Posted in Blogging

Maybe I Should Just Try Benadryl

Usually, Amélie goes down for bed at 7.

Usually, after our short bedtime routine, I just pop her in her crib with a kiss, leave her room, close the door and spend the next 2-3 hours before my own bedtime picking up the house and having some me time.

Sometimes, she’ll be overtired and will start crying as soon as I put her down.  Usually, all she needs is for me to rub her back for about 5 minutes before she falls asleep.

But tonight, oh tonight.

It’s now 9:15 and she’s still not sleeping.  The dada and I have formed a tag team.  None of our strategies have worked.

Not one.

Rocking? Nope.

Walking? Nope.

Nursing? Nope.

Singing? Nope.

Holding? Nope.

Nope. NOPE. NOPE!

I put her down, she cries.

I rub her back, she squirms.

I try to apply a bit of pressure on her hips to stop her from moving, she screams.

I pick her up, she puts her thumb in her mouth and puts her head on my shoulder.  *Yes!*

NOPE!

Ten seconds later she’s squirming, pulling my hair, pinching me, headbutting me.

I seriously tried everything short of giving her Benadryl to make her drowsy.  (I almost seriously considered it)

The last time the dada came up to take over, I all but threw her in his arms.

Then, I went outside, on the balcony and closed the door.

Silence.

The dada managed to put her down, by the way.  It’s now 9:20 and she’s alseep…for now.

Dads are awesome like that.

Posted in Parenting

WTF Charles?

Last night was horrible.

Seriously.  Ho.  Rri.  Ble.  Argh!

Yesterday was a normal day.  My son had two good naps, he ate well at all three meals, had his fill of mommy milk and was out for the night with barely a whimper by 7.

But then, out of the blue, he decides to wake up three hours later.

This is unusual for him.  Granted, he still has 1 (sometimes 2) night wakings these days, but never that early.  When we first heard him, his father and myself did what we usually do, we gave him some time to see if he could sort himself out.  As the minutes passed though, instead of calming down, my son’s cries became more and more intense.

We’re not just talking loud here.  We’re talking a Banshee-like-scream-that-would-make-any-neighbour-wonder-if-we-were-torturing-our-son loud.

Knowing that he couldn’t possibly be hungry, my partner went up to his room to work his magic and calm him down.  As soon as he was out of the crib and in his daddy’s arms, he calmed down…and then proceeded to start squirming wildly around like mad.  So, back down to his crib he went.  Enter Banshee.

Now, I’m all for letting our little ones learn to self-soothe (we put our son through sleep training at 5 months to regain some sanity, after all), but last night seemed off.  After another quarter hour of screaming-his-head-off-for-no-apparent-reason, I caved and decided that I’d nurse him back to sleep.

But here’s the kicker: It Did Not Work!

Damn

Not only did he not fall asleep nursing, he was pinching and prodding and kicking and slapping me and squirming while attached to my breast.

And so, I tried to rock him.  I sang him his lullaby and put him up over my shoulder like I usually do when I want to help myself him fall asleep more quickly.

Guess what?  It Still Did Not Work!

He was still squirming like mad.  Seriously, he could have given a worm a run for his money.

Since he clearly wasn’t hungry, the room temperature was fine, he didn’t feel hot, his diaper passed the sniff test and he wasn’t falling asleep in my arms, I put him back down in his crib.

And then…

The banshee came back…and I left his room, closed the door, settled in my own bed and tried to fall asleep…except I couldn’t because Mr. Banshee just kept screaming and screaming and screaming.

After another 15 minutes or so, I had an epiphany.

TEETHING!

I mean, it had to be that right?  He cried when on his back and stop crying while in our arms.  I asked my partner if he would kindly get the Advil.  He, of course, wanting nothing more than to sleep being the wonderful partner and father that he is, kindly obliged.  I gave Charles the medicine as daddy went back to bed and then let him comfort suck his way back to sleep.

Except he didn’t!

Oh he wasn’t crying anymore.  He was still squirming wildly though.  So I tried rocking him in a different way, by sitting him on my lap.  But he continued to squirm and squirm.  Except, I then realized that this wasn’t random squirming.  No, this was my 8.5 month old trying to turn to face me and climb on me.

The little turd oh-so-wonderful baby was wide awake!  To confirm my suspicion, he even started to chat merrily.

AT 11 EFFING 30 PM!

Well, now that I knew that he wasn’t dying of pain from “teething” – because, obviously Mr. If-You’re-Happy-And-You-Know-It had decided that it was a great idea to be wide awake when you’re supposed to be sleeping – I decided to put him back in his crib and get back in my own bed.

Well, he screamed and screamed and screamed and screamed…while I hoped he’d calm down and the dadster was sleeping blissfully.

After an hour of screaming (yes yes, I know, I am a TERRIBLE mom for letting my son scream like that for so long) I got out of bed again to try to soothe my Banshee baby back to sleep again because I couldn’t take the screaming anymore and wanted to sleep I’m an awesome mom who loves to be awake in the dead of night.

Turns out he just wanted to climb all over me and chatter a storm up with me again.  By this time, it was 1am.  He had been screaming on and off for three hours now and I was pretty much ready to give in and just put him back in his crib, get a pair of earplugs in and go sleep in the shed.  But I decided to try one more thing.

A couple of months ago, I purchased a white noise machine that also had the option of projecting some images on the ceiling.  We never use this for nighttime sleep as it is much too stimulating for the little man.  But I figured that it couldn’t hurt to try given that my son was already wide awake.

It worked!

Oh the joys of being able to sleep!

Of course, Little Dude decided that 5 am was a goo time to wake up this morning, meaning that I got about 3h of sleep last night and he got about 6, but hey, 3 is better than none, right?

And for those of you who may be wondering what kind of mood he is in today, think Jeckyl & Hyde…

Please tell me I will sleep wonderfully tonight!

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Posted in Parenting

Note To Self

1.  You are not perfect, but you are perfectly capable of taking care of your son.

2.  Parenting life is like a bouncy ball: what goes up, must come down…and back up again!

3.  You are allowed to cry.  In fact, you will cry.  Embrace the tears when they come instead of holding them back.

4.  Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of strength.

5.  Life would be boring if your son was happy 24/7 😛

6.  If you’re tired, TAKE A NAP if your son is napping.  Screw the chores!

7.  Parenting can be the most thankless job in the world.  Thankfully, it can also be the best job in the world.

8.  Get out of the house.

9.  Just because you can’t see the sun on a rainy day, doesn’t mean it’s not there.

10.  By all means read up on parenting, but keep listening to your heart.

11.  You love your son, unconditionally and he loves you in the same way.  That’s all that matters.

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Posted in Infant, Parenting

What Do You Do When You’re Feeling Overwhelmed?

Because that’s how I’m feeling right now.

I don’t know how to go about writing this.  I don’t want this post to seem like I’m wallowing in self-pity, but something needs to come out and this is one of the only ways I know how.

I just got off the phone with my partner who announced that he’d be home around 7.  I wasn’t even able to finish the conversation in a civilized manner; I hung up quickly and burst into tears.  I don’t remember ever being so emotional, but these past few days (or weeks, or months – honestly, I don’t know) have been trying.

I feel as though I can’t catch a break.  When my son was a newborn, I was nursing for hours at a time, then he hit a growth spurt, then we started having problems with gas, after that we entered the “wonderful” world of wonder weeks.  Then came sleep deprivation due to prop dependency (where I was getting up 10+ times a night for a month just to put the pacifier back in) followed by sleep training, a tendonitis for me, teething, a growth spurt/wonder week combo and now, teething again.

I feel like all I do all day is try to function.  My son has taken to screaming at different moments; I never know when it’s going to happen.  Sometimes it’ll be for naps, or at bedtime or when he wakes up in the middle of the night.  Other times it’ll be when I sit him down on the floor or when I change his diaper.  It’s maddening because it just goes on and on and on.  And then, I have people around me asking me how are things.  All I can say is “good” (that *is* the correct answer, right?).  What do you want me to say?  I have no idea what an easy baby and what a difficult baby are like.

I’ve never had so many headaches in my life.  I’ve never cried so much in so few days.  My home is a mess – even by my standards – and I feel so alone – and feel guilty about it.

I’m lucky enough to be on paid maternity leave, I gave birth in November and am only going back to work in August.  My partner tries to help with a lot of things, but I think he’s feeling a little overwhelmed with how to manage work (he’s been having to put in extra hours), house chores, and this little human that’s taking up so much room in our lives.  I go out because otherwise I’d go crazy, but while I’m going out, I’m not taking care of the house and I’m not resting.  I love my son to death and I wouldn’t go back to my pre-baby life; he brings too much joy in my life.  But sometimes, like right now, I just feel like I’m losing it.

How do you stay at home moms/dads do it?  How do you working moms/dads do it?  How do you single parents do it?  Please tell me that I am not the only one.

I never thought that becoming would be easy.  But I also never thought that 6 months in, I would become an emotional mess at times.

There.  I said it.  I feel somewhat better.  I think.

Posted in Infant, Parenting

Oh S***, I Mean Crap, I Mean Poop – Yeah, It’s That Kind Of Post…

I ought warn you: I’m going to be talking about poop.

Don’t want to read about poop?  I don’t blame you.  I wouldn’t want to read about poop either.

That’s why I won’t be angry at you if you turn around and don’t read the post.

I’ll just shut my eyes a few seconds and let you back away.

*Shuts eyes*

Beep, beep, beep…

*Opens eyes*

Oh!  So you’re still here eh?  OK then, you asked for it.

Allow me to try to bestow some of the knowledge that I have scooped up so far in my whole 6 months of motherhood.

8 Pearls of poppy knowledge

1.  You’re an expecting parent?  Be ready to become obsessed with poop.  Its color, its texture, its frequency…  Yeah…seriously.

2. Breastmilk only poop smells good (can’t talk about formula only poop, is someone brave enough to fill me in on this?).  And by good, I mean a lot less stinky than the poop produced after the introduction of solids *gag*.

3.  Washable diapers are a must.  They contain the poop much better.  No blowouts!

4.  Washable diapers are a bust.  You have to start rinsing them once solids have started (because, at first, the poop isn’t solid) and that is rather disgusting.

5.  In breastfed babies (again, I don’t know if this is the case for formula fed babies), absence of poop is a telltale sign of a growth spurt.

6.  Incidentally, you’ll know a growth spurt is over when your baby starts to poop like there’s no tomorrow.

7.  You’ll be the one changing all of the poppy diapers.  Because fathers never seem to be around when one happens (this is what happens in our household anyways).

8.  It’s not abnormal for breastfed babies to skip several poopy days in a row.  Be thankful when it happens.

There.  That’s all I have to say.

But if you want to scoop up more poop – no, wait, that’s not right – if you want another blogger’s scoop on poop, check out the Gag-Free Baby Poop Color Chart over at the Incredible Infant blog.

Posted in Parenting

Stop, Drop and Read

Aurora from Metal Angel reblogged this article today on her blog.  I think that it is a sadly accurate representation of the world that we live in with such easy access to technology.  I am not exempt of faults in this department, and the blog post brought about a self-examination on my part.

The author wrote the post after receiving an email that shook her to the core.  Here is that email:

“I can recall a time when you were out with your children you were really with them. You engaged in a back and forth dialog even if they were pre-verbal. You said, ‘Look at the bus, see the doggie, etc.’ Now I see you on the phone, pushing your kids on the swings while distracted by your devices. You think you are spending time with them but you are not present really. When I see you pick up your kids at day care while you’re on the phone, it breaks my heart. They hear your adult conversations. What do they overhear? What is the message they receive? I am not important; I am not important.”

So stop what you’re doing, drop your phone/close your laptop/turn off your desktop and after you have read the article, step away from the virtual world and come into the real world.

Breathe in, breathe out.  Don’t worry, your phone’s going to be OK, I promise.

Posted in Infant, Newborn, Toddler

Let’s not Forget the Daddies!

As I was scrolling through the babycenter posts this morning, I came across a thread that was written by one of the few fathers that are around on the community.

Gamerdadc writes:

I’m a first time dad. [My wife] and I worked for over 8 years for our little [daughter] and we couldn’t be happier. However, as a parent that does a ton of googling and research on our parenting decisions, I’m so frustrated that everything is marketed and angled to moms.

It’s almost like we’re still in the 50s and the kids are the mom’s problem, cause [insert sarcastic tone] gosh darnit us menfolk have to work! [\tone]

I’d be a stay at home dad if I could. As it is, I’m thrilled that [my wife] can fill the [stay at home] parental role, but it kills me to leave them every day. Not that I need recognition or anything, I’m not looking for validation, I’d just like more parental blogs and advertisements to realize that it’s not just moms running to Babies “R” Us every few days to get a different tether because [their son or daughter] seemed a bit frustrated with [their] normal one last night. It’s not just moms that cuddle the baby to sleep.

Grr ok rant over.

I honestly had never given this much thought, but he is totally right!  Fathers are playing a more active roll in the lives of their children than was the case half a century ago.  It isn’t true, despite what you might think by reading through parenting forums, that all husbands/boyfiends are worthless with kids and don’t do anything other than work and play some video games once they’re home.  Some, may just not be given a chance to help out.

Earlier today, I decided to do a quick wordpress search.  I used “parenting” as a search term.  Out of the first 25 blog posts that concerned parenting, 20 were written by mothers, 4 by fathers and 1 by a couple.  Then, I went and surfed on the web a bit.  The vast majority of pictures portraying babies, are of the child and his or her mother or of the two parents (um…ok, so dads don’t spend time alone with their little ones?).  I also found three contests geared exclusively towards mothers.  One of them was: win diapers for a year!  (Oh wait, what?  Why is it that only mothers can enter this contest?  Don’t daddies change diapers too?).  Some contests were geared towards a parent or guardian, but none towards solely dads.

Then, as I was googling Baby Einstein to motivate my son into doing tummy time (more on that in another post), I came across an article that I found to capture the spirit of what Gamerdadc was mentioning in his post.  It’s called Parenting Advice: What Moms Should Learn From Dads.

Here are couple of excerpts that struck a cord:

My mother used to tell my father that he was a very good mother.  […]  In those days, “good mother” was the highest domestic achievement; to have called him a good father, given how low the bar was set, wouldn’t have done him justice.

The typical father spends about seven hours per week in “primary child care,” which doesn’t sound like a lot until you realize it’s more than twice as much as in 1965.

We talk about fathers like puppies tripping over their big paws, a portrait long mirrored in a culture in which Father Knows Least, from Fred Flintstone to Homer Simpson.

I write this as one who always knew that my husband would be the better parent of the two of us, able to slide, with joy and mischief, into our children’s world rather than drag them prematurely into ours.

It is a really interesting read and I highly suggest you read it.  Reading it, reminded me to which point my partner, was an awesome dad.  He is much calmer around our son when he is cranky, does the whole bedtime routine, usually knows what to do when I’m at wits end, plays with him on his days off so that I can sleep in, changes diapers AND kicks me out of the house for three hours once a week so that I can have some time to myself and he can spend some time alone with the baby.  I realized that even though he may not do everything exactly as I do them, he still does everything great!  I mean, we keep talking about motherly instincts and how sometimes, fathers are clueless.  But I think we should start to see that fatherly instincts exist and that we have to accept that our partners will do things differently.

We have come a long way from the 50s, but there is still a ways to go.  I’m lucky enough to live in a province that allows me to be on paid maternity leave for up to a year.  Fathers can get from 3 to 5 weeks off (depending on the length of the mom’s leave) of paid parental leave.  Plus, if the mother cannot or chooses not to take a whole year off, the dad can stay at home to finish the parental leave!  But despite all this, fathers are still frowned upon when taking the weeks they are entitled to because just 30 years  ago, when the bosses became fathers, they didn’t even have a day off when their wives gave birth.

Definitely food for thought.

Speaking of which, what are your thoughts on the subject?