Tuesday, November 20, 2012

So much to be thankful for

We are not out of the woods yet but we are out of the camper! The grandmother of a friend of ours goes to Florida every winter from October-April. Our friend used to live there in the winters and at his mom's down the road in the summers but is now living at his mom's year-round. My wonderful husband asked our friend if we could stay at his grandmother's house for the winter. Our friend said YES by all means, call my grandmother and ask her but I'm sure it'll be fine. After talking to this wonderful woman for only a few minutes we had a place to live. And what a place to live it is. It is a beautiful 3 bedroom house, with a large kitchen, woodstove, fully furnished, big yard, garage, washer and dryer (AWESOME!), and much more. We moved in about a month and a half ago, and it has been a huge burden lifted. Now without the stress of having to worry each moment about the basic stuff like food & shelter, we are able to instead worry about the bigger stuff, and start to get at the problems in our marriage and within ourselves, and to deal with our financial crisis. This is our view from the huge bay window in the living room:

We have been in therapy for awhile now and it has been enormously helpful. I have to give our therapist a ton of credit because she is AMAZING. I have been learning a lot about myself, and the ways that I cope with stress, and how my fears keep me from reaching my potential. I'm working on it, but as she says, there is a reason we develop those coping mechanisms, and it is hard, hard, hard to let them go. Leap of faith. Stepping off the cliff without a parachute.

I am thankful for these things this year:

My wonderful husband
My beautiful son who turned 2 on October 19th

My health
My amazing body, which has been through a very difficult pregnancy, and is still going strong, nursing our toddler until he no longer needs it
Same sex marriage in Maine, legalized through a citizen's initiative
We have a roof over our heads!
Negotiating with creditors without fear
Spending time with my family, especially seeing my dad recently, my hero
Great friends who are there for you no matter what

And in the spirit of the Ask Moxie post about including ourselves (moms) in pictures, here is one from a bunch I took when I was feeling pretty:

Thank you to all who have been reading and who have been thinking of us. It has been a wearying journey but we are still here. Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Because I wished to live deliberately

I want to try to put into words what this past week/month/summer/year has been like for me, but it is a heavy task. I don't want to say it wrong, I want to do it justice. I am learning some very difficult lessons, and each day I have to remind myself of them so that I can make change, lasting change, in how I live my life. For so long I have not been deliberate, I have simply been floating along, deciding in the moment what to do, or obsessing late at night about what I should have done. Many spiritual teachings talk about being deliberate, acting with intention, rather than being impulsive, in a hurry, and reactionary. This pretty much sums up what I'm trying to do, only because I've been forced to slow down and change my routines, all of 'em pretty much: http://www.slowdownfast.com/get-your-think-on-how-to-act-with-intention. And of course, Thoreau:
"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practice resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion."

Where we live now the logistics are quite different from having my own apartment in an apartment building right smack dab in the downtown area of a small town. We are almost at the complete opposite end of the spectrum. We are sleeping in a pop-up camper out in the yard, nestled in a circle of tall trees. It only takes a minute to walk from the camper to the house but in the middle of the night when it's raining, it's hard to make myself get up and go to the bathroom. So, I've been trying not to drink too much water after 8 or so (which is hard since my son nurses pretty much all night long). Then there's the well water issue. The well at the house is not dug deep enough so I have to count in my head how long I'm in the shower (limit to 2 or 3 minutes). The other night I shaved in the bathroom sink. Little things, but when you are neurotic like me, they seem big. BUT the act of slowing down, doing things purposefully, has already brought me joy. Last night I gave my son a bath in one of our laundry tubs (there's no bathtub at the house, just a standalone shower), and instead of running around doing things or watching tv or reading, I sat directly in front of him and was completely present in the moment. He started splashing and it would hit my face, arms, legs, and he would laugh hysterically, over and over. Instead of worrying that the floor was getting all wet, that my clothes were getting wet, I laughed with him and found joy in that moment. That simple moment.

Instead of sleepwalking through my life, always reacting to situations and not taking responsibility, I am on a mission to live with intention. The other part of this is relinquishing control (I know you're like, how can you act deliberately but not be in control of yourself??) What I mean is, giving up control over things and people that I have no control over. I can only control myself and my reactions. I cannot control my husband, my child, my friends, how much water is left in the morning for me to shower with, etc. Instead of losing it completely when something doesn't go the way I think it should, I am trying to accept it for what it is and keep on truckin. Again, it's all about the little things. Instead of hounding/nagging/watching/criticizing my husband when he's trying to do something, I just let him figure it out. I trust him that he will do the best he can, and also that he is capable of much much more than I have given him credit for. Another example. This morning we talked about taking out the cushion that has been our bed and bringing our mattress into the camper instead. I thought it would be nice to have something that's ours, that has our smell, that is familiar, and is more comfortable. So he said he would go get it from the other house and bring it over. I was like "How are you going to that by yourself????" and he said "I can do it." So I was sitting in my skeptical bubble but trusting that he was going to come through so I got the space ready and the door to the camper propped open. He comes around the corner with the mattress on the wheelbarrow. Awesome! I would never have thought of that. BUT there's a reason for that. I'm not supposed to think of everything, plan everything, do everything. I'm always harping that relationships should be partnerships, and about equality. A huge part of that is trust. I'm learning, my friends, slowly but surely.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Love is stronger

I'm not sure how to write this post but it feels like I need to. Our little family has been dealing with a serious financial crisis for awhile now, and it has come to a head. We are being evicted from our apartment because we have been unable to pay rent for several months. I have never actually faced an eviction before, and it is quite scary and humbling. We are not bad people, but we have made some bad decisions. My MIL has graciously offered to let us move into her house. It's not going to be an easy transition by any means; there's some work to be done to the space before we can move in to make it liveable. My SIL, her boyfriend, and their daughter all live there as well (in addition to two cats and a dog). It's going to be crowded and stressful, but also it will be an opportunity for growth and for strengthening our marriage and our relationships with his family. There have been many events over the past year that have changed the landscape of our lives forever. I won't go into them here because I respect the privacy of those involved. My husband has been dealing with some very painful events in his immediate family, and I've been doing my best to support him and them. It has been a rough journey, but here I am at another day. Our son is healthy and growing fast, practicing with phrases (Mommy. Drivin. Truck.) He is a daily source of joy for all of us; he keeps us going when we feel that we don't want to/can't go on anymore.

My husband and I have started counseling with a wonderful therapist. We have been blessed with finding this person quickly, liking her immediately, and setting right to the task with relative ease. We both feel comfortable with her enough to start the conversations that need to happen, the really really hard ones that we've been avoiding for most, if not all, of our marriage. Our 4th wedding anniversary is next month. I can't believe it's been 4 years already.

And I am slowly but surely working on my shortcomings. I have a tendency to try to control everything in my home, including my husband, which is wrong in so many ways and has led to us being where we are today. BUT the positive of this is that our marriage will be that much stronger when (notice I said when instead of if) we get through this. My goal is to feel good about myself again, to feel like an effective and generally good person. I am tired of the constant feeling of dread and fear that sits in my stomach.

Our therapist said to us at our recent session that love is stronger than what we're facing. Our love is stronger. It will guide us through (not that it doesn't require effort on our part) but that we are starting from a foundation of love. It was wonderful and affirming to hear her say that she can clearly see how much we love each other. Having someone see that from the outside after only spending 3 short hours with us over the course of a month has been heartening. I cannot and will not live in fear anymore. Yes it will take time, but I have to try.

Monday, June 18, 2012

To My Father

My father is truly an amazing man. I have always known this, but since becoming a parent I've realized it tenfold. After I was born my father realized that as hard as he tried he couldn't help my mother (she has bipolar disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and OCD). She was emotionally incapable of caring for me so my dad did something incredibly brave and wonderful for me. He fought for and won primary custody of me and kept me as much as he could out of the unstable and sometimes traumatic life of my mother. I had to visit her which I hated (sorry for all of the tears Dad) but I didn't have to live with her- I was able to distance myself from all that crazy for most of my childhood and my teen-age years because of what my dad did. He was a single dad at a time where it wasn't mainstream; where when I would puff out my chest and tell the other kids "I live with my dad!" it was quite a novel thing. I was so proud.

He worked several jobs to make ends meet, and he always put me first, even at his own expense. I can't imagine being a single parent, though I know I could do it if I had to. His sacrifice has taught me what it means to be a good parent. You do what is best for the wellbeing of your child; you try hard, you make it work, and you find your own way. My father taught me that I am precious and special, there's nobody like me. I want to teach my son the same things. I wish I could put into words what my father means to me. Well, I gave it a shot...

Thank you Dad, I love you so much.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Letting go

I am 100% convinced that (most of) the things that we're doing to raise our son are the best we can do and what he needs. Depending on what things I'm talking about, some of the people in our lives are not as convinced. I suppose I'm referring more to peripheral people (acquaintances and coworkers mostly) rather than close friends and family who are all in general very supportive. The other day at the office I got looks of horror when I said that yes, my son is still sleeping our bed, and yes he is still waking to nurse every few hours (sometimes more frequently). Eyebrows went up, heads were shaken back and forth, "how old is he now???" was asked incredulously... and instead of doing what I know I'm supposed to do when people ask "is he sleeping any better now?" I got defensive and snippy with them and of course felt guilty immediately afterwards. I'm supposed to answer "Yes he sleeps just fine, thank you for asking." But I have always had a hard time lying to people (or simply omitting details for that matter). Here is how it actually went down:

Coworker comes in for evening shift: "You look tired! Is baby not sleeping better yet?"
Me: "I've got a cold so I'm really tired."
Coworker: "Oh so he's sleeping better now?"
Me: "Yes, he sleeps fine." Maybe I would have been able to leave it at that if this hadn't happened:
Another coworker who is also an at-work friend comes over and joins the conversation: "So he's sleeping through the night now?" she asks optimistically.
Me: "Well, no."
At-work friend: "So he doesn't sleep fine, if he's still waking up..."
Me: "Um..." not sure what to say, getting defensive and frustrated "He still sleeps in our bed, it's because he's still nursing!!" I almost yell, then walk away quickly and weirdly. I have NEVER in my life been good at navigating these kinds of situations. I am terrible with unexpected conflict (whether it be "healthy debate" or out and out fighting) and I'm not good at defending myself calmly and intelligently. I pretty much always feel stupid after an encounter like this because I know how I came across and it's not even REMOTELY the whole story.

I have come to a few conclusions recently about the whole extended breastfeeding, cosleeping (which isn't really the right term, technically we're "bedsharing" with our 20mo old), and nursing to sleep THING that we do. None of these are particularly new discoveries for many of you experienced parents out there, but it has been a long road of denial and finally acceptance for me.

1. When you do all 3 of these things with a child like mine, he is going to wake up a lot at night looking to nurse. Why not? Wouldn't you if you napped and cuddled within inches of the best restaurant in town and knew it was open 24 hours a day? My son wakes up for the optimal interaction with me, as Dr. Gordon says (whose ideas I like very much for the most part). For me it's a million times easier to roll over and nurse and go back to sleep, than it would be to get up, go to a different room, nurse him, put him back down into his bed, go back to my bed and try to fall asleep.

2. I am not at all comfortable with cry it out methodology, or any methodology at all that recommends very specific tasks like pick-up, put-down (what the dingy heck is that?); go in and say "Time for bed honey" and leave for X amount of time, come back and say something else, pat-pat, etc. etc. These things don't feel natural to me at all. I would have to print out the instructions and use a fricken timer!!! People have been parenting for millenia. Did they use stopwatches to "sleep-train" their children? And don't get me started on the whole concept of "sleep training." What a bunch of hooey. I've felt guilty about my aversion to this stuff for too long. I'm finally outgrowing the feeling that I have to do what everyone else says I should (no longer a new mom, now I'm a mom to a toddler!!! WOOHOO!) I like askmoxie's advice, either read ALL of the sleep training books or none at all.

3. People tell me I'm neurotic (or at least they say it behind my back) and yet... to me these methodologies and concerns about children sleeping in your bed forever and nursing until they're 10 are pretty neurotic. Isn't it a little paranoid to imply that a baby (he is still a baby even though he's walking) who is sleeping with his mommy and daddy in the family bed is still going to be doing that when he's 10??? That is over 8 years from now!!!! Or that he'll still be nursing at that point? They change soooo quickly, no one hesitates to point that out. Isn't it possible that my son will change those habits on his own when he's ready? And that it may happen before our "deadline" of his 3rd birthday? We are endlessly amazed by children when they seem to just do something on their own (like potty training for example). I've read and heard many parents say that "one day she just peed and pooped in the potty on her own and never had a problem after that. I didn't have to do anything really!!" I believe that most healthy, normal children have this "ability" to decide and act on a change when they are emotionally and physically ready to do so, not according to some arbitrary deadline, IF we allow them to do so and teach them to trust their instincts and bodies. In no way shape or form am I advocating for allowing our children to do dangerous things so they can learn on their own. That is not at all what I mean. I'm saying that we are allowing our son to develop and grow up according to his own inner timetable. BUT as he gets older, we are slowly setting more limits and boundaries on things like nursing because he is ready for that and it's time for mommy and daddy to start having lives again :)

I don't know if me writing this could actually help some parents out there but it might. Basically what it comes down to is trusting your instincts (with or without external advice). Even if this is your first child, you've never babysat, had any siblings, anything related to parenting, you are still the parent and you have inborn instincts that have been there since the beginning of humanity to help you. The other part is to trust your child's instincts. They are more in tune with them, they know what they need. They don't always know what they want, but somewhere inside them they do know what they need. And the more you can help them keep in touch with that, the better off you will all be.

Friday, May 11, 2012

NSTTN Support Group

Let's start an online support group for moms with children who don't sleep through the night yet, no matter what age they are. Ok? Problem is I have no idea how to do this. I suppose we could do an email group or something, and just email each other. I don't know how to start an online forum. Anyone know how? Anyone want to help me make this happen? Pretty please...

Seriously though. We are in a decent phase right now which is great (you kinda forget how traumatic the sleep regressions were when you're not in one) but I think it would be awesome to have some kind of support in place when things go awry and I feel like I want to jump off a bridge. Ya know? Email me at vacationlandmom@gmail.com if you feel like joining up.

Another rant...

It’s all very clever and all to come up with anti c-section slogans (like “the uneccesarean”) but unfortunately I think it demonizes the women who elect to have them and the doctors that perform them. Why do we care so much about what a woman does with her own body? I know, I know, there’s a baby involved. But why do we seek to control, even as we are “trying to help”? I am with you’all- I agree that c-sections are performed too often and that it can make the birth experience traumatic and full of regrets for the mom. But one of the side effects of anti-c-section-ism is that the mother who had one now has regrets because supposedly she wasn’t supposed to get one! Or all the backlash against epidurals and pain medications during labor. Why do we have to make it out that the woman was weak to have accepted the offer of pain meds, or even worse, if she asked for them!

We MUST learn to respect the laboring woman, both during labor, and for the entire lifetime afterwards! Labor isn’t a one time thing, oh 24 hours and it’s over. Labor is just the climax, then there’s the afterwards, the afterbirth, the PARENTING the child for the rest of its life, the new roles to adjust to, the physical healing. Once you have a baby you are never the same again as you were before you got pregnant. You start to feel like yourself again at some point, but it’s a new you, a new and improved you! I don’t care if you never felt a single contraction, etc. you GAVE BIRTH, regardless of how. Don’t let anyone make you feel like you didn’t. Heck I had a vaginal birth but I still feel regret because I read all these natural childbirth stories, and I think to myself, I was weak, I shouldn’t have asked for pain medication, I shouldn’t have let them “sleep me,” etc. BUT the reality is that everything happened the way it was supposed to. And I did a great job. I had a herniated disc at the time, I was in excrutiating pain 24 hours a day for 3 months before I gave birth. I couldn’t walk around during labor. I couldn’t even sit up or squat. I basically ended up in the traditional position, legs up on a bar, on my back, etc. I literally couldn’t stand up. And I had back labor. And I pushed for 1 minute shy of 3 hours. And I had Pitocin towards the end of the birth. Pretty much all the things I didn’t want to happen, happened. I mean WTF- there are many many of us who have health problems, etc. that prevent us from having “natural childbirth,” from breastfeeding, etc. I’m sick of the judgement. It needs to end because it’s getting us nowhere. All it's doing is alienating us from each other at a time when we need each other the most.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Random rant, sorry

A few months ago a friend who has very different political views than me started going off that Obama supports partial birth abortion. "They deliver a baby and then puncture the back of it's skull to kill it!!!! It's horrible!" etc etc. I was completely caught off guard because I felt like I couldn't say that she was wrong. I didn't know what the heck she was talking about. Why would that ever happen? Why would Obama think it's OK? So I did some research on the good ole internet. I typed in "Obama and partial birth abortion" and up came a ton of propagandistic right wing sites. Finally I said screw this and went to NARAL.org. What I read there was that Obama voted against a ban of partial birth abortion for 2 reasons: one is that rarely partial birth abortion is medically necessary, and the second reason is that the language in the bill was murky and could lead to undermining a woman's right to choose. It doesn't mean that Obama thinks partial birth abortion is great or even OK. It's a horrible thing. Rarely it is medically necessary. When I was reading about it, and of course there were horrible pictures and drawings, I felt sick. As a mom to an infant (well, almost-toddler), I can't even *think* about anything happening to a baby cuz my heart skips a beat and I feel nauseous and it's awful.... BUT I believe in a woman's right to choose.

TANGENT ALERT: How many times have I heard of men who don't want to get vasectomies because they don't want anyone messing with their junk. Hello? It's quite noninvasive day surgery. Not like ANY of the procedures/pills/etc. that women have to deal with in order to prevent pregnancy. "OMG, wear a condom? No way. I'd prefer that you get a copper thingie inserted into your uterus for the next 10 years so I can do whatever I want. Oh and by the way you'll probably have heavier periods and more cramping. Or you can get the one that has hormones and have like no period but possibly slip into depression." WTF?

I think it's particularly sad when women listen to right-wing propaganda and spread it around as if it's truth. If only we could stop judging each other. Yes there are women who abuse the use of abortion. There are people who abuse everything, who break the rules, who mess things up for other upstanding citizens. There are WAY MORE women who have abortions because they feel they have to for their own safety and sanity. We can never fully understand the choices another person makes because we can't walk in their shoes.

Upper-Lower Class

This one has been rolling around in my brain for awhile now. On the internets all I can find is something about white trash... which is not quite what I'm thinking of. I'm thinking of people like me, who on the outside might appear to be middle class but if you looked at my actual income/expenses/debt you would think otherwise. I'm not below poverty level, but hovering above it.

I don't mean to offend anyone but here I go anyways.

I think a lot of the mommy bloggers here on the web are if not wealthy then at least middle class. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I just think that the perspective of those with limited or low income is not very well represented in this sphere. When I read discussions of many issues that new moms and moms in general have, they are often skewed in the general direction of money is not an object. I guess the presumption here (which can be true, don't get me wrong) is that people who don't have much money/low income are consumed with thinking about meeting their basic needs and don't have the time/energy/resources to think about broader social issues. Like a Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs type thingie.

"Baby should sleep in his/her own room, in his/her own bed." Do we see the expectation here? What if you live in a 1-bedroom (like we did until our son was about 6 months old)? What if you can't afford to drop $100 or $200 for a nice, safe crib?

Honestly I don't know how we would have gotten by if we'd had to buy formula. Luckily I was able to breastfeed and fulfill my son's needs that way for quite a while (also he was late with starting to really eat solids). Breastfeeding is free (except for the EXTRA gobs of food you need to eat in order to avoid growly belly at 3am after your child has been nursing every hour since you both went to bed at 9pm and dinner was early at 6pm... but I digress)

There are many who probably judge me thinking, well if you couldn't afford to take care of yourself, then you went ahead and had a kid, whose fault is that? I'm not blaming anyone. I don't think it's right however to say that unless you are middle class and financially "comfortable" that you are not allowed to have children!

I don't necessarily feel comfortable representing any type of class or population of people. But I also feel like my situation does not fit in either lower or middle class. My and my husband's annual gross income might put us into the middle class, but when you subtract out all of our expenses and our debt, and if you take out taxes (which you should when you're analyzing cost of living/applications for assistance, etc. You never see your gross income, you see your net, that is your REAL income, the actual money that you get in your bank account that you can spend) then we're looking not so great. Like "how exactly are these people getting by?" Which we are, but barely.

I'm sure I have more to say on this subject but my break is over so back to the grind.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

SIO and the summer-tease

Alrighty, so last week our weather was surreal. It got up to the 80's in some parts of midcoast Maine. Holy crap, 80 degrees in March??? It was AWESOME but also heartbreaking because it ended and now we're back to cold, cold, cold, windy, possible snow. UGH.

And SIO is my new theory regarding the family bed. Forever my husband was sleeping on the couch. Not just because I asked him to frequently after our son was born, but also because he has a nasty habit of falling asleep with EVERYTHING on and waking up at 4 am, like WAAAHHHH??!!! So lately he has been trying to come to bed with us. AND even if he wears a Breathe Right strip, he snores like a freight train for the first 45 minutes or so. During which I lay there with the ineffectual pillow over my head while my son sleeps like a... um... baby and I can't fall asleep cuz everytime there's a break in the snoring and I start to dose off, he starts up again. I used to kick/punch/poke him to say "Roll over, please!" and get a snoring break. BUT what I realized is that every time I do that he is cycling back up in sleep and therefore has to start the stages all over again. Now I do SIO (Snore-It-Out) which is I let him snore away, don't touch him or try to wake him or get him to roll over. Eventually he stops snoring and I fall asleep, and then we're generally good from there! This is for wives out there who have snoring husbands (and you've tried everything else)... it could work for you too :)

Now if the kid would just STTN we'd have it made in the shade.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Can I just say something?

I love my midwife. We had a rocky start (well, she probably didn't notice anything)- in my 1/2 dose of Welbutrin, dealing with PG and herniated disc, 7-months pregnant mind, she wasn't my ideal midwife. BUT she was fantastic during my labor, and looking back everything was the way it should have been. Yes, I had Pitocin upon her recommendation, yes I ended up in the traditional, not good for anybody position during the pushing stage, yes I had morphine midway through because I hadn't slept in 48 hours, but she didn't doubt me, she was stern yet kind. At one point during my labor she told everyone else in the room to "shut up" (not my hubbie, just the other myriad of nurses, docs, pedis, etc. who were all saying "you can do it, you're almost there" etc while my son was crowning) and told me to focus on her voice and only listen to her. Since I had my son I've seen her several times at the doc's office for appts and a few times as she calls it "out in the community." Her husband performed the ceremony at a good friend's wedding. It was such a nice surprise to see her.

Sometimes I think about baby catching and how she caught my baby. I remember her telling me that I did a fantastic job and I should be really proud of myself. She asked me if I was, and I think I said "sorta..." because I was still hung up on how the birth wasn't completely natural, how I gave in to interventions that may not have been necessary, etc. I feel differently now. I KICKED ASS. I still KICK ASS. I am a great mom.

I saw her last week for my annual PAP, etc. (I forgot how much a PAP hurts! it's not a q-tip guys, it's got metal on the end, OWWIE) and instead of being all business like some, she let me vent and chatted with me for a good half hour about sleep and extended breastfeeding. She has an only child, a son, who just turned 23. She validated our experiences, that my son is normal even though he wakes up constantly freaking out, there's nothing wrong with him. That it's ok and wonderful to do attachment parenting (cosleeping, EBF, child-led, etc.) BUT that if we decided to do CIO, our son would have had a great start towards independence and good self-esteem because of the sacrifices we've made (mostly loss of sleep! LOL) so far. She congratulated me and told me that I am a wonderful mother. I started crying because I had no idea how much I needed that validation, especially coming from the person who delivered my son, and who has been there, done that. She gave me a hug at the end of our visit and also gave me her home phone number so we can talk about parenting. She is intuitive, she knew right away that I needed some local, in-person, support around attachment parenting.

Wow 2 posts in one day. Go me! 

18 month sleep regression be damned!

My son will be 17 months in less than a week. It seems like he might already be in the 18-month sleep regression, though I've never been through it before so I'm not sure. He's been waking up pretty much hourly, crying like he's in pain, freaking out, whining, the whole range. The ONLY thing that will stop the screaming is nursing... nursing nursing nursing for hours until I whisper, "ok honey you need to let mommy go so she can roll over for a few because she can't feel her hand anymore."

Here's what I'm thinking, and I hope I don't jinx myself: because my little boy has pretty much never been an all-night sleeper, has woken up every 1-3 hours like 99.9% of the time since he was born, we are still nursing and cosleeping, it seems like a sleep regression won't be as dramatic for us as it might be for someone whose child is a "better" sleeper. For them (those lucky devils), they will be used to sleeping all night, no/minimal wakeups, etc. and then BAM sleep regression and it all goes to shit. They will be super tired and cranky and wondering what the hell went wrong. We on the other hand will have business as usual, only a little more difficult than usual. After almost 2 years of broken sleep I'm pretty much used to it.

In related news, we have rearranged our apartment so that we now have "the sleeping room" (used to be my son's room but as mentioned before he never sleeps in it) and our former bedroom is now "the playroom" (also contains our clothes/dressers). In the sleeping room, besides our bed which is now on the floor (easier for son to get in and out of) and my son's dresser, there is the infamous crib which is now a toddler bed (what an easy conversion!) He goes over to it and yells "bed!" then gets in it and jumps up and down on the mattress. Then it's off to other things. My theory is that having it there with us each night, it will just sit there all tantalizingly blanketed and soft with warm cuddly stuffed animals... calling to him slowly over time... and someday I'll wake up in the morning after a long full night of sleep and he'll be over there asleep in his own bed. I know, you think I'm a crazy dreamer. Well, dream it you f'in dreamers. It could happen! And it WILL happen when my little boy is ready. And I'm cool wit dat.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Times they are a'changin

It's been a long time since I've posted... that's what happens sometimes at this time of year. We get through the holidays then there's a lull in brain activity :)

I've been considering changing careers. Not that I really have a career at the moment per se, but I'd like to have one someday when I grow up. I'm turning 35 in two months, not quite ready for that. I finally feel like I can emotionally handle using my degree (B.A. in Psychology 1999). I was all set to go to graduate school, get my Psy.D. and work with teenagers, but it turned out I wasn't emotionally ready for it. I am like a feeling sponge, I absorb all the negative energy around me. But I think becoming a parent has made me more resilient (after everything I went through during my pregnancy and postpartum); I feel much stronger now than I have in my entire life. Also the Zoloft has helped me quite a bit.

Things that are pissing me off lately:

It is complete bullshit that we are not eligible for the Earned Income Credit. I know there have to be cut-offs but Jesus H we are barely getting by, a couple thousand or even just one thousand would make a HUGE difference for us. Oh well, no use banging my head against the wall over something I can't control.

I haven't talked about it on here but our downstairs neighbors were breaking into our apartment and stealing shit for awhile (we don't even know how long). It's a long sad story that I won't go into detail about. But basically because we have to wait for a conviction, the bastard has been in and out of jail twice because of this, and is still living right downstairs from us. We have to see him out in the parking lot, etc. I understand due process and whatnot, but it SUCKS nonetheless to live right above people you know for a fact were breaking into your home.

My husband has a seasonal position so has been collecting partial unemployment this winter. He has also kept his part-time job at a store where he fills in when they have call-outs. He makes so little doing that- what is the point for him to even try to find a full-time position when you can make the same amount of money just collecting unemployment?! We have too many bills and we can't afford them all. And there's nothing I can do about it- can't get rid of any of the bills (unless we pay them off... HAHA very funny).

Her husband is in the Coast Guard and just found out he has to report for duty in Alaska in June. SUCKFEST.

This one's a toughie. He's supportive of co-sleeping, etc. but sometimes gets sick of hearing me say I'm tired and says well it's your own fault you won't put him in the crib and let him CIO. I just can't do it.

This happened at the end of December. When my coworkers told me I thought it was a joke, but they weren't kidding. WTF?!

Oh gosh I was going to make this a positive post but it hasn't turned out that way at all! Sorry :( I'll do better next time, just having a crappy day/week/month.