Where I’ve been – life updates

To those of you who are already parents, this is going to come as absolutely NO surprise, but — HOLY COW PARENTING IS A LOT OF WORK.

meme3_zps55a332bc

I look back at my BC (before child) days and think, what did I do with all that spare TIME?! Even with Winston in daycare 3 – 5 days a week, depending on my work schedule, every minute of my day (and then some) is accounted for. There are an embarrassingly high number of days that I don’t change out of my PJs (I work from home). I don’t know where the time goes. Between work-work, house-work, spending time with my family, cooking meals, grocery shopping, the seemingly never-ending list of chores, blogging fell by the wayside. I’m hoping to remedy that in the future.

Here’s what we’ve been up to since the last post (in no particular order):

  • Sleep training. Winston hate-hate-hated his crib for the first five months of his life, but the more mobile he became, the more imperative it was that we find a safe sleeping solution. How to Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems (also known as the Ferber Method) saved our lives. More on this in another post, but the short story is that it worked miracles for us. After just a week following the book’s guidance, Winston was going to sleep, in his crib, without protest. Within a month, he started sleeping “through the night” (as defined as a 6 – 8 hour stretch, as is appropriate for his age). For a baby who was used to waking up every 3 – 4 hours (even at 5 months old), this was a game changer.
  • First plane ride. We took Winston to see my side of the family, including his 85-year-old great-grandfather (!), in Florida for a week-long trip, which meant a not-insignificant amount of travel. It’s an hour drive from our house to the Denver airport, then a 3.5 hour flight (if everything goes smoothly), then another hour drive from the Orlando airport to my parents’ house. Not to mention the two hours we spent at the airport before our flight (we wanted to get there in plenty of time). Plus, we were delayed by 2 hours on our return flight. All that adds up to a long day of travel for us adults, never mind a confused and jet-lagged 7-month-old. My husband, Adam, and I were understandably nervous, but our worries were unfounded. Winston was a champ! We also were very lucky to be seated next to incredibly understanding and kind individuals, who helped calm our nerves.
  • Therapy (mine, not Winston’s). This is another topic that I’ll delve into on a different day. After slogging through over 6 months with anxiety, insomnia (even when exhausted), shame, sadness, and just generally not feeling like myself, I finally admitted that my postpartum depression was not simply going to “go away” on its own. I started seeing a licensed therapist just over a month ago, and it has made a world of difference.
  • Teething (Winston’s, not mine). The little guy has two teeth coming in, and I can’t wait for them to get here, already! Mostly because he’ll stop being in so much pain (he frequently wakes up from naps grabbing at his mouth), but also because he’ll be even cuter (if that’s possible). It seems like we’ve tried every teething trick out there (cold/frozen washcloths, teething rings, Tylenol), but if you have any other tips, please share!
  • International vacation daydreaming. 2017 was the year first year my husband and I haven’t been to Europe since we graduated from grad school in 2011. Up until Winston’s birth, we always took at least one trip to somewhere in Europe, whether it was a month exploring Italy, spending Thanksgiving in London, three weeks in Southern Spain, or two weeks in Germany for Oktoberfest. We skipped international travel last year on our pediatrician’s recommendation that Winston get his MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine, which he gets on at one-year, before we go abroad. With his one-year birthday rapidly (TOO rapidly) approaching, I’ve started brainstorming ideas for our first trip. Right now, we’re leaning toward a London and English countryside trip. The thought of going somewhere new (I’ve only ever been to London in the UK), but not too new (the lack of a language barrier is extremely reassuring) is sounding like the ideal balance. Winston already has his passport, now he we just have to figure out where to take him!
  • Developmental milestones. I cannot believe how much Winston has learned in the past few months – rolling over, sitting up, feeding himself, laughing, squealing, scooting across the floor (he’s SO CLOSE to crawling), playing with toys, the list goes on and on. As much as I want to slow down the clock, I’m also so excited to watch this tiny human learn and grow.

So much has happened, but that’s the highlight reel. I hope to be much better about updating here in the future!

Advertisements

Mama told me there’d be days like this

First things first – <a href=”https://www.bloglovin.com/blog/18843825/?claim=px68wqkuaa5″&gt; Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

I just set up an account on Bloglovin’, so now I’m “claiming” by blog. I’m still new to this whole blogging thing, but I’ve read about Bloglovin’ on several other blogs I follow. It seems like a convenient way to read all the blogs I follow, regardless of platform, in one place. Not to mention it’s much easier to discover new blogs. WordPress hasn’t been very helpful on that front.

Today, Baby Bear and I are having what my grandmother would have called a day – emphasized with a heavy sigh and quite possibly a look towards the heavens. While nighttime sleep has lately not been an issue (knock on wood), morning naps have recently been a huge challenge. Usually we wake up around 8, snuggle in bed for the thirty minutes (we are on the co-sleeping train, more on that later), and then get up to start the day.

About an hour later, I can tell he’s sleepy. He’s fussy, fidgety, and mouthy (but won’t nurse or take a bottle). We start the bedtime routine of swaddling, rocking, and singing a lullaby (Goodnight, My Angel by Billy Joel). I put him down, followed by another few minutes of singing and rocking, then I creep towards the door. This typically gets me a solid 1.5 – 2 hour nap, at which point he’s hungry, but all smiles as soon as he eats.

The past few mornings, he wakes up screaming right at the 40-minute mark. I know he’s still tired. He knows he’s still tired. But no amount of swaddling, rocking, nursing, or singing will convince him to fall asleep again. He’s awake and he wants the whole neighborhood to know. Today I had to go around closing all the windows in our house because I was worried someone might hear his wails and call child services.

The only thing that finally (after two hours) convinces him to fall asleep is putting him in his “kangaroo pouch” aka a Baby K’tan (which is an absolute LIFESAVER).

He’s sleeping, and that’s the important part, but part of me worries that I’m forming bad habits. Will he ever be able to sleep by himself? When does he learn this “self-soothing” thing I keep hearing so much about? Why didn’t he come with an instruction manual?

Ah, parenthood.