Thursday, July 31, 2008

The real deal on being a mother

I would like to preface that I LOVE my son but I feel the need to write this post so please bear with me

I knew being a mother was hard but what I didn't know was that it is a lot harder than I thought. At 10 weeks, I feel like I have a handle on Benjamin but in the back of my mind, I know he will change. Before I had him, I talked about all the walking we'd do along the river (we did this once), all the lunches we'd go on (we did this once), all the napping I'd do when he naps (hardly ever), how clean my house would be (I cleaned it 8 weeks ago and it's a total mess right now), how we'd go to the Farmer's Market each week (went twice). I had no idea how hard it would be to get a baby to sleep (thank you sleep books!). The things that have been easy have been those I thought would be hard ... diaper changing and breastfeeding.

Point being, I thought I'd be able to do a lot of stuff in which I haven't. I was going to start the South Beach Diet but since I'm breastfeeding, I have this hardy appitite and there is no point in dieting just eating healthy (fruits, veggies, lean protein, whole wheat). I can't make it to the gym because I can't go during the day and by the time Ben is in bed, it's 9 p.m.

The reason why I'm writing this is that I had a total meltdown on my husband last night. Yesterday was exhausting. I had some friends over and Ben didn't want to sleep but at the same time he did want to sleep. I finally got him down for a nap around 3 p.m. only for the dog to wake him up 15 mins later (is it a cruel to want to buy a bark collar?). On Wednesdays, my husband has a standing thing. He only missed his standing thing once in the past 10 weeks but yesterday after Ben wouldn't go to sleep last night, I asked him to stay home because I was exhausted! My husband was a little upset about this and sorta pouted about it and then I had my meltdown. My hobby right now is Ben. He eats 8 hours a day! That is what I signed up for and I haven't been able to fix my hair (good thing I have a haircut that looks good without fixing) or put make up on in 10 weeks. I am one size away from fitting into clothes and well, I don't have anytime for myself or alone time with my husband. Of course, my husband felt really bad about the pouting and let me go to bed early.

Today I canceled coffee with a friend so Ben wouldn't miss his nap (he naps at 9 a.m., noonish and 3 p.m.ish). As much as I need human interaction right now, that kid needs his naps so he isn't overtired. I learned my lesson yesterday. Small sacrifice for my child.

Yes, I love Ben. He is truly a wonderful gift. I am grateful that I have a very involved husband too who steps in and helps because I know alot of men that don't help their wives with the baby. I am grateful for my friends who always want to help out too.

The one thing I know about motherhood -- it's ever changing and that when this little guy smiles at you at 3 a.m. when he's hungry -- it melts your heart.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Rock n roll all night ..

Party everyday!
Originally uploaded by Shanlee
... party everyday. Well, he didn't rock n roll last night -- more like for once he got a good night sleep! Let's hope this trend continues though I'm still unsure of when he wants to go to bed. Some days it's 6:30 or 7:30 or 8:30. Last night, it was 8:30.

Every Tuesday, Ben and I go to Mom's Morning at Birthing and Beyond. It's the one activity I'll leave the house for even if I'm sleep deprived or Ben is sleeping. It's a group of new moms lead by Bend's baby guru-- Anne Carlson. Anne always has the answers it seems which is why I never want to miss and will totally miss the group when I go back to work in a few weeks. I often start my sentences to my husband "So Anne was saying today that ..." Along with Anne, there are ladies and babes in arms asking the same things you've been thinking about. Today she made me feel alot better about his lopsided head. I can't seem to get him to sleep on the other side. She said her usual "well, that's normal" and "you have nothing to worry about." If you're pregnant right now and are a new mom in Central Oregon -- please make sure you don't miss Mom's Mornings!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Smiling Ben

Where have I been? Well, dealing with an all of a sudden fussy baby. I thought it was just the shots but since then he hasn't slept the greatest at night. During the day, he'll take his usual morning cat nap, afternoon long nap and another cat nap before bed. When we put him to bed at night, he'll sleep a 4 hour stretch and then wake up every 90 mins. I am hoping this passes but I am sleep deprived and well, not in the greatest mood.

Right now, he's fighting the afternoon nap he's usually 90 mins into by now. It's hard to be upset when the little guy flashes that toothless grin though.

So if I have fallen off the face of the earth, I have. I hope we get into some habit of sleeping before I go back to work three weeks from today.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

He (we) survived

Ben had his 2 month doctors appointment today and survived. He is now 22 inches long and weighs over 10 lbs. He favors one side of his head so we have to wedge his head when he sleeps so it's not lopsided. His sleeping is ahead of where he should be as he falls asleep on his own with no problems or cries (it's those DHA pills I took during pregnancy) and is a healthy happy kid. He does seem to have a droopy eyelid but they're going to watch and see. Anyday now he should be sleeping longer stretches.

He also got his first round of vaccines. I'm of the mindset that kids should get vaccines. I'm not a doctor therefore I'm not going to tell my wonderful pediatrician what shots to give my kids though he did give me the option to drop one, I didn't. The shots went fast and of course, he cried but now he is sleeping like a baby in his crib since he missed his afternoon nap. We'll see if he's fussy or not. I won't take a guess to jinx myself either!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Happy 2 months

Dear Benjamin,

Today you are two months old. No surprise, you did a lot of changing this month. Last month, you were needy. This month, you wanted to sleep the month away it seemed. You did a lot of growing. As of yesterday, you were 10 lbs, 11 oz. Tomorrow, you get your first round of shots and we'll find out how long you are too!

You can hold your head up better and when you're tired, you like to bonk your head against my shoulder over and over. What a goof you are sometimes? You definitely take after your Daddy.

Speaking of taking after your Daddy -- you look JUST like him! You have the same nose and same mouth. It's amazing how with each day, we can see your Dad in you.

You also learned how to smile socially at ppl. You like to smile at us on the changing table for some reason and you smile at The Dude (Mr. Monkey) all the time. You often coo at him while you're hanging out in the Gymni or you talk to him while he's helping you fall asleep at night. You also like to hold a conversation with the bear mirror in the Jeep while you are in the car seat.

This month you had a chance to meet your Grandpa Mike and Grandma Jeanne. Man, did they spoil you (and us!) rotten when they came to visit. Made us maybe think we should move closer to them so they can enjoy you more!

For some reason, you don't like the car seat. At first you are OK but after about 5 mins you cry and cry and cry and have a meltdown. I wish I knew why you don't like it but hopefully this phase passes fast.

You're also mesmerized by the ceiling fan. If I need to get ready, you are perfectly happy laying on our bed staring. In fact, you did this for a whole 30 mins, cooing as if the ceiling fan was human.

You have started sleeping better. If we don't get you to bed around 7 p.m., you get really fussy and tend to wake up more often but when you do go to bed at 7 p.m. you tend to sleep like a baby. This makes me sad because when I go back to work, I won't have much time with you. You seem to have regular nap times which I know will change. They seem to be at 10 a.m., noon and 3 p.m. Most of the time, naps are in the crib but you do like to fall asleep on my shoulder, on my chest and next to me.

This month you visited the fish hatchery when the grandparents were here, Munch n Music, Bend Summerfest and you made several errand runs with me. You love the Baby Bjorn too. You also had your first babysitter, Gracie! You will see more of her in the future.

I wish I could get a photo of this but you often do "fish lips" -- meaning you pout with your bottom lip out. If you ask your Grandma Casey, you get that from your Momma.

I can't wait to see what next month brings. I know you're on the verge of laughing. I can't wait to hear what it sounds like.


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

More Baby Legs

Benjamin's flame, skull and argyle Baby Legs came today. He was really pleased to not have cold legs before bedtime. Brian thinks the argyle ones look a little too Catholic School Girl.

Breastfeeding and working

I'm less than a month from going back to work and well, I'm not looking forward to it. It's not because I don't like my job -- in fact, I love my job. I'm going back to a new manager and new staff and less work meaning I can concentrate more on projects instead of trying to do everything. It's all I've wanted for the past year is to concentrate on doing a better job.

Why am I not looking forward to it? Well, why do you think? I love my kid. I will miss him. I don't want to miss out on his life and things he discovers. I cried when he went to bed at 7 p.m. the other night because the reality is that his bedtime is more and more looking like 7 p.m. He is smiling more and more. He knows me when I go in to feed him at night. He will be crying over the monitor and when he sees me, he is quiet and smiles. I like to think he's thinking "yea, you can hear me!"

I was talking to the daycare provider about his sleep schedule and eating. As much as I would like to run over and feed him, it's not going to happen and I'm afraid he will start to wean himself off breastfeeding as it's happened to friends of mine. That would be really sad. I know 3 a.m. feedings sound like a pain but generally after I shake off the sleep, I enjoy our cuddly time.

So, I'm going to use the power of positive thoughts. I hope he can handle the bottle and the boob until he's at least 6 months old.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Baby Whisperer

I was just looking and I have three books on how to get your baby to sleep. I'm a little obsessed with sleep, if you ask my husband. My most recent read is The Baby Whisperer.

One of the things the book says is to start your nightly routine as soon as the baby starts yawning. Tonight, Ben started yawning at 6 p.m. Wow, that's early. When I go back to work, I'll just be coming home meaning I won't get to see him much which makes me really sad. So sad, I cried. Ben started yawning and by the third, the bath was ready and daddy got him all clean. Then I turned on the lullabies and nursed him. He went right to sleep. So I checked on him 10 mins later, he was wide awake but calm. The book says leave them if they are crying and so I did. After 10 mins, I went back in and BINGO, he was asleep. Does this mean he fell asleep on his own? I'm unsure -- there was no jiggling involved or rocking but we swaddled him. Does that count on him falling asleep? Maybe this is a fluke.

Yes, I am sad my kid is asleep at 7 p.m. I won't see him that much and man, that sucks. I go back to work in 4 weeks and that means not much time with my child. Oy!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Night out!

For my husband's birthday he wanted to see Dark Knight which meant we had to dive in and find a sitter. Not always wanting to call on my sister in law, I called on my friend's responsible daughter to watch Ben. She has been babysitting a little girl since she was 3 months old so I decided to give it a whirl.

I was more nervous for her because Ben is a little unpredictable these days and instead of an evening movie we went early so I wouldn't have to subject her to putting him asleep. I was more afraid I'd come home and she'd say "YOU HAVE A DEMON CHILD AND I WILL NEVER BABYSIT AGAIN." Of course, none of this happened and even though I had a meltdown when I saw my cell phone ran out of battery, we all survived. I plan on calling her again soon as when I walked in the door, she was showing Ben The Dude aka Mr. Monkey and he was smiling.

Ben's sleep is not going the greatest at night. I'm looking forward to when he can fall asleep on his own or I figure out when he's calm enough to leave him in the crib and he won't have a complete meltdown and just go to sleep. I think I'm going to start trying it out with naps. The key -- learning his sleep cues.

Friday, July 18, 2008

8 weeks

Nope! No smiles here
Originally uploaded by Shanlee
I can hardly believe that this kid is 8 weeks old. I did a dumb thing yesterday -- I took my kid to Munch n Music and he didn't like the loud music. Guess who isn't going to be a rockstar. I totally beat myself up for being a bad mommy yesterday.

His new thing the past few nights is not going to bed until almost 10 p.m. I guess I'm getting my wish that he's more alert -- just wish it was during the day where he pretty much sleeps (on me unless I get him in the crib swaddled) 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. only waking to eat. If he is awoken early, he is fussy.

This kid more and more looks like his dad. He has his mouth and nose. I still can't figure out where I fit into the picture as I see nothing in him. Some say he has my face shape and eyes but I don't see it.

Happy 8 weeks, Benjamin! Momma loves you.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Dad & Benjamin
Originally uploaded by Shanlee
Today, my husband turns 36. Though he thinks he is old, Benjamin thinks he's pretty neat and got him a Kelty Kid Carrier for all the snoeshoe and hiking trips his Daddy keeps talking about!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

He's a MANIAC! MANIAC! For sure!

Sporting the Baby Legs!
Originally uploaded by Shanlee
Fashion show time!!! For those cold Bend evenings, I picked up some Baby Legs. Sadly, these were the only boy looking ones they had in stock but I think I'm going to do some online shopping and get him some with skulls on them because Daddy doesn't like his kid wearing "leg warmers."

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Big toothless grins

Ben has been smiling for a couple of weeks but it wasn't until yesterday he flashed his big toothless grin during "paddy cake." It brought me to tears and bummed me out because Brian wasn't home yet. For some reason, he also smiles a lot on the changing table -- maybe he likes being naked?

Then last night while I was making dinner, he flashed that toothless grin at Brian. It brought tears to his eyes.

Since our smile yesterday, he has smiled two more times. Once at 1 a.m. when he was crying and I came in to check on him and once again this morning. I can't wait for more smiles.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Sleeping babies

Last night was rough. It wasn't as bad as the first week or so but imagine being woken up every two hours to crying. Ben usually goes to bed around 7:30-8:30 and will usually wake about 1 am to eat but last night he only slept until 11 p.m. and then proceeded to wake up every two hours. I tried not to feed him but it's what he seem to have want. That kid is such a barracuda at times. I was tired this morning and for once, when he napped, I napped.

Fast forward to his afternoon nap -- the one he takes every day from about 12:30 - 3 p.m. I'm in the other room making lunch when I hear my husband over the baby monitor. He claims Ben was crying but I didn't hear anything over the monitor. I used to make this mistake until I read an article about newborn sleep patterns and how they whimper and move and make tons of noise when sleeping. I would rescue Ben when he was just going into the next sleep pattern.

Here is a good article by Dr. Sears.

Now, off to try to salvage Ben's afternoon nap.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Baby weight

Today, I started my journey to become a size 10. My goal is by Benjamin's birthday to be down to a size 10. Yea, I know, I really can't diet because I'm breastfeeding but I can eat better things like fruits, veggies, whole grains and lean protein. Basically, anything that is processed I'm staying away from. At my OB appointment, I only had 12 pounds to go. Now, I just have 10 to go. My goal is to start weight class at the gym twice a week and walk with the baby to tone up. I wish I could join Chubby Mommy Running Club but when I try, it's during Ben's nursing time. I have tried to talk my husband into walking the butte (he definitely put on sympathy pregnancy weight) but he is too tired so alas, Ben and I will try to walk Monday - Friday after his 9 a.m.ish feeding.

I did hit the gym for weight class today which was awesome. I came home refreshed and ready for the day. Too bad my husband is working.

The sad thing is I will have to buy some new work pants to get me through until I'm back in pregnancy clothes.

Wish me luck! My goal is to weigh in each Sunday!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Benjamin & Mr. Monkey

Benjamin & Mr. Monkey
Originally uploaded by Shanlee
We have a routine for getting Ben to sleep each night. It includes bathtime (not always with soap -- maybe twice a week so we don't dry his skin out), a massage, nursing while listening to Wilco's Sky Blue Sky and then swaddling. Tonight he was wide awake so Brian unswaddled him and set Mr. Monkey in the crib. Ben reached out and gazed for a while and then fell asleep. We always joke that Mr. Monkey is his best friend but it's becoming a reality we think.

So, we're looking to name Mr. Monkey. Post in the comments and I'll post his new name in a week.

(p.s. We took that photo too to show Ben when he's older he was wearing a dress :) )

7 Weeks

Originally uploaded by Shanlee
I can not believe Benjamin is 7 weeks old. I noticed today he's holding his head up really good and he has been smiling alot more. He's on a regular schedule which I know will change. I can't believe how much he sleeps -- I bet he sleeps 18 hours a day. Is that normal for a 7 week old? My friend said her baby didn't sleep that much and I am lucky.

Tonight we are going to test out "dream feeding" at 10:30 to see if he'll sleep until 5 a.m. Wish me luck.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Doing his part to lessen his carbon footprint.

So cloth diapers are going great except that my baby (who only poops every other day or so) decided to start pooping on a regular basis meaning a few yucky diapers! I know, TMI. Anyway, we're using Bumpkin All-in-One cloth diapers. My mother-in-law was amazed at how far they have come in 23 years since she has used them.

Anyways, you have to rinse the yucky diapers in cold water so they don't set and use spray and wash so they don't stain. There is a flushable insert I put in that helps (I need to find out where to order these online).

We installed a clothes line so we can naturally dry them. I feel awesome for not filling the landfill too!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Pee uuu. Who me

Pee uuu. Who me
Originally uploaded by Shanlee
Grandma and Grandpa Moss stopped by from Arizona. It was a nice change of pace for us, having an extra set of hands but they took a ton of really cute photos.

Cloth diapers is going better than expected! Benjamin is excited to do his part for the enviroment!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Falling asleep with my zoo zoo

Grandma Jeanne taught me how to suck on the zoo zoo (aka pacifier). When I was a kid, my Gran Marie would call it a zoo zoo and I sucked on a zoo zoo until I was three. My mom broke this habit by "acting" like she flushed my zoo zoo down the toilet. Hopefully, we don't have to do that with Ben. He really needed it because he can't seem to find his thumb and likes to suck on his arm, giving himself arm hickies which have all healed up. HURRAY!

Isn't he the cutest!

Things I learn at Mom's Mornings...

I love Mom's Mornings as I get to bond with other mothers. Ben is still the youngest but we had new babies today. I am going to try to continue Mom's Mornings when work starts and take an extended lunch so Ben can see his friends.

Anyway, back to what I learned. You can file this under "TMI" but did you know that coconut oil is a good natural substitute for KY Jelly (which contains the same ingredient as anti-freeze)? Me neither. This came right out of a nurse practitioners mouth too.

So now you know ...


Benjamin has been more alert today than he usually has been. He's been playing under the Gymni, staring at himself in the mirror and looking at board books I prop up. Today we also started cloth diapers which are more work than disposables but better for our landfills. He's also smiling at his toys (not us as much) and cooing. We walk around out house cooing to see if he coos back.

He also met his Grandpa and Grandma Moss (my husband's dad and his wife). They spent the last 4 days holding and playing and giving me a break though mostly he only wants to be held when he's sleepy. I miss them already and wish we lived near them as they are good people. Pictures to come (they have them on their camera).

With company in town, we were on the move. I finally breastfed in public. First try was really good. Second try, not so much. The restaurant was too noisy and my husband was making me nervous so I went to the bathroom for privacy. Everyone got to experience Benjamin's fear of the car seat and Trader Joe's. In fact, he screamed for 20 mins on our ride back from Sisters. He also got off schedule but it wasn't so bad as he slept in the car seat and Baby Bjorn when he had a chance.

He is also sleeping longer stretches through the night. Twice this week, he slept a 5 hour stretch which is awesome. He is consistently getting up around 7 a.m.

Gotta run, he's getting bored and needs a new thing to look at.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Officially cleared

I went to my OB yesterday for my post check up. I was supposed to get the MMR shot since mine is out of date but she forgot about it. Oh well, guess I better do that soon. I have lost all but 12 pounds from being pregnant which leads both of us to believe that I was carrying alot of water because I gained 52 lbs. My blood pressure is still elevated so I need to start some sort of exercising and now I'm wondering when I can do that since having an infant is a 24/7 job. I guess I'll figure it out. Brian and I start the South Beach Diet (phase 2 -- phase 1 is too harsh on my body since I'm breast feeding) when my in-laws leave. I'm looking forward to eating more healthy.

I'm cleared to be a normal human being again. I love it how they ask "what form of birth control will you be using." Frankly, sex is the furthest thing from my mind. As me when Ben is sleeping longer at night. So many options are out since I'm breastfeeding.

I also got to cook today. I made chicken salad and French toast strada for breakfast tomorrow. My father-in-law is helping my husband install our fence so I need to make them something for breakfast. I'm finding that I can get a lot done during nap time if I have gotten more than 5 hours of sleep the night before. It's amazing that I can function on 5 hours of sleep. Amazing.

Well, happy 4th! Ben is 6 weeks old today! He is so big -- I can't believe how fast it has gone!

ps... We found a new daycare provider ... she's is awesome and Ben is one of 4 kids! He even has his own room to sleep in when he's there. I'm so thankful the other lady fell through!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Car seats

Benjamin is officially afraid of the car seat. Every time I put him in it, his cries gets so bad they resemble someone skinning a cat. It's really sad to hear esp. when you are driving and you can't pull over. When he does this when I am in the car with Brian, I sit with him in the back seat and let him hold my pinkie finger until he stops. He usually gets all red faced and falls asleep. I hope this passes soon because now I'm afraid to take him anywhere.

We are on night two of sleep rituals and it took me 49 mins to get him down to sleep and three tries. He favors his right hand to suck on so I've been letting his little hand peek up out of the swaddle to help him self sooth.

He is still eating every two hours. I'm getting a little frustrated because I feel like I nurse something like 8 hours a day - A full time job. Everyone says he'll start spacing them out but when? When he's 12?

Off to catch some shut eye!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The beauty of getting away

On Saturday night, our friend Diana offered to watch Ben so Brian and I could go have dinner at a local restaurant. I really wasn't scared to leave him with her since she is a pediatric nurse and he'd be sleeping. Our evening was nice as we sipped martinis while watching the sun go down on the Cascades from the Old Mill. What did we talk about? Oh, Benjamin. I can't seem to get away from talking about him as it's all I do all day. Our dramas have included projectile vomiting on me in front of my mom's group, not sleeping during the night but wanting to play and of course "not eating his peas" (meaning nursing).

As much as I love my kid, it is nice to go to the store without him and browse around. Since his meltdown in Trader Joes, I don't want to take him anywhere shopping as he all of a sudden doesn't like the car seat. I might just wait until he can sit up in the cart before we go back to shopping. I am in desperate need of a haircut and pedicure which I hope to get while my in-laws are here this weekend. I am so looking forward to the help as well.

I leave you with the most stinkin' cute kid ever!!

p.s. we are interviewing new day care providers this week. cross those fingers!