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Entries in Sleep (18)

Tuesday
Jul052011

A Very Happy 4th of July Weekend

We took our first long road trip with Tazzy to Tahoe this weekend and so far it's been the best family trip ever. I wrote about our most recent trouble while traveling to LA so now I want to share my good experience since I was a bit anxious about how Tazzy was going to handle the long drive and sleeping away from home.

The car drive up and back turned out to be smooth sailing. Not only did we luckily miss traffic, but we decided to leave the city around Tazzy's bedtime and so she slept the entire 3.5 hour drive. Phew!

The entire family got to sleep in! We realized that the busy street traffic that Tazzy's bedroom faces wakes her up early every morning and similar to what Nathalee discovered (about Nic sleeping in later with black out curtains), Tazzy does much better in a dark room. Just part of city living.. and that makes for another post. 

Anyway, we enjoyed the fresh mountain -- taking long walks, boat rides on the lake, and Josh and I got to enjoy some time with the adults. It was such a nice getaway and a great time to reconnect as a family. I can't wait to take our next family vacation. Some take aways from my trip.

- Hire a babysitter. Find a local babysitting service like We Care 4 Kidz for at least one night so that you can enjoy some adult time. Josh and I went out to dinner with our friends and had a blast.

- Understand what's available to you. For example, we didn't need to bring a pack'n play or toys because our friends that we stayed with had this stuff. The lighter you can pack, the better. 

- Try to keep your baby's nap routine but allow time for adventure! For the most part we planned activities around Tazzy's naps but on one day we planned ahead for being out all day. For us this is important because Tazzy is just a happier baby when rested so she was literally the happiest baby on the block, which makes Mommy and Daddy happy parents.  

- Beware of the sun. Be sure to check out Jennifer's latest post on sunscreen here. We made sure that Tazzy was always wearing a hat in the sun to shade her face, applied lots of sunscreen and tried to keep her hydrated. 

- Again, I agree with Nathalee on the spare bedroom but if you don't have one, try using the bathroom. We set set up our pack'n play along with a baby monitor and sound machine and Tazzy has never slept better. No kidding, two out of the three days we had to wake her at 8am! Too bad I am so used to waking up at 6:30 that I couldn't sleep in. :) 

 

Monday
Jul042011

Happy 4th of July from a Very Tired Nic!

 

Hello All!  This post comes from the road.  I wanted to take a quick break from my trip to say happy birthday to America and to wish you all a safe and fun Fourth.

And here are a few things that are making this trip super awesome:

  • BYOBOC (Bring your own blackout curtains).  We've recently discovered that Nic sleeps much later with blackout curtains over the windows.
  • A spare bedroom makes all difference.  Usually Nic doesn't sleep well on the road because he can see us from his pack n play.  We're lucky enough to have a spare room this time and have been getting full nights of sleep.  Woohooo!
  • Naps rule.  For babies and mommies.

Can you tell that good sleep makes this MommyBeta really happy?  Speaking of sleep, here's a little Independence Day greeting from a little guy who was having too much fun to nap.

 

Tuesday
May102011

'Twas the Night Before Mother’s Day

Nic and I on our second Mother's Day.

‘Twas the night before Mother’s Day and all through the house, all of the creatures were stirring, because the baby wouldn’t sleep.  I haven’t wanted to jinx it, so I haven’t told you all that Nic has been sleeping through the night.  It only took us 13 months, but we had finally gotten there.  But with our annual trip to Tahoe for Mother’s Day weekend, I knew it couldn’t last.  He’s always been an awful sleeper when we travel, and this time was no different.

Well, there was a difference.  It was me.  I didn’t mind so much that he was up just a few hours after being put down, and I especially didn’t mind that for the first time ever, he wanted to snuggle in bed with us.  Maybe I was feeling all mushy gushy because it was Mother’s Day, but I just laid him on my chest, pointed out to my husband how teeny tiny he seemed in that moment, and enjoyed my little snuggle bear.

I even told him that if I get to snuggle him on Mother’s Day Eve for the rest of my life, that I will be a very lucky lady.  My husband said that it would be kind of creepy to snuggle an adult man, but I disagree. J

Monday
Mar072011

Cribs

Yesterday Baby Mo and I were flying back from a trip to Arizona. I called my husband from the airport and asked him to lower the crib mattress because Baby Mo has started to scale furniture like Spiderman. 

This short video makes me laugh! It reminds me why I love him. If the music weren't over the video, we would hear some choice language! I know he hates doing things like this but he is a good sport and a great daddy.

Notice that he set the mattress to the lowest setting so he would never have to do this again. Ha!

Sidenote: I know bumpers are not commonly used these days but we put them up after Baby Mo mastered head control because I kept finding him with his legs and arms dangling through the crib slats. They are not recommended for smaller babies who do not have the head control to prevent suffocation but now that Baby Mo can control his movements, we needed them to help prevent him from getting caught. I swear I birthed Houdini Baby.

Thursday
Mar032011

Confessions from "Neomammas" - Some truths about bringing home a baby

I’m part of a wonderful Mommy Group in San Francisco where I’ve met some amazing and inspiring Mothers. We started talking about all of the things we wished we had known about before becoming a new Mom. We laughed with each other at our new mommy blunders and blatant truths of what it was really like at first - everything from breastfeeding, going to the bathroom, our crazy hormones, tiredness, baby’s sleep - and more!

One of the Mothers shared this Open Letter to the Lexicographers at Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary from Melissa Sherr, founder of Mammalingo.com, printed in the New York Times where she claims that new moms should have a word in the dictionary, all our own, and I couldn’t agree more. She writes:

Here’s the deal. You have lots of words in the dictionary. And some of the words describe someone who’s new to something. In sports, there are “rookies.” High schools and colleges have “freshmen.” Even the newly born are aptly described as “newborns.” Newborns can’t do a single, darn thing, and they get their own word.


You know who doesn’t have their own dictionary entry? New moms. It’s bold, but I’m going to take it upon myself to speak for every new mom ever to say that we deserve a word of our own. We want something to describe being a first-time, clueless new mother who doesn’t know what she’s doing, doesn’t yet have maternal instinct (but thinks she’s supposed to) and is still bleeding and wearing maternity clothes. Oh, and did I forget to mention that she’s a wee bit tired? I don’t want to do your work for you, but I was thinking she could be called a “neomamma.”


Neomamma - I love it! Thanks Melissa! Anyway, I emailed my Neomamma friends to ask them to respond with their top “I wish I had known...” Just a heads up that the info below might TMI for some. You have been warned.

  • You will probably cry as much as your baby the first 8 weeks, and that is totally normal. Oh and breast feeding is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. It seems so easy and natural to me now, but I definitely felt like a failure ...those first 6 weeks. I would not have been able to get through it without the support of the amazing lactation consultant I saw, and mommy support group I went too. It was SO nice to hear that other mommies were having the same issues. Set up an appointment with a lactation consultant before giving birth, I wish I had done that!
  • From my experience, do NOT have guests stay with you during the first few weeks after birth unless you have a big enough place. I had guests in my 2 bedroom apt for 5 weeks and totally regret that. Oh and yes, the first 8 weeks were super hard for me too!!
  • I wish I knew how much pain I would still be in and how weak I would be for the first couple of weeks. I could barely shower, never mind go for the long walks I envisioned pre-labor! I had a vaginal delivery and thought that I would only be weak/in pain like that if I had a C-section.
  • Uhmmm...put baby on some sort of schedule!! I had no idea how much babies needed to sleep in the early weeks!! Oh, and put them down for bed "awake"!!! Join a "mommy group" and find a "marriage counselor"!!!!!!
  • Also, and this is hard to admit (especially in writing!), but I've talked to a few others and know that I wasn't alone. You might not feel that OVERWHELMING love for your baby right away, even if you don't have postpartum depression. It will come (and it will be utterly overwhelming and miraculous to love someone so much), but it was not immediate for me the way that I had thought (and hoped) it would be. (I think a couple of consecutive hours of sleep really helped move things along!)
  • First, I wish I would have known how completely helpless I would feel in the beginning. Here is the little baby and they are crying and you have no idea how to comfort them. Second, that sleep deprivation with a baby is MUCH different than ...not sleeping in college. I was convinced I could handle the lack of sleep since I hardly slept in college. wrong. Big fat wrong. Third, I didn't know how much pain I would be in after having a c-section. I couldn't walk, I couldn't pick up my baby, I couldn't go to the bathroom by myself and my husband had to give me showers for a week. I sincerely thought I would never run again. Fourth, I didn't know I would stop caring if my MIL saw my boobs. I would try to go to the nursery and be discreet but she would follow me so I finally just whipped them out and said screw it! :-)
  • I wish I had known that even though I desperately wanted a child and felt 110% ready, I would still "mourn" my pre-baby life and self (wearing stilettos, running out to get my nails done, being able to spontaneously do anything). Also, I wish I had known about the extreme anxiety associated with taking the baby anywhere out in the first 2 months or so. Lastly, I wish I had reviewed the manuals for the car seat/stroller/other gadgets before having my son as not knowing how to work these things compounded my anxiety when leaving the house and brought on a few hormone related melt downs!
  • I totally agree with everyone! I was the same with my vaginal delivery recovery- nobody told me how hard that part was. I couldn’t sit at all without one of those doughnuts old people use. I felt kind of alone because none of my girlfriends mentioned how painful the recovery was. Oh, I also didn’t realize how much I was going to pee in my pants either...like every time I sneezed or laughed- that part was not cool!
  • I feel like I could have written every single one of the above comments! I really couldn't believe how weepy I was in the beginning. The first 6 weeks, really. I cried several times a day for no good reason. And to be honest, I still miss my pre-baby life and I really miss my pre-baby marriage. But the thing I really wish people had told me - and maybe this is TMI - but I really wish I knew just how painful it would be to go to the bathroom for those first few weeks. More painful than giving birth (for me). I was pretty embarrassed about it and wondered why this happened to me. I have had a lot of friends have babies and NOBODY mentioned this part. Then I talked to a few other new moms and they said the same thing. I now tell every expectant mom I know to be prepared for this.
  • TMI: There are a ton but off the top of my head going #1 after a V birth with stitches was tough. I held off for as long as I could but finally all those stool softener pills kicked in and nature was banging on the door. I remember holding on to the wall and lifting myself up barely touching the seat...anyway, sorry TMI. But no one told me about that! Also, I didn't know how much I would leak from the non-feeding breast. Gushes and gushes, especially at night in bed with baby. PJ, blanket, sheets were soaked. I wish someone told me about hemp nursing pads and Lily Padz before I gave birth.
  • So basically, why I relate to this article [Melissa’s mentioned above], is that no one ever told me how DUMB I would become. I did forget my son's name in public, embarrassing, but true. I really thought my do-it-all-self could continue in that fashion, and this working mom has since learned that you cannot do it all (well to be honest, I'm still learning that ... and mourning that as people have mentioned before). And, NOT ONE person tells you about going to the bathroom after birth. What do I do with a "water bottle"? And why do I need stool softeners ... three weeks later, I'm calling asking for a refill of that stool softener prescription (worried that I will become addicted to stool softeners ... if that's even possible).
  • The one thing I wish I had known was to put my baby down awake and let her fall asleep on her own, vs. rocking her to sleep. I had been following the 5 S's/Happiest Baby on the Block and I didn't know there was a line to cross between "swinging" and not swing your baby to sleep. Rocking to sleep has created sleep problems. We're getting through it. :)
  • You will be tired and barely functional for literally months on end, and quite possibly you will be tired for the rest of your life. I have never appreciated sleep the way I do now. It's not just the first couple weeks that are tough... it's the first 3 months. In fact, it's more like the first 6 months, really. If I had known this, I think I could have avoided thinking "ohhh maybe things will get easier next week" every single week! Expect the unexpected. Plan to ignore all your plans. Be ready for anything. Then, just go with the flow.... because it's an awesome ride, and you really should relish every moment. It truly goes by so so fast!