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Last Night Wasn’t Perfect…

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But it was better.  And in the trial and error life of parenting… those are pretty good results!

Mark told you a little about how Mason’s first night in his crib was in his last post.

Let me tell you a little bit more…

So.  I’ll start this by making a confession.  Why this has become a “confession”… I’ll never fully understand.

They say that there’s pressure on parents, especially new parents, to act like everything about raising a child is sunshine and roses.  That the feelings and the know-how just flow seemlessly and any potentially negative event is just a drop in the pond.  I hear some new (and not so new) parents rant their frustrations with the inauthenticity of it all.  I’ve ranted about the inauthenticity of it all and revelled in times when a parent, new or seasoned, has been raw and honest about their difficulties.

But one thing I never realized before this past month or so was that the opposite pressure is there too.  Strangely… the pressure to complain, to wax on about the exhaustion and the lack of time to oneself, the sleepless nights, and the list of baby ailments.  It’s like being part of the club means you have to tout your war stories.  Show you know what it means to “rough it” with the best of them.

This is one of the reasons… that I never really wrote on this blog about how Mason has been sleeping 9, 10, sometimes 11 hours a night since my birthday.  It’s one of the reasons that I feel more comfortable telling people about it now… because he’s had a week of NOT sleeping such luxuriously long hours at night.  I’m in the club now, I can admit to previous good luck right?  There was  a rare occasion, before, when we would sheepishly mention our fabulous little sleeper, and would get a congratulatory response, and there always followed our sigh of relief, at telling our dirty little secret and getting a positive response.  But a great deal of the time, another parent’s response is something like… “Oh, well, you know that will change.”  or “Well we’ll see how long that lasts.”  Or I hear of parents who are consoling each other by saying things like, “Don’t worry, they’ll get their’s too.”

Instead of having to defend your good fortune, or dare I say, express pride in your parenting skills, rather than attribute it all to luck… it’s sometimes just easier to smile knowingly when a parent makes a reference like, “Some day we’ll sleep again, right?”

To wrap up this little tangent… Parenting is hard.  Parenting is also amazing.  Parenting is not the same for everyone.  There are a great many similarities, because we’re all humans raising baby humans.  But as many as there are different people in the world, there are different parenting styles, different temperaments of babes, different phases and patterns, and different moods for each hour, month or year of your child’s life (and yours)!  We would benefit far more from each other’s support, rather than each other’s watchful expectations.  We would also benefit far more from giving ourselves permission to simply be proud when we’re proud, and to struggle when we’re struggling.  Life, as well as parenting is a series of ebbs and flows.  Forcing a smile when we’d rather bawl, or pretending to gripe when we’re really feeling rather satisfied is just that desire to belong surfacing in a twisted way.  If we all excused ourselves from the pressure to fit in, we just might be able to fully enjoy and learn from all the amazing, beautiful, different palettes of life and beliefs and parenting examples there really are out there.

I lavished in the nights where Mason slept from 8pm till 7am.  They were glorious and they were frequent.  Right now… they are sorely missed.  I have a strong gut feeling (accompanied by the prayers that I’m correct) despite my lack of experience in this area, that this shift in sleeping habits is a result of teething.  Not that I think he’s going to pop out a couple of teeth at the ripe old age of three and a half months.  But let’s look at the bullet points:

  • People I’ve talked to and most readable material agree that the teething process can start  a month or more before teeth actually emerge.  (Often between months 3 & 5)
  • Drool abounds during this time, and now, more often than not, an outfit change is spurred on by a drool soaked collar rather than a diaper mishap.
  • I know babies like to stick things in their mouths in general… but Mason’s hands are constantly in his mouth, as are blankets and burp cloths and plush toys, our fingers and hands.  And he’s starting to chomp a little bit more rather than just suck on things.
  • He has been SUCH a consistently good sleeper since the beginning, and for the past week has been getting progressively more agitated in the night.  A couple nights of waking up once, a couple nights of waking up twice, and then two nights ago he was waking up EVERY HOUR between 11pm and 3am.
  • Most nights this past week there’s been at least one time in the night that he’s gotten so upset that he needed to nurse in order to calm down.  But most of the time when he’s woken up at night,he isn’t wet, he isn’t hungry, he isn’t even fully awake.  His eyes are closed tight and he just cries and cries, flailing arms, kicking legs, tossing his head.  The poor baby just seems SO uncomfortable and calms with some soothing, but there have been times when it’s taken both Mark and me holding his limbs still and a pacifier in his mouth for him to be able to fall back asleep.

Granted… we did just move him into his crib, so the fact that instead of just rolling over and reaching into the bassinet to replace a fallen pacifier has now turned into getting up to walk down the hall and replace a fallen pacifier is something to be noted.  But we expected a couple of those each night for a while.

Last night, we finally got our hands on some essential oils I’ve been wanting to try.  My friend Jenna (whose blog I will link to once she writes her first post 😉 ) has just started using essential oils as alternative medicine for her 1 year old in the past month, and has been blown away by them.  We used some on him last night before he went to bed… and while we didn’t get our nine or ten hours of sleep back… it was FAR better than it was the previous couple of nights.  We did have to jointly pin him down once, but he didn’t have to nurse the whole night for the first time in a week, because he didn’t fully wake up the whole night.  There were a couple other times he started to rustle and fuss and I had to go put the pacifier back in his mouth.  But I’m super excited to keep trying this oil, and hopeful that one day in the not too far future, we will be a household who is once again, blissfully asleep during the hours when the sky is dark.

Now off to collect my babe.  He’s become fascinated by his mobile.  Which makes his mama, who made it, very happy!

staring up at the mobile

 

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My baby’s growing up!!!

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This is Mason’s first night sleeping in his crib in his own room…

It’s bittersweet.

I’m both excited for a new little milestone

And feeling so sad that he won’t be sleeping right next to me!!

Wish us luck that he has good sleep tonight!

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Notes from this Weekend

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All week we’ve been looking forward to this weekend.  Although I suppose if this little babe arrives after his due date, it won’t officially be our LAST weekend before parenthood begins… But we’ve been reserving it for ourselves anyways just in case.  A take it easy weekend.  An enjoy each other weekend.  A combination of conscious lounging, tying up projects, and fun outings that we may not be able to do for a while.

Our weekend is probably happening in that order actually.  Yesterday Mark had a huge allergy attack and spent most of the day sinusy and sneezing and eventually holed up in bed trying to nap it away (well… napping with one eye, watching football with the other).  I did some yoga, lots of reading, a little Netflix watching and some Tomato Carrot Soup and Lemon-Basil Macadamia Nut Pesto making!  That was our day of excess lounging.

Tomato Carrot soup

Today is shaping up to be the project day, with hopefully some lounging still inserted into parts of it.  And we’re super excited to spend the day and night in LA tomorrow for a long awaited Bon Iver concert, and possibly some Getty going.

I also wanted to show off our mostly finished baby room because not only is it our most decoratively put together room in the house… but it’s so colorful and breezy that I just want to stay in there all the time!  There’s a few empty spots on shelves I still want to fill, some scattered diaper cakes in the middle of being disassembled, and a low table under the window that I want to make a cushion for and turn into a bench…. but other than that… it’s pretty set and looking good!

Baby RoomBaby Room

And here’s the me and the baby belly… a couple days ago, at 28 1/2 weeks!

birthing class f/u, nursery update & Ellwood!

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Nice post Elaine! How did you get the cool header and way to post some photos!

So about the birthing class… Do you know how hard it is to squeeze an ice cube in each hand for a minute? Elaine does. You may ask why was she melting ice in her bare hand multiple times a night over the last week..  good question. The ice is meant to offer Elaine perspective on how long contractions last during labor and allow me insight of giving her support through different relaxation techniques.

I had to laugh the first time we did the exercise and I heard the other mom-to-be quietly but bluntly say to her partner “Stop talking” and then moments later “Don’t touch me”. Later when the technique was reviewed she said she was glad he was there but didn’t want him touching or talking. Needless to say, I’m glad that we are not that couple. My big oops was accidentally breathing on Elaine. She got over it.

I think we’d both be happy if the ice simulated the amount of pain in a contraction and instead of it’s length, but she did a great job.

On to the nursery….
Elaine found a very cool ‘woodland creature’ decal set at Target and yesterday it went on the wall.

Elaine’s homemade and very cool paper mobile was hung above the crib (you can see them in the above photo too)

In non-baby news Elaine, Ruby and I went to Ellwood Mesa today and had a great picnic lunch. No seals, dolphins, or whales, but we did have a great walk and had lunch with a beautiful view.

Peace!