15
May
13

Election Day

Dad: You know kiddo, today is election day.

Maya: You mean everyone is going to vote?

Dad: That’s right. 

Maya: And then someone new will rule our land?

Gotta love the four year-old perspective… is it possible that she has seen too many princess fairy tale movies?

30
Mar
12

Oh Frida!

Morgan is growing like a weed. She is now somewhere around the 14 pound mark, I think. She is 5 months old and already has a tooth and is very nearly crawling. Time is flying.

Last week she had yet another cold. I kept trying to aspirate her nose with one of those rubber bulb syringes from my baby care kit.

 If you’ve used one of these, you know that babies hate them. At least my babies do. My girls turn away whenever I try to use it, and usually the whole ordeal ends with a lot of crying and me giving up. Since Morgan was hospitalized at an early age, I learned the importance of keeping her nose as clear as possible when she’s got a cold. But the bulb syringe has been difficult.

 

Enter solution: NoseFrida! a.k.a The Snotsucker Nasal Aspirator.

Before you use it, you have to get over the concept… or to be frank, the possibility that you might end up sucking up some of your baby’s snot. But really, it’s pretty unlikely. This thing was designed in Sweden and is way more effective than a bulb syringe, and they say even more powerful than the commercial suction machines because it’s powered by a stronger sucker–the human lungs! Yes, you have to suck the snot out yourself. But don’t panic, it’s totally hygenic with filters and a very long tube so you’re not going to get anything in your mouth… although I guess in theory you could. Anyway, with this I was actually able to clear out Morgan’s mucus so that both she and I could get some rest at night when her cold was at its worst. Go to the website, think about it. My older daughter didn’t learn to blow her nose until she was over the age of 2, and kids get a LOT of colds. This is going to be one handy device for the next 18 months!

15
Mar
12

sleep training

Morgan got a present for her 4 month birthday, I taught her how to put herself to sleep!

Before you all get up in arms about the ‘cry it out’ method and how cruel it is, let me first say everyone’s got to what’s right for them. If you want to soothe your baby to sleep til he/she is a year old… or more, go for it. I simply can’t. I’d lose my mind.

There was this wonderful phase when Morgan was just two months old and she basically slept through the night for about a month. I blogged about it here  It made me think things would just improve from there on out, and I’d never have to worry about “training” her to sleep. And for the zillionth time since I became a mom I was SO WRONG.

We all got colds shortly after that post and so naturally she slept less and needed me more… and I went. And she became accustomed to the comfort of mom & nursing every few hours.

I lasted six weeks before I hit the wall. And by that I mean I could not take the sleep loss for A.SINGLE.SECOND.LONGER. So, that day I dug up a website link that I’d used three years ago when Maya was about the same age. I re-read the 200 page book in about 3 hours of sleep deprived mania. I immediately, and I mean at the very next nap that Morgan took, decided to implement the approach recommended by the author. It worked so effectively I could hardly believe it. What had I been waiting for?

So the online book I read is called “The Sleep Sense Program” by Dana Obleman, and it explains (with specific strategies) how to train your child to soothe him/herself to sleep starting at 3 months or older. It’s largely based on the philosophy put forth by Weissbluth in his book Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child. It has very specific strategies and it does involve letting your baby cry, sorry to those of you who are offended by this. That said, I’m one of the lucky ones because Morgan never cried for more than 10 minutes. Really the max was 7, I think.

And after 3 nights, we’re golden. She HAD been waking up every 2 hours (and I was losing my mind).  The first night of ‘The Sleep Sense Program’, she slept 4 hours, then 3 hours, then another 3 and then another 3–a vast improvement. Not only that, she started taking longer naps during the day. The next night it was 5 hours and then 3 and 3. Last night it was 6 and then almost 4 more, plus long naps again. Each time she woke to nurse and went right back to sleep after I put her in bed again. I’m also getting her to bed at the same time as Maya-bonus: my husband and I actually get some time alone together in the evenings again.

So, do what’s right for you. But if you’re struggling and sleep deprived and don’t know what else to do, I urge you to try this program because it could really work. Trust me, there’s much more to it than plunking your kid in her crib and leaving her to cry. There’s a method, a system. And if you are a sleep starved mother, you could regain your sanity!

08
Mar
12

more on cloth

So, I’ve been trying hard to keep going with the cloth diapers. It’s a battle. I started off using them and LOVED them for a few reasons. First, cloth diapers prevent a lot of poop explosions into the clothing. Second, baby has way less skin irritation; almost never need diaper creams. Third, the reduced waste and money savings are fantastic. Okay, so sounds like some solid reasons to stick with it, but there’s one glitch–it’s a lot of fucking work!

When I’ve been home with two kids all day, the last thing I want to do before bed is clean dirty diapers. But I do it. Most of the time. The rest of the time I use disposables.

I am trying, but of course am imperfect. But hey, I figure even cloth diapering part-time is better than not doing it at all! If you need some info on why to use cloth diapers, check out the bummis website. Lots of good stuff there!

06
Mar
12

hint of spring

Last month, we had a few days that were ‘spring teasers’. Maya and I went to the beach on one perfect day and played on the shore while Morgan slept in the stroller. I can’t wait for summer!

It’s days like this that remind me why I live here.

03
Feb
12

freedom pump

Finally, my new baby girl is sleeping more at night. It seems I get at least 5 hours, and often 7 or more hours of sleep each night… that’s IN A ROW–amazing! This has been consistent for almost 3 weeks now, so I feel safe to say it without worrying that she’s going to completely regress. Sleep makes me feel human and when she sleeps from 10pm til 4am, I am generally exploding with milk. So, this is the time to pump, and when I do I can sometimes get a full 5 oz bottle–halleluyah!

The only trade-off is that I must choose to stay awake at 4am. This is hard, because after 6 hours of rest I’m at the peak of fatigue, craving a few more hours of rest. And this is when I must choose between going back to bed and having some time to myself later on. If there’s pumped milk on hand my husband can feed Morgan and I can go to the gym, the grocery store, or pretty much anywhere for more than an hour. The freedom is thrilling. Some of you might think it pathetic to be thrilled to go to the grocery store alone… I’m guessing those people have never breast fed a newborn. Sometimes I choose sleep in the wee hours of the morning, but I usually regret that choice. Trade-offs… life is full of ‘em.

When I pump a bottle of milk, I marvel at this incredible substance. It’s weird as hell that my body manufactures this stuff and that it’s the ONLY thing Morgan consumes, and she has nearly doubled her body weight since birth! She’s learning, growing and thriving from this and this alone. Not only that, she LOVES her monotonous diet of milk, milk and more milk over and above all else.

I need to take a moment here just to say: nature is incredible!

26
Jan
12

the night

She’s fussing. Tired. I wrap her up in a warm blanket, cradle her against me & begin to rock.

I pace the house. Bouncing. Count my steps to pass the time. Hear her frantically sucking the soother. I’m willing her to fall sleep, so that I can sleep. Aching arms, rocking & bouncing.

Milk drunk hiccups.

She calms down, starts to settle so I try the rocking chair. Counting again, one hundred rocks aren’t enough. Maybe another hundred…

At long last, she lets go and relaxes against me. She’s out.

I look down at her through the darkness.

Angel face.

Don’t want to put her in her bed anymore. Linger a little longer holding her tight.

Finally, my own fatigue gets the better of me. I put her down.

Crawl into my own bed for as long as she will allow.




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