Posted in Parenting, Sleep (and lack thereof)

Happy Blunder

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My merry band for the day.

Hiya folks!  Wow, I’ve away for longer than planned.  Sorry ’bout that, I’ve been pretty busy with crochet and not sleeping.

To say that Elliot hasn’t been sleeping well would be an understatement.  By the time he was 4 months old, he had been sleeping 12h per night 75% of the time from the age of 8 weeks.  I could put him down awake in his crib for naps and bedtime, let him fall asleep on his own without a fuss and come back to a happy baby once he’d awoken.

Then we were hit with a growth spurt, a wonder week, the cutting of a first and then a second tooth and, finally, a pretty bad cold (think nasal aspirator at every diaper change and needing to be held in an angled position to be able to sleep).  Needless to say, we created a monster.  By the time his cold was over, my husband and I were taking turns sleeping in the rocking chair with him because the only way he would fall asleep and stay asleep was in our arms.

Enter sleep deprivation.

Now, I’m not one to make blunders all the time, but when I do happen to mess up, it’s usually pretty epic.  And when I’m lacking precious hours of sleep, I’m more prone to blunders.

So this morning, I got the kids ready for daycare.  Their bag was filled with a change of clothes, their snowpants, mittens…everything they needed to tackle a normal Quebec winter day.

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Here’s what we woke up to yesterday morning!

Anyway, I got the kids in the minivan, removed the snow that had accumulated overnight and left.  About 15 minutes later (halfway to daycare), I realized I didn’t remember locking the front door before leaving, but I wasn’t about to turn around just for that.  So, I kept going.  I was just about to unbuckle the kids when I realized that I hadn’t brought the daycare bag…with their snowsuits…on a snow-covered day.  Yay me.  So, I drove back home.  Upon arriving home, I realized that not only had I forgotten to lock the front door, I had forgotten to close it altogether.  Yeah, that’s how sleep-deprived I am.

So, I decided it was a better idea to stay home with the kids than to risk driving another hour just to get the kids to daycare.

We made the most of the day.  The kids helped me pick up the toys that were littering the floor.  Then, my daughter washed the washroom sinks while Charles vacuumed the floors.  I entertained Elliot while I folded some laundry and helped the other two with their tasks.  Once the baby was down for his nap, we rocked some shortbread cookies and had some subs delivered for lunch.  While Amélie was down for her nap, I went to see Elliot to try to prolong his nap.  After 15 minutes of unsuccessfully trying to get him to fall back asleep, I walked in on the 4 year-old who decided to take it upon himself of doing some dishes to help me out.  I swear, that kid makes my heart melt just as much as induces headaches with his constant stream of “whys”.

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Hard at work mixing their ingredients.
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The little bugger surprising me with some dish washing. (And yes, he is wearing an apron lol).
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The fruits of their labor.  Amélie made the trees and Charles rocked out some snowflakes.

All in all, I really can’t complain.  My morning may have started off shaky, but the quality-time I got to spend with the kids was worth it.

What was one of your biggest blunders?

Posted in Blogging

Impossible Mathematics

This evening, I wanted to make s’mores.  There were three of us so I figured two each would be reasonnable.  I made 8 s’mores.

Eight.

My calculations?

2 * 2 = 8

Just to set the record straight: we were three, and I calculate that two s’mores for two people means that I need to make 8 s’mores…

Let’s just say that everyone, myself included, got a nice laugh out of this.

I think I’m tired.

Posted in Ten Thought Tuesday

Ten Thought Tuesday – April 12th 2015

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  1. I’ve got plenty of ideas for blog posts, but I’m finding it easier to shoot out random thoughts than to write a whole post these days.
  2. After three pretty decent nights of sleep, Amélie decided to wake up waaaay too often last night and get up waaaaay too early this morning.  I have no patience right now.
  3. I’m thinking that the terrible twos should be called the bipolar twos.  I’ve noticed that the terrible part of the twos comes in waves.  After almost a month of having a sweet toddler around, the limit-testing-attention-seeking-fake-crying version of my son has come back.
  4. Amélie has become super proficient in a short time at drag-crawling her was around.
  5. The trunk of my partner’s car won’t latch closed since Sunday.  Since the car dealership (his car is still under warranty) can’t see his car until Thursday, we’ve “fixed” it à la Red Green: with a healthy quantity of duct tape.
  6. Did you know that we were in the middle of pool safety month right now?  Look out for a guest post on the subject either this week or next.
  7. After a full week of beautiful warm and sunny days, Mother Nature has reverted back to cold rainy days.  Oh well, it’ll just make me appreciate the sunny days even more when they come back.
  8. Though we raise our children in French, we do teach them a bit of English here and there (so far colors and numbers).  Last week, my son realized that the colors he knew were represented by two distinct words, one in French and one in English.  He now uses his English words in French sentences.
  9. Amélie is now the proud owner of five teeth.  She’s currently working on a sixth tooth: a canine…
  10. Since last weekend was super busy because of Mother’s day, we didn’t get to set up our veggie garden.  We’re planning on setting it up this coming weekend.
Posted in Parenting

Daddies Are The Best

When I became a new mother two years ago, I was kind of lost.  I mean, I knew some basic stuff, but there were also a lot of things I didn’t know.  Like many mothers out there, I questioned myself about many things.  I would worry that I didn’t have enough milk, or that I had too much.  I would worry that my son was sleeping too much, or not enough.  I would worry about the color of my son’s poop or the fact that he hadn’t pooped in a few days.

I’m sure you get the picture.

In this age of easily accessible information, I turned early on to the famous and infamous Dr. Google for help in this parenting gig.  One of my first searches, brought me to an online parenting community filled with forums in which parents could share their experiences/worries/solutions…with one another.

At first, it was great.  I mean, with titles such as “Green poop, help!”, “LO always nursing, low milk supply?” and “Normal or not [see pic attached]?” I felt right at home in a sea of other mothers wondering what the heck they were doing.  Even if the other mothers (because most of the members were moms) didn’t always have an answer (or one that I liked) it was nice to know that others were going through the same things as I was.

And then, things started to become less appealing for me.  There were, of course, the bottle -vs- breast battles, then more battles arose with regards to sleep training, but these didn’t bother me much.  I mean, I was content with the methods I was using and I just didn’t read the posts.

What bothered me, is when I started reading things like “SO [significant other] useless!”, “Worthless husband” and “Lazy boyfriend”.  As the months went by, more and more of these posts popped up.  And it saddened me to see that these ladies turned to the online world to fuel anger towards their partners, because I know the value of a great partner in the world of parenting.

I love my partner.  He is by no means perfect, but then again, who is?  I certainly am not.  But despite all the things that he does (or doesn’t do) that make me want to roll my eyes, he shows, day after day, his unconditional love towards our kids.  And, on numerous occasions, he has become the pillar I could lean on in my role as a parent.

This evening was one of those moments.

You see, yesterday was hard.  Neither kiddo napped for more than 45 minutes during the day and though they were in a pretty good mood, things disintegrated rapidly in the evening.  Immediately after supper, Little Dude went into full-blown meltdown mode.  My partner and I figured that it was because he was tired, so we endeavoured to get him down for the night half an hour before his usual bedtime.  After going through the bedtime routine, filled with toddler tears, he was finally down for the night.

Or so we thought…

No sooner had I gotten my daughter down, did my son wake up in tears.  His dad went in to calm him.  Then, 20 minutes later, he woke up again…and again…and again.  At first, we thought nightmares, but the fact that it kept going on stumped us.  My solution, sleep in his bed with him for the night.

Let me tell you that sleeping in a single bed with a squiggly toddler that wakes up crying every hour or so throughout the night while also getting up twice to nurse the 3 month old does not make for a good night sleep.  Needless to say that I was tired today…and less than pleased to see some liquid leaking out of his ear this morning.

Sh*t, looks like we’re dealing yet again with a damned ear infection.

Anyways, fast-forward to tonight.  I was tired AND in need of some non-mommy time.  My partner got the toddler down for bed as I nursed my daughter in hopes that she would fall asleep quickly.  But, it was not to be.  I tried twice to get her down, but to no avail.  Meanwhile, my son was kicking his wall in his room instead of falling asleep and I was out of patience.

I put her down in her bed crying to take a breath.

My breath came in the form of my partner coming up the stairs asking me if everything was ok and then proceeding to little miss I’m-not-sleepy’s room to help her fall asleep.  For 15 minutes he paced around the house with her to help her doze off before putting her in her crib.

Daddies really are the best!

Posted in Blogging

Running On Empty

Fair warning: this is going to be me complaining.  I need to vent.

I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.  You’ve probably noticed that I haven’t been around much lately, well there’s a reason for that.  You see, I’ve been sick…

…again…

Yeah!

Right now, I’m running on a total of 6h of sleep over the past 60h.  This is because two days ago, my son decided that sleeping was optional and got a total of 5h of broken sleep during the night.  Then, last night, when I should have been recuperating from the previous sleepless night, my body decided to throw me an ear infection.  The pain was so bad despite the acetaminophen that I was unable to sleep and I ended up with a perforated eardrum.

Sooooo, I’m on a nice cocktail of antibiotics and acetaminophen right now.  Too bad for wanting to avoid medication during my pregnancy.

Of course, that is this week.  Last week I got hit with an interesting gastroenteritis/flu combo which left me pretty much stuck to my bed and unable to eat for a few days.  I was really thankful that my little bro was around because he decided to accompany me to daycare to grab my son and then to the grocery to grab a few things for supper.  It was a good thing that he was with me because I was so conked out that when I left, I forgot to buckle up and I’d opened the trunk of the car without realizing.  Then, at the grocery store, I lost consciousness at the cash since I hadn’t been able to keep anything down.

It’s a good thing that I have my partner too as he’s been picking up the slack despite being sick himself and has been taking care both of the kiddo and the house.

Go back another week and I had to contend with a cold.  For those of you keeping track, that means that since the horrible month of November, I’ve had three colds, two flues, been stuck with gastroenteritis twice and am now dealing with an ear infection.  All of that in five months!

The worst part is that I have no more sick days left at any of my jobs (did I mention that I work four jobs over the course of six days including two evening shifts?) and you know what?  I.  Don’t.  Care.

I’m soooo over being sick.  I’m soooo over this unending winter.  I just want to fall asleep and wake up when my health is back 100% and I’m off work for summer holidays/maternity leave.

Ok, I’m done complaining now.

How have you all been?

 

Posted in Parenting

Teething Suuuuucks

Well, it turns out that Little Dude wasn’t being cranky for no good reason after all.

It would seem that his (and thus my) lack of sleep and desire to act as my own personal magnet wasn’t due (only) to a wonder week.

Nope, he actually has a genuinely good reason to be crying all the time.

He’s teething.

AGAIN!

It would seem that his body decided that it didn’t need to follow the “normal” teething timeline.  No sir-ee, it’s not enough that he’s grown about 2 teeth per month for the past 5 months (bringing the grand total to 8 teeth right now).  No!  Now, he needs to grow 2 more.  Of course, since the incisors are all grown in, guess what’s coming in now: the freaking pre-molars, that’s what.

Holy crap!  Those little dudes are INTENSE!

You would think that by now, I’d know quite a bit about the signs of teething to recognize that it was happening again.

Well guess what: I actually DID think it was teething at the beginning…and then started to think things through and discarded the thought *facepalm*.

I mean, the little guy was only being a P.I.T.A. (because that is really how it felt after a few nights of not sleeping and not being able to put him down without hearing him scream) at home.  I mean, at daycare he wasn’t top notch, but he wasn’t crying or screaming.  He wasn’t sleeping much or well but he was napping a bit.  At my parents’ place, it was the same thing.  No screaming.  Nope, he  kept that for home.

So I thought: ‘Meh, it can’t possibly be teething.  Besides, the teething timelines indicate that the pre-molars are only supposed to come in between 14 and 18 months and Charles is only (nearly) 11 months’.

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But then yesterday morning, after 5 scream-filled and tiring days and two horrible nights in a row (horrible = waking up every 2h because of the little guy), I decided to stick my finger in his mouth to check things out.  Lo and behold I could not only feel that his gums were raised and tender at the exact spot where his lower first molars are set to cut, but I could see the spots where the points of the molars were getting ready to pierce the skin.

Of course, I felt terrible that I hadn’t caught on before and saved my son from some unnecessary pain at night.  But then I reminded myself that no one’s perfect and that I (and my partner) had provided tons of cuddles over the week.

So now, for the second night in a row, the little guy got a dose of Advil before bedtime.  We’ve also been giving him some cold washcloths to gnaw on and are giving him plenty of cold things to eat (peach and apple slices, applesauce, coconut bliss…).  I’ve also gone ahead and ordered a special teething ring that is specifically designed for molars in hopes that it will help ease things along.  I figure that at worst, it won’t help and I’ll be out about twelve bucks.

How did you cope with a child cutting molars?  What were your go-to solutions?

Posted in Blogging, Parenting

Sleep & How To Find It.

**Warning: this isn’t a how-to post.**

I wish it were, but is isn’t.

No, instead, it’s more of a question.

Or an accumulation of many questions.

And thoughts.  Yes…those too.

Let me lay it out for you (no pun intended).

I’m tiiiiiiiiiiiired!

Seriously.

The little guy is starting to make me question my parenting.  I suppose it’s a good thing because it means that I actually care about the quality of my parenting.  Of course, it also means that something is amuck. Or perhaps it isn’t.

*Sigh* why can’t parenting be easy?

Here’s the thing.  Little Dude is ten months old.  He eats three nicely-sized meals per day at daycare on top of nursing from three to five times in a 24h period (more on the disparity of nursing frequencies in another post).  On a typical day, he sleeps  45 min. to an hour in the morning and about 1.5 hours in the afternoon.  He’s generally up by 6:30am and down for the night at around 7:30pm.  I think we have a good routine going that is conductive to sleep.  He seems to disagree.

You see, I can probably count on the fingers of one hand the number of times that he has slept through the night.  And by slept through, I’m not talking about the theoretical “in the books” definition of 6 consecutive hours.  I’m talking about going to bed at 7 pm and waking up for the day around 6:30 or something along those lines.

The fact is, the Charles wakes up minimally once every night.  On some nights, he wakes up twice.  Now, I know that some of you must have it worse than I do and, in all honesty, it didn’t bother me for a while as I was on maternity leave.  But now?  Now I’m back to work AND I actually need to function.  Of course, when the little guy wakes up, the big guy is usually fast asnore (for those of you who are sleep-deprived like me asnore = asleep + snoring).  He generally stays that way too unless I let Little Dude try to sort himself out for more than 15 minutes.

A night-waking usually looks something like this:

  • Charles wakes up.
  • He starts stirring and semi-chattering.
  • He moves into whiney mode.
  • Whiney mode turns into yelling-at-his-parents mode.  (Ahem: “RA-BA-BA-BA-BA-GA!  RA-BA-BA-BA-BA-GA!…“)
  • Yelling mode turns into semi-crying mode.
  • Semi-crying mode either turns into whiney and then sleep mode or FULL-BLOWN CRYING mode.

Generally, when he wakes up twice during a night, he’ll be able to put himself back to sleep during one of his night-wakings.  Generally.  Sometimes, however, both night-wakings require that I get out of bed (because, of course, the big guy is certainly not going to take the initiative and get out of his toasty bed to try to calm down a screaming baby in the middle of the night – of course, can’t really blame him for wanting to stay in bed ;)).  So, I leave the comfort and warmth of the bed, blindly grab my bathrobe and pull it on before I freeze to death, make my way to my son’s room, pick him up, sit in the rocking chair, stick a boob in his mouth and let him suck his way back to sleep.

Right now, I want him to sleep more.  But I don’t know if I have reasonable expectations.  I mean, is it reasonable for me to expect my son to be able to go through the night without nursing and without waking?  Is he waking up because he knows I will come in and nurse him or is he waking for another reason?  And if he is waking because I created this habit for him, what do I do about it?  Do I kindly wake my snorer and ask him to take care of the little man or do I just let my son banshee himself back to sleep?  I mean, how am I supposed to know if he actually needs that nursing session in the middle of the night or not?

To be frank, if I knew that he needed one MOTN feeding I would be fine with it.  I’d go with the flow.  But if he doesn’t need it…well..I’ll take my sleep.

Insight?  Anyone?  Please?

Posted in Blogging, Parenting

Ten Thought Tuesday: September 17th Edition

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  1. I’ve decided that I wasn’t going to be pumping anymore.  I realized yesterday that it was something that was really stressing me out and it usually took about three 20 minute sessions to get enough milk for one bottle so.  I’ll still be breastfeeding when I’m home with Little Dude, but otherwise, he’ll be getting formula.
  2. I’m still trying to figure out a way to integrate blogging into my working mom routine.  I’m happy with the two stable posts I manage doing per week, but I need to find a way to read and comment on my favorite blogs.
  3. I think Charles may have fifth disease.  It was running in the in-home daycare he attends and he was the only one who hadn’t caught it yet.  Yesterday, he spat up after each feed and last night was pretty bad sleep-wise.
  4. On Sunday, we’re going to Little Dude’s first swimming class.  He’s in the “little splashers” group!
  5. Fall seems to be well and truly here.  I really need to get the little man some long sleeved onesies/shirts and perhaps a coat.
  6. I would really start to feature some guest bloggers on my blog, I’ll be dedicating a post on this soon!
  7. We are really enjoying the Sandra Boynton board books at home.  I bought them after Jocelyn from The Home Tome mentioned them a few months back and I am not disappointed.
  8. Does anyone know of a class of FSL (French as a second language) that would be interested in exchanging letters/postcards with a group of ESL (Enslish as a second language) teens with learning difficulties?  I was thinking the FSL students could write in French and my ESL students could reply in English!
  9. I am part of the Group Postcard Exchange that Valerie has organized through her blog.  If anyone is interested in swapping postcards with me, you can shoot me an email at mommytrainingwheels (at) gmail (dot) com.
  10. I’m tutoring tonight and am sooo tired.  I have no idea how I’m going to manage to stay awake.  Wish me luck!
Posted in Blogging, Parenting

Ten Thought Tuesday: September 10th Edition

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  1. My son is totally LOVING daycare.  He pretty much ignores me when I go to pick him up now.
  2. I’m not sure what’s going on with Little Dude’s sleep: whereas he had started sleeping through the night a couple of weeks ago, he has started waking up at 11pm and then 5am over the last week.
  3. My body seems to have adjusted to nursing and pumping.  For now, I am able to keep up with my son’s (decreasing) milk demand.  I might make it to a year after all!
  4. I just received the beautiful tuque I ordered for my son from this great Etsy shop!
  5. This week is the Masterchef and Amazing Race finale.  So excited to see who wins!
  6. I finally received the prints I ordered for my partner’s birthday.  Little Dude is as cute as ever (from my very unbiased point of view, of course!).
  7. I absolutely adore the Petit Lem pyjama line!
  8. This week’s meals include some yummy baby back ribs.
  9. I really need to get my award posts out, I received some of them months ago.
  10. I’m hesitating between starting Dan Brown’s Lost Symbol or rereading for the you-don’t-want-to-know-how-manyth-time the Harry Potter series.
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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