Monday, August 30, 2010

Advice, please

Okay Mamas. I'm calling on you again.

I have a baby who hates sleep.

Like, HATES sleep.

Right now, she's exhausted. She's actually been showing signs of sleepiness since about 8:15am (It's 9:15am). I've been battling with her to nap since 8:30am. Fighting to go to sleep is a very regular thing for us. In fact, if she's down in 45 minutes, that's a good day. It takes over an hour most times to get her to bed at night.

The frustrating thing is that this is *relatively* new. Up until about 4 months, she slept great. She would nap for a long time and barely needed any help getting to sleep. She slept for long, long stretches at night and didn't wake up frequently at all.

Even after 4 months, until about 5 months, getting her down to sleep wasn't that tough. She wouldn't sleep long at all during naps, but getting her to sleep was relatively easy.

Now - it's a whole new story. Anna will be 7 months this week, and it's a battle to get her to sleep and to stay asleep Every. Single. Time she goes for a nap or to bed at night.

She doesn't want us to hold her (she arches her back and fights and cries), but she doesn't want us to put her down in her crib either. That just wakes her up and she rolls around and plays with anything she can get her hands on (like the side of the crib) and then she starts crying when she realizes we're not there. Once she's asleep for the night, she wakes up frequently, crying and upset. She used to just need her soother and would fall back asleep. Now, sometimes she just needs her soother, but most of the time she needs us to hold her or me to feed her before she'll calm down and go back to sleep.

I've tried putting her down when she's pretty much asleep. I've tried putting one of my shirts in the crib with her so she would know I was still "there". We've tried lowering the crib and putting a breathable bumper on so that she can't see as much, and won't get caught in the sides. I've tried lavender oil and lavender cream. I've tried letting her cry a little bit. I've tried the "pick up/put down" method. I've tried putting my hand on her until she drifts off to sleep. I've tried putting her down earlier (at the very first sign of tiredness), and I've tried waiting until she's definitely sleepy. I've tried giving her more solids during the day. And I've tried giving her more breastmilk, too. I've even tried putting her in the swing.

And every time I try something new, I'm consistent with it for several days to a week to get her used to it. (I know consistency is key). (Then again, why be consistent with something that doesn't work after a week of trying?)

I know that one day she'll sort herself out and all will be right in the world again. The only thing is... I'm just about at my breaking point waiting for her to get there.

Maybe it's because I had two late nights out last week (a party and a wedding), which makes the night time wake ups and the nap battles that much worse the next day. Or maybe it's because I've been dealing with some sort of sleep issue with her for 3 months now. All I know for sure is that I'm cranky, I look and feel like crap, I get irritable more often and I'm not that much fun to be around.

Woe is me.

So anyway... if you have any advice to offer, if you went through this too, even if you just want to tell me you love me, I sure could use it right now.

Many thanks, from a VERY tired Mom.

PS: Anna is lucky she's SO freakin' cute.

Who, me??

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Mish mash, Volume 2: The morning edition

Some of you may recall that I have admitted to being somewhat less than *ahem* eloquent and coherent in the mornings these days (that's what you get when your babe refuses to sleep more than a 2 hour stretch at night). And, therefore, in the past I covered it up nicely with my mish mash post.

Well. It's time for mish mash 2:

I'm watching Anna slumped over in her swing right now, sort of looking around, but mostly just licking the tray that goes over top of her lap. Methinks this is a sign that I should perhaps stop blogging and attend to my poor little child's needs. Would you agree? No? She's fine? Okay then. She can stay licking for a little while longer. (On a side note - Anna has never enjoyed her swing. But I thought I'd give it a shot once more today. Now that she's big enough to awkwardly slump to one side and rest her head on the hard plastic tray, she seems to really like it.)


Yesterday I hosted my first every playdate for the Mom's group I joined. The verdict? Success!! Of course, I went all Howard Hughes neurotic before they arrived, making sure that the snacks were set out nicely (I rearranged the forks more times than I care to admit) and ensuring the coffee was brewing so that as my new Mom friends walked in the door they would be met with the sweet smell of fresh java. Oh, and also? I made the hubster come with me on a multiple store search for this colourful alphabet rubber mat thingy that we put on the hardwood floor so the babies would have something soft to sit on. It was only $19, but after yesterday's playdate I realized I don't have a whole crap load of use for the thing. I'll just have to keep hosting playdates, I guess? Perhaps I can get more and more Martha Stewart about it as each playdate approaches. I can have themes! And crafts! And season-related snacks! Or... I can throw a box of timbits on the table and just keep dusting the cat hair and food off the mat before everyone arrives.


At the end of our cottage vacation last week, Andrew, Anna and I went to another cottage to spend time with Andrew's family for a couple of days. At said cottage, I slept on a bed that felt deceivingly comfortable at first. Then on our last day there (which was a Sunday) I woke up with a pretty stiff back. Lucky me, it started getting worse and worse as time wore on. By Monday afternoon, I could barely walk. I couldn't lift Anna (thank goodness Andrew was home from work that day and the next) and I couldn't sit or lay down comfortably. Such fun! Now, pre-Anna days, I would have popped as much medication as I could get into my gimpy little body. But because I'm breastfeeding and forever feeling this phenomenon known as "Maternal guilt", I suffered with the intense pain and no meds for as long as I could. Actually, that's not true. I took a couple of Advil because I was certain those were fine. But I held off on the Robaxacet muscle relaxant stuff as long as I could. (By Monday night, I had to take some. So I waited until after I nursed Anna for the last time that evening and then took a few so I could sleep.)

The next day, I made an appointment for a massage to see if that would help. While there, I filled out the little form they ask you to fill out, detailing my complete medical history as far back as I could remember. Anyway - so I wrote down that I was breastfeeding. As the dude's massaging me and talking to me about the muscle pain and what I can do after the massage to help alleviate the pain, he says to me in a very "this is not a question" way: "You're not taking any Advil or anything because you're breastfeeding". My response? "Uh... no. Nope, I'm not. Well... actually - I took two last night. But that was it."

I lied to the massager guy who doesn't know me from Adam!!!! What the heck is wrong with me?? I feel so guilty about a couple of pain relievers getting into my booby milk that I need to lie to a complete stranger?? Ever since he said that, I started thinking about every "bad" thing I've put into my body and it's effect on my poor little Anna. (Aspartame! Caffeine! Alcohol! My baby doesn't have a chance. What have I done????????) Then I remember that I'm not smoking crack and I realize that maybe - just maybe - Anna will be okay after all.


Finally - for the last tidbit in my mish mash post - just because it's cute... Here's Anna with a cloth diaper on her head. Enjoy my baby's insane cuteness. (And don't mind my over-zealous boasting. I'm a proud first-time Mama.)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Anna goes on vacation

We're back from vacation. (Did you miss me? Did you? How much? Tell me.)

So the cottage was awesome. Even though the weather wasn't great and we didn't get a whole lot of sleep, the fam had a great time. How could you not with a spot on a quiet lake, wine at sunset, a good book and a lot of relaxing? Yep. It was just what Hez needed.

Of course, it was quite different this year. Andrew and I were talking about how much things have changed since Anna came into our lives. And it was very evident as we got up at 6am every morning on vacation. (6am. On vacation. Every day. Us former DINKS are just not used to that.)

Anyway, so we had a really nice time. Although... it was pretty chilly a couple of days and I didn't really bring any warm clothes for Anna. So we kept her in her fuzzy little sleep sack and put an adorable hat on her. Ah... voila:

Yes, Anna's playing with Daddy's toes. The kid has loads of toys... but to her? Toes are freaking awesome.

Exhibit A:

We also saw the sun. Thank goodness.

Anna liked it.

And Mommy loved playing with Anna.

All was good on Golden Pond. That's for sure.

Friday, August 13, 2010

5 hours later...

***Warning: This blog contains information about the working order of my bowels. Read at your own discretion/risk.***

The last blog was written by a woman feeling totally normal and lovely. (Me).

5 hours and 20 minutes later (around 3:00 in the morning), however, I was no longer feeling totally normal and lovely. Instead, I developed a fever and felt cold (even though I was sweating) and then started puking my guts out.

Ah, joy.

I threw up from about 3 in the morning until 11 - approximately every half hour to an hour. I couldn't work up the energy to get out of bed for the entire day other than to go to the bathroom. Walking hurt my stomach. Lying on my side hurt my stomach. Thinking hurt my stomach.

Then the poops began.

Double joy.

Okay, so maybe I'm sounding somewhat dramatic... but I'm telling you, this stomach bug that I developed (which was only 24 hours THANK THE LORD), was horrid. Horrid, horrid, horrid. It threw me for quite the loop.

So I was completely out of commission all day Tuesday and I even felt pretty craptastic all day Wednesday, too. (Except that I wasn't puking or pooping anymore). On Thursday I felt pretty much 100% better, so I went to a playdate. And I spent today getting ready for our week-long cottage vacation (commencing tomorrow).

So, it's been a busy week, to say the least.

All this is to let you know that: a) I haven't been blogging because I was sick, then busy, and b) I won't be blogging for another week, as we'll be on vacation and there won't be Internet access. (I might freak out a little bit by the end of the week if I can't check Facebook or gmail a thousand times each day, but hey - c'est la vie.)

So, I hope you don't miss us too much! I promise that some fun Anna updates will follow.

Andrew, Anna and I are looking forward to relaxing, swimming, napping (a little), eating, playing and just putting our feet up and taking in the sun and the lake.

Until we return... Love and kisses from cute little Anna to all of you!

Monday, August 9, 2010

My daughter and I

Anna had her 6-month Well Baby appointment last week. (She's 16 pounds, 5 oz. and 26 and a half inches long. She's a big, ol' healthy baby!)

During the visit, her doctor mentioned that Anna was doing excellent and I was doing a great job. I smiled and said "She's a lot of fun, that's for sure." He (a father of 2-year old twin girls) said that if someone had told him when his girls were 6 months old that it was only going to get more and more fun as they get older and older, he wouldn't have believed them because he couldn't imagine it being any better than it already was.

But, he assured me, it's true. It only gets better and better as each day passes and as each month goes by and as each birthday rolls around.

And I'm starting to understand exactly what he means.

Anna and I have so much fun together now - and I just consider myself so lucky to have her around. She was always amazing to me (as is apparent by reading my blogs about her) - but now, she's even more fun. If that's possible.

We go places together. We laugh together. We snuggle and play and sing and yell happily together. She gives me big wet kisses on my cheek and I smother her with smooches. She grabs my hair and pulls me close to her. And I pick her up and hug her tight to my body.

We're a team, my daughter and I.

And as each day passes, we have more and more fun. We have more memories. More things to learn about each other. More love. My life is just... more.

Man, I'm lucky.

We also have more sleepy pajama days, don't we Mommy?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Things to remember

I need to remember a few important things regarding Anna's eating habits. And I don't have a pen and paper handy. But I do have my laptop. So, here is my blog post that is less of a blog, and more of a note to self:
  • Anna's not overly fond of avocado, unless I mix a little breastmilk into it. Then she'll eat it right up.
  • She loves... sorry, I mean... LOVES bananas. (She is my daughter, after all).
  • She seems to be getting tired of cereal. Note: mix some banana in and see what she thinks?
  • A diversionary spoon always works well when she's insisting on feeding herself. That way, she can chew on the spoon and you can feed her with the other.
  • When she starts to get fussy and cranky, it means she's done. (It's probably best to try and do the dreaded face wipe before she gets to this point).
  • Remember to call the university back. (This has nothing to do with Anna's eating habits... but they called and I want to remember to call them back.)
Poor Anna. Until they start making baby books online... she's not going to have much of her baby-hood all compiled into one neat little package. I'm afraid this is all Mama can do right now, baby. You still love me, right?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I mean it... I really am here!

I know, I know... it's bad blogging etiquette to disappear for a long time. But, Anna and I have been pretty busy. We've been going for coffee and brunch with people, we went to my cousin's trailer and relaxed on the beach, we've been to parks and out shopping. We've also been swimming and we've taken some really great naps. We're totally taking advantage of this summer thing.

In the middle of all this, Anna's had some major milestones. She's 6 months old (tomorrow), she's learned to sit up, and she's started eating solids.

Somehow, I've managed to forget the camera every time Anna's been in her super-awesome cute swimsuit... so I'll just have to remember it when we head out on our cottage vacation. However, I've managed to capture some of the past fun on film.

For your viewing enjoyment:

Anna's learned to sit up on her own. Can you stand the cuteness? Can you?

Hello Mummy! Look at me! I'm sitting up! I sit up super good, don't I?

(Sort of.)

Next, Anna started some solids. Yummy rice cereal!


Nom nom nom.

The verdict? DEE-LISH!

Next... onto avocado! (And onto Anna's face. Everywhere.)

Hmm... not so sure about this yet, Mummy. It's lumpy. And green.

Although, feeding myself is fun. I like the feeding myself thing.