brought B downstairs to play and G finished up all our cooking/prep. G & the kids Skyped again with MIL while I put away laundry and took a nice long shower, washed and dried my hair, etc... Then I took the dog for a long walk and we all had dinner together at home---a lasagna we had already made & put in the fridge got popped into the oven an hour before dinnertime & was ready to go! Bedtime for boys and more Downton Abbey (and some wine!) for the adults. Sigh. So nice :)

Update on the sleep shenanigans: Saturday night we hemmed and hawed about whether we would start the official sleep-training or whether we just wanted to get through the night (figuring that the sleep-training would be more exhausting than a normal night). We decided to wait but when we heard L's cries through the monitor at 11:30 (after JUST getting to bed), we decided to go for it. G went down and patted him every 15 minutes. We turned off the monitor and set an alarm for the 15 minute mark so we could snooze in between. He went down 4 times...by the 5th alarm, he had stopped. He woke again around 5:30 and I brought him to bed, nursed him, and we all slept again until 6:30. Sunday night he slept until 4:45...at that point I thought he might be hungry so got him right away (I know!!) and nursed him and we all slept until 6:15. Monday night, awoke at 4:30. Let him cry for 20 minutes (set the alarm again), he had already stopped. He woke up at 5:50 and we all got up for the day.

From the beginning we had been putting L down awake, after a bath (every other day...had to cut down because of eczema) and nursing; if he nursed to sleep I would wake him and swaddle him & sing a bedtime song before putting him down, with a loud fan for white noise in the room. Around 3 months I also added in a short bedtime book. Usually he would coo a bit and fall asleep. Sometimes cry for 15 minutes tops. So we'd had that part right. It was just the middle of night wakings.

Update on L's reflux: I think the h2-blocker is working. There is a LOT less spitting up. Also, he is just much happier---back to his old smile-y coo-y squeal-y self, which he hadn't been since mid-January. This morning he spit up the medicine and then got fussy and started spitting up his milk, too...so I guess the medicine IS doing something when he gets it in.

Finally, some happy news to report! OK done pumping, back to work...

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Hanging on...

...but by a very thin thread! Been busy with quite a few things that have kept me from this space.

SLEEP L's sleep has gone off the rails. Just...awful. Up most of the night fussing---he falls asleep while rocking but then awakens immediately upon being put back down in the crib. Same with nursing. Even if I leave him in bed, he needs to actively be suckling or he will wake up. This is NOT comfortable for me, so...yeah. We kind of take shifts, with G dealing with the earlier night wakings usually rocking/walking or just holding him in the basement and watching a movie, and me taking over around 1:30-2, and bringing him into bed and nursing so that he shuts up and G can get some sleep.

My mom left today, so we are booting him OUT of our room and into the guest room. Here we can let him fuss/cry a bit and still try to get some sleep. Not sure our exact plans for sleep training but clearly this is NOT normal sleep for a 5 month old.

RUNNING So 2 weeks ago, when we were actually in a 3-day psych-out phase of fairly good sleep, I signed up for a 10 mile run in May. So now I have to run, because I haven't run ANY miles in a couple of years. I've been running every other day for about a week & a half and while I am slow-ass, I kind of enjoy it. It sucks thinking about it in the morning but once I'm out in the cold air & sunshine, dog trotting along beside me, running along the river trail, its pretty nice. Added benefit: much improved body image despite no ACTUAL visible improvements. I just feel less...gross. More strong and functional. Also, general increased motivation..."if I can RUN on no sleep, I can certainly do XYZ" Really hope to keep it up. Don't even care about the race, it was just an excuse to get me off my butt.

L'S HEALTH At our 4 month check up our pediatrician noted that L had fallen from the 50th to the 10th %ile and also that he had LOST weight since his sick visit the week prior. I wasn't initially worried, because he HAD just been sick, but I noticed that he really was spitting up a LOT more than before (and even the "before" was copious). He was also super-fussy and of course the major sleep changes... so I took him back last week and he STILL hadn't gained any weight---now in 3 weeks. We've got him on Zantac and we'll have to take him back in 3 more weeks to see. I haven't noticed anything dramatic. Its a bit worrisome, the failure to thrive.

Of course there is still work, and B, and all the usual usual that take up my precious precious energy.

Today has been, so far, a very nice day. G & I went running together, while my mom watched the boys. I'm sure I held him back (slow-ass-ness and all) but I made it there & back. Then we all got ready and we walked my mom to the train station to see her off. On the way back we did all our groceries and ended up feeding B lunch out of our grocery cart (a banana, 2 cheese sticks, a granola bar) because of poor planning. When the boys slept, G & I watched a movie and half of a Downton Abbey episode, and also finished a few loads of laundry (still needs putting away though). Now he is Skyping with his mom; I begged for some "me time" and this is it! At 5:30 we're going to dinner at the restaurant/bar across the street. We all 4 went there a couple of weekends ago and both boys had a blast---L looking around & flirting with the waitress and B polishing off pretzel-crusted chicken fingers and "those" (french fries) and playing with utensils. I quite enjoyed my beer. Looking forward to it!!

Any advice on sleep training welcome (unless you are going to tell me not to sleep train. seriously. if that is your advice than I am inviting you to stay at our house between the hours of 11p and 6a nightly.)
I know the general concept but we were really lucky with B (he was 7 months old) and it literally took one night of one hour of crying and since then, I can count on one hand the night wakings we've had in the past 19 months. We've been putting L down awake and letting him fuss to sleep for  a couple months now, but it hasn't really helped (obviously) the later night wakings. Naps are similarly disastrous and usually aborted because we cave and pick him up. He watched the movie with us this afternoon (we didn't really let him watch, he was with us, though).

Sunday, February 12, 2012


I'm hiding from my life right now...at work. On call this weekend, and yesterday was unexpectedly busy, requiring me to be here from 7:30a-4p (though I did take breaks for pumping & eating). I was actually anxious to leave & go home, to hang with B, help G with chores, and nurse L, but the on-call-deities didn't allow it. When I got home around 5 & heard about the routine chaos at home, though, I was amazingly relieved to have missed it all. Wow! No crying babies or toddler tantrums, not having to go grocery shopping or do laundry. Only 2 hours until (the kids') bedtime! This call thing is a pretty sweet deal!!

L slept terribly last night, & I am tired & annoyed. My whole body feels heavy and the 3 cups of coffee I've had did nothing. I don't feel like dealing with anyone, even my own husband and kids. So... though we finished rounding much earlier today, I'm stalling. I got some lunch and ate it in peace while revising a manuscript I need to submit this week. Now I'm drinking a Diet Coke and writing a blog post. I'll pump again and then I suppose I'll go home to wrangle some kids and organize the house for the week.

I remember when I used to enjoy weekends.

Monday, February 6, 2012


I only have a few minutes, but oh-so-much to say. I'll try to sum it up.

I am struggling. The sleep-deprivation, the colic-but-not-colic because you can't get colic at 4 months, the 2-year-old-power-plays, marriage, work, etc... etc... I've a lot on my plate.

and speaking of "lot" and "plates", I just can't seem to lose the last of the baby weight. I blame the nursing. If I try to eat  a "normal" amount of food during the day (i.e. what I used to eat pre-pregnancy, even when exercising regularly), I am STARVING at night and can't sleep without stuffing my face. Since my choices aren't exactly the best at that time, I've caved, and started having snacks during the day---they are healthy-ish, but calories are calories and they are all ending up in the general muffin-top area. In the scheme of things, its a small issue, but one that really gets me down. I hate my clothes not fitting right. I saw recent pictures of myself and I looked pregnant. yuck.

I talked so blithely about making good choices, but I honestly struggle with making the right choice, because I don't know what the right choice IS sometimes. Should I be kind to myself, cut myself some slack, and just relax alone in the evenings, or do I need to push through and go to  yoga, or finish the sewing project, or socialize with people, or have a real conversation with G? My tendency is to shut down, and I tell myself "its OK for now, it'll be better once I get more sleep"....but I don't see that happening anytime soon. Maybe I just need to get over it and LIVE my life.

 I've been unable to shake this ache in my chest. This sadness underlying the struggles AND the joys. I've decided to stop trying. Maybe this quest for perfect "happiness" is making us all more miserable. Maybe some of us just carry around a little bit of sadness, and trying to forcibly evict it only strengthens its hold. In many ways, it makes a nice contrast to the joyful moments, setting them off so much more strikingly against the backdrop.

More later.