Monday, April 28, 2008

Sick of being tired

This is a whiney ass complaint post, so be forewarned.

I am so sick of being tired all the time. I get a decent night here and there, but it seems like most of the time, I don't get enough sleep. I am SO over G waking at night. SO. OVER. IT. He is darn close to a year old, dammit he shouldn't still need to nurse at night.

Right now we're going through a tough phase. He's in this crappy transition period where one nap isn't quite enough, but two are basically impossible to get. The last several days went ok with just one - I put him down around 11 and he actually seemed to be stretching that nap out to almost 2 hours. He's ready for bed super early, but that's no big deal - we're used to early bedtimes around here. Yesterday I had the silly notion that I actually had things under control.

Last night he woke at about 3:30 and I probably should have tried to get him back to sleep without nursing. My resolve is weak at 3:30 am, however, so I nursed him back to sleep and hoped all would be well until morning. Not so much. He was up again at 5:20 and that was it for the night. I tried to get him to go back to sleep, to no avail. I was up until after 11 last night working (because I'm ridiculously busy), so that makes about 6 hours of (broken) sleep for me. Once in a while, a 6 hour night is no problem, but I'm always on the verge of being sleep deprived, so it doesn't take much to send me over the edge.

I'm cranky, and G is worse. This morning has sucked. I'm trying now, in vain it appears, to get him to take a morning nap. He needs it. He's so tired, he's fussy and nothing is making him happy. He almost fell asleep nursing, but being the little shit that he's being lately, he keeps sitting up in his crib and crying. So no nap yet.

Like I said, I'm just whining. I'm ready for him to quit waking at night, but I'm not sure what to do about it. I'm not sure if his early morning is because he's nap deprived in my efforts to try one nap. I'm not sure how I'm going to get him to nap this morning and if he doesn't, I'm not sure how I'm going to make it through the rest of the day.

Don't babies realize how much we would give to have someone insisting we take a nap? My gosh, I'd skip to my bedroom and lie down smiling.

I hate sleep problems.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Happy Birthday to me

Today is my 31st birthday!

I love birthdays. I hope I never reach an age where I dread my birthday; they're way too much fun to dread. I kind of doubt I'll ever reach that point, although I can't speak for how I'll feel when I'm older I guess. But I try to approach life and getting older with a practical viewpoint - getting older is just something we all do and it certainly beats the alternative.

I suppose my love of birthdays stems from my childhood love of attention. I admit it, I like to be in the spotlight a little bit. I was a ham when I was a kid (gee, I wonder where D gets it from...) and although I no longer jump in front of the camera to make silly faces, I do admit to liking some attention. So having a day that is all about me, well what can I say, that's a good time!

Turning 31 is a bit strange, in a way. I feel that I'm now firmly entrenched in my 30's. Turning 30 was that big milestone where you exit a decade and enter another. But somehow 31 seems more significant. It's a reminder that after a big birthday number, like 30, you still keep going.

I feel good about it though. I feel like I should be 31, if that makes any sense. I have a husband of almost 9 years, two kids, a mortgage, a big swingset in my backyard, a retirement account, and a mini-van. That's a pretty grown up life; I'm glad I'm living this life now, instead of a decade ago.

Ten years ago, when I turned 21, I was in college. My husband (to be) and I were together, but not even engaged yet. We lived together in a little apartment just off campus, with our good friend (he and his wife now live next door to us, are Godparents to our kids, etc.). My life was full of classes and my part time job at a gym daycare. I had a little beat up car, walked to school every day rain or shine, rented a lot of movies since it was cheap entertainment and visited my family sometimes on the weekends. I LOVED college; academics fit me like a glove. I loved that stage of my life, and although I miss it in some ways, I know that moving back to that town or even going back to school for my masters or another degree would never bring it back. There was something special about being young, in love, in college... There was a freedom we had, despite not having much money. We had a lot of fun, some good times and some tough times, but overall it was a great period in my life.

Now is proving to be another great period in my life. I have two amazing children, a nice home, a great husband. He has a good job, and I'm able to stay home with our kids. My life is full of diapers, naps, toys, toys and more toys, walks to the park and bike riding; lunches at McDonald's with happy meal toys, crockpot dinners and classes at the Y. I'm really grateful for all I have and that I get to enjoy the unique experience of motherhood.

Wow, that got a lot more introspective than I intended. I was going to stick with "Its my birthday, yay for me!" LOL

Ahh, birthdays. Now if someone could remind G that he needs to take his afternoon nap - after all it is Mommy's birthday - that would be great.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Take me out to the ballgame

Today we took D and G to their first ever baseball game. We rode the train into the city, which was totally the way to go - no traffic, no ridiculously priced parking, no $3.49 per gallon gas. Of course, the amount of money we spent on food more than made up for what we saved on not driving ourselves, but hey, it isn't something we do everyday.

So as I sit here debating whether to unload the rest of the stuff from the car and clean up the kitchen before I crash, I have a few observations from our day at the ballgame.

I think I have now officially nursed a baby just about everywhere possible. Well, that's an exaggeration certainly, but I've wracked up an impressive list. Today I added train and bleachers at the baseball stadium to the list. But hey, a baby's gotta eat and mine eats from my boobs. There was nowhere else to go sit and nurse, so I sat there and did it right in my seat. I'm always careful to be discreet of course, but I don't have much nursing modesty. I'm not flashing boob or anything, but I'm also not going to go sit in a bathroom stall just because I have to feed my baby.

Which brings me to my second observation: my husband rules. Before feeding G, I said I was going to go look for a family restroom to see if they might have a chair or something so I could nurse. My husband looked at me funny and said, "What's wrong with here?" I love that man.

Third, and this is not a new feeling but one that the last two days have made more poignant - D is growing up. Yes, he's still a little guy, but he's nowhere near being a baby. Yesterday the weather was amazing and we literally spent the entire day outside, and I barely saw D except to occassionally throw some food and a juice box in his general direction and remind him to go potty a couple of times. Today he was similarly "on his own", although in the much loved company of his uncle (my brother). He had so much fun it was ridiculous, yet I watched much of it from afar. And instead of occassionally checking in with me, coming to sit on my lap for a minute or otherwise connect with Mommy, he more or less ignored me all day. Not in a deliberate sort of way; he was just a boy hanging out with family at a ballgame and he simply didn't need me quite so much. Now don't get me wrong, this is a good thing. I want him to grow in independence and it isn't as if I think he doesn't need me at all - far from it. But he's growing up a little bit more each day and it's a bittersweet thing to watch your child grow up. It reminds you that someday they'll complete that journey.

Finally, my fourth observation: I'm so grateful that G has such an easygoing personality. We wouldn't have even considered taking D to a baseball game when he was (almost) 11 months old; he would have been a basketcase about an hour after naptime and would have never been content to sit in the stands on someone's lap for so long. G was a trooper. Despite being there during his afternoon naptime, he was generally pretty happy and content through most of the game. He charmed everyone around us with his bright brown eyes and chubby cheek smile. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was, relatively speaking (after all, taking a baby to a baseball game isn't exactly what I'd call "easy") to have him there with us, despite the very unbaby-friendly nature of a baseball stadium. He completely sacked out in the sling on the train ride home, just as he was getting too fussy to be distracted. And he still went to bed on time tonight without a peep. Seriously, who is this kid? Did he really come from our genes?

Overall, I'm just glad we all went and I didn't chicken out and stay home with G for fear it would be too much work to bring a baby to the ballgame. I've missed out on a few things here and there since G was born when it truly wasn't practical (or smart) to bring him along. I didn't want to be sitting at home wondering how D was enjoying his first baseball game. It was really special to get to be there.

But damn, I'm tired.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The nap dilemma

I've always ordered our life around my kids sleep schedules. Nay-sayers around me have wondered why I "let them control my schedule" or other absurdities. The reality is, they need naps and they need them at particular times - much like they need food and they need it at particular times. I'm big on naps and big on bedtimes and I don't like messing with either. I've paid the price in the past for slacking on sleep.

It does, however, pose a problem now that it didn't when D was the napper. I was happy to forego toddler gym or swim class if the only classtimes available were going to interfere with D's nap. I figured that his nap was more important than any class we might go to, so if there wasn't a scheduled activity that worked with our schedule, we just didn't do any. And that was fine.

Now I have two kids, and although I wouldn't have thought this a year ago, it's actually easier since D no longer naps. But G does, twice a day at this point, with no signs of giving up the morning nap anytime soon (not that I'd expect it at this age). So I'm faced with trying to schedule things for D, but doing so around G's nap needs.

Enter a bit of mommy guilt.

Honestly, I'm not one to wallow in guilt over everything, but balancing the needs of two kids has really made the guilt monster rear its ugly head. It was far worse when G was a newborn, but with some time, a little more sleep and a lessening of those insane pregnancy hormones, I was able to pull myself free from the idea that I'd ruined D's life by having another baby (and idea the logical side of myself always knew was preposterous, but try telling a postpartum woman anything logical and see what happens). However, I do feel pangs of guilt now and then and I start to question how I've prioritized things.

D has the markings of a pretty athletic little guy. His dad is; he has that physical quality that completely elludes me, enabling him to learn a physical skill with so little effort and so much grace. Naturally, my husband is over the moon seeing the beginnings of what may be a good athlete in his son and wants to do everything we can to nurture that side of him. I'm all for it too, considering D is a wild animal and needs regular exercise, much like a dog needs a walk each day.

We have him in preschool gymnastics, which he LOVES; but we only have him in one day a week. My husband takes him since it tends to fall right at G's afternoon naptime. But my husband loves taking him and he's even going to be the parent volunteer this session (and I totally realize how lucky we are that his work location and schedule allows him such a luxury at 2:15 each Friday). But I can't help but feel a little bad that it isn't me, his stay-at-home-mom, who is taking him; and that we don't have him in one of the two day a week classes, since he loves it so much.

Then the other day D was showing my husband how he learned to kick a ball at a run, and kick it pretty straight. We were both suitably impressed and my husband said something about wishing we could get him into some kind of sports, in addition to his gymnastics. I told him about the Itty Bitty Sports class at the Y, and of course my husband couldn't imagine why I hadn't signed him up yet! But the classes are at 9:15 and 9:45 twice a week - again, right at G's typical naptime.

So I'm faced with the dilemma - do I go ahead and sign D up for the class next session, push out G's nap and hope for the best? Or go with the status quo and stay home, since G needs his nap then.

It doesn't help my overthinking brain that G's nap schedule is fairly loose, in that it tends to vary a bit depending on what time he wakes up in the morning, and the afternoon nap varies based on how long his morning nap is. I wish I had a regular, like-clockwork baby, but he isn't. So some mornings, it might work just fine to have a later morning nap, since even if we were home all morning, he wouldn't be napping until later anyway. But there are plenty of other mornings when he needs that nap around 9am - the last several days, for example.

I'm stuck with feeling a little bit bad no matter what I do - I feel bad for D when I don't sign him up for something cool I know he'd love, but I feel bad for G when I put off his nap so D can go to a class.

It isn't that I'm feeling awful about it or anything. But it's been on my mind lately. I know there are plenty of moms who don't pay such particular attention to their kids nap schedules; who wouldn't hesitate to sign their older kids up for a class and just tote their little ones along, cranky or no. But I have a hard time doing that. And I know there are plenty of kids that don't get to do classes and they certainly are fine for it. I know my mom rarely had me in anything and I turned out ok. But I know D would have so much fun, and sometimes I feel like maybe I'm taking the nap thing too seriously for my own good. But then again...

Just me, overthinking things once again.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Feeling better

Good news: G is better. Phew! His fever was quite a bit lower yesterday, but still slightly elevated. I called the phone nurse again and they recommended bringing him in. I didn't think it was really necessary, but I did anyway. Turns out I was right, but that's ok. By the time we saw a doctor, his temp was normal; it's the law of doctor visits. But we did rule out any other issues, like an infection, so I suppose it wasn't a total waste.

So now he's extra tired, although he slept MUCH better last night (hence, I did too). In fact, I went to bed early last night with the baby monitor OFF. My husband was on G-watch and would come get me if needed. He woke a couple of times early on, but went back to sleep himself without too much fuss, so I got a few hours of sleep (in a row!). When he woke around midnight, I went to him thinking I'd nurse him back to sleep that time. He didn't nurse long enough for my milk to let down! Thanks buddy, for confirming my suspicion that you aren't hungry that early in the night. After that he slept until 6, when he did nurse, and then woke up for the day just before 7. All in all, not bad. I actually feel like a person again today - without caffeine!

Luckily he's taking a good nap this afternoon; it's giving me a little time to catch up on everything I didn't get done this weekend. Such is the life of a mom! It never ends...

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Sick baby

Friday G started running a fever. He was acting normal and had no other symptoms, but as the day went on, I noticed he felt warm. Sure enough, when I took his temp it was elevated. He's been running a fever ever since - today is day 3. He's tired, cranky, hot and uncomfortable. He hasn't eaten anything except breastmilk since Friday morning.

I feel so bad for my poor baby. I hate it when they get sick. I feel so helpless. He's so miserable and looks at me with these sad, weepy eyes as if to say, "Mommy, why aren't you making this better?"

Neither of us have slept much the last two nights, although him a lot more than me. I'm running on fumes, but luckily my husband has been around this weekend to pick up the slack. Tomorrow, of course, is Monday and I'm seriously dreading it, assuming we have another night like the last two. I spent most of the last two nights sitting in the rocking chair holding G, since he'd cry every time I put him in his crib. Pretty hard to sleep when you're sitting up, at least for me. I brought my pillow in there last night and even tried to lie on the floor and sleep; G slept curled up next to me in the crook of my arm, but I don't think I slept at all.

In any case, I'm hoping tomorrow will bring a better day. And I'm really hoping for a better night! It sucks, I've been so busy with G, I feel like I've barely seen D all weekend.

We're heading to the doctor tomorrow if G still has a fever.


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Race cancelled and other random thoughts

My indoor triathlon I was expecting to do this weekend isn't happening. I should have figured that out a few weeks ago when there was still no info, nor any sign up sheet, at the Y. I asked about it and although I don't know why it didn't take off, I do know they might do it in the fall. I'll have to keep a look out. Honestly, it's just as well; I'm not even close to being in the kind of shape I'd like to be in to finish a race, even a short one. Finding the time to train is a challenge with two young children - especially when one of them is a nursing baby who still doesn't particularly like the gym nursery.

But I don't say that to be down about it or hard on myself at all. I say that with total acceptance. It's all good.

I am, however, going to officially sign up for the May triathlon, which is going to take place at my Y. So my first event of the year will be May 24th (I think that's the date). Luckily the swim is in the pool, so my wetsuit worry (as in, will I be able to stuff myself into it) isn't a factor.

On the training front, I'm battling a sore and stiff neck, which sucks. I think my first trip out with my double jogger strained my neck somehow (it is rather heavy with my two monkeys); that was over a week ago and I'm still sore. Ibuprofen helps, but it's been hard to really push myself when I'm hurting. Plus I don't want to make it worse. I did get out for a run/walk yesterday, with the stroller, and all is well (or at least not worse), so that's a good sign.

The weather turned lovely again today and it's making me itch to be more active and just be outside! I'm really looking forward to summer. I feel like last summer went by in a haze of sleep deprivation and mommy guilt after the birth of G. This year I think we'll really get to enjoy ourselves!