Tuesday, March 20, 2012

What I've learned about sleeping.


This is a sad post. I used to have a good friend, but I have lost touch with that good friend. Michael knows my pain. We both miss our friend, Sleep. Pre-Bria, I was a champion sleeper. Never had a problem sleeping. Heck, I didn't have a problem NOT sleeping. I could stay up to ungodly hours and manage to make it through the next day without missing a beat.

Then Brianna came.
All of a sudden sleep was no where to be found. I went from well-rested to sleep-deprived in a single day. It's rough, and you don't really know what it's like until you've had a baby. Fortunately for us, Sleep is coming around again. We are starting to reacquaint ourselves... or maybe our bodies are just getting used to the lack of Sleep? A lady at work has four little ones -- and she jokes that she hasn't slept in 9 years. My mom says that you don't really ever get sleep again, once you have a baby. Even when they're 18, 19, 20, and beyond. A mom's worrying never stops.

But, I have good news for all of you new parentals, like me, this too shall get better. Brianna is 8 months old (WOW!), and she has started to sleep through the night. The last time we went to the doctor he asked us if we still got up in the middle of the night when she cried. "Yes", we said. "To feed her?", doc asked. "...Yes..." we said. Well, doc gave us some great advice that day. "Do you get up in the middle of the night to eat?" he asked us. All of a sudden it hit me. He is giving us permission to stop. He is giving us permission to SLEEP. ...I just hope Bria adapts to this idea...

We tried it that night. She cried. We stayed in bed. She went back to sleep.

That's me, smiling. With a smiling camel.

I was always one that was really nervous about letting her cry it out. I mean, the JUDGEMENT! Moms today are so judgemental. And then there's all the books, and doctors, and what the doctors say in the books. Letting babies cry for more than 10 minutes will give them a complex/scar them for life/make them less likely to trust/delinquents/starved for attention/paranoid/turn purple/act like monkeys/etc. I mean, the PRESSURE not to make mistakes!

But here's the thing. Brianna needs her sleep. She NEEDED to sleep through the night. Not only did she fall right back to sleep that first night, ever since then she has been sleeping through the night too! And she seems like a better eater too! Instead of flip flopping back and forth from bottle to solids, she really has taken a liking to solid food. She eats more, gets full faster, and we. all. sleep. more.

And by "we all" I mean Brianna, Michael, and me. Hellelujiah. We are still light sleepers, and I'm sure M and I could both use a few sleeping-in mornings, but I think we're happy we've just made it this far!

So... here are some things I've learned about sleeping since Brianna has been born:

-Watch them sleep a little bit each night. Even if it's via monitor, just take some time to watch. So still. So serene. So beautiful. I love it. And I intend to continue this motherly tradition, until she moves out of my house at the ripe old age of 30 (wait, what?)... I don't care if it's creepy. I'm gonna be that mom that peeks into her room at night to see her in Dreamland every night. Yep.

-Dads, ya gatta help moms sleep. Especially in the beginning when you don't know what to do and the baby only wants her. You gatta step in and take one for the team, even if baby is wailing for an hour straight. Do it.

-Moms, let that baby sleep in the nursery EVERY. NIGHT. that you're in the hospital! Please! Get them used to sleeping/napping on their own, in a bassinet right off the bat.

-Expecting moms... REGISTER FOR EVERYTHING. Sure you've got a bassinet on your list, but register for a Rock N Play, some sort of co-sleeper aid, crib wedges, a Pack N Play, comfy recliner, etc. Because its very likely your little one will be picky when it comes to sleep. B only slept ON ME for the first 1.5 months, so our recliner was a God-send.

Rock n Play. B didn't like hers but I know a lot of
moms who swore by it.

-Start bedtime routines the first night you're at home; even if you don't always use soap, get the child in the warm water. We started giving B her nightly baths that first night and although she didn't like it for a while, she did get accustomed to it. Now she not only knows the drill, she loves it: eat, bath, play in the bath, dry off, diaper & lotion (massage), get dressed, and finally to bed.

B playing with glow sticks in the bath.

Our duckling, after the bath!

-Speaking of lotion... the night Brianna first slept through the night (I'm talking 1 or less wakeful periods) I used Johnson & Johnson Lavender Bedtime lotion. It smells AMAZING and I really do believe it did the trick. I was breastfeeding at the time so I put it on myself (neck, arms, the "ladies") and then while she was feeding, I massaged a little bit into her temples and on her arms.

-Moms and dads, create a weekend schedule. M and I recently agreed that he would get up Saturday mornings and I will get up Sunday mornings. That way each of us has at least 1 day to sleep in.

-Another reason it was important to let her sleep through the night? Cuddling. Time spent alone with hubs. It's amazing how much I missed that time in bed with him. Talking, cuddling, smooching, laughing, tickling, watching TV, reading, whatever. SO SO happy to get that back.

-Register/invest in a video monitor. I love mine. Although B has been sleeping in her crib for months now, I still get paranoid and need to make sure she's ok. We keep our monitor nearby all the time.

Pic from the monitor.
She is holding onto her favorite toy: a super soft lamb.

-Don't be afraid of letting them sleep on their tummies. Of course I waited until she could move her head well enough, but then I tried it out. Instantly conked out. And she still sleeps that way. But please have a video monitor if you do this. As a new mom I would have been stressed out of my mind leaving her to sleep on her tummy without a video monitor.

-Unless she's hysterical, don't rush in when she wakes up. Just like us, B needs a few minutes to get started. If I rush in, loud and rarin' to go she gets this frumy, confused look on her face and I can just picture her telling me to buzz off. So when I see that she is awake on the monitor, I give it a few minutes.

Good morning sunshine!

She's trying to give me her pacifier. Ha!

-Not every baby is a swaddle baby. Ours surely wasn't. But don't take my word for it: Research. See what works for others, try it with your babes, and then use it/tweak it/abandon it (Note: What doesn't work today might work tomorrow). We used the swaddle sacks for a while, but even got rid of those. B just never did take to having her arms strapped down.

-Sleep leads to more sleep (although this wasn't always the case). It's so important for B to get daily naps, and we have definitely carved out a schedule for her. Unfortunately, that is how it is right now. In the beginning it didn't matter much, because all she did was eat and sleep so as long as she did those two things we were golden (plus a poop and spit up now and again). It took a while to get her on this schedule and although it's our saving grace, it's also our crutch. If she skips 1 nap, the rest of her day is off, and quite possibly her night, which then leads to a bad day the next day. Bottom line: if nothing is working, establish a routine and stick with it (Note: establishment might take a few days). I'm looking forward to a less-strict life routine, but until then this is how it is.

-On that note, make sure you can hire a dependable babysitter who will stick to your sleep schedule. Nothing is worse than going out on a date, only to stay up all night to help get a cranky baby back on track because the sitter couldn't just put her down to sleep.

-Trust that it'll get better! I remember those early days when B slept for 30 minutes and only in my arms. It was bad. BAD. But we got out of those woods and she is a champ now! Good luck!

2 or 3 weeks old -- sleeping on me!

Want more sleep solutions? Here's an article, just for you: GO!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Today, I have a crick in my neck. Actually it snuck upon me yesterday and now refuses to leave me be. A few months ago I had a bad crick in my neck and went to the doctor about it, so I'm taking the leftover meds from that event and have another appointment scheduled for today.

But I don't wanna get into the gloomy stuff. I'm in a good mood, with plenty of happy energy, but I am unable to move. I am using Michael's iPad to lay back and write this post, but a few minutes ago I was easily browsing pinterest (of course). I found a few interesting pins and had thoroughally enjoyed my pinning time, when I came across this picture:

I loved it. Instantly. And so I went to the website on the bottom of said pic. Took me here:

(check it out)

Which is when I found the great, simple, yet important movement. To sum it up: Life is a ripple effect. Why not spread love and happiness instead of hurt, anger, and sadness? When it's so easy to make someone smile, why wouldn't you? I found this list on the Day Makers Movement website and I just had to share. I'm going to start enacting these things immediately:

    How to make your mate's day

  1. Write a love letter and send it in the mail. Cost 37 cents. For a twist give it to someone traveling and have them send it from out of town.
  2. Send their parents flowers on your mate's birthday
  3. Rent a bicycle built for two for the weekend
  4. Offer to take over something they usually do (like cook dinner) when you know they are just too tired
  5. Break out the best china this week, especially with kids. It will create a special night for everyone
  6. Ladies- send him flowers at work today. How rare is it for a guy to get flowers? Very rare! They love it!
  7. How to make your child's day

  8. Turn off your cell phone when you get home
  9. Have flowers delivered on their birthday
  10. Create an herb garden together
  11. Frame their artwork and hang it in your home and office
  12. Write them a letter on their birthday. Put it in a safe place and give to them when they turn eighteen
  13. Create a ritual of watching sunsets with your child
  14. Don't bring worries home from the office. Create a worry hook outside your door to hang them at night
  15. Take your daughter for her first make-up lesson
  16. How to make your grandchild's day

  17. Send your grandchild a letter in the mail even if you live nearby.
  18. Telephone your grandchild regularly, and let them know you are calling especially to talk to them.
  19. If you live far away videotape yourself reading them a bedtime story.
  20. Keep a wall chart at your house to document how much they've grown.
  21. Make them a scrapbook of their parent's childhood. It will be a keepsake for them and their parents.
  22. How to make a stranger's day

  23. Put a quarter in a gumball machine and walk away.
  24. Let people merge in traffic today.
  25. Carry thank you notes with you. Write them out to waiters and waitresses. It will surprise them more than a big tip.
  26. Buy a roll of tickets at an amusement park and give them to seniors.
  27. Plug a parking meter that's expired.
  28. Help a stranger take their luggage off the carousel at the airport.
  29. Buy a bike for your local children's shelter.
  30. Send flowers to the senior's home.
  31. Buy gift certificates to a car wash and leave them on the windshield of needy cars.
  32. Leave a flower at a bus stop.
  33. Buy gift certificates to an ice cream shop and give them out on a hot day.
  34. How to be a Daymaker at work

  35. Offer to pick up lunch for someone you know is swamped.
  36. If you have an SUV offer to pick up others on a snowy day
  37. Pass the bouquet. Give someone special a bouquet and have them pass it on to someone else the following day. It's a week of Daymaking with one bouquet.
  38. Create a Daymaker of the year award at work.
  39. Have everyone bring in their high school graduation picture to post on the bulletin board.
  40. Write a thank you note to the boss. It's lonely at the top. Everyone needs to know they're appreciated for their work.
  41. Acknowledge promotions; send a card to the employee's home.
  42. Offer to drive someone home you know could use a ride.
  43. Pool your money together and buy someone a spa day as a thank you.
  44. Bring in a massage therapist to do chair massages. This is especially great for accounting firms in April.
  45. Post an employee's baby picture and let everyone guess who it is.
  46. At a monthly meeting have everyone in the room say something nice about whoever has a birthday that month.
  47. Make your own day first

  48. Tonight make your home a spa. It's a great way to melt stress. You will need your favorite soothing music, scented candles, bath salts/oils, calming tea, and your favorite robe. Unplug the phone, put the kids to sleep and enjoy two hours of bliss.
  49. Buy live flowers on your way home tonight.
  50. Take a nap this Sunday.
  51. Call someone JUST to say, "I love you and I'm glad you are in my life."
  52. Watch the sunset tonight.
  53. Turn off the ringer on your phone during dinner.
  54. Be an optimist today. Look on the bright side of everything that comes your way today. Repeat it tomorrow.
  55. Get a wonderful scalp massage and a new haircut. It's a great sense of renewal.

I want to start doing this. Both anonymously, and with those able to see (in hopes they are touched to pay it forward). I will post my Daymaker (anonymous/known) acts, and please feel free to share yours with me.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Problems solved

I'm so excited, I just have to share this.

What's with the coffee filter?

He's my new best friend. Cleaning friend, I mean.

Yessir, this guy helps with windex'ing mirrors and windows. Use coffee filters instead of paper towels for a streak-free, particle-free clean!

Happy cleaning!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Work to live, don't live to work.

I'm typing this during a quick break at work, while M is home with B -- dealing with her crawling everywhere, getting into everything.

I wish it were me. I want, more than anything to be home with her. I love the company I work for, but I don't come to work everyday because I love my work. I do it because I must. One of these days, when M is out of school and in a career he enjoys, it will be my turn to pursue happiness. Home with baby, or at the least doing something I enjoy.


Back to work!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Follow Me on Pinterest

Pinterest Weekend

Let me just say that I have not browsed Pinterest all week (because I have been amazingly busy at work and at home) so I feel a little behind, and like I am letting my followers down. It's so silly how looking at pretty things makes my quiet times so happy.

(All things that I love)

I'm not a white plate kinda gal (everyday). Most days I like COLOR. I want one of each!

(All things for Bria)

Spray the monsters away with Monster Spray. Maybe she will be more apt to clean with this bottle  of monster spray? I know cleaning was never fun for me, when I was little so if she truly has her mama's personality, this will be needed.

(All things related to my imaginary dream home. Michael and I love the classic, rustic, repurposed, and slightly eclectic look.)

Gorgeous sliding open doors to the outside, letting in sunlight and fresh air. I LOVE!

MR. & MRS.
(All things related to Michael and I)

I want a short wedding dress. This one is a favorite so far!

(All things for the holidays. thanksgiving to Easter. Halloween and Christmas. I love 'em all!)

Should have done this for Valentine's day, at work. Cute idea!

(This pin board has to be my largest to date. I scrolled all the way to the bottom to grab something fresh and found this one.)

A possible craft in my future? Need to make these first for my 2012 Indoor Herb Garden! Needed: fabric and mod podge.

(All things decorate.)

Great ideas for a teenager's room: solar system mobile, map window shade, leather reading chair.

(Creative and clever ideas to make my life easier.)

To hang flowers near the sink/window. I dunno if this is a Problem Solved or a decor tip, but I like it anyway!

(All things digestive. If I had the chance to live a double life I wouldn't do illegal or immoral things. No, with no holes barred I would go to culinary school, move to Italy or France and chase after the culinary dream.)

This looks ridiculously good. It's called "Savory Cornmeal and Chive Waffles with Salsa and Eggs". Looks like a great brunch open-faced sandwich, and brunch happens to be M's and my favorite meal of the day. Idea: Okay, so I can't be a food blogger, but what if I do blog about all my favorite and best brunch experiences/meals? hm......

(All things worth remembering. I reference this page a lot.)

(All things pertaining to photography.)

Great blog post: What to Wear for Family Portraits.


(All over. every place. every where. This world is amazing.)

Cairo, Egypt. Number 1 place that I want to visit before I die. Let's make it a trip and go to Jerusalem too!!

(All about getting in shape and staying in shape, the right way and for the right reasons.)

I skipped this one on accident....... or was it an accident? ;)
Nobutseriously, I wish I could exercise in the mornings. I have this weird disability called Bed Fusion. I physically fuse to my bed when I lay down at night and it's painful to get out of bed in the morning, so I dunno how I'm gonna work that morning exercise thing......

(All animals. they are all beautiful. But you'll see a lot of elephants on this pin board -- they're my fav)

Pinner says: The lesser known of New York's canine heroes, comfort dogs, such as this golden retriever, help soothe those affected by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Similar to search-and-rescue dogs, comfort dogs travel to disaster scenes to aid relief efforts. Studies show that people experience physiological changes—such as a drop in heart rate and blood pressure—when they pet animals.

(Because you gotta laugh.)

(A place for all the weird and random stuff.)

47 Passenger mechanical elephant

(See my ideas that I have used, want to use, or will use for upcoming events I will take part in hosting).

Say hello to Bria's 1st Birthday colors! More planning pictures comin down the pike.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Big news!

I had to tell you guys...

Bria's crawling!

That isn't anything, bytheway. Later that night she was not only crawling but trying to climb and stand up! I'm so excited!!!