I contemplate it. more than contemplate, I have procured it. I have a job. and now I think I wish I hadn't. its stressing me out, and I haven't even started yet. bad sign. I keep almost emailing my new bosses and quitting before I even have my first day (real day I mean, we've already had like 6 hours of training) but I should give it a shot right? I had reasons for getting a job. Like, it would be nice to have cash around again, and I could meet new people, and talk to grownups. Walker would get a chance to solo parent on a more regular basis. They seem like stupid reasons now, but I am just suffering from mama anxiety. So, I should give it a shot. I will. But if it sucks, I'm totally going to quit. So there.
omg shoot me in the foot next time i decide i need to install something. whew. 2.25 hours, 3 kinds of cabinet latches, and a wide variety of extremely colorful curse words later, i have successfully installed 4 (count 'em, 4) child proof locks (magnetic locking! very exciting!) on the kitchen cabinets of the new house. this way - my theory is - Althea will in a few short months be able to crawl merrily around in the kitchen while I make delicious, wholesome food for us all (in my imagination i am very domestic) but will NOT be able to break glass baking dishes, eat dishwasher detergent, or otherwise grievously injure herself as she will only have access to the cupboards I have purposefully left undefended, which are filled with baby appropriate kitchen items, like measuring spoons, plastic plates, sippy cups, and pots and pans to bang around. so, very good idea me! but next time, consider asking handy husband to install blasted #$%^ing locks.
*note: Each lock (4 remember?) has two plastic pieces. each piece has 2 tiny little screws. every tiny little screw must be placed in the exact right position, or else all pieces must be un-installed and then re-installed an inch up or down.
In totally unrelated news: I am famous! Other internet mama used my pic (from Althea's birth) in her blog today about natural pain relief methods. see link: http://blog.pettelmaternity.com/
how getting dressed has changed since the baby.
step one: underpants. this step remains the same, with the slight (at least for now) benefit of not having to worry about whether I should be wearing period underwear.
step two: socks. same as pre-baby. amazing i know.
step three: pants. default setting: yoga pants. they're black (slimming and hard to see all the dirty), comfy (so as not to interfere with impromptu napping), and most importantly, can be pulled down or up with the use of just one hand, so when you need to go pee with a clingy baby on your lap, you don't have the issue of trying to button up jeans one handed. *I do occasionally put on jeans if we are going out somewhere. usually not though. see: black re: yopa pants. makes them acceptable for going out.
step four: bra. underwires are right out (clearly) always go with something that can be yanked down at maximum speed to allow instant booby access to screaming tyrant. usually either stretchy tanktop (which has added benefit of covering your belly as you whip your boob out should you happen to be in public) or sports bra.
step five: shirt. either something low cut (if wearing bra and not tanktop...then can pull down to nurse rather than up avoiding the stomach exposure issue) or something loose enough to pull up easily. if its is cold, add sweater or hoody that opens in the front with zipper or snaps. buttons are too slow.
If baby is older than 4 months, you're not ready yet.
step six: remove all necklaces and earrings.
step seven: pull your hair back into a sloppy but hard to reach ponytail.
step eight: put your contacts in to save your glasses from untimely demise and/or consumption.
Now you are ready to go for the day! (Until your stellar outfit is pooped on. Or yarfed on...a lot. If you're like me, a little vomit or pee will not cause you to change clothes) Now get the baby dressed.
So, my question is (for mamas out there of bigger babies) do you ever go back to thinking of your boobs in a sexy way? Like, oh, foreplay! I hope it involves my boobs! Because I have memories of this, really I do. I used to like my boobs to be involved in my sex life. Now I only wish that the poor things could get some peace and quiet. Pretty much the only time they aren't being manhandled is when I can distract her highness with something else, usually alternate food item. (see: apple core)
In addition to the hours each day that they are working hard to provide sustenance to the very hungry caterpillar, they are constantly being mauled, groped, kneaded, and clawed by a certain baby. I'm pretty sure if no one ever touches my boobs ever ever again, I will be quite pleased. But it makes me a little sad to feel that way. so? what's the verdict other mamas?
In a desperate attempt to restore some semblance of sanity to my life, we are going to start working on teaching Althea some self soothing techniques so she stops waking us up every 90 minutes (slight exaggeration) But I can't let her cry it out, although I know some people have success with that. Anyways we got and read this book called 'the no cry sleep solution' (to which i say, haha! that assumes the child is crying for some reason other than that you are trying to make her sleep) and are implementing some simple changes for now:
earlier bedtime (6:30 instead of 7:30) with calm quiet activities.
unswaddled (so as to free up her little hands for thumb sucking or bink re-insertion)
more attentive to tired signals to make naps better (hopefully)
quiet play time in the co-sleeper to be familiar with the space
and gradual lessening of services provided: i.e. only rocking/cuddling her barely to sleep for now and then putting her down.
theoretically in time we move on to phase two, only rocking/cuddling her to sleepy and then putting her down, etc. etc. and therefore she will become accustomed to being awake in her crib and going to sleep without so much help.
last night didn't go so hot. I put her down 5 times before i gave up and rocked her completely asleep. at which point she slept for 8 whole minutes before repeating the process with Walker. durrrrr. and she screamed at me for 20 minutes about nap this morning and had to nurse to sleep. for 30 min. *note, apparently this is normal. it get worse before it gets better. like poison ivy or similar.
anyhoo, part of the whole deal is keeping a sleep/nap log every 10 days. not more often since it will just discourage you, like weighing yourself every day on a diet. so here is our first one...
2/13: up at 8:00
nap #1 snuggled to sleep on futon. slept 10:00-10:30
nap #2 fell asleep in car. slept 1:45-2:15
nap #3. fell asleep in jogger. slept 4:10-4:50
Total nap hours: 1 hr, 40 minutes (poor)
Bedtime: went upstairs at 6:30. screamed and generally didn't sleep. put down just awake, immediately woke hysterical. screamed more. finally asleep at 7:30.
awake 8:35-9:20. put down just asleep approx. 9 times. then rocked completely to sleep so mama and papa could regroup.
10:20-10:30 awake, nursing. stays in our bed now.
1:45-1:55 awake, nursing.
4:45 woke up. nursed for 10 minutes. then played quietly with her lovey/bink for about 30 min. started making sad noises. got diaper change at 5:40. screamed for 20 minutes. fell back asleep about 6:10.
7:00 awake for the day.
Number of wakings: 4
Hours awake: 2.5 hours
Hours asleep: (baby) 9 hours. (poor) *my personal hours of sleep were more like 6.5. in 3 chunks. FML.
According to sleep experts (who knew that was a thing?) babies this age should sleep 12 hours during the night (with 1-2 feeds) and 3-4 hours for naps. poor little thing has a sleep deficit.
eating...her own self. NOT off a spoon, but with her fat little baby hands. she is overcome with joy that I have (finally) figured out the proper way of offering food. She has eaten:
cooked carrot sticks (which BTW I found in the diaper this morning)
cooked green beans
operation let the baby feed herself is a smashing success!
also, i made some seriously delicious 'lactation cookies' today. oatmeal, whole wheat flour, flax seed meal, walnuts, peanut butter, chocolate chip awesome sauce. not sauce. cookie. so so good.
pretty average day around here. Althea is slowly recovering from her yucky cold, and so far has no fever tonight-yippee! We went over to the St Vinnie-Vins and got some glass canisters for the new house and a super tacky red stuffed heart to take Valentine pictures with. This is what I do when I am bored now, I think of new ways to photograph the baby. When we get our tax money back I'm totally going to get a DSLR camera and photoshop. Think how much extra time I could use up then! Sometimes I feel like time is this very very precious entity to be treasured, and sometimes i feel it is an ugly slobbery beast that must be beaten into submission or killed.
Researching 'baby led solids' tonight, since we still have 95% no luck with feeding the baby 'solid food' (those are sarcasm quote marks, since the solid food is not solid, but rather totally runny purees). She rejects all food that comes on a spoon. oatmeal, fruits, veggies, if its on a spoon she doesn't want it. BUT she loves loves loves the little mesh bag feeder thing, so I'm thinking baby led solids might be the thing for her. This basically involves presenting your baby with big chunks of soft, gum-able food, preferably with a sort of handle, and letting them suck/slobber/ingest it in bits. think well cooked broccoli chunk the size of a baby fist, and they grab it by the stalk and stick it in their mouth. the idea is that as they get better at chewing and maneuvering food, they will slowly eat more and more of it, leading them to need to nurse less often. google it if you want more details. I plan on trying it out tomorrow and will report back on success/failure.
so, after a long day of fever, coughing, pooing, boogers, lethargy, etc, and a night that was interrupted by a tiny furnace baby with a temp of 103 who projectile vomited tylenol and breast milk all over the bed, i took althea in to see the doctor.
did she cough? no.
temperature? 98.6 (for real. exactly.)
did she smile and coo and flirt with dr. steve? yes.
now i look like the crazy parent who is always dragging their kid to the dr. unnecessarily. on plus side, baby is better! hoorah! now am washing both blankets, top sheet, fitted sheet and mattress protector. not the crib sheet though. Althea doesn't vomit on her own things.
here is a picture of her lackadaisical sicky self in the sink bath.
I find it very hard to believe. 6 months is the same as 1/2 of a year (nice math/time telling skills right?). which means in the same amount of time again, she will be a whole year old. which is - in my mind at least - when you stop being a baby and become a tiny person. OMG.
She clearly knows its her half birthday though. She's been doing amazing new things all week, like rolling back to front WITH her diaper on (not just naked), eating oatmeal off a spoon, shaking toys rather than just stuffing them directly into her mouth, etc.
We are awesomely having a snow day to celebrate her 6 month b-day. Both MMSD and -amazingly- the UW are closed due to enormous snow drifts everywhere, so Corinne and Walker are both home all day. Will be making birthday treats later (not for the baby, clearly, for me. I get to eat treats because I kept the baby alive for 6 months. Also, reached personal goal weight, so obviously time for carrot cake. or maybe peanut butter cookies)
I will now try to add a picture of my budding nudist. *Note: In Ecuador, Walker and I were jointly voted 'most likely to be the first ones naked' so clearly the child comes by it honest.
ETA: this picture features the pee blanket.
example the first: our house now has what is referred to as 'the pee blanket'. this is a quilt that we lay on the floor for extended nudey time. the baby pees on it 3-4 times a day, as she loves being naked more than anything. i wash it about twice a week. once it dries, the fact that it has been peed on (again) becomes negligable. my new definition of 'clean' very closely resembles my old definition of 'dry'.
before becoming a mother, i never thought to myself 'oh good, its only pee, i don't have to change my shirt/her onesie/the sheets. but really, how much laundry can one woman do?