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Jogging: Or, as I call it, “Did I just pee myself?”

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To say “it’s been a while” may be the understatement of the decade. Little Girl is 8 months old now. 8 MONTHS. My last blog about her was half her lifetime ago. Literally. It’s very hard to put into words how much I love my daughter, or how grateful I feel to have her, but between working 50-60 hours a week and her not sleeping through the night until…last week…my energy for all things “blog” has gone down the toilet. I never EVER believed that I would become one of “those people” obsessed with getting my child to sleep, but after 7 months of prisoner-of-war-style sleep torture waking up 2-4 times every night, I get it now. I GET why, without 5 hours of straight sleep ever, over the span of months and months, your brain reaches a level of sub-function to a point where the fantasy of sleep takes over every waking thought. Going into pregnancy and childbirth I read about “all those other parents” who trained their kids, or had problems with sleep. I sadly shook my head and wondered how it was they couldn’t manage to get their baby on a sleep schedule. Why was it so difficult to set boundaries? Please feel free to bitch slap my former self. By month 6, when everyone else’s baby seemed to be sleeping through the night, and mine was still screaming 2 hours after going to bed, I started to crack. And finally, after hearing my husband calmly and eerily whisper “shut the fuck up” to my 7.5 month old after she had been up 5 times already before 3AM (which, by the way, I would have said in a heartbeat that night had I gotten to her first), I made the executive decision the following night to train her. We did a gentle method of sleep training which I won’t bore you with right now, but….holy SHIT IT WORKED!!!! My daughter has slept through the night for 7 days STRAIGHT, 10-12 hours at a time. I feel the synapses in my brain beginning to tingle back together again, and so I thought I would write.

Along with blogging, exercise was chucked out the window in favor of sleep as well. I am still up 15 pounds from where I was pre-pregnancy, and it bugs the hell out of me, but I had no energy to deal with it until now. So yesterday, feeling kind of fancy because I slept 8 hours, I laced up my running shoes and went for a jog. All was well until I felt something very watery and wet trickle into my underwear, and to be honest, I have no clue if it was watery ovulation discharge or pee. Ever since childbirth, I have been known to pee myself occasionally while sneezing, and god knows I don’t ever ovulate, so my guess is it was pee. But you know what? That run felt great. I hope to pee myself more frequently in the coming weeks as I get back into shape.

As for my little girl? Well, she is crawling, pulling to stand, and yesterday, shakily let go of me for a few seconds to stand on her own. she is saying “mama”, “dada”, “baba” and knows how to clap her hands and wave hi and goodbye (although her wave is more like a “come hither” beckoning with her hand, I’ll take it). I am so proud of the lightening speed in which she is developing, and I honestly can’t wait to see her become more and more her own little person. She has been active and engaged in everything since birth, but I’m really starting to see that side of her shine in the way her motor skills are developing. She’s a love!!!

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Too many weeks to count

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I’ve lost count of how many weeks my little girl is. There I said it. Worst mommy ever. She’s growing up so so so so fast, it’s ridiculous, and between work and trying to find some semblance of personal life with my husband, everything just feels mushy.

I have to say, though…it just keeps getting better. She is so bright, funny, and SMART–holy crap is this kid smart. Nothing gets by her. She has squawks and cries when she’s pissed off, and seems to understand me now when I tell her to have patience–the bottle is coming.

She is currently not even 5 months old yet, and is 28″ long. That’s like the bajillionth percentile for height, or something. She is wearing 9 month clothes, and doesn’t fit into any of her swaddles anymore except for the Merlin Magic Sleepsuit which we are clinging to for dear life.

I wish I had more time to blog sometimes…I have so much brewing inside, and so much I want to say…there are so many milestones I witness every day. She is almost crawling. She’s rolling over like a champ. She’s gurgling and gooing. She is obsessed with her LIttle Einstein’s jumperoo now and send herself flying. My little girl has and always will be intensely active. I love this about her, and fantasize that she will be a rocket scientist and a gymnast.

She is a quick study. On a whim a couple of days ago, I started covering her face with a blanket and saying, “Where’s Shira?”. To my utter shock, she started playing it ON HER OWN! She now pulls blankets over her face and pulls them away to play peek a boo. I can’t remember the last time I was so proud!!!

16 Weeks

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My baby girl is growing up. Not just physically, but there has been a noticeable shift in her ability to self regulate in the past week or so. Wonder of wonders, miracles of miracles, I can put her down and she can play. by herself. for like, 20-30 minutes sometimes!! This would never. Repeat. NEVER. have happened in the first three months. Ever since she has gained the ability to grab things, she does so with a vengeance, and everything she grabs goes straight into her mouth. She makes a very strange loud grunting sound when she puts something in her mouth that implies satisfaction mixed with a slight hint of aggression. It’s quite amusing.

My baby girl will sometimes rest her head on my chest when she’s tired. She’s been doing this quite a bit lately, and I melt. Seriously. No matter what she’s done prior to that point (scream fest and rolling around in her poo, anyone?) once the head goes on my chest and she relaxes, it’s all out the window.

Being a working mom has been an interesting transition the past few weeks. I feel almost guilty about how much I love my job and getting out of the house….All that said, I feel incredibly guilty leaving her with Hubs because he is very unhappy that he doesn’t have a job right now, and has to stay with her two full days a week. Those days are the hardest to leave her…I just don’t know how to make it better for Hubs right now. He is miserable, and it doesn’t help that I’m excited by my work and doing interesting things all day while he changes diapers. I know what he’s feeling because I went through it with him for three full months. Staying at home with the baby is FREAKING HARD. I will never snub my nose at how hard it is again. There is a feeling of being very lonely, trapped, and bored that is hard to shake when you’re with a child full time. I get it now. On the positive side of everything, Shira lights up every time she sees Hubs, and they have a very good rhythm together, which is an experience that most Dads don’t get to have with their daughters. My mom has been helping out with child care three days a week, and Shira loves my mom, too. So, overall, it’s bittersweet. I work all day and barely get home in time for bath time during the week, but I know that Shira is being cared for by two of the most qualified people I can think of when I’m away.

Big 16 week milestones have been grabbing things, holding the bottle on her own, and transitioning from her co-sleeper to her big girl crib. This transition was big. She went through an AWFUL sleep regression in weeks 14 and 15  where she was waking up every hour. Now, in the crib, she is only waking up once or twice at night. This is HEAVEN, although I still feel like a freaking zombie most mornings.

The one thing that hasn’t changed about my little girl is her lightening quick moods and intense personality. Here are three shots I took within seconds of one another. My sweet, expressive little girl.

Shira_5 Shira_3Shira_4

The reality sets in

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Reality has been hitting me in spurts lately. The reality that “mother” has become part of my identity…it is who I am when I wake up at 2AM, shaking and fuzzy from exhaustion to roll my little girl from her co sleeper into my arms when she has woken. She sighs as soon as I pop the bottle in her mouth…a contented sigh that indicates she is comfie again. She knows my arms. The routine of feeding her until she drifts slowly away. Bouncing her with her head on my chest. Patting her to the rhythm of a heart beat. What is she dreaming when she smiles in her sleep, I wonder.

It’s the reality of coming home after a long day at work and seeing her eyes light up when she looks at me, recognizing me as someone who is important in her life–who gives her something more than just food, but she can’t quite pinpoint what yet. I press her bright red rosy cheeks to me and she smiles and buries her face in my chest, shy and elated that I am back again from the moon and other place I go when I’m not with her.

I find that I like to drink in her smell. When she exhales, I try and take in her breath.

Her belches and farts are the cutest things ever.

There are days I feel soggy. Wasted. Utterly mowed over.  A sagging lump of flesh that is there to serve her. I can barely give to her, and I certainly fail as a wife. My flesh isn’t just his anymore, and it makes us both sad and lonely sometimes. I keep meaning to do more…and then she cries and she needs me, and I get lost again. I turn the shower up as hot as it goes and try to remember life “before”. But I can’t. It is only this feed. This nap. This hello. This goodbye. This smile. This pouting lip. This feather-like eyebrow. This fat roll on her thigh. This impossibly tiny fingernail. This laugh with her and Hubs as she “talks” and squawks on her changing table.

I’m 14 weeks into this, and this is my reality. It’s a terrifying and amazing place to be.

 

 

11 Week updates

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Like many new parents before me…I have been slacking on the blog post. I always thought that I would be able to keep up with blogging and raising a newborn, but I must say, I’m doing a terrible job as a blogger. I’m pretty ok as a Mom, but this blogging business has taken a sideline.

Shira is napping now so I thought I would squeeze in 10 minutes to give some updates on being the parent of an 11 week old.

It has gotten easier…as much as I fought that advice and thought people were crazy when they said it, this week has been a turning point for us. I’m finally feeling comfortable and in control with my little girl. The first 4 weeks I was careening in an abyss of sleepless nights and painful pumping sessions. The second 4 weeks I was still barely clinging on–Shira went through an extremely fussy 3 weeks, and it’s so so hard when you feel like your baby is in discomfort and you will try anything to soothe her and nothing is working. These last 4 weeks have been much MUCH better. No more crying after feeds! Sleeping 6 hour stretches from 7PM to1 or 2AM most nights! She has relaxed and come into her own. She’s even starting to look like a little person!

At 11 weeks, she:

  • Has found her hands. She eats them as a tasty snack
  •  is a star at tummy time and even rolls from tummy to back with no crying!
  •  gives me and Hubs the most darling ear to ear grins in the morning that it’s hard to be pissed she wakes up at 5AM
  •  grabs on to my shoulder and buries her face in my chest which is yummy.
  •  seems to know the song “Wheels on the Bus” because she gets excited every time I sing it.
  • Babbles and babbles and babbles. This kid will talk early. I find it hilarious when my husband actually tries to teach her how to say words at this age and she’ll just stare blankly at him, but hey–it’s worth a shot!
  • Is a good eater. Hot milk, cold milk, boob milk, formula–this girl either can’t taste the difference or just doesn’t care.
  • Has HUGE cheeks. We’re nicknaming her the Godfather.

It is hitting me slowly but surely that I will be heading back to work in two weeks, and that I will miss my little girl terribly. I’m getting nervous that she goes to be so early (6:30 most nights) and how we will keep her up later so I can actually see her when I get home…any working mommies have any advice?

And, of course, I leave with a pic!

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Status Quo-ish

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Greetings!

I’m still digging myself out of a hole of baby screaming, but I wanted to give some updates.

First up, THANK YOU to everyone who chimed in on my post about Shira’s fussiness. I really REALLY appreciate it. We have been having our good days and our difficult days still, but every comment was like a God send, helping me feel less alone.

On good days, Shira coos and giggles and smiles on her changing table and tries to roll over. She gets excited to see her daddy. She babbles. She rarely cries, and calmly goes from feeding to sleeping. On her difficult days (I’m trying not to label them “bad”–just difficult.,,,) Shira will still smile and coo, but her moods go from zero to sixty in any direction. She could be happily sucking away and burped and changed, and all of a sudden, she absolutely DOES NOT want to be put down. Or I could put on her pants the “wrong way” and she begins to scream and cry louder than anything. Two days ago she went through a phase where she would not let me put her down without throwing a screaming fit. It took enormous effort to get her to nap, and everything was to the extreme. It may very well be my diet that’s doing this to her, but I honestly think this is just who she is. She has an intensity about her that burns in a positive and negative way.

One very big positive for us is that we switched bottles recently, and her feeds are 10 billion times calmer than they used to be. She is not guzzling milk down in 5 minutes or less, nothing dribbles, and she doesn’t choke on her food. The new bottles are the Playtex Ventaire–I would HIGHLY recommend them!! Another big positive is that she’s finally grown into the Ergo and will be worn! She refused to be put down two days ago, so this was really the only option I had to save my sanity. She fell asleep being worn, and I go to answer email and fold some laundry. A win!

Lastly on the “win” side, we have been working her up into napping in her crib. Two days ago during her mega crank fest, she refused to nap more than 20 minutes during the day, and we discovered that her swing in the living room is no longer going to work for napping. It’s too light in there, and she needs to be forced to sleep now. I have been monitoring the clock more than I ever have, and make sure that I am winding her down every 90 minutes or so in her dark bedroom. When she is good and sleepy, I swaddle her, and put her down. Yesterday she took a two hour nap in her crib!! Yippee!!!

Today was vaccination day, and she handled it like a champ. If anything, my daughter’s perpetual intense state makes her very strong when it comes to shots! They didn’t have a combo shot, so she got three separate shots, and although she cried, it lasted all of 20 seconds until she was back to cooing and smiling again. Honestly, I’ve seen her react more violently to a diaper change. The little dear has been sleeping most of the day since the shots, and I’m keeping an eye on her.

And finally, one dose of cuteness that was taken 10 seconds before she spit up all over the couch that I have kept in pristine condition for 10 years.

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Seriously, how could you not just eat this face UP??!!!

Shira “Speaks”!

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