Saturday, October 10, 2009

Dear Riley,

Dear Riley,

You are now 10 months and quite the independant kid, you also are very stubborn and know what you want. I wonder who you get those qualities from? ;P

This last month you have started standing on your own, I am told this is the precurser to walking. I must admit I am not sure I am ready for that, and I know the house nor the girls (gemma and bella) are.

You absolutly love our cats. Gemma will let you pet her and even give her kisses, till you try and pull her wiskers, then she is out of there. Recently she started telling you "no" by smacking your hand with her paw. At first she does it lightly with her claws in, then she works her way to claws out and hard. It has yet to make you cry, but you get her point. I am happy to see you two work things out on your own. Issabella, on the other hand prefers the run away and hide or climb to where you cant get her approch. You have tried to grab her wiskers one to many times and thus even if you are sitting on my lap she will not approch you. So far I think this is funny but i do hope you two work things out.

You have decided that everything you can reach is yours and do not like giving anything to me or daddy. Any paper on the floor, or item from my bag if left in reach goes into your mouth. I often tell others that you will willingly put anything in your mouth as long as it isn't food. This isn't entirely correct because you will put old food in your mouth, such as two day old noodle you found under the fridge. YUCK!

Right now you love older kids. Julian has come over a few times to play with you and you just laugh and laugh and laugh at everything he does. Even when we have play dates you will sit there watching the other kids and just laugh. When you interact you tend to be a little rough. I am trying to work on this with you because of your friends you are both the youngest and the biggest. The park or mall is my favorite outing because you can people watch with me. You have also started to like the swings! I am so excited about this! There is no longer any doubt that you are my kid! You also like the slide but are still hesitant about going down by yourself. Playing with the leaves is also a fun past time you enjoy, I try my best to keep them out of your mouth, but fail misrably.

Tooth #3 broke through this month. OMG that was hell. You kid are one hard child to please when you are teething!

Speaking of being hard to please, I am wishing I had stuck with baby sign more because you have a hard time getting me to give you what you want without whinning at me. The whining makes me want to stick something in my ears till they bleed. I really really hate it.

When you are happy you do babble a lot, and this is much prefered to the whinning. You make the sounds la-da-ma-ba- and ie quite often. The other day we thought we heard the ki in kitty but you haven't done it since. You do however say ma-ma in context and out of a lot. You say it the most when you are upset and want me.

Although you and I spend the most time together, you prefer daddy to feed you, you eat so much better for him. However you like to climb on me, pull my hair and mooterboat. You have a serious foot/toe fetish. You love to bite my toes! It is so funny but painful too. I think it is all those games of kissy feet we played.

This month has been packed with so much fun and joy for our family. Daddy and I love you so much. We have such a great time watching you grow and change each day. You are the best little boy we could have ever wished for and we wouldn't change you or trade you for the world.

Your Mommy

Monday, August 31, 2009

Sleep Traning

R and I bit the bullet and started sleep training last week. We had tried the No Cry Sleep Solution, which after night two I was calling the No Sleep Everyone Cries Solution, it lasted till the middle of night 4 when I gave in BF him till he was asleep and then went to sleep myself. I just could not do it and the fact that the book tells you it could take weeks and even months to work made me okay with stopping.

Bitting the bullet and Ferbering was HARD but in the end it was the best thing for us and Riley. Why did I finally decide to Ferber (method of sleep training)?
1) I have done it before, and while I know it sucks. It also WORKS!
2) Riley's sleep was getting worse again. And by worse I mean that 6-8 times a night he would get up for any where from 15minutes to an hour and half.
3) He slept longer than 2 hours one night and I dreamed I was being arrested for shaking my son to death. I then ran into his room and cried over him for a good 20 minutes till R came in and got me back into bed.
4) Lack of sleep was now effecting not just me and Riley but also R's job.
5) Timing. Riley is 8 almost 9 months letting him cry isn't as big of a deal as when he was 5 or 6 months. I was/am also ready to night wean. I also knew if we waited much longer it would be even harder because he would be learning new skills.

I can honestly say that when we started Ferber I was ready, I was scared as hell but I also knew something had to change. People kept telling me that it would get better but Riley showed no signs of that happening and like I said things were getting worse. I know that while I was still doing a lot of second guessing the first day by night fall I had decided we had to at least give this a try. R and I committed to a week and no more than 3 hours of Riley crying in a row. Traditional Ferber would have you let them cry all night as long as you keep going in, both of us were not okay with that.

I kept a log of our nights here is how they went:

Night 1:

It all went very well given how hard I thought it was going to be. He showed sleepy signs a little early yesterday so we put him down at 6:40 he didn't cry hard at first but about 10 minutes in he screamed like holy hell. I found it easier to go in with R than not to because then I could see that he was okay. We spent the time he cried watching TV so that we could not hear him all that much. It took him 50 minutes to go to sleep.

He then woke twice last night. Once at 11pm and once at 3am. Again we went into the living room and watched TV because our bedroom is next to his and no matter what we could hear him crying in there. It took him 40 minutes the first time and 30 the second for him to fall asleep.. For these only R went in. We figured this was best since we were trying to night wean as well. Riley woke this am at 5:50 only 10 minutes before his "normal" wake up. We decided to let it slide and just bring him into bed for his am feeding. I couldn't believe how much he was slurping down! He still only took one side, but that side was FULL since I hadn't feed all night.

I realize things are likely to get worse tonight or tomorrow before they get a lot better but I now know at least a little of what to expect. I feel really good about it. I didn't cry at all over him crying. I let R handle going in and stayed out of the way, big step for me. I only wanted to cave once and it was brief, he had just gotten to what we thought was asleep when he let out this pitiful yell and then was quite. I feel ready to do it again tonight, knowing that we really have made the best choice for Riley.

Question: When you go in... what do you do? Do you just check on him and leave, does he see you?

We debated a lot about what to do when we go in. For us we pick up ONLY if he is standing. We do this because a) if he is standing then he is still very much awake and b) he still has trouble getting down some times. We always say "We love you" and then that we know he is frustrated and tired, that we know this is hard for him but he needs to learn how to go to sleep. Then "It is time for sleep. We love you, good night" and we leave. He tends to scream a little more right when we leave but he calms down. Since we are also night weaning I only went in when we put him down the first time. For the rest DH went in. I could tell this was hard on him but he did GREAT and I made sure to tell him so a lot. If he is laying down or sitting down then we stroke his head or pat his bottom, both things I do when I nursed to sleep. I figured the soothed him before so they should be soothing now too, at least I hope so. As for when we go in tonight we did 3 minutes then 7 then 12, going in every 12 till he is asleep.

Night 2:
Tonight we went in at 4 then 8 then 12 this will be what we do from here on out.

As I thought night 2 was harder, not really from a physical standpoint but from an emotional one. First it took me till 10:30 last night to get to sleep, which is only late compared to the time I had been going to bed (8pm).

It took Riley only 15 minutes to go to bed last night! He did still cry but not as hard. He still got up at 11 and then once again it took him a very short period of time to get to sleep about 20 minutes. At 2 he woke again but this time it was a 1/2 hour to get back to sleep and he cried harder than the other two times. This was by far hardest on me. My breasts are full and I just wanted to make sure he was okay but I knew if I did it would make things worse. Plus while R was amazing the first night, last night I could tell he resented having to be the one to go in. I hate that he feels that way. However I don't think he realizes how much I let him sleep when I was BFing and up 7, 8 or even 9 times a night. I don't know what to do about him feeling this way. I am not going to be able to go in to soothe for at least the next week.

Night 3
It took him 15 minutes to go to sleep, he didn't cry all the time but did off and on. I must admit to thinking this would be the worst night. I figured the shoe would drop any second. When he woke at 8:25 after going down at 7 I figured "here we go" but when R went in he saw that he was asleep and crying from trying to roll over and hitting his head on the crib. He moved him from the corner to the middle of the crib and in less than a minute Riley was once again asleep. Riley woke up once more that night and cried for under 30 minutes before he went back to sleep.

Like the night before R was the only one to go in and he kept the same intervals as night two 4, 8, and 12.

Night 4:
Had two wake ups and each time cried for about 20 minutes.

Night 5:
STTN! Yep you read that right he fucking slept from 7pm till 5:50 am.

Night 6-10:
These nights we had only one wake up and it between 4-5am. It sucks that he still cries for a long time (20-50) but each night he cries less, and when I put him down at night he goes right to sleep no tears at all.

Has it been worth it? Yes. If he had only been getting up twice a night then I would say no but I was getting so little sleep some nights it was as if I hadn't slept at all. It still hurts like hell to listen to him cry but where I was before we ferbered was at the end of a rope about to hang myself. For our family this was the right choice no matter how much I hated the idea of it.

Long Term Effects: I am still worried about this. Riley's temper has gotten worse. When he wants the boob he means NOW! It breaks my heart that he thinks I won't give it to him but after all isn't that what we are doing at night? It still hurts though and I am sure to have a bunch of mommy guilt over this for years and years to come.

If you have Q's about something I didn't cover leave it in a comment I will be happy to clarify.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Solid Foods

I request was made for me to talk about solid foods, but I am not exactly sure what to say about it.

Let me start by saying I had every intention of making all organic, all local grown baby food. Pusha! That quickly went down the drain, let me tell you baby food can be difficult! I did carrots four times before I got them to work, and even once they were smooth they didn't taste very good. Plus it was a HUGE time commitment for me. So now I make about 1/3 of his food. I mostly make the fruits because they are easy and quick and yummy. I leave the meats and most of the veggies to those who know what they are doing. I still try to buy all organic, but he has had a few non organic ones. Like mangoes which he loves!

As for the order in which we went I started with oatmeal. Rice cereal has gluten and is known to cause constipation, Riley was already a reluctant pooper we didn't need him even more backed up. Then we did avocado (homemade= h-m)! Oh how he loved this! Now not so much and I can't figure out why. Followed clossly by sweet potatoes and then applesauce. We then did carrots, blueberries, peas, squash, and pears. Rather than introduce all veggies and then the fruits I mixed them up. But we also started at 6 months not 4 like so many people do now. I will get to why 6months and not 4 in a second. Then we did meats, given the sleep issues I chose to start with turkey. He has also had chicken but not any beef or other meats. At 8 months (on the day) we started yogurt. I feel strongly that Riley needs to at least partly wean by a year. After all at the time he was up at night eating 5-9 times, you would want to partly wean to if you were me!

When to start: R has massive, food issues and in-tolerances. We have kept Riley away from all things R can't have in the hopes that he won't develop the same issues. I also don't feel babies need or are ready for "real" food till after 6 months. That said we introduced 'early' because 2 different drs promised it would help the reflux. (cough) BULLSHIT (cough. However Riley had tongue thrust issues that made getting food into his tummy a challenge and so we quickly stopped and re-introduced foods at 6 months. Things went much smoother from then on. I will be honest that while I feel strongly that waiting till 6 months was right for us, I have no idea if it is right for you or anyone else. And quite frankly that goes with just about all my parenting choices, except maybe circumcision, that I can get a little judgy about.

If this doesn't cover what you wanted to know let me know.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Ugg, here we go again

We started night weaning this week, as well as sleep training but that is the next post, and the timing really could not have been worse. I had just gotten over my period and so my supply was already low. I also had just gone back to school. School means I miss his lunch feeding, and since I can't pump at school my body thinks that 2 days a week Riley doesn't need that feeding. My regular pump has lost 1/2 its suction as well, so while it works great for overnights when my breasts feel like they might exsplode it does crap shit nothing to help increase/maintain a supply. Add to all this that Riley's day intake has gone through the roof, because he isn't taking in anything in at night, and you have a massive supply issue. So, I called up my local breast pump center and rented one for a week. Thus, "Ugg, here we go again"

baby proofing

Riley is CRAWLING! It is very exciting and scary at the same time. R is NOT good about picking up after himself and despite that I have been baby proofing for a few weeks now, not all of it is done. But at least after years of nanning I have a handle on how to go about baby proofing. In the hopes that others might learn from what I have seen here is my advice:

1) Start early! Start before they crawl, and can get everywhere. I promise in the long run you will be thankful.

2) Biggest dangers are poison, outlets and if you have them stairs. Start there! Do under the bathroom sink and the kitchen first, that is were most people store chemicals. Do the outlets in the "play room" first and then work your way through the rooms from most used to least, and don't forget the hall ways!

3) Secure things to the walls!!! We have a LARGE book case in the living area. You can be darn sure that thing is bolted to the wall!

4) Get onto the floor and look around. Seeing things from a baby view will help you baby proof.

5) When you think you are done invite a friend with a toddler over. I am sure they will help you find all the things you have missed. Stick out tongue

Monday, August 24, 2009

Me Me ME!

I might write this blog but sometimes very little of it is actually about me. I feel as if motherhood has swallowed me up in some regards, breastfeeding and a baby that doesn't sleep do not help the issue.

So last week in the hopes of doing something NOT baby related where my primary role was not that of mother, I went back to school. I got a few strange looks when I announced this to other moms, but for the most part it was well received. i still felt like it was a selfish choice in some ways but then was reminded be friends of all the benefits to Riley:
1) Time in someone else's care really is good for him because one day he will be in day care and it will be good if that isn't too much of a shock for him.
2) Well educated parents are an indicator of success in the educational setting. (This is why pre-school forms ask for amount of parental education on enrollment forms.)
3) A happier mommy! And a happier mommy is a more interactive mommy.

It isn't even like I am gone that long, it is one measly class that I will at some point need for grad school, but 2.5 hours away twice a week is heavenly! I am loving it for so many reasons:

1) I love school, even if my class is economics.
2) It makes me get out of the house.
3) Adult conversation is wonderful! Especially when it isn't on the topic of poop!
4) It is clearing cobwebs from my brain.
5) There is a ton of analysis in economics! Yes I am one of those people who thrives on analysis. I find it fun!

So far Riley is loving his time with grandma and I am loving my time too. It is amazing how quickly you can forget who you are when the title of MOM comes along. For now this is how I am keeping that title from taking over my life. It isn't much but it is a small step.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Letting Go

Sorry for not being here in a while. I have a few things on my mind so there are going to be a bunch of short posts in the next few days.

Letting Go

I am good about not freaking on developmental milestones, except one, crawling! Riley is not crawling and it is making me worry. It isn't about his age, 8 months, but the fact that he was a c-section baby. One of the BIG benefits of coming out the "right way" is that getting squeezed increases the connection of the left and right hemispheres of the brain. Crawling is a skill that further increases that connection. My mommy guilt needs him to crawl soon, I still hate my c-section, still feel jiped out of one of the most amazing things on earth, and I still have LOTS of guilt that if I had done a b or c differently the c-section could have been avoided. Told you I had a lot of mommy guilt on the subject. I have wanted him to crawl so that those two parts of the brain are well connected, and to lessen my own guilt.

But today I am letting it go. I know I will be really excited and thrilled when it happens but I am starting to feel like I am waiting for Mr. Right to come along. You know how when you are single and looking for mr. right everyone says he will come along when you least expect it. Well that was most defiantly the case for me, and I am hoping by letting go my obsession with crawling he masters it soon.