Saturday Night Ramblings

~ Life is much better with some SLEEP!  So happy that Parker decided to extend his evening sleepy time last night so Mom and Dad could have a break!  Could this be a trend?  Let’s us pray.

~Cold rainy days are great for reading.  Little Parker and I ventured out for our first trip to the library together.  Lots of new books to read before nap and bedtime.  I can hardly wait!

~Can you believe that Parker is over four months old?  Craziness.

~We decided this week that it didn’t make since for Parker and I to go with Dan to California for his company “Bob’s Club”.  It was a sales contest that he won that got him and the family three nights in the St. Regis in Orange County.  However, we recently found out that the weather would be in the 60s (not exactly lay on the beach weather) AND, it would throw Parker for a loop with his sleep schedule…and having him wake up at 4am every night until he adjusts just in time to go home, and re-adjust again just didn’t seem worth it.

~In lieu of the California trip, for our five year anniversary in March, we decided to plan a trip to FL for a long weekend.  Parker will be older then, we’ll be in the same time zone, AND the weather will be MUCH nicer too.  Right now we’re thinking of the Hilton in Clearwater, but we haven’t decided for sure.  Up for suggestions!

~We finally have Parker on a good nap and evening routine (I think…ask me in a few more days).  Hopefully this time it’ll stick. We had to bump up the feedings to every two hours this past week because of nursing issues I was having yet again.  Uggh…  at four months you would think that I would have this breastfeeding thing down pat, but apparently just like anything, there’s always something new to learn.  Due to stress and lack of sleep, I was having problems with my let-down reflex, which of course Parker was very aggravated by, thus making my supply go down, and the cycle repeating.  Learning to relax is something that I have a problem with(shocker huh?) since I can be anxious at times…especially when it comes to making sure my son is getting enough to eat.  Now I see why breastfeeding seems to lend itself better to the more “free spirited” type of Moms! We ordered a scale, and now we’ll at least have some peace of mind.

~I love my husband.  He’s such a big help.  Today he went grocery shopping for the family and he made us dinner!  Yes, I’m Loving  it!  Can you do this every week?  Please? *wink*

~We’re officially apart of CWK small group (Couples with Kids) hosted by the Valencias.  Its so nice to be apart of such a great group of friends.  Right now we’re reading Shepherding a Child’s Heart, which has been very insightful (the few chapters that we’ve read).  We’re so excited to grow and learn from such strong Godly (not to mention down to earth and fun) parents.

~Last week our friends Jody and Melissa welcomed their second baby boy Jake into the world.  He is such a cute little munchkin! Congrats guys! As they say in Alabama…Ya’ll did well! =)

~Consignment season is approaching!  All  bargain savvy consignment addicted Mamas beware!  If you see a tall blonde Mama sporting some running shoes and a laundry basket on a rope…that looks like me, just go ahead and scooch over and make some room!  If anyone would like to join me (not that there would be much convo during shopping time, it’s all down to business then), let me know!  I don’t know what it is, but lately shopping for Parker is SO much more fun that shopping for myself.  Hopefully this doesn’t turn him spoiled rotten. Hmm… oh, well.

~A few weeks ago I spoke to my boss at AOS USA about coming back to work full time.  Dan and I decided that going back full time just wasn’t in the cards right now for us.  Fortunately, they offered me to work on a contract basis on local projects.  This will be great because I get to stay home with my son, but I also get to work with some fabulous people and do what I enjoy.  Once the projects start to pick up and I’m needed, I’ll be happy to put on my workin’ shoes again!

~I just have one question…When is it going to get warm again?  I’m starting to get the winter blues. It’s this very reason why I could never live up north.  I can’t even take the winter in Hotlanta.  The only positive thing I can think of is that I can cover up my “extra fluff” under chunky sweaters and overcoats.  I really can’t wait for nice warm stroller walks, pool time…oooohh pool time!  Won’t Parker look so cute in a little floaty, and his little teenie swim trunks, and his sun hat…I can already smell the chlorinated water & sunscreen *Sigh* My heart flutters at the thought.

Sunday Slim-Down & Sleepy Low-Down

Sunday Slim-Down

It’s been a while since I’ve talked about my slim-down goals.  So here I am.    Fortunately the weather has been nice this week and Parker and I, along with the dog have been able to get out and enjoy son nice walks around the loop.  Dan is back to traveling throughout the week, so I haven’t been able to visit the gym in a while.  Over the last month I’ve been able to loose about 4-5 lbs (four on a bad day, five on a good) and squeeze myself back into my old jeans! Yay! That was a great accomplishment, although far from my goals I have set.  However, I’m still happy that at least I’ve made some progress.  I’ve found that I can burn quite a few calories just doing housework.  Which, I never got too much into while I was working full time since we had the help of a cleaning crew.  In fact, I’m seeing just how much I can work up a sweat by scrubbing the shower and moping the floors and pushing the vac.  Ahhh…the life of a stay at home mama. Who knew?  All those peeps that thought we just watched our soaps and did carpool….Puleeez.  Just wait until little Parker becomes mobile and is crawling all over the place.  That’ll be a workout in itself.

I’ve been looking into some things that Parker and I can do together that would be fun, and started looking into the Oh Baby Fitness to see about enrolling in a few of their classes.  They’re not cheap, but it may be fun to do a few times just to change up the week a little bit.  Since it’s wintertime and the weather isn’t always nice, we have to come up with some new ideas.  I’ve also found that the more I stay busy with either chores or activities outside the home, the less I’m “snacking” and making poor diet choices.  I also have more chance  of walking more throughout the day and being active instead of staying indoors and playing on the playmat with Parker.  I’ve also heard that Gymboree has Play and Learn classes.  Has anyone been to any of these?  They sound like a lot of fun.  I’m so excited about the days ahead with my little boy!

Sleepy Low-Down

With holidays and family visiting I have to say that the sleepy low down is that he wouldn’t go down. Well, let me rephrase by saying, he refused to go down for naps.  Fighting them to be exact.  Among all of the excitement of Christmas, family visiting, unfamiliar places, and throw in a three month growth spurt and low milk supply and you have a baby on sleep boycott!  I think after things calmed down a bit, I had real high expectations that things would get back to normal in no time, but sadly they didn’t.  The naps are back to normal.  He’s taking two 1hr45min naps and one catnap in the evening.  He’s been doing great with them, but he’s been going through the typical four month sleep regression at night.  It’s crazy to think that after about a month and a half of sleeping through the night, that he would start to wake several times a night for no apparent reason.  The first thing that went through my mind is “what did I do wrong?”  “Is he hungry? Newly aware of surroundings? Teething? Ear ache? Separation anxiety? Is he off his schedule? Too attached to his paci?”  I went down the list, and did quite a few trial and errors to see if we could get him to sleep longer.  We’re still working through some of those now.  Right now I’m trying to focus on the things that I can control.  I can control his feedings, when he goes to bed, and how I respond to him when he cries.  Lately I’ve been feeding him about 8x a day.  That way, when he does wake up at night…I know, it’s not because he’s hungry (unless he’s going through another growth spurt!).  We adjusted his bedtime to earlier so that he’s not overtired and gets only two hours of awake time from his last nap to his bedtime.  We also are implementing the Ferber method, letting him fuss for 6-7 mins, listening to his cry to make sure it’s a mantra cry and not a “I really need you” cry.  I use to cringe at the thought of the Ferber method but the more I read about it, I find that he doesn’t advocate letting the baby cry for hours.  Also, this is the method that a lot of pediatricians recommend once the child is old enough (between 4-6 months) to self soothe.  We also have the benefit of watching the video monitor to make sure that everything is okay.  We originally thought he was becoming too paci dependant, but after letting him fuss a few nights when he woke up, after less than three mins of fussing he fell back to sleep without his paci, so there goes that theory.  He likes to have it to fall asleep, but he has proven to us numerous times that he will do just fine without it.  I stumbled upon this site and found it reassuring when I find myself kicking myself for things not going perfectly:

The perfectionist in me wants everything to just fall into place so I can have the perfect little sleeping baby who is attentive, happy and playful when awake, and sleeps long and well during bedtime, but when I examine it a little closer I start to realize that just like anything, it’s not going to be perfect.  I don’t sleep well every night.  I’m not always happy and attentive during my awake times.  I have my “days”… and in no way does this reflect what kind of Mom I am either.  I need to trust that God will work this out… and learn to relax and let it go and take it one day at a time.  Hopefully through the trials and errors, we will ease into something that works just right for us.

Two pennies for my thoughts

Being a Mom is such a learning experience.  Just when you think you have it figured out, life throws you a curved ball.  The hardest thing is trying to decipher information that you hear and read as being fact, or just a theory from someone who thinks they know your child.  Here are some classic ones:

Just give them a little rice cereal.  That’ll help them sleep through the night

My 2 cents: Actually, the AAP recommends waiting until six months because their digestive system isn’t ready for them yet. So, that’s what I plan to do.  I can’t tell you how many people on the Baby Center forum that have their four month old on solid foods and then post on how they don’t understand why their child is all of a sudden waking up numerous times a night.

Your baby no longer has a nutritional need for a middle of the night feeding after 3-4 months of age.

My 2 cents: Every baby is different.  I know that sounds like a classic response, but it’s true.  It depends on whether your baby is breastfed or bottle fed.  A mom’s milk supply is different every day, and a baby could take in less milk during the day, thus needing more at night.  You can’t make them drink more during the day (unless they’re bottle fed) because when you breastfeed they only eat when they’re hungry.  If they don’t get the calories they need during the day, then they’ll want to get them at night. says this:

After the first few months, your baby will begin to associate the breast with far more than just a way to satisfy hunger and thirst. It becomes a place of comfort, security, warmth, closeness, and familiarity. The act of nursing is not just nourishing; it is nurturing. Keep in mind that these needs are every bit as real as baby’s physical ones, and having them met is every bit as needful to baby’s overall development.

Your baby should be getting X amount of naps for X amount of time at X age.

My 2 cents:  While I think it’s great to get your little one on a routine we (when I say we, I mean I)should be realistic about the length of nap times especially for babies under six months.  Most doctors agree that most babies are “short nappers” up until six months of age.  Sleeping long periods (naps and bedtime) is a milestone just like crawling, walking etc.  I think establishing a routine is a great thing, but I believe in taking the time to learn YOUR baby’s sleep habits, because it may not be “by the book” and sometimes that’s okay.  I’m preaching to myself as I type, because I’m all about “oh, he’s suppose to sleep one and a half hours exactly…crap! he only slept for an hour and wouldn’t go back to sleep…what did I do wrong”  The answer is NOTHING.  Sounds so simple eh?  I guess I’m just a bone head.

If you leave your baby to cry it out, they will have issues with feeling insecure and abandoned.

My 2 cents: Those that know me know that I haven’t been a  fan of the cry it out method.  Mainly because I don’t feel right leaving my child to scream so I can have “order” to my day.  However, I think it’s important to again learn your baby.  I’ve found that if I let my son do a “mantra cry” that this is a perfectly acceptable way for him to settle himself into a good sleep.  I also feel that age is a factor too.  All babies develop at different rates, but I do believe that there is an age that is too early to let a baby cry it out…even a mantra cry.  Each Mom has to figure out what time crying it out will work best for their baby.  As for the debate of whether or not crying it out will leave your child feeling abandoned and insecure, I think that this can certainly be the case with some instances.  Like anything…some things can be WAAAAY overdone.

You should never rock or feed your baby or have them depend on a pacifier in order to fall asleep

My 2 cents: If there’s anyone that knows about sleep associations it’s me.  After replacing the billionth pacifier in one night…I clearly realized that it was an issue.  Let’s say that there are certain things you need order to sleep every night (blanket, pillow, etc.) and in the middle of the night, you wake up and all of a sudden it’s not there any more.  Would you get up and get it in order to sleep?  Most people would.  Same thing for some babies.  I think it’s perfectly okay to rock your baby to sleep or offer a paci if they sleep through the night no problem.  However, it becomes a problem when they come out of deep sleep into a lighter sleep state and in turn needs the thing that got them to sleep in the first place several times a night.  It’s not an issue the first few months because you have to wake up to feed them anyways, but later you start to wonder if they’re waking because they’re hungry, or if what they associate with going to sleep is no longer there.  Eliminating the sleep associations helps decipher what the real issue is.

If I keep my baby up more during the day, then they’ll sleep better at night

My 2 cents: Those who have had sleep issues with their baby know that sleep begets sleep.  Have you ever noticed that when you’ve had a lot of sleep at night that you feel tired during the day?  In contrast, if you don’t get enough sleep, hormones are released to help you stay awake longer.  The same thing happens in babies.  If they sleep well during the day, they sleep well at night.  It doesn’t seem like it would be true, but it totally is.  If your baby is overtired,  they are much more likely to have several night wakings and also be harder to go to sleep in the first place.

When you breastfeed, you should only feed on demand

My 2 cents: I don’t agree that the only correct way to breastfeed is on demand.  I think a lot of Moms (especially first time Moms) find security in having some sort of a routine so they can keep track of feedings and make sure their little one is getting enough food (and keep their naps regular too).  I believe that babies find security in predictability, and erratic feedings could cause erratic sleep patterns, thus complicating things later down the line.  However, I do agree that abiding by a strict schedule can damage the nursing relationship with your little one.  Especially when those growth spurts sneak up on you.  It’s reassuring to have a routine in place because it can often help determine what’s going on when the baby has fussy periods.  You don’t have to “guess” that they’re hungry or tired, you know already how many times they’ve been fed and napped.

I clearly don’t have all the answers.  Just a first time Mom sharing my two cents of experience.  It’s all such a learning experience, and I intend on taking advantage of my trials and errors and so that I can hopefully be the best Mama I can be to my little man.

Nightlife with a four month old

Life has been super crazy lately.  My milk supply has gone down, which has made nursing my little guy extremely exhausting.  I’m trying to listen more to his cues instead of going by a schedule since my supply is so low.  Once it gets back up, we’ll be back on a routine of sorts. We are also weaning him from swaddling since he has learned to roll quite a bit.  Here is a glimpse of our night life.

This is Parker’s point of view:

8pm- Hi daddy, sure I’m ready for bath time

8:05-Oooh, warm tub.  Daddy makes the tub water just right.  Wow, daddy is a horrible singer, but I love how he scrubs my belly.

8:15-Hi Mommy, dry me off please…agooooo, goo goooooh, thank you. Nice and dry.  Ooohh, cold lotion, oh, belly time. Yay…goooh..eeeek…EKKKKK! gooo.  I love my baby massage…ooooo EEEK!

8:20-Be gentle when you dress me Mommy…Wahhhh!!!…I said gentle..suck suck, ooh, passie…thank you mom.  Oohh.. you sing much better than daddy…suck suck…*grunt” grunt…hungry…grunt grunt.  fuss…

8:25- Reading Winnie the pooh again mommy?  When will this novel end? …Grunt grunt…I hope she’s feeding me soon…maybe if I cry she’ll stop reading and feed me….Waaaah!!

8:30-Oh, big bottle.  Yum,Gulp! Oh, what is this new stuff I taste? Not mommy’s milk…gross…ooh, getting sleepy.., Oh, yeah, bottle…suck, suck, gulp…

8:38-That’s it?  That’s the end of the bottle?  Wahhh!..oh, pacie, thanks Mom.  Mommy, you forgot to swaddle me!  Waaaah!…Waahhh…Oh, mommy hand on belly…nice rock.  Who is this Jesus person she speaks of while I’m trying to sleep?  Why is she asking him to help me sleep through the night?  Aw, Mommy is leaving…Heavy eyes…deep breath…feeling very tired…zzzzzzz

12am-What was that sound?  Where’s my paci? Wahh..Wahhh!!!! Oh Hi daddy…thanks for giving me my paci…zzzzzz

2am-*grunt grunt* I’m hungry…and wet! Wahhh!  Oh, my sholder is wet too…I must’ve spit up all over myself…Waaah!

2:02- I’m REALLY hungry!! Wahhhhh!  Oh, Hi Mommy! I’m hungry! Why are you changing my diaper first?  You have to change my clothes too? I said I’m hungry!…fuss fuss..

2:05- Oooohh…boobie!  *Gulp, gulp* finally!

2:10-Feeling tired….zzzz…Why did you tickle me? Oh yeah, boobie…gulp…zzzzzzz

3am- Where am I?  I thought I was with Mommy? Waahh!!  Ooo…paci…thanks daddy! zzzzzzz

4am- I can’t sleep…it’s dark in here…Waaaaaaahhh!!!  *suck, suck* thanks for the paci daddy! zzzzzz

4:10- Did Daddy leave?  Waaaaaaaaah!!….Oh, Hi Mommy!  Is it time for milk?  Oh, paci..

4:15- Wait…I want milk…I’m hungry…Wahh!!!

4:16- Hi Mom, I’m hungry.  Oohh…Thank  you…gulp…gulp…zzzzzzzzz

5:30- Agooo…*giggle* time to play.  Agooo….Can they hear me?  Waahhh!

5:32- Hi Daddy…I don’t want paci….waaaahh!  I said I don’t want it…

5:35- Hi Mommy…Where are you taking me?  Oh, nice big bed.  There’s daddy too.  Oh, maybe I will go to sleep….zzzzzz

7am-Where am I?  I’m hungry…oh, Hi mommy. Gulp…gulp…

7:15- time to play!  Oooh, mommy doesn’t look very good.

7:20- I love my play mat…Gooooo! Eekk gooo!  Ahhh gooo!  Good Morning to me!

8am-Is it time to eat again???? Oh, Good Morning Lizzie…Yuck, cold wet tongue on my face!

Feeling like a crappy Mama

I knew the day would come, I just didn’t think it would come this soon.  I thought my crappy Mama period would be sometime in his childhood when I slipped and let him watch a movie that was too violent, or when he gets to be a older back-talking teenager, and I loose my cool and yell, but no…it was going to be MUCH sooner than that, that I would feel like a crappy Mom.  It would be now.

It all started around Christmas.  Parker all of a sudden started waking at night.  We had been spoiled because he had been consistently sleeping through the night (8:30pm-5am, since some people have different definitions of STTN) since about 10 weeks old.  So, I started to go through the mental list of the reasons why this was happening.  I had recently changed his feedings from seven a day to six because seven feedings meant feeding him every 2-2.5hrs during the day, and he was spitting up ALL the time, so we thought that he was being overfed.  Plus, everything that I was reading said that most babies reduce their feedings to about six feedings around three months.  Since he was starting to take his naps much better, I didn’t find the need to wake him more during the day to fit an extra feeding in, so I adjusted his routine to six feedings.

Fast forward one week later.  He’s still waking several times at night.  Where we would give him the pacifier, and he would drift back to sleep.  So, this led me to do another CRAZY (crappy) Mom thing.  I thought since he was waking several times a night because his paci fell out of his mouth…maybe we should wean him from his paci.  Sound insane?  Well, you’re right.  It was  insane.  None of us slept a wink all night because we were constantly in there trying to soothe him every other way but with a paci.  My thought was, if I could just get him to go to sleep without his paci, then when he wakes up and doesn’t have it, then he won’t need us to come in and give it to him.  Well, it was a good thought in theory.  EXCEPT… infants have the need to suck.  That’s how they self soothe.  So, he was still waking up, except this time MANY more times, and my dumb ass took away the only thing that makes him soothe himself!

So, where did I get this idiot idea from?  The internet.  Sometimes I think that our parents had it much better not knowing what the hell they were doing and just following their gut instead of reading all the useless BS that is on the internet these days AND reading all these silly books that say you can have a breastfed baby sleeping 10hrs a night by 3 months old. Needless to say, we ended up giving him back his pacifier.  Dan practically had to knock some sense into me.  (I’m so glad he intervened) He wasn’t really down with the idea to begin with, but he was trying to be supportive of what I thought was the right thing to do.

Fast forward a few days later and we had teeter tottered between giving him six and seven feedings during the day, and adjusted his awake times during the day to see if it would in turn give him more sleep time at night. That didn’t work.  I sought out the advice of others on forums and blogs, and they confirmed that the six feedings should be sufficient for him, so we decided to keep it that way, and find out if there was something else that was causing him to wake.

Here we are a couple of days later and the crappy Mama syndrome hit me.  Why isn’t he sleeping through the night?  What is it that I’m doing wrong?  He USE to sleep though the night.  What has changed?  Instead of trying to find “opinions”…at this point I just wanted facts.  I went to La Leche League site, and posted a thread on their forum about my feeding and sleeping delimma.  Of course, I knew that I would find a bunch of crunchy moms that believe in attachment parenting, no schedule, baby wearing, hippies, but nevertheless… I also knew that they know a heck of alot about breastfeeding too.  This is where I found out that it is recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics that infants average about 8 feedings a day up until they’re six months of age.  Yikes!!  Then it dawned on me… OMG has my precious son been hungry all this time at night when he’s been waking up, and I’ve just been giving him a paci?  I”m the worst Mom on the planet!  I started to think about it and it all made sense.  Since he’s older, he weighs more, he needs MORE milk.  I was reducing the feedings and not giving him any more quantity.

Sounds so simple when I look back on it and I begin to wonder how I made this crucial mistake to begin with.  It began with trying to figure out how many times other people on my forum with babies Parker’s age were feeding their little one, not taking into consideration that they may be formula fed, which takes MUCH longer to digest than breastmilk, which takes about 90 mins.

So, I’ve learned that I need to trust myself and try to listen to my son’s cues a little better.  I just want to know that he’s growing and thriving and being absolutely everything he can be.  I think it’s so easy for first time Moms to wonder what other people are doing with their babies instead of focusing on the individual that your baby is.  We have never met two adults that eat, sleep or interact with others the same, so why do we expect our babies to?

Lesson Learned!  Now hopefully I won’t have any more crappy Mom moments for years to come! (Hey, a person can dream right?)