Thursday, February 28, 2008

Uptight friend

We had a playdate today with a friend of mine who lives nearby. We met her at the Y - we had several sessions of mommy and me swim class together; her older daughter is D's age and she now has a 13 month old as well. Anyway, we saw each other enough at the Y that we became friendly and at some point started getting together at each other's houses. D plays really, really well with her daughter and I mostly enjoy getting together with her as well. She's nice and it's fun to have another mommy with kids the same age as mine to chat with.

She is, however, incredibly uptight - that and she's super opinionated about a lot of things and that makes for quite the combination. I should have known when the first time we got together we started taking about what we did before kids, and being stay-home moms. She seriously went off on how she thinks, in the absence of financial need, women should always stay home with their kids and women who choose work over their children are selfish and materialistic. Granted, I love staying home and it's important to me to do so; but I'm not going to get up on some high horse and declare that all should do as I do.

In any case, we were talking today about preschool. We're sending D to preschool in the fall. We found this great school at a local church that we really like and we're all excited about it. So I asked her if she was thinking of doing preschool for her daughter. Boy did I open a can of worms! She started by saying she's really undecided about the whole thing, but doesn't think E will be ready for preschool this coming year and she's considering home schooling anyway. That's cool, I don't have any problem with homeschooling. But then I had to listen to her litany of reasons that she has issues with public schools and how she wants her daughter to be free to learn at her own pace and not be pidgeonholed into working from workbooks and doing canned activities with 30 other kids (and so on and so forth).

Every time I've had a conversation like this with her, I can't help but feel simultaneously exsasperated and like a huge slacker. Yeah, sorry, I'll take the pidgeonholing and workbooks because I'm too lazy to consider homeschooling. I don't think she's thinking that of me, nor does anything she says imply that she does. But whenever I'm around a more "crunchy" mom, I can't help but feel a little inadequate. Maybe inadequate isn't the right word, but I feel like any reason I give for not growing my own organic vegetables, baking my own whole grain, non-processed bread, and sending my kids to school outside the home where I (God forbid) won't have complete control over every aspect of their learning, any reason would amount to, "my kids aren't important enough for that," at least in their eyes.

I don't have a ton of mom friends, at least that I get together with regularly. Our good friends live next door, and L is a great friend of mine, but there's a weird dynamic between the two of us that prevents her from being my go-to mom friend, if that makes any sense. I have a couple of other girlfriends with kids, but I don't see them real often, mostly because of geographical distance. And talk about geographical distance - my online mom friends are great, but they aren't around for playdates and afternoon chats about preschool. (oh would that they were).

Today I find myself longing for a few mom friends who are close by and a little more like me. I think I'm a pretty laid back chick and it would be great to commiserate with someone else who holds similar views. Someone who isn't balking at the idea of sending their kid to school, who's ok with letting go a little bit and letting their kids be uncomfortable once in a while, even when that's hard. Someone who buys their food at a regular grocery store, in the regular food section and doesn't mind if sometimes dinner is leftover Papa John's pizza. Someone who won't think I'm terrible for letting my kids cry sometimes when sleep is a problem (boy, I'd never, ever discuss sleep issues with her!), or think I'm stifling my child's spirit by counting to three and then giving a time out if he's not listening. Someone I can have a conversation with that includes less nodding and smiling on my part, and more sharing of ideas, feelings and experiences.

I like having this person as a friend, if a little bit of a distant one. I don't mind that she thinks so differently than I do about things and our kids really have fun together. I'm just wishing for someone nearby who I could be a little more relaxed around and just have some plain old fun.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Two little updates

One - my husband came home and apologized to D for yelling at him earlier. D got this very thoughtful look on his face, furrowed his brow, pursed his lips and scrunched his nose, and then said, "That's ok Daddy. I love you."

Sigh. He's such a sweet boy.

Two - I registered for the Danskin in the wee hours of the morning. Luckily I didn't forget; registration closed at 10:20 am this morning. Two years ago I think it took a week to fill up. Today it happened within hours. Pretty amazing. I bet they could do two races in Seattle and they'd both sell out!

My mom also got in (she woke up in the night to pee and decided to check and see if registration had opened) but my friend Laura (who did the race with us two years ago) didn't. She's on vacation at Disneyland with her family. When they left I assumed she knew when registration was set to open, so I didn't mention it; I'm sure she got the email announcement. This morning I left a message on her husband's phone, after searching for her name a couple of times and not finding it. They never called back. Around 11 I talked to my husband and asked him if he thought I should go ahead and register her, but it was too late - the race had closed.

I have to wonder if she secretly didn't want to do it. That's why I hesitated earlier this morning to just register her; if she didn't actually want to do the race and figured she could get away with it by "forgetting" while on vacation, I didn't want to mess with her plans and sign her up. Of course, I could be completely wrong and she's going to be really disappointed. I don't know.

In any case, I'm set - August 17th. And I have two races before that - one just 6 weeks away! Of course, it's short and an indoor event, so it isn't as big of a deal. But still - I have some work to do!

Sorry honey, no sympathy

My husband is currently mad. Not really at me - more at our son. And I have zero sympathy for him.

I shouldn't say zero sympathy - I have a little. Remember when I said my husband has issues? Yeah... last night he woke up in the middle of the night with bad heartburn. It started to panic him a little; not quite a panic attack, but he woke me up to say his heart was racing and he couldn't sleep. He wound up getting up and when I got up at about 3:45 with G, he was sitting at his computer and still couldn't calm down enough to go back to bed. That part, I have sympathy for.

He came home during his lunch to take a nap. The boys and I were on our way home from the gym, so he was in bed when we got here. I got the boys lunch, etc. and after getting D settled with a video, I went upstairs to put G down for his nap.

While I was getting G down, D came upstairs upset, trying to get my attention. Turns out his movie had skipped (DVD is probably dirty). He knows he's not supposed to come in G's room when its naptime, so he wandered around whining and eventually realized Daddy was home. I guess at that point, he came into our room and started whining at my husband for help. My husband, being tired from the night before and grouchy at being woken up, yelled at him and told him to go back downstairs. Eventually he must have, because when I came out of G's room, D was back to his movie.

At that point it was time for D's quiet time, so I brought him upstairs, read him his books, and so on. He was fine in his room, so I wanted to get a quick shower. While I was in the shower, D apparently came out of his room to go potty. He's capable of doing it by himself, but lately he's pretty insistent on wanting help - or perhaps he just wants company, I don't know. In any case, he found Daddy again and got upset when Daddy told him to get back to his room.

I came out and found D sobbing on the bathroom floor and my husband was gone. I got D calmed down, helped him go potty and got him back to his room to finish quiet time. Then I got on IM to talk to my husband and figure out what on earth happened - considering he'd disappeared without so much as a goodbye.

So he's mad; he's mad that D woke him up a couple times and wouldn't leave him alone. He's really tired, and obviously that's making his fuse a lot shorter. But geez, dude. Welcome to my world! Oh no, the kids won't leave you alone? Ah, poor baby. That's so tragic. I mean seriously, when I don't get any sleep, do I get to lock myself in our room and take a nap regardless of what else is going on in the house? What does he expect?

I get that he's tired, and his night did suck (although even that was self inflicted - he keeps eating things he KNOWS his stomach can't tolerate). But now he's all upset because his nap didn't work out and I just can't find any sympathy for that. Yeah, we have kids and they mess things up - even when we're tired, or sick or just need a break. We can't always get that nap we really need, or take the break we are craving. That's called being a parent.

Bleh - he's such a GUY sometimes.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


I finally got some news about the Danskin. Registration for the Seattle race opens next week, on the 26th. You can bet that will be the first thing I do next Tuesday morning! Maybe I'll even log on after G's first night feeding and see if it opened after midnight.

I've decided I have to go back to keeping a food log. I weighed in this morning at 148.8, which is down a little since the beginning of the year. But I'd hoped to be more like 143-144 by now, at least to be on track to be rid of the baby weight by G's birthday (in May). I guess I should be happy I haven't gained weight, especially considering the goodies that keep making their way into the house - and I have zero willpower. If it's in the house, I have such a hard time resisting. And it seems like we've gone from one chocolatey holiday to the next, in such quick succession I never recover. Halloween, Thanksgiving (which isn't as chocolatey, but oh the pie!), Christmas, Valentine's Day, and Easter which falls so early this year... Good grief!

In any case, I've had really great success losing weight by keeping a food log - literally writing down everything I eat and adding up the nutritional values (particularly the calories, although I also watch carbs). Two years ago, before getting pregnant with G, that's how I got down to a good, healthy 132-ish. I've been avoiding doing it again, hoping I could manage to lose without all the work it takes to keep a food log, but I'm frustrated and I need to do something different. So food log it is.

Plus, I tried on my new triathlon race top that I just bought (found it on sale) and my tri shorts and... damn. That's not a pretty picture. They fit, in the sense that I can get them on and breathe while wearing them. But the shorts cut right through my mommy-middle and make this lovely roll. And triathlon clothes hide nothing, let me tell you. I could theoretically wear something else, especially for my indoor event in April, but it's so much easier to wear this stuff since I can do all three legs of the race in one outfit without changing. I just have to decide how much I'm going to let it all hang out there.

I tell you, G did a number on my midsection! I've always been a little more pear shaped (despite my PCOS, which tends to make women gain in their midsection). But now, my thighs aren't so bad (not great, but not horrible either), but my midsection is still so flabby. I still look about like I did at 14-16 weeks pregnant, it think. Of course, then I was going from being pretty thin to having a baby bump. But I'm carrying so much more weight around the middle than I ever have before, at least in proportion to the rest of me.

Of course, I did get enormous while pregnant last time, so there you go...

I guess that's most of my random thoughts. Oh, and if someone could tell D to stop holding his pee until he can't hold it anymore, that would be great. I had to change him no less than four times today. He knows how to go, he just doesn't want to stop what he's doing and go to the bathroom. I swear, if it isn't one thing with that boy, it's another - first he holds his poop, now he's holding his pee. Nothing is ever easy, is it?

I'm hungry.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Feed me, Mommy!

G is a chunk of a baby. When we recently had to take him to the doctor, he weighed 21lbs 9oz. I expect at his 9 month checkup next week, he'll be 22lbs. I don't know when D hit 22lbs, but it was long after turning one. In fact, I put G to bed tonight in jammies that I have pictures of D wearing at 15 months old.

Anyway, people are always commenting on how big he is and I've had so many people tell me "he's going to be an eater!" Up to recently, 99.9% of that glorious baby chub was mommy-milk produced. He's been exclusively breastfed since birth. At six months we gave solids a try, but he wasn't interested. His gag reflex took a while to calm, and his recent illness made him gaggier than ever. So, much to the surprise of the casual onlooker, he wasn't a big eater - at least of solid foods.

Until now.

I tell you, the last few days that boy has decided solids are good and he wants to eat! It's hysterical. I'm so used to D, who subsists on a handful of crackers and a few cups of milk a day (ok, that's not quite true, but he doesn't eat much). Even as a baby, D wasn't a big eater. He never, ever finished a jar of babyfood or a cup of yogurt in a sitting. His little body just doesn't need much fuel; he's perfectly healthy, growing and developing normally.

G, on the other hand, just may prove everyone right and be a big eater. He apparently likes the plum-banana-oatmeal combo we tried tonight because he devoured almost the entire jar. And he still nursed 15 minutes later when I put him to bed! He's been going crazy for those banana fruit puffs, although he gags less often if I give him half of one at a time. But still - he was reaching out for the canister and almost biting my finger off every time I gave him one.

I guess I'm going to be continually amazed at the differences in my boys. G is so different from D; I've been saying that since the day he was born, you'd think I'd be used to it by now.

I think my husband and I should start saving now so we can afford to feed them when they're teenagers.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Just open registartion already!

Although it still feels weird to call myself an "athlete", I like to do triathlons. Yeah, you know, those crazy races where you swim, then hop on your bike, then run. Apparently I like pain. And I'm a little nutty.

I'm not some crazy uber athlete. I'm not even very fast. Ok, so I'm actually rather slow. But I've embraced my slowness (sort of) and hey, at least I'm out there!

I did two triathlons in '06. Two weeks (literally) after I did my "big" one (the race I originally decided to do and trained long and hard to finish) I got pregnant with G. So I've been sidelined since then and am bound and determined to get back on the bandwagon this year. You know, before I go and get myself knocked up again.

I'm planning for three races this year. Two of them are small, local races, being held by my YMCA. The first is in April and is all indoor; I have yet to find out what the distances are, but they've done them in the past and they're pretty short. The second one is in May, also based at my Y. Should be fun, although I'm really hoping they changed the bike course - it was SO hilly last time!

But my biggie is the Danksin women's triathlon. It will be in August and it was the big race me, my friend Laura and my mom all did in '06. It was my mom's crazy idea to try a triathlon, and I've thanked her more than once for talking me into it. To call it life-changing might sound cliche, but it's also quite true. I've never been athletic, or even in very good shape, and training for a tri sure changed that!

In any case, I really, really want to do the Danskin again this year. They have several races around the country, including Seattle. Only one location has had their registration open (Orlando) and it sold out in less than 24 hours. So I'm totally paranoid that I'm going to miss it. Their website has said "Registration for Remaining Races Will Open Soon" for weeks now and it's making me crazy. I just want to get registered so I can relax about it!

Obviously not the biggest worry I have in my life, but I'm hoping by some sort of trick of the universe that if I bitch about it online, registration will magically open tomorrow morning and I'll get in.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

A worthy trade

My husband has issues. A year and a half ago (give or take) he started seeing a therapist and on his first visit he attempted to answer the question of "so why are you here?" and it took him the whole hour - and even then I don't think he got through everything. It isn't that he's a complete disaster, and I'm not going to go into all the details here, but my first statement pretty much sums it up - issues.

One of those issues is that he's an online gaming addict. I don't use the "a" word lightly, nor jokingly. If they had the equivalent of AA meetings for online gamers, I'd be finding out where the meetings are held. Probably online (a little irony for you). But seriously, it started years ago with Everquest (which many people came to call Evercrack) and culminated in his obsessive playing of World of Warcraft.

A year ago things were at their worst. He was literally playing WoW 40-50 hours per week. And yes, he works full time. He'd log on at any opportunity, played evenings, nights, weekends; during the day at work he'd spend half his time on IM to his gaming friends, planning the next "raid". He barely slept for months on end, except for some weekends when he'd finally crash and sleep for like a day; only to be up until 3am that night, gaming. The stress it put on our marriage is something we're still trying to recover from, and the full extent of which I think he's only now beginning to understand.

This is going to sound awful, but there was this day when I walked by our computer room after putting D to bed (by myself, of course) and I stopped and looked at him and realized something horrible. I didn't like him very much. It wasn't that I didn't love him, or wanted to get a divorce or something stupid and dramatic. But I looked at this guy sitting at that computer, and I didn't like him a whole lot. He was overweight and out of shape, badly in need of a haircut, sitting at a desk peppered with empty diet coke cans, dirty dishes and various wrappers and crumpled fast food bags. He wore a headset with big headphones and a microphone, because you know, typing to your friends while you're gaming just doesn't cut it. I stopped and I looked at this guy, this person who had become a stereotypical "gamer" and there wasn't much about him that I liked. He was angry and defensive with me much of the time, rarely spent any time with me except when he wanted sex, would fall asleep on the floor while playing with our son because he was so sleep deprived and continually went into work late because he couldn't pull himself out of bed. Yet he'd never miss a "raid" or an opportunity to game.

So, in a nutshell, things pretty much sucked.

Then, on Feb 19th of last year, he woke up in the early hours with chest pains. I knew exactly what was happening. He was having a flare up of his chronic acid reflux and it was giving him a panic attack (something he started suffering from after nearly losing his life in a fishing accident - see, I said issues). He was terrified he was dying (a classic symptom of said panic attack). He wanted to go to the ER, so we went. Because their policy is to always treat patients complaining of chest pains as cardiac patients until proven otherwise, we found ourselves sitting in the ER with him hooked up to goodness knows how many monitors, with nitro glycerin dripping into his veins. You know that stuff is explosive? Yeah, bad news.

But the kicker wasn't that his heart was ok (which I already knew), nor that an upper-GI scope found his esophogus and stomach looked like "hamburger" (which didn't surprise me given his eating habits and diet coke addiction), but his blood sugar was 300. I remember a nurse coming over to him and asking if anyone had ever told him he was diabetic. Nope. Why he was shocked, I have no idea. I'd been telling him he had symptoms of diabetes for weeks - constant thirst, peeing all the time, sudden weight loss despite his bad eating habits. So what started as an ER trip due to his chest hurting became a three day hospital stay while they got his blood sugar stabilized and educated him all about diabetes and how to control it.

That proved to be something of a turning point for him. Not that I'd ever wish for him to be diabetic, it was probably one of the better things that had happened to him in a while. For years me and others around him had been warning him that something was going to go wrong. Finally, something did, and he stood up and took notice.

The second day into the hospital stay, he quit playing WoW. I was ecstatic. Two days prior I never would have dreamed he'd actually quit. My hope was always that I could somehow convince him to play less. But quit? Unthinkable. But he actually did. He even sold his account, which contained the characters he'd spent so many hours building and "leveling". I thought this was it - things could only get better from here.

And you know, he did make some good changes. He started working out and eating better. He lost some weight and some of those habits are still in place a year later. But a few months into things, he started playing WoW again. I don't think he even told me at first, which was my first red flag. When I did mention it, he said he was just "messing around with his friends". Right. As I predicted it would, things escalated. He simply cannot play that game "a little" or "mess around". He's an all or nothing guy with most things, and this was no exception.

Finally things came to a head again a few weeks ago. He got in an argument with our best friend (who is also our next door neighbor and his business partner). The next day they went to lunch together to hash things out. I don't know what was said there, but I do know they spent over 4 hours talking, and my husband once again quit WoW that night.

I think he has a better idea now of why he can't play. He realizes that no matter how much he likes it, he does not have the ability to control himself. It always escalates into something that interferes with his life. Over the last year he tried to justify his return to gaming by saying he wasn't playing "as much" as before - but it was still a problem. And if you have to justify something, maybe there's a reason. I think it's finally starting to sink in how his gaming was affecting the people around him. Last year it was all about him, all about how it was affecting his life. But it hadn't occurred to him how much he had hurt the people around him. It sounds like he's finally beginning to understand that.

Do I think this is the end? I don't know. I've thought that before and it always comes back to haunt us, so I'm skeptical. Will I have something to say about it if he tries to start playing again? You can bet your ass.

So what is the worthy trade? He had two WoW accounts that cost him about $34 per month, in total. He cancelled both accounts. With that extra money, we're going to upgrade my YMCA membership to include the whole family, so we can go swimming together or participate in other activities as a family. It's as much a practical consideration as a symbolic gesture, and one that I hope has some meaning for him as it does for me.

His selfish time traded in for family time; a worthy trade indeed.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

This is why I don't get enough sleep...

I know I bitch about sleep a lot, but dammit, I'm tired.

Last night I headed to bed around 10, but my husband followed me into the room and, well, I'm sure you can imagine why. So I didn't get to bed until about 10:45. G slept through until 2, so the first part of the night went fine, despite getting to bed a little later than I'd planned.

Around 4:30 I was awoken by a little voice outside my door calling, "I have to go pee!" Sweet boy. Instead of lying in his bed crying, he finally did what we told him to do - came out to find us so he could get help going potty. Usually my husband is in charge of D's late night antics, but I popped out of bed without even thinking about it, immediately worrying that he'd been calling for us for a while and would either pee his pants or get upset because we weren't answering. After going potty, he went back to bed ok, but the whole process took a while.

After that I tried to go back to sleep, and I think I did briefly before G woke up again. I don't remember sleeping, but it seems like I must have. I nursed G back to sleep and went back to bed again. I couldn't fall asleep. I hate it when that happens! I was so tired, but its like my brain turned on and there were too many things flitting through my mind for me to settle down.

I finally did fall asleep around 6, only to have G wake up for the day at 6:15. Yuck. That's early for him, but it figures. D didn't get up until after 7. That figures too; one of them is up at the crack of dawn (before, really), and the other sleeps a little later.

So once again, I was up at 4:30 and never really got back to sleep; at least not for more than 10-15 minutes, and that doesn't really count.

Gee, I wonder why I'm tired all the time? Something like this happens almost every single day. If it isn't one thing, its another.

Ok, bitch over.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The price of a workout

Working out is a part of my life that is not optional. I started back when G was 2 months old and it did wonders for my sanity; still does. Before G was born, I usually worked out in the evening after D went to bed. That doesn't work anymore; plus I never liked doing it then, I just felt like it was my only option. So now I take them to the Y with me and put them in the nursery.

I had to really work with D to get him used to going to the gym nursery. I joined the local YMCA when he was 11 months old, and from then until he was 2 1/2, every time I tried to leave him there he did nothing but scream. They almost always had to call me to come pick him up. It was awful. I'd try for a few days, then give up and go back to working out after he was in bed so I didn't have to mess with it.

Now D does ok. He doesn't love it, and often says he doesn't want to go. However, he does have fun once he's there, and as long as we go regularly he does pretty good.

G was the easy one. At 2 months old, they just held him; all the girls adored him. He was so sweet and mellow, they loved having him. But a few months ago, probably back in December, something changed. Perhaps separation anxiety? Teething? Both? I don't know. He started crying when I left him. Now he literally fusses or cries the whole time I'm gone, every single time. They don't usually need to page me, although I can't leave him for more than 30 minutes or he really melts down and they do. But he's upset from the moment I hand him off to one of the staff. They hold him, carry him around (and that's no easy feat, even for just half an hour - he's heavy!), and do their best to keep him calm. But he does not like it one bit.

I'm wallowing in mommy guilt over it and I'm dying for someone to tell me it's ok to leave him, even if he's upset. I know the staff there are good, and I know they'll page me if he cries hard. But still. He's always a little teary-eyed and splotchy when I pick him up and it breaks my heart. I hate handing him over and seeing him start to pout; he does the most heart wrenching boo-boo lip and these big crocodile tears trail down his cheeks. And I feel bad for the staff too; I see the looks on their faces when we show up. Oh boy, here comes the high maintenance baby.

Sigh. It's only 30 minutes. I'm in the building. If he really cries, they call me. And he'll get over it, eventually (right?).

I need that time. I went two weeks without a single trip to the gym due to all of us being sick and I felt like a slug. I need to be able to workout, even for just 30 minutes. I need it for the sake of my health, my hormones, and most importantly, my sanity. Right now I'm just hating the cost.

This mommy stuff is hard sometimes.

Friday, February 8, 2008

My crazy father-in-law

My father in law is a great guy. He loves my husband, loves his grandkids and is generally a fun dude to be around. He's a bit... how to say it... simple? He's been a fisherman most of his life and grew up in a tiny town in the middle of nowhere. He barely knows how to use his cell phone. It isn't that he's dumb, he just lives a different life than a lot of us in modern day society. And he's happy as a clam about it.

He's also one of the worst gift givers ever. He means well, but he's just bad at picking out gifts. He came up today and for some reason decided to stop at WalMart on the way (he lives about 2 hours from us). First of all, he showed up at our house a good two hours after calling me to ask for directions off the freeway, since he came from a different direction (when he should have been about 10 minutes from our house). What he was doing that whole time, I don't know, other than shopping at WalMart. Unfortunately, my kids go to bed early, so he missed G by almost an hour and even though D went to bed late, he didn't see him much either.

But the gifts were the best. He bought D and G a Valentine's Day card, which was really sweet. He also got them each a little outfit; D's has a bulldozer on it, so it's immediately a winner. So those were good. But he also bought them both a box of chocolates - fine for D, but G... well, I just had to laugh at him buying an 8 month old a heart shaped box of chocolates. G gags on fruit puffs; even if I was willing to let him have that kind of stuff at this age, he'd never be able to handle it. It just made me laugh though, because my FIL simply doesn't know that kind of stuff. He'd be feeding G popcorn and peanuts if left to his own devices.

He also bought me something - and don't get me wrong here, I absolutely appreciate the thought. First was a bottle of wine. Where he got the idea that I'm a wine drinker, I don't know. I like a glass occassionally, but I almost never buy it. My husband rarely drinks and doesn't like wine and I could never get through a bottle fast enough to make it worth buying. Plus, I'm breastfeeding. Here, have a drink - maybe G will sleep through the night with some wine laced breastmilk!

But the kicker was the shirt he bought me with a great big sticker on the front that says, "Instantly Slims You!"

(insert bag over head here)

It was SO awkward! It wasn't like there was a blurb on the tag or something you'd have to search for to see. It was this huge, yellow sticker and everyone else saw it as he handed it to me. OMG.

I know he means well, and maybe he didn't even notice the sticker, just thought I'd like a nice shirt. And if he did notice it, I'm sure he figured, hey, she had a baby recently, she might like to look skinnier. It's the kind of logic he's famous for.


This is, of course, my father in law who told me when I started gaining weight in my late teens (I was dating my husband then), that it was nice to see me "filling out". But he did make up for it when I was pregnant with G; he kept exclaiming every time he saw me that I looked so skinny, despite the huge pregnant belly.

The man is honestly quite tactless, but in such a clueless way, it's hard to fault him for it. And hey, at least I get to eat G's chocolates... although maybe I shouldn't, if I need an "instantly skinnier" shirt from WalMart. What's a girl to do.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Sleep, anyone?

I'm craving a good night's sleep like nobody's business. I'm so done with feeling tired all day long, of wanting to curl up in a ball on the playroom floor while the boys play around me. Yes, this is whiney. Sorry. But I have 8 1/2 long months of sleep deprivation, culminating in the last few weeks which have been rotten.

With both boys sick for over two weeks straight (not to mention myself and my husband), sleep has been in short order, at least for me. I find it ironic (although lucky) that whatever virus ripped through our household, I got the mildest dose of it and fought it off the quickest. Considering the amount of sleep I get on a regular basis, and how much less I've been getting since everyone got sick, I'm surprised I got better at all. Glad, just surprised.

In any case, neither of my boys have been sleeping well. D has always been very sensitive to his sleep schedule being messed up, especially over longer periods of time. He's more flexible now that he's a little older, but we still have to be careful. I wish I could figure out why, and what to do about it, but lately he's taken to waking up at night several times a week at least. He used to NEVER do that. I think I said that to people one too many times and now he's making me eat my words. Last night he woke up several times prior to midnight; I don't think he slept more than an hour total from bedtime until about then. Today he looked like a drug addict coming off a four day drug binge. Ok, maybe that's a little dramatic, but he had these sad little red circles under his eyes. I felt awful for him. His behavior was atrocious, but it wasn't bratty, tantrumy stuff; he was just damn tired. It was one of those days when I really hate that he doesn't nap anymore; a good two hour snooze this afternoon would have done him a world of good. I laid down with him for a while during G's nap, but there was no way it was happening. Twenty seconds after my head hit his pillow, I was drifting off, but he kept asking me if it was morning or time to get up. Eventually I gave up and reconciled myself to our normal quiet time.

G's sleep has been similarly atrocious, only more detrimental to me, since my husband is in charge of D when he wakes up at night (although I still wake up, since somehow my husband is deaf when he sleeps and doesn't hear anything over either baby monitor). It culminated in horribleness when I spent several nights holding him in the rocking chair for most of the night. I even resorted to throwing an air mattress on his floor and laid down with him there in a somewhat desperate attempt to get some sleep myself. You gotta do what you gotta do when they're sick.

Now, he's not sick. He's all better, has been for a few days, and it's time to get this sleep thing back under control. And in my house, that does mean some crying.

I hate talking about "CIO". I hate that it can be such a divisive issue amongst moms; that there's this judgemental aspect to it, like if you aren't in my camp, you must think I'm awful. The way I see it, we all do what we think is best not only for our child, but for our whole family. There are other ways of handling sleep problems, and for some people, those work great. In my house, the dreaded CIO technique is what we use, and it's always worked well.

I say dreaded, because I do dread it. I hate every second of crying that both of my boys have done in the name of a better night sleep. D was worse than G has been; he's got a stubborn streak that blows me away, so looking back I shouldn't be surprised he would be tough to "sleep train." G is more mellow, but there has still been some crying on occassion when we've deemed it necessary.

The last couple of days it has been necessary. The night I spent trying to sleep in G's room on an air mattress made one thing abundantly clear - I wasn't doing either of us any favors by holding him all night. He didn't sleep much better in my arms than he had been in his crib and he was miserable for lack of sleep.

So what does this have to do with me being tired? It just seems that there's always something preventing me from getting a halfway decent night sleep. Last night and tonight I attempted to go to bed early, only to have G wake up after only a few hours. My husband and I decided to go the CIO route, so I have to wait for him to fall asleep again before going to bed myself. So much for going to bed early. And last night, despite crying for a while and going back to sleep, he still was up several times.

I'm not asking for him to sleep 12 hours without needing to nurse. Yes, that's the goal and I hope I'm not more than a few months away from that. But he's going on 9 months old, so it seems like he should be able to sleep, I don't know, 6 or more hours without waking? Looking back 6 months ago, when he was between 2-3 months old, he started sleeping anywhere from 7-9 hours for his first stretch. Somehow over time that has turned into 4 hours, if I'm lucky.

Here I am, sitting up and hoping he's gone back to sleep (I think so). But I also don't know what the rest of the night will bring. For all I know, he'll be awake again in an hour. Or he might actually fulfill my current wild fantasy and sleep until one or two.

It just seems that there's always something. Either G wakes up too many times a night, or wakes super early and it takes forever to get him back to sleep. Or, my favorite, I get G back down in the early morning hours only to come out of his room and hear D awake, whining for me to come get him. So often I'm awake at 5 or earlier and never get the chance to go back to sleep.

I know, I know - life with a baby. It won't last forever; hopefully it won't last too much longer. Men fantasize about sex; I fantasize about sleep.

Speaking of, all seems quiet, so I'm going to attempt to get some.