Monthly Archives: January 2015

Forty Nine

Being a mom has really just opened my eyes to all these crazy topics of discussion that I previously had no clue about. Like breast vs bottle, vaccinate or not (VACCINATE. For goodness sake…vaccinate your children), and other assorted controversial-for-some-reason topics related to rearing children and being a mother.

Today I though I’d weight in on one of the topics I find fascinating, which is co-sleeping and/or sleep training.

Personally, we chose not to co-sleep. I have a horrible time sleeping on my own, let alone with an extra person in our bed. I knew that once we took a walk down that co-sleeping road, there would be no turning back. I admire the fact that some people make it work, and are still able to have intimate ‘mommy and daddy’ time, get a good night’s sleep, and have a happy baby. But we were and are not those people.

This is not to say I have never shared my bed with my baby. Throughout Ginny’s entire first month of life, her crib remained empty. She always slept either in someone’s arms, in her stroller, or in our bed. Most of the time though, someone was holding her. My mom and dad and brother came out to see us for a few weeks when Ginny was born and it was amazing. Between my parents, and Bryan’s parents (who lived upstairs), Bryan, Phil, and myself, Ginny had no shortage of loving people to give her cuddles. The nights when she slept between Bryan and myself were precious indeed, and I will forever treasure holding that warm bundle next to me and smelling her sweet head and being woken by her little grunty noises and wee toots. The nights she slept in my arms, resting in the nest of my curved pillow, as I dozed sitting up after night feedings while watching Beverly Hills 90210, are some of my favourites of the early memories of her life.

As our Piggy got older, however, it was clear that we would not be allowing her to sleep in our bed on a regular basis. She is a FIDGET, my goodness gracious. And that in combination with my poor sleeping skills and the fact that I am also a fidget, wasn’t great. Because Bryan had 9 months off of work when Ginny was born, we did not start any serious sleep training right away. Bryan and I did shift work with the baby, me staying up at night to watch her (and beat Lego Lord of the Rings 100%, boo ya), and Bryan taking her during the day. There were a few hours between each shift in which all three of us had time to hang together, but this system worked incredibly well for us. Then, when Ginny was around 10 months, we moved to our own place (finally), and when she hit about a year old, we started the sleep training for realsies.

It was hard at first, obviously. When your baby cries in the night, you want to go to her. You want to pick her up and cuddle her and kiss her and give her whatever she wants.┬áBecause I’m not the type of parent who is tethered to my child, I didn’t find it tortuous to try letting her ‘cry it out’. Some people are 100% against this method. I am not one of those people. The first night we let her cry it out, it was obviously hard. Her little cries were heartbreaking. But after 7 or 8 minutes of letting her cry, she soothed herself back to sleep and all was well. A couple hours later though, she woke us with her crying again. This time, however, there was something different. In that first night, for the first time since she was born, I was able to finally tell the difference between a ‘fake’ or ‘fussy’ cry, and a real cry. And so I got up out of bed, gave her a diaper change and a bottle, and she went back to sleep for the rest of the night. Learning the difference between her cries was pivotal, and remains that way to this day. Ginny likes to manipulate us sometimes, but it is now obvious when it’s just that and not her actually needing something. 80% of the time she sleeps through the night. She has off weeks or days where she wakes up at least once, but 9 times of of 10, all she needs is to be tucked in again. That 10th time though…that makes for one helluva night. We won’t go into temper tantrums today though.

To sum things up…sleep training worked great for us. We have a child who is not scared of the dark, who is happy to sleep in a big girl bed in her own room with the door closed, and who lets us get rest at night. I have to say though, I miss those very early days of snuggles with my warm baby, and I look forward to the day when she isn’t so nosy and can actually settle down to have a nap with my in my bed once in a while. Sleep training is our jam. But if co-sleeping is yours, then that’s cool too.

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Forty Eight

Pet Peeves:

People who are consistently late.
Myself being late.
Poor spelling when a person has access to spellcheck.
People who park like morons.
People who close doors loudly.
Not putting the dishes back to where their normal homes are.
Forgetting my detailed shopping list at home when I finally get out to the store.
Stepping in puddles that are deeper than they seemed.
People who don’t understand that I’m scared of dogs, regardless of how kind or small or friendly they are.
Certain terms of endearment, particularly when people call me ‘love’.
Certain small children who refuse to nap (though this one is EASILY forgivable because certain small children are cute).
Kids/teenagers who disrespect teachers/leaders.
Adults who disrespect other adults.
Fanfictions that have great plot summaries but terrible writing.

In conclusion: I’m feeling peeved today. Thankfully, to cheer myself up, I am about to put a roast beef in the oven and then watch Parks and Rec and eat macaroni and cheese.

In other news: Ginny wore big girl underwear for a total of 5 minutes today before she piddled on the carpet. Well…it was worth a shot. Potty training is going to be a nightmare, I am sure of it.

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Forty Seven

NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS – 2015

1. Lose 30 lbs.
I didn’t achieve this last year, but it’s still my goal. That would take me down to 150lbs, which would be absolutely fantastic. It’s going to be a difficult goal to achieve, but I hope I can do it. I’ve found that when I want to achieve a lifestyle goal, it helps so much when I don’t put hard pressure on myself. I ‘gave up’ pop and chips recently, and was actually successful in that endeavor for the first time in forever because I wasn’t strict. I drank pop when we went out, and always had an emergency Coke on hand in the fridge for when I had one of ‘those days’. And I allowed myself chips only when I had my period, because if I’m going to eat junk, I may as well do it when i’m craving it. So I’m looking forward to shedding some pounds – and hopefully inches – this year, whether or not I make it to my goal weight.

2. Engage Ginny EVEN MORE.
She got an obscene amount of craft supplies for Christmas, and I plan for us to make really good use of them. It will be so wonderfully engaging for her little fingers, and I’m also hoping that she’ll be able to catch on to writing letters and small words this year. She can already read her alphabet and a few familiar words/names, but she hasn’t quite grasped the writing thing yet.

3. FINALLY do some daily devotions.
This is something I’ve always wanted to do, and have always put off. But Mom and Dad got me a beautiful devotional book for Christmas (and a matching one for my sister!) so now I have no excuse. I want to get closer to God, and this seems like a great way to do so.

4. Start writing a novel.
I love writing, and I now have a new laptop on which to begin this project. Let’s see how it goes. Perhaps excerpts will be shared here? We’ll see…

5. Set a weekly menu, and eat healthier.
This year was both and better and worse in the healthy eating dept. I am learning to cook better and healthier meals, but we have also been getting take out far too often. Part of that is me just not knowing what to make for dinner, and making dinner is a responsibility I’m glad to have. The boys get home so late from work some days that I know they’re too exhausted to cook, and I’m happy to do it for them. But…when I have no idea what to make and they’re not home to bounce ideas off of…well then Bryan gets a call and they pick up something on the way home. So starting next grocery shop, a menu will be devised and we WILL STICK TO IT.

6. Start seriously thinking about my future.
Once Ginny begins school in a few short years, I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself. I need to figure this out, and I’m glad I have all this time to think about it because it’s a hard decision. My only ambition in life was to become a mom and I’ve done that. So now what? I feel like I should have had a plan B, but since I didn’t, I’m now in a place where I can do basically whatever I want. But what do I want? That is the question.

I’m looking forward to seeing how well I can manage these resolutions. I feel like these things are achievable, so I’m excited about this year.

Happy New Year!