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Cry it out.

February 7, 2010

I consider myself to be a member of the attachment parenting camp. During my pregnancy I hoped and prayed that I would be able to successfully breastfed. I am happy to report that Malone and I enjoy a wonderful nursing relationship. And nursing for me has been so convenient.

But, I didn’t set out to be an attachment parent- very early on in Malone’s life he let us know that the AP style was what was going to work for him. There was a stretch of about seven weeks during his earliest days where the only way he could be soothed was if my husband or I wore him in a wrap and bounced on an exercise ball.

At 4 months we started bedsharing because I was tired of getting up 3-7 times a night to feed Malone. I wasn’t in crisis, but I knew that was where I was heading if I couldn’t find a way to get quality sleep and get it fast.

At first, Malone fell asleep in his crib and then came into bed with us at some point during the night. Then, he got to the point where he after he nursed before bed, he would not go to sleep in his crib. He screamed frantically in the crib. We started snuggling and laying with him while he slept. This meant that whomever was sleep duty that night was then stuck in bed with him otherwise he’d wake up and scream.

I felt trapped.

I was resentful.

I was living with a seven month old sleep terrorist.

So we made him cry it out.

We’re now a week into CIO and things are looking up. The first nights were hard. He cried for upwards of 60 minutes (we went in to soothe when we needed to).  Now we’re down to somewhere between 8-10 minutes.

He’s still coming into our bed at some point in the night. But we’re getting at least 4 hours of sleep without him there.

We will be working on naps and the middle of the night wakings soon.

I can’t believe we survived this.


5 Minutes.

February 2, 2010

* I am setting my stopwatch for 5 minutes to allow myself time to write. Please note that it will not be reviewing, editing, or spell checking this. I simply do not have time. AND GO!

Since my last post, life has literally gotten on top of me. Often, in my Motherwoman circle the facilitators use the phrase “there is a reason why when the plane is crashing you are instructed to put on your oxygen mask first.”

In the last however long it has been since I wrote, the following things have happend. Not in this order.

1. Malone got super sick.

2. I got food poisoining that lasted for 4 days. As a bonus jonas, I lost close to 10 lbs.

3. A can of soda exploded in my car leaving specks everywhere.

4. My family and I took a trip to the Statehouse to show our support on a post partum depression bill that is coming up.

5. My part time work at home transcription job has picked up in FULL speed. During the last pay period I worked 29 hours in two weeks. That would be at night and during the weekend folks, as during the day I am a full time stay at home mama who refuses to work while my kid is up. After all, that’s no the point of being a stay at home mom. In the last TWO DAYS my time card shows 10.50 hours worked.

6. We have started Cry it out with Malone. I am living with a sleep terrorist. I need help. I hate it but he needs to learn that world does not revolve around him. He is a member of a family unit and we will all function better with him sleeping.

Man. That was a fast 5 minutes- but I have to go now.

In summery, we’re busy. I don’t have much spare time. And my to do list includes simple self care tasks like flossing and putting on deodorant. Oh, and my socks don’t match but at least my feet are warm.

Baby Steps.

January 18, 2010

I want Malone to grow up with healthy ideas about food and excercise. I want him to know that it is important to eat local whenever he can- it is tastier and better for the environment because the food doesn’t have to travel as far to get to us.

In order for me to give these ideas to Malone, I need to change.

It is so easy to grab junk- frozen pizza, chinese take out, grinders.

It is so easy to not be active- especially in winter.

These things need to change.

I need to make over my life in small baby steps. Manageable steps mean that I am more likely to keep at this. It’s important to me that I keep at this.

Steps for this week.

1. Drink more water and less diet coke.

2. Get active for 30 minutes everyday. Go for a walk, sneak off to the gym, get on the Wii fit.

3. Buy local eggs, milk, and butter. Dust off my bread maker and make bread. Make granola.

Next week I’ll check in and let you know how it went.

Introduction Project MOM, 1/52, & 2/52

January 15, 2010

For those of you who don’t know, I am a motherless daughter mother. In 2007, approximately five months before my wedding, my mother passed away. She was an alcoholic who died from alcohol poisoning.

Tomorrow would have been her 50th birthday.

I’ve known for quite sometime that I wanted to do something to mark this occasion. If she were living I’m sure I would have done my best to give her a large party or maybe she would have rather celebrated by doing something crazy like skydiving (something she always wanted to do) or taking a road trip where there is no destination (a favorite- to just get in the car and drive to see where the road took you).

I thought about throwing her a party anyway. Flying back to my hometown and rounding up friends and family. But then I decided that was kind of creepy and not something that would have honored the legacy of her spirit (aka the person she was before she was an alcoholic).

Then, right around the holidays it came to me. **I am going to spend this year doing the things she loved to do, the things I think she would want me to do, or things that honor the legacy of her spirit. I hope to accomplish one a week.

To be honest, it’s a bit harder than I thought it would be. My entire adult life I spent living in a different state than here. I’m not saying that we weren’t close- at times we were thick as thieves. However, her alcoholism started after I had moved away and at times it was easier for me to not call or be as in touch as I should have been, than was it was to do so. Therefore, at least for right now I’m not feeling like a have a lot to draw from with regard to her. I also feel as though my childhood memories are fleeting.

** I’m going to add blogging memories to this list as well.

This project is going to be called Project MOM.


Project MOM 1/52

(mom = before alcoholism mom)

One thing my mom loved to do was to spend time with her nephews. I don’t think there was any part of them that she did not enjoy. In my eyes, mom was just about as great as an Aunt one could be.

Often, she would go visit  her nephews (my Nana babysat them during the day) and cause all sorts of fantastic trouble. Once, she even let them cut her hair (they were maybe four and five at the time).

On December 23, 2009 a life long dream of mine came true. I became an Auntie. Michael’s brother (Steven) and his wife (Carrie) gave birth to a handsome baby boy named Andrew Windsor.

We went to Philadelphia to visit them on New Years Day. I spent the greater part of the weekend loving on my nephew just as my mother would have.

And, by the same token- Malone’s Auntie Carrie spent a great deal of time loving on him.

Project MOM 2/52

Rinse. Lather. Repeat

This past weekend was not a great one in my house. Malone was sicker than I’ve ever seen him.

Hot, cold, fever, no fever, but always whiney.

Friday night was the absolute worst night (so far) in my mommy life. Malone could not settle because he didn’t feel well. He was congested and could not breathe.

I knew that Michael and the cats were going to be banished to the futon while Malone and I hunkered down for a long sleepless night together. (Typically, Michael, Malone, myself, and at least one of the cats all sleep together in our bed.)

This is what our Friday (1/8/10) night looked like. Vomit, clean up, attempt to nurse, scream, sleep. Rinse. Lather. Repeat.

Malone went through 5 pj tops.

From 4:00 am – 5:00 am Malone screamed and cried inconsolably non stop.

At 6:00 we moved from the bedroom into the glider in the living room. We both slept until about 8:30.

As a kid, my mom often told me a story of how she fell asleep standing next to my crib one night when I was having a rough night as a baby. Growing up, I never dreamt exhaustion on such a level that it would even be possible.

I get it now mom, I get it.  And thanks.

Ready, Set, Go!

January 13, 2010

Today was Malone’s 6 month well baby visit. He’s a champ- 18 lbs 3 oz, 28.5 inches long, and has a slightly larger than normal head.  The doctor was pleased with his growth. I’ve been blessed with a healthy guy who actually wears the size of clothing that is current with his age (6-12 months).

He’s been given the green light to start solid foods. My personal philosophy is that food is “fun until one”. I want Malone to taste and explore a variety of things both with our aid and on his own as best he’s capable.

I hope to make most of his food- but in preparation for the green light I knew I would be given today, I purchased a few jars of organic baby food and organic whole grain baby oatmeal.

He had two meals of carrots and oatmeal today. He liked it for the most part.

Me, on the other hand had a pretty hard time with it.

I’ve been struggling with this for awhile.

For 16.5 months now, I’ve been growing him all by myself (save for an emergency bottle of formula). I’ve grown him from a tiny spec that was smaller than the size of a pin drop to the 18.2 lb bruiser he currently is.

And now food gets to help grow him too? It hardly seems fair.

We will continue to nurse through his first birthday and beyond (I hope and pray) but I didn’t think I would be as sad as what I am/have been about the introduction of solids into my little guy’s life.

Tears have been shed.

But, now Daddy gets a chance to finally be a main part of the feeding of Malone. That’s exciting. He’s been waiting patiently.

We get to introduce Malone to a whole new world and witness as he enjoys it.

I can’t wait to see his first strawberry stained face- his first taste of tapenade, the list goes on and on.

I am sure this is the first of many things I will mourn as my baby grows up.

I must remember- don’t blink.

It’s Not Me Monday.

December 14, 2009

This blog carnival was created byMckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

Ahh. Monday again.

I have not been stalking the Mountain Lodge collection at Gymboree like my life depended on it for the last few weeks waiting to strike at the perfect ON SALE moment. The clothes ARE cute, but my baby is still growing way too fast. And I most certainly did NOT make a pilgrimage to a mall over an hour away from my house to lust over said collection in person. And when I got to the store I did not look just with my eyes and not come home with piece of it. And I do not currently have 3 more pieces of it in my cart on their online store.

Okay, okay I confess. I did do all of those things. But you know what, it’s really hard to dress a baby boy in clothing that is not cutesy or babyish. And most items were purchased one size larger than what he currently is so he can grow into them.

Seriously, I’m in love with the line. Finally, a line that is wintery but doesn’t scream Christmas/Holiday. Malone will wear the pieces all winter this year and if the growth fates allow, next winter also.

In other It’s Not Me News- the nursing chair in our bedroom does NOT have a pile of clothing waiting to be put away from 3 laundry cycles ago because I dutifully fold and put away my laundry as soon as it’s done.

The thing that gets me about this is that it’s not actually really hard. All of the items are folded and ready to be put away. But for some reason I just can’t bring myself to get to it.

I suppose it’s still there because I feel like something in my life needs to be able to be a little neglected. And I’m okay with that for right now.

What I should be doing.

December 13, 2009

There are approximately 1001 things I should be doing. We are leaving in FIVE (yay!) days to spend time with my family in Illinois.

I won’t bore you with the whole list but they include laundry, wrapping gifts, finishing ordering gifts, addressing Christmas cards, putting away clothes, and cleaning in general (because I HATE coming home from a trip to a messy space).

Instead, I am sitting here with a giant mug of coffee, listening to the hum of Malone’s swing as he sleeps in the background.

That swing has been such a life saver for us. For the first 2.5 months of Malone’s life he slept in it almost exclusively. Now that he’s almost six months it’s still used on a daily basis for naps while we’re home. I thought by now he’d be out of it, but I am not about to mess with something that’s not broken.

We didn’t originally register for a swing, but in the early days of Malone’s life he made it clear that he was a baby who loved movement.

My Nana (who was out here from IL to help us after Malone was born) stayed home with the baby while Michael and I set off for Babies R Us to purchase it. We were exhausted and overwhelmed. We needed a few a few quiet moments alone to reconnect. Wisely, my Nana sensed it and quietly suggested we go look for one.

I remember walking hand in hand with my husband into BRU. There was about 10 different swings to choose from. Our first choice was awesome looking, but out of stock. We liked that one best because an iPod could be plugged into it and it seemed cozy. However, it was designed more for newborns.

Our second choice was the Fisher Price Papasan Cradle Lamb Swing. It seemed cozy. Looking back, it is probably one of the wisest baby gear decisions we made. There is not one feature of the swing that Malone does not enjoy. The only I would change about it would be to have an electrical outlet option. We go through about 4 D batteries every two weeks.

It is so hard to guess what babies will like. I promise I’ll write about the best baby gear decision we ever made a different day.

Here are a few pictures of Malone in his swing.