Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas was fun, but...

I am too tired and distracted to record it all right now. I had planned an awesome post covering this year's festivities along with some memories from my childhood--things that have been swirling around in my brain for quite some time now, but I will postpone b/c I am right now so focused on getting my baby to sleep more and eat on a better, more regular schedule. Is this possible? I don't know.

Lacey is such an easy-going baby. I have always just followed her lead with sleeping and eating patterns. Hungry? Have a boob. Nevermind that you just ate a half hour ago. Sleepy? Go to sleep! I will hold you or you can hang in the swing, or your crib--whatever! It seemed to be working just fine and she was giving me a 4-5h stretch of sleep from about 10-2ish, so I thought everything was just okey dokey. Then she got a cold which messed everything up. She has since recovered but her sleep pattern has not returned. She is STILL waking every 2-2.5h at night to eat and her day sleep is all over the place--sometimes a big nap (2h), sometimes only a catnap of 45min. Last week she did this totally wacky thing where she woke up and had a boobie snack at 3am, 4am, 5am and 6am. I thought I was going bonkers. So my "whatever" attitude about Lacey's sleep has been replaced with "Holy shit, I better do something to get this kid to sleep more before I crash the car because I fell asleep at the wheel".

I know there is a growth spurt at 3 months, which is probably what we are experiencing, but as a first time breastfeeder, I can't help but wonder if I am making enough milk and maybe she is legitamately hungry. I would pump to see how much I have, but she won't take a bottle. She also won't take a paci (I am the paci). She gags a lot with artificial nipples. The other issue is the reflux. Gosh, her reflux is so much worse than Lana's ever was. She just cries in pain, burps and upchucks. Poor little bugger. Sometimes when she cries in the night, all you have to do is pick her up and she will do the burp and puke routine. So I am working on drinking water and taking fenugreek. I also thought to try to supplement with formula, but she doesn't take a bottle (I know I already said that) and she seems to be allergic to dairy, since everytime I would ingest cheese or milk, she got blood in her poop. I have since cut that out and I suppose I could try soy formula, but there is that damn won't-take-a-bottle business. I hope that my milk supply can catch up, but to be honest it may or may not be a food issue. These sleep patterns are often brain development milestones, not hunger patterns, but its so hard to tell, especially with the reflux--sometimes I think she is just waking up from heartburn and a couple of swallows of milk relieves it temporarily. I have been feeling like a first time mom all over again. There is something about sleep issues that are so stressful, especially when you are the one not getting any sleep.

So here is our action plan (and yes, I have the sleep books, which make you feel like a total incompetant idiot): Her last feeding session of the evening will take place in her dark room. I bought a music thingy for the crib which I will play at naps and at night as a sleep cue. She is still swaddled, so we will continue that as long as possible. I will try for a consistent bedtime of 8ish (although I would love to move this to 7ish). If she wakes up at 10pm, I will treat it like an overnight waking--I go in for a quickie feed--no talking, no unwrapping of the swaddle unless I suspect poop. On the overnight wakings, I will let her fuss a bit before running in there in hopes that she will settle down a bit. Hopefully one of these days, she will surprise me and drop one of these wakings. As for naps, which are all over the place, both in time and duration, I will try to stay at home in the afternoons to give her at least an opportunity for a consistent afternoon nap in her room. Mornings are tough b/c I have to take Lana to preschool and pick her up, which means a lot of time in the carseat.

I am totally willing to sleep train at 4 months. With Lana we sleep trained to get her to go to sleep on her own, but with Lacey, its going to be harder, b/c its not going to sleep that is the problem, its staying asleep. Right now, I cannot be sure if she is hungry or not, so I address her waking. I imagine it will be harder to let her scream in the middle of the night, especially b/c I will be worried it will wake up Lana.

After doing the whole toddler thing, I totally forgot the nonsense of the infant sleep craziness. I so wish I blogged back when Lana was a baby, I would totally be looking up my earlier entries. I do know that when Lana was 3 months old, she had a schedule--fixed naptimes and bedtimes and they were set in stone. But then again, I had no other children at the time, so I could devote all my energy to getting her patterns established. The thing is, it worked so well for Lana.

In the time it took me to write this, I have been into Lacey's room 3 times doing the whole burp/puke routine, followed by a little nursing and/or pacifying. Man, I wish she took a paci. Cross your fingers that this gets better for me soon, I am exhausted!

More on Christmas to come!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Holiday spirit restored

We had a great weekend! I can't say I am rested or anything, but at least it was fun. Saturday my mom came over and we (Lana, Mom and I) made Christmas cookies. We made gingerbread cutouts (from the Pillsbury pre-made dough) and homemade jam thumbprints from a recipe from my BFF's aunt, which are really good. I thought Lana might get tired of the day of baking, but she didn't. My mom and Lana made the cookies mostly, since I have the boobs, I take care of Lacey. But I did assist while Lacey was sleeping. When it came time to decorate the cutouts, Lana took it SO seriously. She was meticulously painting on frosting and sprinkles, just the way she wanted. I can't believe she went all day on ONE activity! She is really good in the kitchen, measuring things and cleaning up even.

Saturday night, my mom watched Lana while Bill, Lacey and I went to a grown-ups party. We went out for sushi first, so that we didn't get too drunk eating cheese and olives all night. It worked out great. Lana spent some fun time with my mom and got lots of attention. I really love watching their relationship develop. Lana didn't even care that we were leaving for the evening! What a change from just a year ago! Lacey was so good at the party--she was passed around like a party favor and just looked around and didn't make a peep. Man, we never would have even tried to take Lana to a party when Lana was a baby--it would have been a screamfest. Its so crazy how different they are. I had to nurse a couple of times, and then she fell asleep in the baby bjorn. It was nice to have a cocktail and socialize with adults for once.

On Sunday, I took Lana to see the Princess and the Frog, just the two of us. It was our first "date" since Lacey was born. We had lunch at Red Robin first and then saw the movie. It was only Lana's second movie ever and the princess topic is so perfect for her right now, since that is all she talks about. We ate popcorn and drank fruit punch--the red kind, which I think made her a little crazy. Is that possible? The whole red dye making kids hyperactive? She was a total crazed nut the rest of the day! I blame the fruit punch, but maybe it was just a fluke. Anyway, I digress. She watched the whole movie, only became restless for a little while in the middle and seemed very into the story. We talked the whole way home about our favorite parts. We had a very special time together. For me, I really missed being so focused on her and I had a feeling of freedom b/c I had no diaper bag, no pooping, no feeding from under my shirt, etc. By the time we got home, my tits almost exploded, but it was totally worth it. When we got home, Lacey fed like every 10 minutes until we went to bed, since she doesn't do that well with the bottle. But overall, it was a good day.

I am glad we had a good weekend b/c I have been in a cranky mood for the past couple of weeks. Its directly related to the lack of sleep I have been getting. Prior to a couple of weeks ago, Lacey was sleeping a 4-5h stretch at the beginning of the night and then another 3h after that, pretty reliably. But then we all got a cold (again) and she was congested, so her sleep got messed up. Well, she is better now, but her sleep is not. She basically wakes up every 2-2.5h for a snack (she only feeds about 10 min from one side) and then passes out cold, so I put her back in her crib and we repeat in 2-2.5h. Bill thinks I should un-swaddle her, turn on the lights, change diapers and wake her up enough to drink more, but I don't think this will help b/c if this were the case, her first stretch of sleep should be the same as before since she is awake and full before we put her down for the night. Anyway, getting up every 2h more or less, totally sucks. At least I don't have to go to work and be intelligent the next day. But still, I am getting more headaches and I am crabby. Hopefully she will just magically revert back to the previous schedule soon. Soon please! At 13 weeks, I was hoping she would be sleeping longer stretches, like 6-7h, but it looks like my kids are just not great big sleepers. Sigh.

We actually did most of the things on my list for the holidays this year--cards, gingerbread house, cookies. Heck, I even had friends over for dinner! So I say mission accomplished. I still have to wrap a boatload of gifts. When? I am not sure. I am not staying up late to do it, since I am already up all night every night. Maybe I will get Bill to do it-HA! That's pretty funny.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Tis the season to be worn out...

I took everyone's advice and cut back on expectations and activities this holiday season. I shopped online, I had things shipped directly to friends/relatives to avoid multiple trips to the post office, I did my cards in November, and a record number of people are getting giftcards this year. But I am still beat. And I don't even work!! To all you working women, I totally respect you!! How do you do it? I know I am tired b/c I have a newborn with a wacked out sleeping schedule and that toddler of mine is so very demanding of my attention. Add to the fact that all of us have a cold (except Bill). Lacey was doing okay with her sleeping before the cold, but now, its all over the place and I am not getting enough sleep. But who is, really?

Then there are all the regular errands plus the holiday errands that are really no big deal with one kid, but 2 kids in and out of the carseats with winter coats increases the time and annoyance level. Also, Lacey hates her carseat and doesn't sleep well in it, so I am often doing this with a screaming baby (really the only time she screams) or I put her in the baby bjorn, which kills my neck. I have a Ergo carrier, but the infant insert confuses me and I can't get her positioned properly. I need to revisit the instructions in my spare time (haha on the spare time). One thing about newborns that I have totally forgotten about is the pooping. They poop a lot. They wait until you leave the house to blow it out and up the back. Never leave the house without wipes and spare clothes. There are not always good places to change these messes and not every bathroom has a table. Summer clothes are easier to change than winter clothes.

I haven't been posting b/c I haven't had the time, although I have been reading everyone else's blogs and loving the posts about the holidays. I wish I was a bit less grumpy, but I am hoping that this weekend I can get out of my funk. We have a grown-ups party to attend! I will be bringing the baby b/c she doesn't take a bottle well and having both kids will be a lot for my mom to handle. Plus, she and Lana can have some alone time together which they will both enjoy. But Lacey is chill and as long as someone is holding her, she should be okay. I get to wear lipstick! And earrings! And likely I will be wearing some spit up as an accessory as well. But we will have fun. We will also bake some cookies this weekend with my mom, since Lana is so great in the kitchen. I am just looking forward to getting all the running around associated with the holidays done with b/c that is just wearing me out. The holiday itself will be great--low-key, spent with family and good food, so I am keeping that in the forefront of my mind. Plus, Santa is a very magical and mystical creature this year, which is proving to be quite entertaining.

Maybe I just need a nap. A nap would be good. And some chocolate.

Friday, December 4, 2009

I've been waiting patiently for this...

Lacey is finally smiling and I have been taking millions of photos trying to capture it, which isn't easy considering she is not generous with the smiles. I have included some other decent non-smiling shots of her too, just because.


Where is my brain? Seriously it is mushy. I haven't been blogging because there is something wrong with me. I can't form thoughts, real sentences or anything. Is this lactation brain? I dunno, but I am feeling pretty stupid these days. I have been struggling to even leave coherent comments on other people's blogs! It's like the words are not coming to me and its super frustrating.

Here are some non-coherent thoughts about what's been going on here. Forgive me if I don't make sense:

Thanksgiving: relaxing, family time at our house. I didn't knock myself out, but still managed to make a yummy meal. Me and my mom enjoyed it, but I am not sure about everyone else. My turkey and gravy were killer b/c I used pancetta in both and nothing makes meat taste better than fancy bacon. The best part was that at my 3am feeding on Thanksgiving night, it was the first time in a long time when I didn't feel hungry.

The Saturday after Thanksgiving, we had a lunch for my inlaws friends at a Chinese restaurant. Usually after a baby is born, you have a party when the baby is 30 days old. We had this one on Lacey's 60 day birthday instead. Other than me and my mom, everyone else spoke Chinese, so we just ate and smiled. I think everyone had a nice time. It is a little disconcerting to hear a bunch of people speaking another language, then all of a sudden you hear your name and then laughter.

The Sunday after Thanksgiving was what would have been my dad's 63rd birthday. We went to the cemetery and brought some purple flowers. It was sad. It's really hard to see the grave marker with my dad's name on it. It seems so real. I know it is real, but its hard to look at the actual name and realize that this marker is all I have left of him. My mom said she felt so sad, like he got cheated with his life being cut short like that. I just miss him. A lot. Lana sang happy birthday to him. Its amazing how children can just snap you out of a deep despair with their innocence.

Lana has been amazingly wonderful lately. I just jinxed myself, but I had to say it b/c she has been awesome. Fun, hilarious, well-behaved. She has started helping me with chores. I was complaining to my grandmother about the constant mess in my house--mostly toys laying around and she recommended that we give Lana an incentive like an allowance. I thought to myself that she was too young for that. But, after I stepped on one of those My Little Pony hairbrushes and started cursing, I told Lana if she picks up her toys and helps mommy around the house, she could earn a dollar a week, to be paid on Fridays. She could save her money to buy stuff. She was totally on board! I have to remind her to pick things up and I have to be specific, but I have not heard one "NO!" out of her. She has also taken an interest in doing dishes. I give her non-breakable things and she uses soap and the sponge and does an awesome job! I have to change her shirt after and dry up the floor after, but hey, I hate doing dishes, so I welcome the help. Plus, it keeps her busy while I cook. Today is her first payday and she is excited about it. She said she wants to save her money for college...or candy.

Well, that's about all my brain can handle at the moment.