Saturday, March 6, 2010

Maeve: Three months

Dear Maeve,

Here we are the three-month mark and that's the same amount of time most stores list as their return policy. Lucky for you, you're cute and we love you, so we're going to keep you.

This last month was pretty much the same as your second month, but with more alertness. You still sleep a lot and eat a lot and generally hang out with us wherever we force you to go. And as the third kid, we force you to go a lot of places. That's the funny difference between first kids and later kids: with the first, parents are crazy about the schedule, OH MY GOD THE SCHEDULE. With later kids, the parents are all, oh, she needs a nap? Just stick her in the stroller, she can sleep while we're out.

But you are starting to get yourself on a little schedule, despite being dragged all over creation every day. I usually have to wake you up to take Jack to school at 8:30 and you stay awake for about an hour before you go down for a three-hour nap. Up for an hour after that, then down for another two- or three-hour nap. Repeat again after that, then you're usually down for the night around 8 p.m. That doesn't mean you sleep through the night -- hahahahahahaha, good one -- but you sleep for a decent stretch of four or five hours before you need to eat again.

The sleep is still coming mostly in the swing, with your arms swaddled up tight. But I can get you to sleep in the bassinet for the first stretch almost every night, and the rest of the night is usually spent next to me in my bed. It's easier for me that way, because I can just nurse you on and off all night without having to get up out of bed. And we all know it's all about the maximization of sleep for everyone in this house.

The nursing has also settled into a nice little pattern, with you eating every three or four hours. But you've hit that cute stage where you like to pull off and flash a huge grin at me. Which is cute the first time you do it, but less so when you keep doing that instead of eating and I am sitting there with my boob hanging out waiting for you to get back on track.

The smiles were bigger and more frequent this month. You love to get your diaper changed, kicking and waving your arms and smiling up a storm on the changing table. I am pretty sure you would lie there all day if we let you, but that would probably take a pretty big chunk out of my day, so we won't be doing that anytime soon. But a baby can dream, can't she?

Another thing you love, which I do let you indulge in as much as you like (see: third child) is the bouncy seat. This is your refuge from Jack and Emmie and the only place I can reliably put you so no one can injure you in any way. I set the bouncy seat on top of the kitchen island, away from little hands, and you just kick your little butt off. You talk to the spinning fish and watch the bubbles intently. After a while, you tire of this and start to fuss, which is the signal to take you out and put you to bed. You're pretty easy to read.

The bouncy seat is probably the only time you don't have either Jack or Emmie right up in your face. They love you. Seriously, they can't get enough of you. Emmie in particular is so excited to see you sometimes that she jumps up and down. They both want to hold you and and show you toys and make you smile. Emmie runs over to where you are and yells, "Hi baby! Hi Maeve!" and giggles and grabs your hands and kisses your head and then my heart literally melts. You often reciprocate with a stare as if to say, "What the hell is going on and why are you so excited to see me?" I think you'll be a lot more excited in a few months when you can actually interact with them on their levels.

Just today you started showing signs of interest in tummy time, which means instead of screaming your head off when I put you on your stomach, you actually pushed yourself up on your arms and looked around a few times, then laid back down and sucked your fist for a while. You also were able to kind of almost sort of roll over once I put you on your side. I'm hoping by getting you into position, you'll get the hang of it and want to do it. But you know, it's a lot easier to put you down and have you remain in one place, so I am in no hurry to have you rolling all over the place.

I'm actually not in a hurry for you to do most things. I want to savor this little baby time. And it's slipping away so quickly. A minute ago you were newborn and I was bringing you home from the hospital and putting you in teeny little newborn onesies. And now you have outgrown all the newborn clothes and love to look around at the world and can hold yourself up when I carry you around. Next thing you know you'll be driving yourself to the mall.

But then I see you sleeping face and I realize you are still my baby. You smell like a baby and sigh like a baby and cry like a baby. There times I put you to sleep in your swing and I will check on you a few minutes later only to find you wide-eyed, just looking around. I always wonder what you're thinking. Do you recognize the things around you? Are you mad I left you on your own? Do you know I am coming back?

And then you lock eyes with me and I know you know the answer to the last question. Of course I will come back. I will always come back. No matter if you're sleeping or 50 feet away at the playground or at college. I will always, always be there for you. Being there for you brings me joy and I hope you realize how much I love you. With every night feeding and every diaper change and every bunch of kisses on your cheek, I am happier. I hope you are too.


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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Nighttime is the new naptime

Yesterday, I put Maeve down after her customary hour of awake time at 5:15 p.m., expecting her to wake up refreshed and invigorated about two hours later. I left for a meeting at Jack's school with a bottle of freshly thawed milk in the fridge and figured I would just pump when I got back.

Except when I got home, she hadn't woken up. And she continued to sleep until 9:15 p.m. when I woke her up after deciding via text with a friend that she would be up all night if I let it go much longer.

Apparently she was as exhausted by Operation Bassinet as I was because she woke up, ate and went right back to sleep. In the swing. Sigh. I couldn't take another zombie day like yesterday and decided unless there is someone else here with me during the day, I just can't function on such little sleep.

So swaddled up like a burrito in the swing, she slept until 4:45 a.m., ate, went back in the swing and slept until 7:15 a.m. Effectively, she slept just shy of 12 hours with three feedings.

She also woke up snotty-nosed and sneezing. Guess who caught Emmie's cold? Fun times with the snot sucker ensued.

Again tonight she went down at 5:15 and she's just now making her intentions to wake up known. At least it's only 7:40 p.m. though.

In short, Operation Bassinet is going to be some half-assed military action where the dictator remains in power because I can't follow up on intelligence leads.

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Monday, February 22, 2010

Non-sleeping beauty

I have several things to share with all of you, but unfortunately, I can't sit down for more than 10 minutes because I picked this past weekend to launch Operation Get Maeve In The Bassinet.

When you have three kids, you learn some sleep tricks. My favoriye is that there is nothing wrong with a baby sleeping in a swing next to your bed. And sleep in that swing she did, going six hours at a stretch.

And that was fine until I realized I would like her to sleep in her own room sometime soon. If she won't sleep in her bassinet, I can't imagine she would be grooving on her crib. And I'm sure as hell not running down the hall every 15 seconds to replace that damn pacifier when I can just do that at the end of the bed for now.

The first night was fine -- she slept in three-hour chunks and did awesome. The next night was horrid. She wouldn't sleep more than 15 minutes at a time and I broke down and put her in the swing at 1 a.m.

Tonight, I had high hopes after a solid first hour and now we're back to every 15 minutes.

In the time it took to type this, I had to stop three times. As Academomia said last week, these are special, special childhood times. Perhaps I should scrapbook this milestone. It would contain pictures of the pacifier lying next to Maeve's screaming head because she spits it out and then cries. And little stickers of eyes with bags under them.

So if you'll excuse me, I will now commence with the non-sleeping portion of my night.

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Saturday, February 6, 2010

Maeve: Two months

Dear Maeve,

It's been two months since you joined our family and it's like you've been with us for two decades with how easy the transition has been. Sure, you like to get up twice a night to eat, and you aren't such a fan of being put down and come to think of it, you're pretty high-maintenance in the napping department, but other than that, you're quite easy to manage.

This last month went by so fast I'm not even sure what happened. Daddy started traveling for work four days a week at the beginning of your second month of life and since then, I have kind of lived in a haze of sleep deprivation and have tried to make sure you and your brother and sister are all fed, clothed and alive at the end of the day. So far, so good.

You've started smiling a lot more this month and you're so much more aware of your surroundings. You look around, stare at the banister (your favorite object in the house, even more than the boobs) and try to watch Jack and Emmie when they are running around like lunatics. You tolerate their frequent close encounters, which mostly consist of Emmie poking you in the face or trying to shove a pacifier in your mouth and Jack rubbing your head and kissing you. They really do love you and love it when you are awake and smiling. We'll see how much they love it when you start shoving their toys in your mouth in a few months, but for now, it works.

For the most part, your sleep patterns are still pretty awesome. You sleep a stretch of five or six hours overnight, mostly in the swing, but occasionally next to me in my bed, and still nap most of the day in short spurts. You love being wrapped like a little burrito in your Miracle Blanket and immediately start to calm down when we wrap you up. You also love being carried on my chest in the Moby Wrap. You love it so much you will nap several hours in it every afternoon when we pick Jack up from school and if I could find a way to legally drive with you in it, I would never take it off. That might be weird in the shower, but if it meant you would sleep, I would sacrifice. But if you're not strapped to my chest or being held, you're becoming less of a great napper. So wrap you up I will.

I also took my first trip away from you this month, going on a snowboarding trip with Daddy. You went to Grandma and Grandpa's house for the weekend and lived it up with bottles of pumped milk. When I came home, you stared at me for a minute like you couldn't believe it was me, and then you promptly started nursing and fell asleep. Welcome home, indeed.

You weighed 9 pounds and were in the 90th percentile for height at the beginning of this month and I estimate you've gained at least a pound and even more length since then. Your newborn jammies have been relegated to the "outgrown" bin and you fill the 3-month size out rather nicely. Clearly the breastmilk does a body good. And we were finally in a great place with the nursing until the thrush struck this week, making breastfeeding hurt just as bad as it did in the first few days of your life. Hopefully the gentian violet will do the trick without turning your face purple, but rest assured if it does, I will have the camera at the ready.

As the third child, you would think you'd be getting the least of our attention, but that's not the case. I love the time we have together every night after the big kids go to bed. You usually have about an hour of alert time every night and we hang out, me trying to get you to smile and you trying to talk to me. We play with your toys and read a few books and I smother you with kisses. It's great to have one-on-one time with you and get to know you and figure out what makes you happy. Plus, if you're not in the swing, you're pretty much glued to my body the rest of the time, so I kind of have to give you attention. Maybe as a third kid, that's your way of assuring I pay attention to you. But you don't need to worry, as the baby you'll always have a special place in my heart.


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Monday, January 11, 2010

At least she doesn't snore

Before I became a mother, I would scoff at people who slept with their kids. I mean, come on, who the hell encourages her children to climb into her bed night after night? Don't these people want to sleep uninterrupted? Don't they want to have sex? And for the love of God, kids are notorious for kicking you in the head and stealing the covers. I have to deal with Josh's snoring, isn't that enough?

And then I pushed Jack out of my nether regions and my view changed immediately. My baby in my bed? Does it mean I won't have to get up and walk all the way down the hall to feed him five times a night? I can just roll over and stick a boob in his face while I drift back to sleep? Because I am nothing if not supremely lazy, I signed on the dotted line.

To be clear, I did co-sleep. But I set some limits: he started the night in his own crib and I would bring him in to our bed when he woke up the first time, we didn't pull the covers up anywhere near his body, the pillows were kept far from his little head, we left the bedside lamp on so we could see him and he slept between us so he wouldn't be in danger of falling out.

When I weaned him at a year old, I weaned him from our bed as well. He never protested, mostly because I think he associated sleeping in our bed with nursing and since he didn't have 24-hour access to the boobs, he didn't need our extremely comfortable queen-sized bed and 800-thread-count sheets either.

We followed the same protocol with Emmie, although she seemed to prefer her own space and spent more of the night in her crib than Jack did. Maeve started off preferring to sleep ON me in our bed for the first few nights she was home, but now spends most of the night in her swing and occasionally transitions to the bed if she falls asleep nursing during the early morning.

Again, I don't co-sleep because I think it promotes bonding or I like the idea of the family bed, I do it because it is easy and I am all about doing whatever is easiest and provides the most amount of sleep for the most amount of people in this family.

I bring this up because recently, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has focused on infant co-sleeping deaths. I grew up in Milwaukee and still read the hometown paper of record online every day. I noticed in the last few months that they were reporting more of these cases. Just in the last two weeks, three infants died while co-sleeping in Milwaukee County.

In one of those cases, the mother said she took precautions for co-sleeping and kept the pillows and blankets away from her five-month-old baby, put the baby to sleep on her back, slept lightly and gave the baby plenty of room. Despite her precautions, her daughter still died in her bed.

In many of the cases I read about, one or both parents had been drinking. Some, excessively, to the point they did not realize they rolled over onto their baby and suffocated it.

Now, I am not judging anyone. But clearly, drinking and sleeping with your baby is a terrible recipe for disaster. But what about people who don't drink and grab some shuteye with baby? It's practiced in many cultures around the world. It seems so natural -- the baby spends nine months attached to you, taking him away from your body and forcing him to sleep alone doesn't make much sense biologically.

So I want to know: did you (or do you currently) co-sleep? If so, why? If not, why not? Not trying to incite a riot here, but I genuinely want to open a discussion on this and see what people think. Let's keep it non-confrontational though. Everyone's opinion is valid, just please express it politely. So no "zomg u r killing yer preshus baby you stoopid whore" comments, please.


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Maeve: One month

Dear Maeve,

In the year before you were born, a lot of people followed an exercise plan called the "30-Day Shred." I am proud to report that your first month did not almost kill me like the exercise plan does most people. Instead, it was an awesome month spent getting to know you, the newest member of our family.

You came out on your own terms, a day before you were set to be evicted, and have continued to set the pace since then. You sleep well and eat well and generally go with the flow.

Your favorite thing is to be held. If someone is holding you, whoa boy, the sleep records you can set. You came home from the hospital sleeping six hours overnight and for that, Mommy is so thankful. You don't do it every night, but enough to make me not want to tell anyone about it, lest the karma bite me in the butt. Your personal best record was seven straight hours, but you did it sleeping on my chest, so I'm not sure if that really counts because I slept fitfully in mostly 15-minute increments. Since you sleep so well when you're held, we tend to hold you, well, all the time. Hence the reason you sleep approximately 22 hours per day.

If you're not sleeping, you usually have a boob in your face. The breastfeeding got off to a rocky start when you decided you weren't going to latch on properly and instead wanted to do it your own way. The way that caused massive pain, cracking and bleeding for Mommy. You'd think being my third baby, my boobs should be totally conditioned and a little latch problem wouldn't make a difference. You would be wrong. So we enlisted the help of a pro-fesh-ional lactation consultant, who gave me permission to use a nipple shield, pump and give you bottles for a few days and prescribed the magic Jack Newman's nipple cream. The cream worked it's mojo, you didn't starve or need formula and the nipple shield stuck around for about three weeks.

We're finally to the point where I don't wince and dig my fingernails into the nearest hard object when you latch on, so hopefully the breastfeeding will be smooth sailing from here on out.

Your first month was a little bit of a learning curve for everybody in the family. Mommy was figuring out how to get enough sleep and feeding you through the pain, while Daddy was trying to get to know you and spend time with Jack and Emmie while generally playing the role of Mr. Mom. Speaking of your big brother and big sister, they have adjusted pretty well to your entrance into the world.

Emmie is so curious about everything you do. When she hears me get up in the morning, she runs to the bottom of the stairs and yells, "Baby? Baby!" She loves to watch you eat and constantly gives you kisses. She runs around looking for blankets for you and at the slightest peep, she runs to me and wants me to come and pick you up. She also loves to hold you on her lap and calls you "Mafe."

Jack is so gentle and loving with you, it's hard to believe he's the same kid who can turn around and whack Emmie 10 seconds after he kisses you on the head. You are the first person he asks about when he comes in the door from school and he loves to crawl up next to me while you are eating and gently stroke your head. Tonight, when Grandma asked him if he is gentle with you, he replied, "Grandma, I do not hit Maeve, just Emmie." All right then. Guess you have an ally for life.

Your first month also found you opening Christmas presents and ringing in the New Year. Your Daddy is really excited to finally have a December baby and thanks you for the tax implications. It was weird to have such a little baby at the holidays, and it made Mommy a little crazy because it's also the germiest time of the year and I didn't want anyone touching you and contaminating you, so I kept you safely ensconced in the sling at every gathering.

Now that you are here, I can't imagine how we ever got by without you. Your sweet little face, your huge dark eyes, your little snort when you are really pissed off and hungry, your long skinny legs and penchant for sleeping with your hand next to your cheek -- everything about you is perfect. I had no idea what you would look like, act like or even what sex you would be, but you have exceeded every expectation I had. You are my sweet second daughter, my littlest girl, my Miss Maeve.


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Monday, December 28, 2009

Mr. Sandman, paging Mr. Sandman

Why didn't anyone remind me about the lack of uninterrupted sleep when you have a newborn?

I mean I remembered that newborns sleep like 20 hours a day and I remembered that they eat like 10 times a day and I remembered that they do these two things at completely random and unscheduled times. But what I didn't remember was waking out of a sound sleep at least twice each night, sometimes more, and having to sit up and stick a boob in the baby's face. And then you have to sit there. And wait for the baby to take her sweet time eating. Do you know a newborn can take an hour to eat? At 3 a.m.? So you're awake from 3-4 a.m. feeding because the baby is too little to lie down and latch on all by herself while you go back to sleep?

Add in the 15 minutes it takes to get her settled back to sleep, three or four times before it really takes hold, and you're awake for two hours in the middle of the night. I can tell you, the ABC overnight news team is on overnight for a reason. They also show the same loop of news over and over and over. Also, I might want a new ab workout machine. It seemed like a great idea at 4:10 a.m. the other night during the infomercial.

So while I might shock you all by announcing I slept until noon today, it doesn't really count because I was up until 1 a.m. and then again for 90 minutes at 3:30 a.m. and again at 8 a.m. for 20 minutes to pump and hand Maeve off to Daddy for a bottle.

It's not the lack of sleep that's killing me, it's the interruption of sleep. I always get pissed when woken up -- ask Josh -- and tend not to make sense. It's even more fun when it happens multiple times over multiple nights over multiple weeks. For now, I get extra sleep in the mornings while Josh handles Jack and Emmie. But in a few weeks when he goes back to work I am going to be screwed.

That would be Jan. 11, when he starts a project in Washington D.C. Oh, did I forget to mention that? Right. Josh will be gone four days a week, leaving me home alone with three kids under the age of 4. One of whom wakes up multiple times a night and another who wakes up each day at 5:30 a.m. I told him I hope his company is ready for its health insurance premiums to increase because HIS WIFE IS GOING TO HAVE A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN.

The project only runs through the end of April. I mean, the first three months with a newborn aren't that hard, are they? (That sound you just heard was the sound of my soul being sucked from my body.) I am SO HAPPY about this development. The development I learned about three days before I gave birth. You can imagine my reaction to this wonderful news in such a hormonal state.

He can totally watch the kids via Skype when I need a few minutes to myself after dinner, right?

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Monday, December 21, 2009

Here, mostly

Just wanted to update the masses that the reports of my untimely demise are totally false. The children may have taken over the house, but Josh and I are still in charge. Kind of.

The grandparents packed up and went home on Saturday morning, leaving us alone with the natives for the first time. Everyone has survived thus far.

Jack is being an exemplary big brother, curious about the breastfeeding and eager to help out in any way with Maeve. Emmie is an awesome big sister, excited to give kisses and gentle touches and always on alert for crying, and she will inform us when Maeve needs our immediate attention.

Maeve has been sleeping like a champ, routinely snoozing in six-hour stretches overnight. I have now jinxed it by saying it on the Internet and she will probably wake up every hour on the hour for the rest of my life to spite me. But she is also the gassiest baby I have ever met. I think she is going to melt the polar ice caps with all the gas she is releasing every day. Poor kid.

I am sleeping like a new mom, although Josh and the grandparents have made sure I get enough rest. I get up with Gassy Girl when she needs to be fed around the clock, but I also sleep in with her in the mornings. So that works out well.

Of course, I am in no way ready for Christmas, but I figure people are lucky I even got them a gift with a two-week-old in my house, if I don't wrap the gift, too bad.

So I wanted to get a post out there to show we are all accounted for. And yes, I have a picture of Miss Maeve, the two-week-old. I know that's why you all came here anyway.

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

In sickness and in health

Most people associate the phrase "in sickness and in health" with marriage vows, but I assure you, it is much more applicable to your relationship with your children. If your spouse gets sick, well that blows, but it doesn't suck the soul out of your heart and cause sleep deprivation the likes of which has only been used as a torture device by the CIA.

When your spouse gets sick, you feel kind of bad and then get really scared you're going to get it next and then finally are just all kinds of annoyed because HELLO, it's a sore throat, deal. But when your young children get sick, they neeeeeed you. In the middle of the night. Multiple times. And when both your children get sick at the same time? You might as well just camp out in the hallway because you're not getting any sleep in your own bed, that's for sure.

Last night Jack went to sleep at his normal time with a bit of a cough. He quieted down pretty quickly, so I figured he would be fine. Emmie went to bed at her normal time with nothing but a few sneezing fits throughout the day. Emmie sneezing repeatedly can only mean one thing and it's that she's getting sick. I tried to pretend it was just construction dust and ignored it. She awoke screaming at the top of her lungs at 8:40 p.m. For a kid who has been sleeping through the night for almost a year now, that was not a welcome deviation from the norm.

She didn't have a fever, but she was covered in snot and generally unhappy about life. We dosed her up with Motrin and Josh rocked her for a few minutes. She protested when he put her back in her crib, but she was conked out in a few minutes.

Predicting doom to Josh, I should have gone to bed right then. But I didn't. I stayed up voting for myself in the "Best Mommy Blog" contest and painting baseboards for the new bedroom. Josh shooed me to bed at 11 p.m. and the next thing I knew, I was awoken by a cat coughing up a hairball three rooms away.

Except we don't have cats anymore. I struggled to place the sound coming out of the monitor and realized it was Jack, hacking up a lung. This continued for several minutes, so I got up and got him some water to see if that would help. The time read 1:37 a.m. on my clock. Awesome. Jack, surprisingly, wasn't woken by his lungs exiting his body. So I woke him up to give him some water and Motrin and he promptly went back to sleep. And back to coughing.

He coughed non-stop for the next four hours. He coughed until he woke up for the day at 4:40 a.m. Who voluntarily gets up before 5 a.m.? How is this child even related to me? And more importantly, what did I ever do to deserve this sleep deprivation? Because when Jack wakes up at 4:40 a.m., so does Mommy.

In the meantime, Sleeping Beauty (aka Josh) hadn't missed a single wink and was snoring on his side of the bed, buried under the covers. I have never been more annoyed by him as much as I was at that moment. Here I was working on about two hours of sleep, all stolen in 15-minute increments when Jack's coughing slowed down, and now I was going to be awake for the day at 4:45 a.m.

Emmie wanted to get the band back together, so she joined the fun at 5:15 a.m. when I first heard her playing with the crib soother. I bit my own lip to stifle the scream coming out of my mouth and turned the monitors down a bit. Josh thinks I keep them at "jet-engine level" anyway, so turning them down just made the yelling quieter, it didn't silence it completely.

I laid there listening to the singing/coughing from Jack and the whining/lullabye music from Emmie for a little while and when Emmie went from whining to screaming at 6 a.m., I snapped.

"JOSH," I hissed. "I can't. I just can't. I know you have to work but you have to get up with them. I haven't slept all night. Literally, all night. I am pregnant. I am exhausted. I. Can't. Do. It."

He asked me what I wanted him to do and I cried in exasperation that I didn't care and I just wanted to sleep for an hour. Sixty measly minutes. I grabbed a pillow, stuffed it over my head, and found a comfortable position for my fat, pregnant ass. I don't know what he did or how he did it, but I woke up an hour later when he brought a happy Emmie in to our bedroom, joyfully yelling, "Momma! Momma!"

Jack didn't have a fever, so I sent him off to school. That's where he got this damn cough of doom anyway, so they could deal with it. I think the lack of sleep finally got to him, however, because he finally took a nap at school. I think his teacher almost fell over when she saw he really went to sleep, but he did. He came out to the car a little dazed, and cried that he wasn't feeling well, but perked up once we got home and he had a snack.

Emmie spent the day plowing through a box of Kleenex, clinging to me and generally acting like someone who will be seeing the doctor for an ear check in about two days if this keeps up. After he ultra-early wakeup, she took an awesome (insert eye-roll here) one-hour nap and woke up supremely cranky. Because she was sick, I let her have a cereal bar at each meal, therefor negating all the progress we have made in just saying no to cereal bars in the last two days. I am a sucker.

I spent the day wondering if it was naptime yet and trying to peel Emmie off my leg so I could use the bathroom alone. When I left her with my sister-in-law so I could run to Home Depot and pick Jack up from school, I think my ear drum ruptured from the screams she emitted. Thank goodness for my sister-in-law because thanks to her playing with the kids, I got to take a short power nap and woke up feeling slightly less like death was near.

I am guessing tonight is going to be much like last night and I am prepared to play the pregnancy card if I have to. Josh is working from home tomorrow and he is so doing the early-morning duty. My sanity depends on it.

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Uncontrolled chaos

This morning started off much like every other morning of my life for the last five months with Jack yelling, "Mooooommmmyyyyyyyy I have to go pee on the poooootttttyyyyyyy" at 5:45 a.m. You know what it's like to be awoken out of a sound sleep like that? I'll tell you. It's like a garbage truck slamming into your car head-on. One minute you're driving along minding your own business and the next, you're covered in airbag dust and old banana peels wondering what in the hell just happened.

I stumbled out of bed, helped him to the bathroom and told him to summon me when he was ready to go back to bed. As soon as I got my pregnant ass settled in a somewhat acceptable position, Jack stuck his head in the doorway and stage-whispered, "Mommy? Do I have drama class today?" Because I wasn't prepared for that kind of thinking at 5:45 in the a.m., I asked him to repeat himself and after realizing he wanted to know what he was doing at school today, I mumbled something abut gym class and drama being what we were doing right then. I escorted him back to his room and re-settled myself into bed again.

Not even three minutes later, I heard, "Moooooommmmmmyyyyyyy, I have to go pooooooop on the pooootttttyyyyyyy." Seriously? You couldn't have done that three minutes ago when you were already in there? Seeing as I had been up approximately 57 times since midnight to pee, complain my back hurt, ask Josh to rub my back, pee again, heave my body all over the bed trying to turn over and take some medicine for contractions, all I wanted was some decent rest for another hour. Josh sensed my need for sleep (well, he sensed it because I was huffing and bitching a blue streak about how this is such BULLSHIT that our kid gets up so damn early and doesn't get enough rest and we're all doomed because he's going to turn out stupid from lack of sleep, it says so right there in "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Baby.") and offered to take one for the team and handle this bathroom expedition.

I thanked him profusely and waited for the inevitable wail I knew I would hear from Jack's room when he saw Daddy and not Mommy come in. He is not a fan of Daddy handling the early-morning wakeups and will protest if presented with that option. Sure enough, within miliseconds I heard Jack crying, "But I want Mommy!" Josh is a veteran of this nonsense, however, so he knows now that Jack won't stop whining and also won't stop complaining he has to use the bathroom, so he just picked Jack up and carried him into the bathroom and eventually, he stopped complaining and just got down to business.

Jack continued to voice his displeasure in the only way a 3.5-year-old can, and that's to say at the top of his lungs, while I tried to ignore the sounds coming through the wall. I knew that if I could hear him loud and clear, Emmie could also hear him through the other side of the wall. And 6 a.m. is no time for Emmie to make her appearance for the day. Josh finally got him to quiet down somehow and I relaxed a little. Until Jack somehow stubbed his toe walking out of the bathroom.

The shrill screaming started right outside Emmie's room and resulted in the immediate interruption of poor Emmie's sleep. Poor Emmie who normally sleeps until close to 7 a.m. Poor Emmie who was woken out of a sound sleep by a screaming banshee, which caused her to start screaming in the same manner.

So at 6 a.m., Josh and I were in bed listening to two hysterical children scream their faces off. I can't think of a better way to start my day. While I went to calm Jack down and tend to the toe of death, Josh got Emmie and brought her into our room to hang out between us while we pretended she was actually going to go back to sleep. She behaved for a little while before sitting up and poking me in the eye repeatedly while asking hopefully for milk and a Diego video. Again, just the way I like to start my morning. Maybe tomorrow we can do it all again!

If you're looking for me, I'll be the one in bed at 7:30 p.m. tonight. Of course, it won't be restful considering I can't sleep comfortably for more than an hour at a time (see: third-trimester of pregnancy), but damn it, I will at least try to pretend I am enjoying it.

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009


You know what we haven't seen the likes of on this blog lately? A nice bullety list of random goodness. Let's rectify that, shall we?

* I am officially in the third trimester now at 28 weeks. Wow. This is just flying by isn't it? Let's all pretend I am not giving birth in about 10 weeks. Because if I don't pretend that, I might freak out and have a pregnancy panic attack because OH MY HOLY HELL I AM GOING TO HAVE THREE CHILDREN UNDER FOUR.

* Speaking of three children, my mom told me today that she picked the kids up some Christmas jammies this weekend. She was going on about how cute they were and how they were matchy-matchy and I asked if she got three pairs. She said no, why would she get three? I had to remind her WeeBey would be here for Christmas and she shrieked and said she forgot. This is my fear about daily life in December: I will leave the baby behind someplace because I forget I have three of them. But with three, I guess I'll always have a spare so it will all work out.

* Jack slept until 7:30 this morning, making it three consecutive days he has slept past 7 a.m. If you have arrived at this blog using the Google search, "What to do when my 3.5-year-old won't sleep past 5:15 in the morning and I want to shoot myself" then I have your answer: Put the child to bed at 6:30 p.m. and put the gun back in the locked storage box in the closet. I am living proof it works. I now finally believe everyone who told me that once their kid gave up naps, they started sleeping longer at night. Oh it was a battle to get him there, what with the horrible months of 5:15 wakeups, but we've maybe kinda sorta possibly figured out what works. And I am sure it will change tomorrow just because I told the Internet and everyone knows when you do that, it comes back to bite you in the ass.

* We're having blown-in insulation blown into the house today. This involves them removing a course of siding, drilling holes into the outside of the house, then oozing some liquid foam into the spaces between the whattya-call-the-2x4s-that-hold-up-the-floors. This will save us approximately $75,421.38 in heating costs each month. No lie. It was like we would turn the heat on and open the front door and all the windows every winter. Not to mention the pipes that would freeze every single time the temperature dropped below 15 degrees. There's nothing quite like the look of panic on Josh's face and watching him run downstairs in his boxers with a blowdryer in one hand and a space heater in the other after I throw open the bedroom door at 7 a.m. on a Sunday and scream, "The pipes! The pipes! Shit!"

* Part of the whole "popsicle pipe" problem is that there is a hole between the inside of our kitchen cabinet and the outside of the house. It's covered by the siding, but there's just a big ole' gaping hole there for no reason at all. As the guys were blowing the goo in there today, I thought to remind them about the hole. Good thing -- because now there's three inches of white foam covering all my cleaning products. I'm sure they'll clean that right up.

* Emmie, Queen of Doing It Myself and Duchess of No I Don't Want To Hold Your Hand Mommy, held court in Whole Foods this morning. I needed to grab a tube of toothpaste for the kids after she attended a little music class there and figured I could just run over to the health and beauty section and run on out. Clearly, I have never been a parent before. She threw herself on the floor, rolled around, screeched and refused to get up after I told her she most definitely could NOT take all the bottles of lotion off the shelf. Seeing as I am not allowed to lift her, other than in and out of her crib at naptime, I was at a loss. Didn't have the stroller with me (because I am a DUMBASS) so after 10 minutes of this nonsense, I picked her up and carried her out. Contractions within minutes, but they stopped when I got home and sat down. I guess they're not kidding when they told me not to carry her around with my cerclage in place.

* Remember when I said I was never doing construction on this house again? I am such a lying liar. Also, a glutton for punishment. In true Snarky Family style, I am pregnant again and we're starting another remodeling project again. While I am pregnant. Did I mention I was pregnant and we're remodeling? I am screaming silently right now. I look just like that famous painting. It's quite frightening, I assure you. But the project is necessary for all the important people in this house (that would be me and Josh) to maintain our sanity with the impending arrival of our bundle of joy. We currently have three bedrooms upstairs, plus a sunroom. The sunroom is a piece-of-shit, uninsulated, sloping-floored catchall for all the crap we need to store someplace. During the summer, it's usally 714 degrees and in the winter it's 45 degrees below 0. It currently holds tools of all make, model and size, holiday decorations, baby gear, a steam cleaner, St. Louis Cardinals lawn chairs, cans of paint, old toys and this safe that says "Property of Al Capone" on the outside. It will soon contain our Emmie and her things, as we are gutting it and making it a fully-functioning bedroom. That makes this a five-bedroom (plus office that could be a sixth bedroom) house and hopefully completes any more goddamn remodeling we have to do. Other than the upstairs bathroom. But that can wait. You know, until the bathtub falls through the floor.

* You might ask why we don't make two of the kids share a room to save some money, don't you people know there is a recession and you are a SAHM, you selfish whores of consumption? The answer is because Josh and I would go insane if our children all got up at 5:30 a.m. every day. Although Jack has been sleeping well for three whole days, we know better and realize it won't last. Rather than have him share his passion for torturing his parents at 5:30 a.m. with a sibling, we elected to have a room for everyone and everyone in his/her room on the third floor. This leaves a guest room free for guests (read: grandparents who are gracious enough to get up with the children when they sleep over) and an office in which Josh can hide from the kids in the basement. It also means everyone will sleep on the same level of the house and I won't have to clomp up and down the stairs to deal with nighttime wanderings, midnight feedings or requests for glasses of water.

* Apologies for the shit I just spewed forth. Tune in tomorrow for All Ultrasound Pictures, All The Time. Subtitle: "I Finally Found A Flashdrive So I Could Scan The Damn Things In A Month Later."

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Monday, September 21, 2009

School daze

We're still trying to figure out how things work with the new school schedule here at Chez Snarky. But one thing is for sure, Jack loves his new school. Can't wait to get there in the morning and comes out with a huge smile on his face in the afternoon.

He sits next to a little boy named Josh at lunch, loves to play on the playground at recess and has a lot to say about the drama class he has on Thursdays. How cute is that -- drama for 3-year-olds?

We had a lot of real-life drama around the house during the last week, however, because Jack's sleep went in the shitter. He stopped taking naps and started getting up at 5:30 a.m. every day. That meant he was only getting about 10 hours of sleep per day and it just wasn't enough.

Oh the tantrums and the general weepiness and aggression made the four hours I got to spend with him after school extra-special. I even tried making him take a nap on Friday when he got home. Oh foolish Mommy. As if.

This weekend culminated in a sleep-deprived heap of crying at soccer. At 9 a.m. He just couldn't deal with the other kids trying to kick the ball at the same time he was trying to kick the ball and he ran off the field crying. You would think his utter exhaustion would have resulted in a nap that day. You would be wrong.

Throw in a cold-cough-runny nose that he picked up compliments of school, and you have a recipe for disaster. He clearly needed more sleep than he was getting. And it wasn't happening.

I couldn't take it anymore by Sunday night and decided to hell with it -- he was going to bed earlier than ever before. We gave him his shower at 6 p.m. and he was in bed at 6:25 p.m. I never heard a peep out of him. He woke up at 3:30 to go to the bathroom, went right back to sleep and managed to sleep until 6:20 a.m.

Building on that success, I planned to have him in bed at 6:30 again tonight. But he pretty much lost his mind during dinner. He refused to hold his cup with his hands, spilled it everywhere trying to hold it with his mouth only, was told if he didn't hold his cup with his hands, he would have to go straight to bed and because he's 3.5 years old, guess what he elected to do? You got it -- he tried to do it without hands again and we sent him away from the table. You would think he hadn't finished three-quarters of his dinner already, the way he carried on.

We told him if he couldn't stop throwing a tantrum, he would have to go straight upstairs. That's when he started sobbing, "I am so tired. I am tired. I need to go to sleep."

Poor kid. So I took him upstairs and tried to settle him down. There was a lot of crying and after finally getting him into bed, I didn't hear a peep out of him after 6:45 p.m. I felt awful for him because I know how it feels to be that tired, but at least I can recognize it. I don't think he's capable of that yet, which makes it so hard to figure out what's going on in his head.

So for the next few days, I am going to keep attempting the 6:30 bedtime and see where it gets us. Poor Emmie is totally confused by the whole thing and starts screaming and crying when Jack goes upstairs to take a bath without her. She then spends the whole time she has us to herself pointing to the stairs and saying, "Ja? Jaaaa?"

I really hope we settle into a new routine soon.

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Monday, August 10, 2009

Are you trying to break up with me?

Naptime is ending our relationship. I am devastated. I thought Naptime was The One. And now, I think it's over. I spend my afternoons sobbing, thinking about what we had. How great things were. But I realize now, I took Naptime for granted.

I am not ready for this. I love Naptime. I thought Naptime would always be there for me. I have gone to great lengths to make this relationship work: tip-toeing around because Naptime demanded quiet, not seeing other people during Naptime, quitting all my activities to cater to the needs of Naptime. And now Naptime is dropping me like a bitch.

Over the last few weeks Jack has slowly stopped napping a few days a week. It started innocently enough with a day here or there. That I could handle because I chalked it up as an anomaly. But now it's every third day or so. And it is killing me.

Naptime is the two hours during the day that I get to sit down, eat something without a little person asking for either some of what I am having or to get up and get them something of their own. I can pee without an audience or seeing little fingers waggling at me from under the door accompanied by a screeching wail. I can sit on the couch and screw around online. Well, clearly I do that when the kids ARE awake, but during naptime I can do it without trying to shield the laptop from keyboard-destroying fingers.

I vowed naps would continue on for the duration of the summer, come hell or high water. Once Jack starts all-day preschool in the fall, he can run ragged for 12 hours for all I care because I won't have to deal with all 12 hours of it. But during the summer -- the summer I am pregnant and need all the rest and sanity I can get -- Jack and Emmie will nap at the same time each and every day. And if they don't want to nap, they can sit in their rooms and talk to the walls for all I care. But I don't want to see anybody's face -- no matter how cute it might be -- between the hours of 1 and 3 p.m.

Today's nightmare "nap" included multiple trips to the potty, rousing renditions of "The ABCs" and "Old MacDonald" and a straight hour of him screaming "Mommy, come in" at the top of his lungs. That little trick woke his sister prematurely, which resulted in me losing my mind because now I had two children awake where there should have been none.

It's not fair. I can change! I can go earlier. Or later. Anything Naptime needs. Please, don't leave me. I need you, Naptime. I can't live without you.

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Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Sandman, again

This morning Jack woke up at 5:20. I went in, told him he had to stay in bed until the clock said 7 and shut the door. He howled for about a minute and then quieted down.

I laid back down in my own bed, incredulous that he actually shut his piehole and went back to sleep. And of course, he made a fool of me. A mere 15 minutes later, he was yelling that he wanted to lay with me.

Because I wasn't sure Emmie could sleep through another bout of lunacy on his part, I went in and sternly told him (OK, I might have hissed) that he was to come into my room, lay down in my bed and BE QUIET.

Where was his father? Oh yes, he was sleeping in the guest room because he needed his rest before work. Don't worry about the pregnant lady, she'll be fine.

The laying with Mommy worked for roughly 15 minutes. Then he was clamoring to go back into his room and read books. Oh no, my friend. You're not doing anything of the sort. I brought him a stack of books into my room, which caused a meltdown because he couldn't stack them back up in a pile. Awesome.

Next up was his announcement he had to go to the bathroom -- "Pee and poop, mommy!" -- which of course I indulged.

At this point it was 6:15 a.m. and the last hour felt like a complete day. I told him I would put "Diego" on if he would just sit quietly and watch it. He quickly agreed. That then degenerated into him kicking me in the head and stomach while telling me he was all done watching.

We staggered downstairs at 7 a.m. He asked for milk and I gave it to him. Emmie slept in until 7:30. Jack was a complete mess by 9:30 a.m. at camp dropoff and for the first time EVER, he clung to my leg and told me he wanted to go back home. Exhausted much, Jack?

Tonight, an unhappy boy was back in his old crib while his unhappy sister slept in a pack n play downstairs. They were in bed at 7 p.m., but neither stopped singing and talking until 8 p.m. The plan for the morning is to leave him in the crib until 7, come hell or high water. Emmie won't be disturbed by his antics two floors away and I plan to turn the monitor all the way down once he wakes.

Not sure if this will make any difference, but I am planning to stick with this idea through the weekend to see if we can reset his sleep schedule. Or at least get him to realize playing quietly in his room until the clock says 7 is the right thing to do. For Mommy's sanity if nothing else.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

No one should be awake at that hour

Jack woke up at 5:20 this morning. Last time I checked, that was well before the 7 a.m. wakeup time we instituted when we put the digital clock in his room.

So here's what we have tried, without success, over the last month: clock in his room and telling him he can only come out once it says 7; letting him get up and read books in his room until 7; laying in his bed with him after he wakes up too early; letting him come in our room and lay in our bed after he wakes up too early; letting him watch a video in our room after he wakes up too early; leaving him in his room and not going in until 7.

The problem lies in the layout of the house. His room is right next to Emmie's and when he gets pissed that he can't come out of his room, he starts yelling and wakes her up. And trust me, there's no way in hell I am dealing with two children at that ungodly hour of the day.

Today he was out of bed and down the stairs before I could even get to him. I couldn't drag him back upstairs in my delicate cerclage-d condition, so he ran downstairs to wake Grandma up. Isn't she lucky? So she spent the rest of the morning dealing with him while I took an hour to fall back asleep because I couldn't stop thinking about all the explanations for this ridiculous wakeup time. (I came up with exactly none.)

So tomorrow, we're moving the spare crib downstairs into the guest room and Emmie will get to sleep in peace while Jack screams and yells all he wants until 7 a.m. I figure it will take a few days of showing him we mean business until he gets it into his little brain that he really and truly can't come out until 7 a.m.

That and we're moving his bedtime to 6:45 p.m. I am hoping the Weissbluth sleep theory of "early bedtime=later wakeup time" will work for us. If not, I am just going to give him free reign of the house. I can't function at that hour anyway, so he might as well have a good time.

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Can you help him sleep?

Jack has decided 5:45 a.m. is his new wake-up time. I am slowly losing my mind as I do not want this to be my new wake-up time. Emmie most definitely does not want this to be her new wake-up time, as she likes to sleep until 8. If I leave him howling in his room in an effort to get him to go back to sleep (haha! as if!) then he wakes her up. And two grumpy children is too many to deal with before 7 a.m.

Six months ago, Jack was routinely sleeping until 8:15 a.m. Then he suddenly became a 6:45er about three months ago. We have had a few sporadic 7:15s in there, but this week he has taken in to a new low.

I have read that sleep goes to shit around 3.5 years old, and we're on the cusp of 3.5 now. Please, please tell me there is a solution. Because the clock trick I was so proud of a few weeks ago? No longer means anything. He could care less about waiting until the clock says 7 to come out.


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Monday, May 18, 2009

By the clock

Sleep. Sweet, delicious, satisfying sleep. I can't get enough of it these days. I nap each day for two hours -- three on the weekends -- and I feel like I could spend even more time in bed.

But the problem with these naps is that I stay up too late and can't fall asleep. But if I don't nap, the sickness gets the better of me and I turn into a raging bitch by dinnertime. It is a dilemma.

Jack has been cooperating with my need for sleep lately by adhering to the new alarm-clock edict. After dealing with him getting out of bed and yelling for us at the un-Godly hour of 6 a.m., we bought a digital alarm clock for his room. We told him he couldn't get out or call for us until the first number was a 7. And damned if the kid didn't listen!

The first few nights, we're convinced he just laid there and stared at the clock, willing it to turn to 7, even though it was 10 p.m. Because normally he gets out and runs around a few times. But those nights we never heard a peep from him. And he did stay in the bed in the morning. What else can we convince him to do with a clock? This is awesome.

Two days ago, he woke up at 6 and called for me, and I went in a reminded him the clock didn't say 7. I shut the door and went back to bed and SO DID HE. He woke up at 7:15 a.m.

I call this a success. Little does he know we're going to start moving the clock back and his "7" is going to be "9" by the middle of summer. Bwahahaha. The power of being the adult is heady.

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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Shark week

Apparently my daughter is really a shark. That is the only explanation for the amount of pain her newest tooth is causing her.

The bump is huge. We're talking the size of a golf ball. Which, I know! In her little mouth! It's a freak of nature. Or maybe just a slight exaggeration.

But this bump, which I am pretty sure is not going to break through anytime this millennium, is causing all sorts of trouble in our house. She's cranky and drooly and whiny and clingy. She's also waking up at 3:15. That's 3:15 a.m. As in, the middle of the damn night.

I jumped out of bed and sprinted to her room to find her standing in the crib, peeking over the rail and sobbing. I went in armed with Tylenol and dim lighting, but she was having none of it. She suckered me into rocking her and she snuggled right into my chest, sticking her fingers in her mouth and breathing deeply.

As I lowered her into the crib a few minutes later, she figured out what I had planned. The horror of going back in the crib! Nooooooooo!

So I thought maybe I would just bring her into bed with us -- brilliant! I would get some sleep and she would drift off with a smile on her face. Except not. Because my husband started snoring, which caused her to try to investigate where the sounds where coming from. Then once she stopped trying to figure out where that god-awful noise was coming from, she just laid there staring at the ceiling.

Since she had been dosed with the sweet, sweet Tylenol and was not screaming bloody murder, I figured she could go back to her own bed. She disagreed with my observations. Vehemently. For the next 10 minutes.

But then it was quiet. And everyone was fast asleep once again. Except Mommy. Of course I couldn't fall back asleep after the hour-long shenanigans that just went on. So I tossed and turned for a while and finally fell back asleep.

Just in time to hear the piercing screech of, "Mommy! Mommy! I awake! Mommy I awake!"


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Monday, February 2, 2009

Enter Sandman

Someone replaced Emmie with another child while I was on vacation last week. Oh she looks the same and laughs the same and throws food on the floor the same. But she sure doesn't sleep the same.

Last week while we were in Tahoe, she started taking two two-hour naps each day, while still sleeping almost 12 hours overnight. And she's still doing it. I have no idea what precipitated this or why she is continuing this practice. In fact, I would have thought she would be going in the other direction with naps because she is drooling like a faucet and constantly trying to disengage her tongue from her mouth. I don't see any tooth bumps yet, but they must be coming soon considering the evidence and the fact she still has no teeth. Not a single one at a year old! It's like I am raising a geriatric with no dentures here.

These naps are delightful except for the fact that I can't do anything anymore. Leaving the house is almost impossible because she sleeps from 10-12, they both eat lunch at 12:30, Jack sleeps from 1:30ish to 3:30ish and she sleeps from 2:45ish to 4:45ish. As you can see from that schedule, it leaves me 45 minutes to myself during the entire day. That "me time" is when I squeeze in my shower, clean the house, check my e-mail, eat my lunch and volunteer with the underprivileged. Oh hell, who am I kidding? I am online all the time when they're awake and I didn't even shower today. But I do need more of a break during the day or I get a little shrill by dinnertime. (This time Josh would be the one saying "Who are you kidding" as he thinks I am a little shrill all the time.)

This is also new behavior for a child of mine. Jack never slept more than an hour at a time when he was taking two naps, and it was more like 45 minutes. Even switching him to one nap didn't result in routine two-hour breaks until he was well over 18 months old. Who knew -- children in the same family can be different! Someone alert the pediatric medical journals.

If I could only get these two on the same nap schedule, I would have two glorious hours to myself each afternoon. Oh wait, I mean I would be so bummed to miss out on that time with my darling, perfect children. I am sure I will look back on this time, oh say sometime next week, and wistfully remember the good old days before Emmie stopped napping completely.

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Friday, January 16, 2009

Emmie: Twelve months

Dear Emmie,

Hooray! It's finally the big day, your very first birthday! A year ago you hadn't joined our family yet and now here you are like you own the place. You have changed all of us in so many ways -- all of them good -- and I am incredulous every day at the little girl you have become. If you don't believe me, just take a look at the pictures I took of you every day for the last year to see how much you have changed.

A year ago I was still pregnant, thinking I had several more days before you were going to make your appearance. But you had other plans and in a complete reversal of your personality, you took charge and decided you were coming out 12 days ahead of schedule. That might have been the last time you ever imposed your will on me, because since your birth, you have been pretty much the most laidback kid I know.

That laidback attitude was evident this last month when it came to your attempts at walking. You are so content to just walk along the furniture and then let go and stand totally still. You can balance now for 30 seconds or more on your own, but if you want something, you gracefully plop down on your butt and crawl on over to whatever it is that has captured your attention. We have tried to get you to take a few steps, but you either throw yourself in the direction of the other person or you get jello legs and crumple to the ground laughing. I think you're really close to walking, though, and it won't be more than a couple of weeks before you do.

Your first birthday was almost marred by a case of the stomach flu, but you rallied and seem to be fine today. Yesterday you threw up for the first time and it was a shock to me, as I came into your room after naptime to find you in three puddles with vomit all over your clothes and in your hair. But true to form, when you saw me, you laughed and clapped. The world's happiest sick child. But it appeared to be a one-time thing and after several rounds of pedialite, you were fine and back to normal by this morning. Of course you developed a runny nose and a case of the Mommy Clings today, so there's probably a cold on your horizon.

This past month also gave you your first taste of presents. Your Christmas was fun and full of gifts, but like most kids, you were much more interested in the wrapping paper and bags than the toys and clothes. Your brother was more than happy to both unwrap all your gifts and play with all the toys on your behalf. That's brotherly love for you.

The relationship with your brother continued to be a little sketchy this past month. You really like to watch what he's doing at all times, getting right up with him and looking at toys or books. Unfortunately, he's not so into that and he tends to deal with it by hitting, pushing or kicking you. I have resorted to telling him not to touch you at all because he can't seem to find a way to be nice to you lately. I know this too shall pass, but some day when you ask why we let him abuse you, please know we gave him timeouts each and every time he hit you. Really. But there have been some good times between the two of you, mostly at mealtimes when the two of you sit in your chairs and make each other laugh. You love to watch him and he loves to say silly things and make you giggle. The best thing right now is how much he loves to come upstairs when you wake up from your nap. He hears you on the monitor and when I say we're going to go up and get you, he runs up the stairs and throws the door open and yells, "Gooooood morning Emmie!" and climbs up on the rail of your crib and pats your hands. You smile like a ray of sun and laugh and I stand watching the two of you from the doorway, content to know that you do have some parts of your relationship that are working and free from violence.

Perhaps things will get even better when you can talk, so you can express your feelings to him. For now, you are a pretty complex babbler. You can say just about all the range of babble sounds from bababa to mamama to dadada to rarara to wawawa and many more. We're trying to teach you a few signs -- notably "more" and "all done" -- but so far you just think we're really funny when we do them.

You are still nursing twice a day at this point, soon to be weaned. We have a little vacation coming up in two weeks, so you'll probably be fully weaned sometime around then. For now, you are still nursing in the morning and at night, and you get two bottles of whole milk during the day. You are not a fan of the milk and it takes some cajoling to get all 5 ounces down. I tried to get you to move right to a sippy cup with the milk, but you were so violently opposed to the milk itself, I figured I might get a better response by at least letting you drink it from a bottle. Hopefully as you get used to it, you'll stop fighting it so much. But thankfully your dairy intolerance is gone. You now eat cheese and yogurt and drink milk, all without problems. That's great news for your weight gain, as you should be porking up nicely in the coming months with all that fat and calories in your diet. You're still pretty adventurous when it comes to eating, and your favorites are turkey sandwiches, pita and hummus, chicken, peas and avocado, but you won't eat bananas anymore unless we mush them up in a bowl.

The fun part about your eating, however, is that you have entered the stage where when you are done, you just fling it on the floor. So one second you're grooving on your little pieces of avocado and the next, you're launching them across the room like you're throwing out a runner at second base. Even your brother knows throwing food is not cool and is quick to point it out to me when you start doing it. I know this is a stage that does not quickly die out, so I am not looking forward to months of telling you, "No throw!"

What I am looking forward to is more sleep. In the last month, you gradually gave up your last nightwaking at 4 a.m. and started sleeping through the night for 12 straight hours. We put you to bed at 7:30 p.m. and are greeted with pleasant chatter and your crib soother music at 7:30 a.m. We go in to get you and are greeted with a huge smile and outstretched arms. I knew you would get here eventually, and I couldn't be more excited about this development. There are some rare times where I miss our middle-of-the-night co-sleeping, but mostly I enjoy the ability to sleep on my right side whenever I want. And you sleep so much better in your own crib, that it's the best situation for all of us.

People always make such a big deal over the first birthday. There's cake and parties and presents and pictures. Tonight you had presents and cake, although you could have cared less about the presents and cried when you ate your cake. Apparently we could have given you a jar of veggies and you would have been much happier. But you can try again tomorrow at your big birthday bash. But looking back, there has been so much to celebrate this past year, it seems silly to celebrate it all on one day. You have brought joy and sunshine to our lives each day. There is not a single minute that goes by that I am not thankful for you. You are a joy to be around. Watching you learn new things is so much fun, I see things from your perspective and learn new things myself. One of your favorite games is to give us a toy and then have us say thank you and give it back to you. Every time we give it back it's like you've never experienced such generosity and you get so excited. I love to see that joy in your eyes and I hope it is there for the rest of your life. You have brought me such joy and happiness and I genuinely like the little person you have become. You are a social little girl who seems very concerned about others. I think this will serve you well in the years to come.

I love you so very much and want only the best things for you. This past year has been an incredible journey and your second year is going to be even better. Thank you for being such a fabulous little girl. We couldn't ask for a better daughter and sister.


(Just want to throw a note out there for all the readers... Could you please leave a comment for Emmie on this post? Even you lurkers out there -- you can make it your first comment! I am going to print out the post and comments for her babybook, and it would be great to have all the comments for her too!)

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Seriously, don't even bother

I have nothing to say today. No, really. If it wasn't NaBloPoMo, I would have skipped today. No funny quips, no amusing kid stories, nothing.

Emmie woke up four times last night for the second night in a row. I am beyond exhausted. I am working my ass off on SnarkyBabies right now and I really need some sleep. So that's where I am headed right now.

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Emmie: Ten months

Dear Emmie,

It's double-digit time for you little girl! A whole 10 months you've been with us. And wow, have you done a lot this last month. I am pretty sure this has been one of your busiest months yet.

Now that you've been mobile for several weeks, you're getting more and more proficient at getting around. You still army-crawl 99 percent of the time, but more and more, you are taking a few tentative crawls on your hands and knees. But the army-crawling gets you where you need to go -- and pretty darn quickly I might add -- so you really don't see any need to do it the other way. But you are a pro at sitting yourself up now. You started pushing yourself up from your side with one arm, and now you can back yourself into a seated position from your hands and knees as well.

You are also an old pro at pulling yourself up now, as evidenced by the fact I found you standing in your crib grinning at me about two weeks ago. At this point, nothing is safe from you. You pull up on the couch, the ottoman, the exersaucer, your crib, the fireplace and my leg when I am standing in your general vicinty. You once tried to pull yourself up on Jack, but he was having none of it and you just toppled right over when he scrambled to his feet to get away from you.

I have seen you stand unassisted for about seven seconds on a couple of occasions, and you're starting to cruise along the ottoman to get to toys or remotes out of your reach. You so love the remote and even know to point it at the TV when you are playing with the buttons. Smart girl, but don't even think about turning off the football game to watch PBS.

The vacuum is getting quite a workout these days because you are smack in the middle of the "put everything in your mouth" stage. Last week you tried to consume a plaster chip, a dried-up piece of pancake that had fallen off your brother's plate undetected, a torn-up piece of coloring book and 571 pieces of fuzz off the carpet. I could vacuum four times a day and you would still spot the teeniest piece of string from across the room and make a beeline for what you hope is your afternoon snack. While it is resulting in a much cleaner house, it's still pretty annoying to be fishing stuff out of your cheeks all the time.

It's not like you're not getting enough food at mealtimes. You are starting to eat more tablefood here and there, like pieces of pancake and turkey or scrambled egg yolks. I am pretty sure you would live on Veggie Booty alone if we let you, but you're pretty amenable to eating the two jars of baby food we give you at all meals. Because you still can't have any dairy products, we were lucky to find a new yogurt made from coconut milk. Because it's dairy- and soy-free, you are allowed to eat it and I must say, it's quite tasty. You gobble it up and look pretty content, so it's a good thing.

The breastfeeding has gotten a lot better this month after last month's distractable disasters. You are more on task and doing longer sessions, which makes me feel better about how much you are taking in. Of course, you are getting more in during the night because YOU ARE WAKING UP MULTIPLE TIMES AGAIN. To say I am tired of being tired is an understatement. This past week, you were sick again and that meant lots of wakeups where only the boob would console you. Because you were sick, I took pity on you and fed you every time you cried. Which one night was at 10 p.m. and 1, 3, 5, 6 and 7 a.m. It's like you were a newborn again. Wheee! But once you appeared over the worst of it, I got you back on a somewhat-better schedule by making you cry out the first wakeup. Last night you were awake for the first time at 1 a.m., which is better than 11 p.m., but not great by any means. You had been sleeping from 7:30 p.m. to 5 a.m. for a few weeks and I am hoping you will start doing that again. Real soon.

As for your sunny disposition, it continues to be the most charming part of your personality. You are almost always smiley and happy and content to babble away at your toys or your books. You stop to look at your brother like he is crazy whenever he deems you acceptable to play near. You save your best smiles and laughs for Daddy because apparently he is the light of your life. You definitely don't like it when I leave a room, but you can be pacified if Daddy is around.

One of the only times it is acceptable for me to actually leave you in the other room for a few minutes is when your brother is around. You love to watch him run around and play and now that you can get around, you really try very hard to play with him. He's not exactly keen on that idea, however, and it's led to some battles. Just today, you started to play with his garage and cars and he fuh-reaked out on you and you may or may not have been kicked in the head. He is having a hard time sharing, and will instead try to bring you some other toy to play with. But because you are so easy-going, you generally accept the substitute with a smile. You also get so excited in the morning when we go into his room, kicking your legs and laughing and trying to throw your little body at the door to get it open. He has been less rough with you as each month has gone by and he really does love you too. Just today when he got home from the park, he ran over to you and said, "Hi Emmie! Jack home from the park. Jack give Emmie a kiss!"

Every day I look at you and I think to myself, "I will remember her like this forever." And then the very next week, you already look different and I have forgotten that previous stage. I was looking back at some pictures of you this weekend from the previous months and I can't believe how much you have changed. You used to have chubby little baby cheeks at one point and now it's all dimples and cheekbones. Your little blonde hair is starting to darken up with the winter, and I think it might be a thing of the past soon. Your eyes are definitely settling into a nice shade of hazel, which proves to me I really was in the room when you were conceived! Finally, something that I can say looks like me, since you're clearly the spitting image of your father. Hopefully you will get my brains and good humor -- and humility -- as well. But whatever you end up looking like, I will always remember what a sweet, sweet little girl you were when you were 10 months old.


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Monday, November 10, 2008

Snot-nosed kid

Poor Emmie is sick again. Her nose had finally stopped running for a mere five days after her epic 21-day cold of last month and now it started again.

This time, however, I am fighting it with a humidifier and Vicks on the bottom of her feet. I read it really does work, so I am giving it a try.

Unfortunately, her cold also throws her sleep all to shit. Two nights ago, she woke up at 10 and would only be pacified by the boob. And even that didn't put her to sleep, it only calmed her down. Last night she woke at 9, same drill. Screamed hysterically, snot everywhere, until I finally brought her in my bed and fed her.

Can't wait to see what tonight has in store for us. Because I do so love being up multiple times per night 10 months into this.

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Emmie: Nine months

Dear Emmie,

Today, kiddo, you have been outside of me as long as you had been inside of me. Looking at it from the other side, I can tell you the pregnancy sure seemed a lot shorter than this. You have grown and changed so much in nine months, although I guess going from a couple of cells to a complete human being in that same time frame isn't anything to sneeze at either.

This past month has been one of the busiest in terms of development. You learned to stand up at the furniture, crawl and pull yourself up on things. The last two, you performed for the first time within 15 minutes of each other, proving the theory that Mommy can indeed spontaneously combust into flames. I was not ready for the motion part of this picture, and was hoping you would be content to sit and play with your toys for another two years. But you were ready and there was no stopping you. One afternoon you just decided you wanted to play with your piano, which was about two feet away, and you went for it. I cheered for you and clapped and made huge deal about it and you looked up at me as if to say, "What's all the fuss? It's just a piano."

But now that you know how to crawl, you realize that your mobility is somewhat limited. You want to go go go, now now now, faster faster faster. Now that you can crawl, you also want to walk. You're not content to hang out on the floor playing anymore, now you want someone to hold you upright so you can stand. Then you get tired of that and try to squirm away, where you would fall flat on your face if we actually let you twist your arms out of our grasps. It's a furstrating time for you, but this too shall pass.

These frustrations have manifested themselves in a high-pitched screech that only dogs can hear half the time. If you get pissed or don't like what we are forcing you to do -- you know, things like play with a toy you have tired of or spend 1.2 seconds longer in your exersaucer than you deem acceptable, terrible things like that -- you let out this blood-curdling screech that makes me jump out of my skin. It certainly gets my attention, since you used to be such an easygoing baby, and I usually jump to right whatever wrong you feel you are suffering. Which has set a great example for your brother, who has also started screeching to get attention. So thanks for that. Hopefully this phase will end soon and you will go back to your compliant little self.

Your independence has also extended to your diet. You can now feed yourself Cheerios, which you will happily do for several minutes, allowing us time to eat at restaurants without having to hold you or entertain you. But so far, it's the only finger food you have mastered, partly because you only learned to feed yourself about a week ago and partly because I am lazy and haven't given you anything else. You're still quite happy being fed baby food, although we're started to give you purees that are a little chunkier and with more flavors in the hopes of getting you ready to transition to table food in the next few months.

Breastfeeding has been a bit of a struggle these last few weeks. You've hit the age where everything is so interesting that you don't have time to slow down and eat. So you latch on, get in a quick snack for about five minutes, and then you're done. There's no coaxing you, no luring you back to the boob. Once you're done, you're done and if I try to convince you to eat a little more I am met with back-arching, red-faced, arm-waving, screaming displeasure. Which makes for a really pleasant bonding experience. But I know this is something that a lot of babies go through at this age and if you're not getting enough milk, you'll let me know. In the meantime, I offer it up as much as possible and humor you by letting you nurse once during the night. Of course it's this middle-of-the-night feeding that is always your best one because you're sleepy and there are no distractions. We only have three months to go, and I know we can weather this storm and get to my one-year goal. Like it or not, you're stuck with the boob.

You started sleeping through the night about three weeks ago, but I missed out on that fun because Daddy and I were away on vacation for a long weekend. You apparently took pity on Grandma and slept 12 straight hours for her. Of course when I came home, you discontinued that new trick and asked for more boob in the middle of the night. So while you don't sleep straight through, you are only waking up once and you are sleeping in your own crib for the whole night. Which is a pretty good breakthrough.

Now that you're mobile, Jack is starting to realize you are a force to be reckoned with. You can get to his toys, and he's not all that excited about sharing. So in his role as Arbitor of Toy Distribution, he will take something of his from your hands and replace it with something he wants you to play with instead. Usually something boring like a stuffed animal. Now I can't really fault him for replacing a toy, but I tell him he has to learn to share and let you play with the fun toys too. You're also able to follow him around the room now, which is freaking him out. But just this week, he was reading a book and you crawled over to see what he was doing and he "read" you the book. You patted the book and his leg and smiled and it was so nice to see the two of you playing together. I can't wait to see more moments like this. It's just like when the two of you are sitting in the dining room together while I get dinner ready and you make each other laugh. I watch the two of you and realize how awesome it is that you have each other.

Now that your personality is coming out, I am really enjoying hanging out with you. You like to cuddle and touch my face and now when I say "kisses" to you, you smile and lean in and lay a huge open-mouth baby kiss on me. When I go in to get you from your crib, you get a huge smile on your little face and reach your arms up while trying to kick a hole in your mattress because you are so excited. But there is still no one quite like Daddy in your eyes. You wave to him and flap your arms in excitement when you see him. You lunge for him when he enters a room and you always smile biggest for him. Your first word was "dada" and you often say "hi dada" when he's around. While I would like to hear some "mama" sometime soon, I am being patient because you have something different for me. When you see me come into a room, you make a noise that defies description. It's kind of like a whiny grunt. But you only make it when someone else is holding you and you see me. Once I pick you up, you calm down immediately. I'm so glad just being in my arms can make you feel better. I hope someday when you're older you will still feel like that. If someone makes fun of you at school or you fall down and skin your knee or you stick your foot in your mouth saying something stupid (not that I would know anything about how that feels) or you have a bad hair day, I hope a hug from Mommy can make it all better.


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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

He said, she said

Last night I had book club, so Josh was in charge of the children and bathtime and bedtimes. As I was running out the door with my book and bottle of wine in hand, I reminded him to thaw out a bag of milk for Emmie. I had fed her around 7 p.m., so I figured she would be squawking for food again before I got back.

When I arrived home at 10:45 p.m., she had not yet woken up. Josh had already thawed the milk out, so I told him to just give her a bottle when she woke up because it's only good for 24 hours after it's thawed. He argued that he was going downstairs to paint (yes, the remodeling is STILL ongoing) and that I should just give it to her myself.

I don't give her bottles because I don't want her to get confused by the boob in such close proximity, so I told him he was going to do it, by God, and I retreated upstairs. I may or may not have included the phrase "Just do it. You're freaking killing me." Because I am mature like that.

I went to bed and thought I heard her fuss for a few minutes around midnight and then stop. I smugly went back to sleep because HA, I had won. When she woke up at 3 a.m., I brought her into bed and fed her and all was well.

This morning, I asked Josh what exact time he had given her the bottle. He looked at me like I had a squirrel perched on my head and asked what time I gave her the bottle. I said I didn't give her anything except the boob at 3 a.m.

Sure as shit, there in the fridge was the bottle of milk. Meaning, my daughter slept from 8:30 p.m. to 3 a.m. -- an unprecedented six-and-a-half hours.

Sweet jesus, she slept almost through the night and I didn't even realize it was happening.

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Cereal killer

With her six-month birthday behind us, I decided today it was probably time to get some solids into Emmie. So I busted out the baby spoons and the oatmeal and mixed a little breastmilk in and had Josh get the camera out.

Emmie was totally into it, grabbing the spoon and trying to see what exactly I was doing with this lumpy breastmilk. And then she realized it was breastmilk, but with shit in it. The look on her face was priceless -- she was like "Mmmmmm ... wait, WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT MOM?"

But then she started grooving on it and while she got more on her than in her, it went quite well.

To be honest, I held off on solids as long as I did out of pure laziness. It's so much easier to whip out the boob wherever I am and not worry about bringing food or dishes or any of the various accoutrements of a gourmet baby meal. But I happened to have some oatmeal and some breastmilk in the fridge and I secretly hoped that cereal would help her sleep through the night, so I went for it today.

Guess what -- after taking a 4-ounce bottle of pumped milk before bed, she woke a whopping two hours later. And now she's awake again, an hour after that. So much for the theory that a full tummy makes them sleep better. Whoever started that old wive's tale is now my sworn enemy.

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Flip flop

We officially have a stomach-sleeper at 5.5 months.

For the last two nights, Emmie has flipped herself onto her stomach and slept like that for several hours. I know all the blah blah about "back to sleep" but once the kid can turn herself over, all bets are off.

The first time I discovered her sleeping with her face in the crib mattress, I about had a heart attack. But then I looked closely and noticed her face was actually turned to the side and she had a clear airway. So I left her alone, smugly thinking this would be the magic bullet for sleeping through the night.

Of course she made a fool out of me when she woke up two hours later. And two hours after that. And two hours after that. I waved the white flag and brought her in my bed around 2 a.m. and stopped counting how many times she woke me up.

What I haven't stopped counting is the number of times Jack has accidents with the potty training. I am proud to report he didn't have any accidents at all yesterday and had a small one today where he actually realized he was peeing, stopped himself and went into the bathroom to finish -- all on his own. He's even emptying his own potty insert into the big toilet. This Mommy gig is looking up!

I am now only asking him if he has to go once an hour and he is telling me or just going on his own a couple times a day. I know we're by no means done, but I am feeling pretty good about his progress considering he's 2 years 4 months.

Next on the agenda is teaching him how to make the perfect margarita.

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Monday, June 16, 2008

Emmie: Five months

Dear Emmie,

Can it really be five months already? Didn't I just write your four-month letter, like last week? Are you trying to grow up in fast-forward or is it just me?

Perhaps I just can't remember the last month because I am so tired that it all blended into one long sleepless night. You see, my little wide-eyed wonder, you came home from the hospital loving your sleep and you have slowly evolved into a non-sleeper. You go down for the night somewhere in the neighborhood of 8 p.m., after taking close to an hour to really fall asleep, and you wake up approximately five times between then and 7 a.m. If I didn't let you sleep next to me in my bed, I would truly be a walking zombie. We've taken to letting you sleep in your swing for naps and sometimes even at night; it does the trick and we can get a chart-breaking three uninterrupted hours out of you. But hey, looking on the bright side, all this night-waking is great for the milk supply!

I keep thinking maybe there is some magic bullet for sleep, but I know there's not. You'll do it when you're ready. And when you wake up (at 11, 1, 3, 5 and 7 -- not that I'm keeping track or anything) you truly do want to eat every time. The pacifier doesn't pacify you and you want the boob. So clearly, the breastfeeding is still going well. You are satisfied with it and I decided to hold off with the solids until next month. You've hit a cute stage where you pat me and pull on my shirt and play with my bra strap while you are eating, that is, when you're not pulling off and laying a huge grin on me. Although in the middle of the night, you're all business. You peck at me like a bird until I offer it up and then you just lunge for me and latch yourself on with reckless abandon.

Your new favorite thing to do the last few weeks is crunches. You refuse to lie quietly on the floor now, instead you raise your head and shoulders clear off the rug and also lift your little legs so you're in a V-shape. Then you throw yourself on your side for a minute, then roll back and and start it all again. Sometimes you like to roll over onto your tummy, just for kicks. You've mastered the rolling from tummy to back and you've just starting to go the other way a few times here and there.

I think you and your brother have hit a new level in your relationship this month. Now that you are more interactive, he gets so excited to give you toys and have you hold them or shake them. He wakes up in the morning and always asks, "Emmie? Awake?" and now when he sees you, he says, "Hi Ahhhh-mee!" You of course, adore him. Probably even more now that he's stopped smacking you every chance he gets. Your eyes never leave him when he's in the room and now you smile and coo at him, too.

Your smiles aren't just reserved for your brother though. You literally kick your legs and pump your little arms and actually laugh when you wake up and I come in to get you. But as awesome as your reaction is to me, it's nothing compared to the show you put on for Daddy. Your smiles are the biggest for him and you just adore him. You truly are a daddy's girl these days. Your smile is a whole-body affair, complete with a little shoulder raise that makes it almost look like you're trying to be coy. But you really do light up the room when you are in it.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention your current hairstyle. All the "celebabies" are going to be sporting it in US Weekly this fall. Your blonde fuzz is about three inches long and it sticks straight up from the entire top of your head. No matter how much I try to comb it down, it just pops right back up, so we go with it and it's your signature look now. I know in a few weeks it will probably be too long to stick up and I really will miss it when it's gone.

Your hair is like everything else at this age -- we think it's how it will be forever, and then in the blink of an eye, it changes. Today I was pushing you in a swing at the park and I realized in no time at all, you won't want me to push and you'll be telling me "Emmie do! Emmie do!" But for now, you're content to have me be the center of your world and I am happy to oblige you. You bring such joy to my days -- how can I possibly be upset about something when I see you laugh at your little pink baby, grab her and try to eat her face? Or when you try to shove your entire fist into your mouth and pretty much succeed in doing it? Or when you're sleeping on my lap during your afternoon nap with your little hand pressed against your face, sighing?

There are moments in my day where my love for you just spills over. Not in the overprotective stage-mother kind of way, but I just look down at you and kiss your cute little face and tell you I love you. I can't get enough of you and I am always so excited to see you after I have been gone. Your Daddy and I went to New York for the weekend a few weeks ago and when our plane landed, I could not have been more excited to see you and your brother because I knew your little smile would greet me and make me feel like the luckiest woman on earth. I hope someday you get to experience this kind of love with children of your own, because there is nothing like it in the world.


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Wednesday, June 4, 2008

There's early, and then there's EARLY

You wanna know where Emmie is right now (8:45 p.m.)? Sleeping. You wanna know what time she fell asleep? 5:25 p.m.

Yes, you read that right. I thought she was just taking a late nap and she decided to go down for the count.

This surely means she'll be awake at 5 a.m. and I will be a walking zombie.

I know, I know. They say sleep begets sleep and she might actually sleep longer with all this restfulness in her system. But I also know these things tend to bite me in the ass.

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Friday, April 18, 2008

All you can eat

Emmie woke and ate at 1:30, 4, 5, 6, 6:30, 7, 7:30 and 8 this morning. Please shoot me.

It's probably my own fault. She starts the night in her crib and stays there until 1 a.m. -- sometimes it's a little earlier, sometimes as late as 2 a.m. But once she wakes for the first time, I bring her in bed with me and let her stay there until morning.

Every time she wakes up, I silence her with the almighty boob. This setup allows the maximum rest for me, as I just feed her and fall back asleep doing it. But the wakeups and subsequent feedings are getting a little ridiculous. My sleep is fragmented, so it's not quality sleep and something needs to change.

While I could probably stand to get her sleeping in her own crib, the thought of walking in and out of her room multiple times a night, getting her fed and settled and then trying to get myself back to sleep makes me ill. Especially since Jack really doesn't care how much sleep I have gotten -- he just wants to go go go all day.

It could be a growth spurt, but I doubt it as she's not eating any more than she usually does during the day. And I've heard of reverse cycling, where breastfed babies eat more at night because mom works during the day. But she's home with me 24-7 and fed on demand, so I don't know why that would happen.

Apparently she just wants a little action at the Open All Night Breastaurant.

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Thursday, April 3, 2008

Playing cribbage

Tonight was the first night we put Emmie to sleep in her crib. I am not sure why this seems like such a big deal, or why it merits its own blog post, but apparently it does. I remember being so sad when we transferred Jack to his crib in his own room, but now I know better and I forsee a baby sleeping next to me in my bed in about four hours.

You see, I am guilty of being a part-time cosleeper. And it's not because I am pro-family bed or a believer in cosleeping reducing SIDS or anything like that. It's simply because I am too damn lazy to get up, walk down the hall to Emmie's room, carry her to our room to change her diaper and nurse her in the glider and then carry her back to her own room and swaddle her up and get her re-settled in her crib.

For my selfish purposes, it's simply easier to grab her out of her crib and bring her in our bed to nurse her and let her sleep next to me, popping on and off the boob for the rest of the night. I do like my sleep and it seems I get more when I do it the lazy way. Also, her wailing when I change her wakes Josh up and reminds him why we need to convert this house to a single-family dwelling, pronto.

You might ask why I would have to do all that back and forth business in the middle of the night and the answer would be because Emmie's room is still the guest room for the near future. (See: converting to a single-family dwelling). Because a crib and a bed are all that fit in the small space that is our nursery, the changing table and glider live in our room. So poor Emmie really doesn't have a nursery right now. Just another way the second kind gets the short end isn't it?

Hopefully we can rectify this situation in June. We're planning to take over the lower level of the house, which will give us a rec room and another full bathroom and a guestroom, which means we can move the guest bed out of Emmie's room and into the official guest room downstairs. And that means no more middle-of-the-night stumbling around hither and yon for changing and rocking.

In the meantime, we squish four people and 2,784 acres of toys into the space we have. And if you were thinking about staying with us any time soon, I hope you like your sleep fractured by a whimpering baby two feet from your head. If you are lactating, would you mind just whipping out of the boob for a quick feed? Thanks much.

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