Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Babysitting High

B and I went out with Romeo and Juliet on saturday night. This is the third time we've left Mia for an evening. The first time, she was only about three weeks old, and she was with my Mom. We went out for sushi and were back before she had even woken up once. I felt fine. My theory is that I was barely even used to the idea of being a mother, so being away from my baby wasn't any kind of traumatizing experience. Plus, she was with my Mom, who had spent almost as much time with Mia as I had up to that point.

The second time, I desperately wanted to see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2. I love Harry Potter and absolutely couldn't wait to see the movie. B and I planned to get dinner afterwards. We dropped Mia off about 10 minutes before the movie was to start, and as soon as the movie was done, both of us wanted to race back and pick her up. Forget dinner, we just ordered pizza. Mia was about 6 weeks old. By then, I wasn't as much of a zombie boob lady, and Mia had started being awake for longer periods of time and was beginning to become the delightful baby she is now. I didn't even get to enjoy the movie, I was so preoccupied, wondering how she was doing with someone she had barely spent time with before.

So, back to Saturday. One of my co-workers is also NICU nurse at the hospital where I delivered. She moved from Chicago to Vegas a few months before we did. Every day I bring Mia to work, J comes into my office and takes her from me for at least an hour or two in the mornings, and I get most of my work done while they're off visiting. She's been asking, actually asking, rather than offering, to babysit. She looked at her schedule and gave me last Saturday as the first Saturday she wasn't working. So, we set everything up around it.

I was not nervous this time. Mia and J have spent a nice amount of time together at work, so Mia recognized and smiled at her immediately. J's boys, 8 and 16, were thrilled to have a little girl in the house. Plus, who better to babysit your infant than an NICU nurse? Nobody. We dropped her off around 3:30. When we got back in the car on our way to a movie theatre to catch a show before dinner, both B and I were cracking stupid jokes, laughing and generally acting super silly. We bought popcorn AND candy (this is 2 days pre-diet) and thouroughly enjoyed ourselves. By the time we got to dinner, we felt like we were at least 2 margaritas ahead of Romeo and Juliet (who were decidedly less babysitter high than we were). We had a great dinner among adults, and even though we did talk about babies, we were also able to talk about other, non-baby things! Amazing!

We picked Mia up at 10pm exactly, a bit margarita tipsy (just me, not B), and she was fast asleep. She didn't wake up to go in her carseat, or into her bassinet. She woke up around 4:30, the way she usually does and gave me a big big smile (HEY! IT'S YOU! I LIKE YOU!). It was great to hav the time on our own, but it was also great to see her smile again. Now, three days later, B and I are still in a better mood than we were on Saturday morning. We definitely needed some time together, and it's nice to know that despite our life being drastically different, we are still ourselves.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Prelude to a Diet

Mia turns 4 months old on Sunday, the 25th. Now that I've stopped breastfeeding (more on that in an upcoming post), it's appropriate (and necessary) for me to start paying attention to the number on the scale. 9 months, plus 4 months is a long enough vacation from paying attention to what I eat. So, right now, I'm +12 lbs from the weight I was the day I got pregnant. That weight was nothing to be proud of, a result of post-wedding slacking off. An acceptable weight, for my body's standards is the weight I was at my wedding, which I am at +21 lbs. That weight will let me fit (and look nice) in all of the clothes that I present own, including my favorite $160+ jeans of which I have numerous paris, bought pre-wedding and pre-2 law school tuition's worth of student loans. So, I need to get back down to an acceptable weight before the Las Vegas weather cools off, and I would want to wear said jeans. Plus, my cold-weather work wardrobe, which is extensive, coming from Chicago.

For now, I am making due with a minimal wardrobe that fits. I bought 2 pairs of capri pants from the Ann Taylor outlet store in a size 14 to get me through the summer. I also have a few dresses that are loose enough around the belly. But soon enough, I'll have to put away the summer dresses and bring out the wool slacks and long sleeved shirts. So, for practical reasons (and about a million others, like feeling good and being healthy) I can't stay in this post pregnant pudgy phase.

I've always had a bit more weight on my body than others. I was a size 10 in High school, and gradually crept up to a 12 somewhere between then and getting married. I'm OK with that. I'm happy with the way I look at a comfortable 12. You know what I mean by comfortable: clothes button and zip with ease. A comfortable 12 is about 31 lbs away from where I am right now. So let's round it up to a 35 lb goal. I'm not looking for a bikini body - with these stretchmarks, bikinis are not in my future. Just looking nice, being able to wear a bathings uit without constantly feeling the need to cover up. That's the goal: comfort, relative confidence.

I've been working up to this for a while. Dieting, that is. I've never been able to lose weight by just "watching what I eat", or "eating in moderation". I am apparently incapable of doing that, unless I impose strict guidelines on what I can and cannot eat. Limiting quantities is not great for me. The summer between my Junior and Senior year of college, I did the South Beach Diet one week after my 21st birthday. I lost a kind of unbelievable amount of weight, getting to under 10lbs of my freshman year of high school weight. It was amazing, and I looked great. But the factors that made it possible back then (getting seriously dumped at the end of Junior year, having free total access to a full-service gym, a cafeteria with endless salad combinations every day, a SBD buddy, and you know, being 21). From September until December, I was actually a size 8. Then, I started dating a guy, a BIG guy, and it became impossible to keep up with low-carb restrictions when he was ordering pizza for dinner every night. But those days are long gone. Now, I can accept and be happy with my goal. Comfortable 12. The diet itself is really very restrictive, but I followed it religiously back then, so I feel like I have the control to do it again.

I had some success a few years later during law school with Weight Watchers. I didn't follow their traditional points system, since it is based on calculating calories and limiting the amount of food. I didn't do well with that, I like strict guidelines. They had another option called the Core Plan, which I did follow and did well on. I got down to the goal I have for myself now, but I had a less to lose to get there. I haven't 100% decided on which one of those two I will follow, but I'm leaning towards South Beach.

I had initially given myself a start date of October 1st. But, somehow from the time I decided to diet and now, I've managed to gain weight. Two weeks ago, I was only at +10 pre-pregnancy. So, yeah, I think I subconciously started gorging myself, knowing that I will soon have to stop eating my favorite combination of vanilla ice cream and crushed up Reese's cups. Something that started during pregnancy, and somehow I haven't given up yet...

So, that is my diet tale. I start Monday. I will update periodically on my progress, although I promise not to get obnoxious and make lists of what I've eaten every day.

Monday, September 19, 2011

What's a Day Off?

Amalah’s post today over at Amalah’s West really hit home. She talked about her day as Work from Home Mom, and describing her morning routine of getting her boys up and ready said :"then, of course, it’s time to get to…you know, “work.” Because everything up until the minute I opened the laptop was a damn vacation." The fact that any time away from work is spent taking care of your child, family, pets, and home was probably the thing that was most difficult to adjust to after bringing Mia home. I realized quickly that my maternity leave may give my brain a little bit of a rest, but wouldn’t allow me to read the stack of books that I was saving for my time off. This is especially true for poor B, who we decided only needed to take one week of family leave once we gave birth. We decided long before that this would be just fine, because a) Big Bank only gives 1 week of paid leave to new fathers, ad b) my parents were both going to be staying with us for the first 4 weeks. My parents left when Mia was 4 weeks old, I was three weeks away from going back to work full time, and we were one week away from taking Mia back to Chicago to visit with B’s family. So really, I only had one week where I was off work and alone taking care of Mia.
B would get home around 6:30 every night, and I’d give him a few minutes to take his shoes off, get out of his work clothes and come sit down on the couch. He’d immediately pull out his laptop to play whateverthehellgame and pay no attention to Mia and I glaring at him from across the couch. After “giving him the chance” to realize for himself that he needed to put his game away, I’d say,
“UH, can you take the baby now? I’d like to take a shower.” He’d answer: “But I just got off of work! Can’t I have a few minutes to relax?”. After “giving him the chance” to realize for himself that he just said the wrongest thing ever, I think: “What, do you think I’m on vacation here?”.
Now, with Mia at almost four months, B has 100% learned his lesson. On his first weekday off once I had already gone back to work, he realized he was more tired at the end of his “off” day then he was at the end of his “work” days. He would complain about it. The fact is, once you become a parent, there aren’t any more days when you can just put everything off and sit in front of the TV all day. A day off from your job means you’ve got those hours to catch up on the rest of your life’s responsibilities, those that you let slip while you’re at our job.
At the moment, and until I decide it’s too much for me, I am doing both. I’m still “parenting from work”. This makes me some kind of hybrid between a SAHM and a Working Mom, where I get to spend 100% of my time with Mia, but without the added bonus of getting to do the housework and cooking during Mia’s naps. I love being able to do this, and I am grateful that I can do this. But, it’s exhausting. This morning, I juggled Mia’s exploding diaper with finishing a complaint I’m trying to file by the end of the day. This afternoon, I juggled Mia’s ceaseless need to have a smiling face in front of her with writing immigration withdrawal letters. At the end of the day, I still manage to get almost all of my work done. Anything urgent, I can take home and finish when B gets home and can take over the entertainment duties.
My only real “day off” is Sunday, when I split the parenting duties with B. This is also the day that I get to: vacuum, do laundry (Mia’s and mine), go to the grocery store, and, I usually get at least an hour or two of knitting in. In the end, Mia is a lovely and relatively easy baby, so things could be significantly worse. We’re lucky to have the life we have.


One nice thing about living in Las Vegas, quite honestly, is it's proximity to Southern California. Romeo's mother and her siblings are from there, he was born there, and after being raised in Las Vegas, he returned to CA for college and the first decade of his professional life. He returned to Vegas just a few years ago with a job transfer. (It was shortly after both of our moves here that we met.)

Anyway, he and I enjoy traveling to the Los Angeles area, or primarily it's "suburbs" (is that a Midwest term?), as often as we can. We used to go once every two or three months before the marriage, pregnancy, and baby. He enjoys going "home," I enjoy the shopping and the weather, and we both enjoy the entertainment factor, as his favorite blues band is L.A. based and he has turned me on to them as well. So we would often find dates that B.B. Chung King and the Buddaheads were playing an L.A. area club and just pack ourselves up, head on down, and make a weekend out of it.

Needless to say, for any mother or parent reading this blog, packing a couple's belongings for a weekend is by far easier than packing for a family of three, especially when one of those family members is an infant. Then there is the trip itself, which is 3.5-4 hours. Sometimes, I get bored myself, so you can understand how a baby would do on it. Add in having to take feeding breaks, get a better hotel room than we would have to just for ourselves, and, and, and...basically, our trips to Cali started becoming few and far between when I got pregnant (L.A. rush hour stop and go traffic and morning sickness also don't mix well). We have only gone once since my 1-year-old son was born. That time, about 7 months ago, we did bring Tybalt, and we had a a great time attempting (and successfully) finding new things to do in California that are baby-friendly. We ended up at a Food Truck Festival. And for the gig we planned the trip around, we luckily have family in Cali and were able to have an aunt babysit for a few hours in the evening. But in general, like I said, we made it a family weekend and enjoyed a lovely late winter-early spring day with our young son.

Romeo and I have been craving some time alone, however. And seeing I am blessed with a loving mother-in-law and [cursed with a hateful] father-in-law who adore Tybalt, we had them babysit for the weekend and Romeo and I hit the road for a little couple's time. This time around the musical entertainment was our dear friend Ron Ellington Shy. He used to perform with The Drifters, The Coasters, and Don and Dewey (just to name a few!). He is an amazing musician. Romeo has known him for years and years. They met at a show in Cali, and they both ended up living in Vegas. But the economy has declined for all residents here, and that includes gigs for musicians. So Ron moved back to Cali a little over a year ago and now performs in the L.A. area.

Ron was playing at a place called The Fret House in downtown Covina, California. Covina is the town Romeo called home for more than 10 years of his adult life. He knows Citrus Avenue, the main drag, well as he was on the board of directors of the playhouse there for a handful of years. It is there that he got his acting experience and honed his skills. The night we met we talked about that theatre and the shows he has acted in, produced, or otherwise participated in. And on other trips to Southern Cali we have driven down Citrus Ave, or once stopped and parked at the theatre, just to get a quick look but on Saturday we spent the ENTIRE day on Citrus Ave. in downtown Covina. And it was amazing. Absolutely wonderful.

But this post is long enough. For now I will say...

To Be Continued...

Monday, September 12, 2011

Frenchie McKnitsalot

A few years ago, one of my then-boyfriend-now-husband’s friends, in a completely nice way, asked: “So, what are your hobbies?”. My response was a very decided “Uhhhh… I like to go to restaurants. Does that count? I also like to drink Margaritas?”. I found it so strange that, #1, someone was asking me about hobbies, and #2 that I seriously couldn’t come up with an answer other than eating and drinking. In my head, I can justify my lack of answer by telling myself that I was 24 and in law school. I am not going to pretend that I was one of those people who spent every waking moment outside of class studying, but it still took up a huge chunk of my time. Also, when I wasn’t studying, like, on Saturdays, I was usually hung over from above-stated hobbies.

I had learned to knit in college from a couple of girls in my sorority. My roommates and I all learned together, and we made a couple of scarves here and there. My biggest knitting accomplishment by the time I graduated was a Gryffindor scarf, which I think I wore to one of the Harry Potter movies. Striped scarf, basically. During law school, I probably made a couple more scarves. When I graduated law school, and while I was taking BarBri courses, I got a terrible job as a law clerk. This was seriously the worst job I’ve ever had, including the 3 weeks I spent as one of those people who stands on the sidewalk asking people whether they had a second for    fill in the blank related to the Environment   . She was a super conservative sole practitioner who worked out of her apartment. She was in her 60s, had never been married, and had craploads of hobbies. She had 3 harps in her living room, a membership to the Lyric Opera, tons and tons and tons of books, and a basket full of yarn. She was a really interesting woman when she wasn’t criticizing me for living with B before we were married, or even engaged. (Once, she asked if I wanted help with a cover letter I wrote applying for a family law position, when she got to the part when I was writing about family values, she laughed and said : "Yeah right, you don't have family values living with your boyfriend".) She ended up firing me, claiming that she looked on the internet history of the computer I was working on and saw that I had checked my personal email and looked at a blogs. I didn’t lie, I told her that I did do those things from time to time. She then said she didn’t know what those websites were, and that she thought those might be disguises for porn. Yeah… that’s exactly what Lag Liv is.
Anyway, I did get one good thing out of that job. For Christmas, she gave me a beginner's knitting book, with simple and easy to follow patterns. She suggested that I YouTube the instructions I couldn't figure out from the text. And from there, I became a real knitter. I started making hats, and I made a pretty baby blanket for my not yet born nephew, Tyler. When I was done, I picked up one of those free knitting patterns they give out at Michael's for an adult sized throw blanket. It was 6'x6' and had cables. I wish had a picture of that one to show you guys, but since it was my first real big project, my stitches weren't even enough and it hasn't held up very well.
The second I got pregnant, my knitting went from a now and then hobby to a full on obsession. I made Mia a striped cable knit blanket, which this time, came out very even and has held up to a few machine washes on the gentle cycle. She has a matching hat, which I made quickly afterwards. All the yarn colors I used match her nursery bedding from PB Kids.

I have made her 4 sweaters, one which she outgrew before I was even finished. I hadn't finished by the time she was born, since she came a few days before our scheduled induction. Once she was born, I didn't have the energy to do anything but lay down and watch tv between feedings and diaper changes, so it was too small by the time it was even done:

The second cardigan I made, I was super meticulous with. Also, I was super nervous that it was going to be too small again, that I followed the directions for 6-12 months. It turned out really well, just... a tad large:

It's not a big deal that it's so big, really. She doesn't need a sweater here in Vegas until late October/early November, and by then, it won't be so huge. Sidenote: Yes, Mia has the CRAZIEST HAIR EVER. I swear, I don't neglect it. If I don't put a hat on her for HOURS after her bath, it'll come out like this about 10 minutes after she gets out. If I do put the hat on her for the proper amount of time, it turns out like this by the end of the next day, so... yeah. She's got crazy hair, and I'm living with it.

The second sweater I made with this ridiculously expensive yarn that I bought at a yarn boutique near my house. I was so excited to find a place to buy specialty yarns, I kind of let myself go a bit. This is a cotton/bamboo blend that was at $12.00 for a 50g skein. (For comparison, at Michael's yarn costs no more than $4.99. I've bought plain cotton yarn for 88 cents for a 75g skein before. I'll show you what I made with that one in a sec.) The yarn was so gorgeous, it was different shades of purple. There's no predicting what it will look like all knit up, but when the yarn was all balled up, I couldn't resist it. This sweater ended up costing $24... and ended up looking a little too much like a Cosby sweater for my taste. But I don't care, she'll wear it and so will any other girl babies that I might have in the future.

Pretty purple Cosby sweater.
Lastly, I made a green professor cardigan. It has a rolled up collar, and looks like I should have inserted some elbow pads. I absolutely love it, but it's a bit narrower than I had hoped. Most patterns come with ample belly space for baby bellies, but the woman who designed it clearly didn't have a baby of her own. She'll wear this one straight away, on those chilly Vegas nights. RIGHT. Still cute.

I added heart buttons to make sure she still looks like a girl.
  In addition to baby clothes, I've also taken to making stuffed animals. I've made three of them so far, and I've had a lot of fun with these. I have a feeling that kids aren't going to like them as much as they would like store bought stuffed animals, but I'm OK with that. First up, I made a Teddy Bear while I was still pregnant with Mia. This one sits in her crib, waiting for her to care a bit.

My first stuffed animal. Kind of embarassingly bad, actually. But still, I made it!
The second animal I made for our nephew, Tyler. I sent it to him at Easter. I used the same yarn on this bunny as I did on his baby blanket.

Lastly, and the item I am most proud of to date, is this guy:

By far the most complicated item I've made. It only took a week to knit up, but it's putting together all the little pieces of shell that was so time consuming. I love it. I thought it was so great because it can double as  cushion. This was for Tybalt's first birthday. This is the item I made using the 88 cent cotton skeins! It only took a bit of yarn from each skein, and a couple of the light blue ones for the shell edging and underbelly.

So, that's it for my knitting post. I'll continue to post pictures of my completed projects. I'm working on (another) cardigan for Miss Mia, this one will have some varied stitches and is in a 100% supima cotton that I also bought at the specialty yarn store. I made it following the 6-12 month instructions, too. So, it'll be a spring sweater. Next on the project queue (that's what Ravelry calls it, and I like that term, like Netflix!) is a "mushroom beret" for myself, and then a double breasted coat for Miss Mia. Also coming up, knits from this book B surprised me with last week:

Friday, September 9, 2011

Pregnancy Envy

Yesterday, I had an another appointment at my OB's office. Most of his patients are pregnant women, of course. Going back into the office now that I'm all healed up and basically feeling like myself again (plus a pudgy stretchmarked belly), I looked at my fellow patients quite differently. I looked enviously at the woman next to me who was probably between five and 6 months pregnant, knowing that she's in the best part. The morning sickness is over, she's noticeably pregnant, but not uncomfortably so. There's also that deference you get from everyone else around you when you're pregnant. I got so used to people holding the door for me, letting me go in front of them in the bathroom line, and other genuinely nice things. A few times, someone would cut me off while I was driving, and I would get shocked, like, how dare you cut off a pregnant lady? Then I'd remind myself that #1 I wasn't actually entitled to going first, all the time, and that #2, they couldn't see my belly while I was behind the wheel. Now that I’ve been not pregnant for over three months, I can start to look back at my pregnant days pretty fondly. And right now, when I had to go through 3 different pairs of pants to contain my super pudgy belly, I’m certainly missing my elasto-waist pants. I even considered putting a pair on this morning…

A co-worker that travels between our Rehab Clinics delivered yesterday. A few far away facebook friends of mine are due before the end of this month, too. When I see their statuses, or see the pictures of their new babies, I can’t believe that they’re already done being pregnant. When you’re the pregnant one, those nine-almost-ten-months crawl by at a snail’s pace. I was seriously shocked to hear that my coworker delivered! My first thought was, Oh no! She delivered prematurely, I hope the baby’s OK. But my other co-workers set me straight, that she had actually gone a few days past her due date. Seriously, I’m still shocked.

As I said before, I had no real reason to complain during my pregnancy. Everything went just fine. I had normal blood pressure throughout (except for a spike right around the time I was in and out of court from Thanksgiving to Christmas last year), my feet didn’t even swell. My only complication was that I had sciatic nerve pain, which sucked, but was only uncomfortable for me and required no treatment and posed no danger to the baybay. At the time, I just didn’t like it. I’m sure I’m not the only woman to dislike being pregnant, so I guess it’s just something you start to forget after a while. How else would people ever have more than one baby?

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Silent Treatment

To say my father-in-law and I do not get along would be putting it mildly. In fact, to say he turns my stomach might still be putting it mildly. When I first met him he seemed ornery and crotchety. An old man set in his ways and prone to saying exactly what he felt when he felt it. Tact is not a virtue he was born with. But I chalked it up to the fact that he is honestly older. (One fact of life is that with Romeo being 15 years my "senior," his parents are a decade or two older than mine.) In fact, he is only about 10 years younger than my equally ornery and crotchety late grandmother. You know the type of senior citizen, I'm sure, who grew up using terms like "colored," and other non-politically correct things, and still says them, and way too loud. Yes? Anyway, like I said, I gave him the benefit of the doubt when while I was dating Romeo, his father would say somewhat rude things about not needing more when I would take seconds at family dinner.

Then Romeo and I announced our engagement. And the $#!% hit the fan. No sooner were the words out of Romeo's mouth than his father opened the back patio door and walked out into the night without a word. He ceased speaking to me for Romeo and my 8 month engagement. We didn't even know until "crunch time" whether he would attend the wedding. Rumors flew as to what his problem might be. What was the one that stuck? My weight. Suddenly his hairy eyeball and upending comments at dinner didn't seem so innocent.

Now, it should be said that he finally spoke to me to apologize for his behavior the following Thanksgiving. A month after my wedding. His reasoning was the age difference between his son and I. And suddenly I felt silly. Felt bad about believing for so long what family members had muttered. "Of course!" I exclaimed to myself, "No one could be so mean about weight! Of course! He just thought I was too young. Not that I think that's much of a reason to dislike me anyway, but at least it isn't my weight! Phew!"

Well, the "niceties" lasted approximately a whopping 2 months, until Romeo and I announced that we were pregnant. Slowly, the avoidance tactics and snide remarks on his part crept back in. And I couldn't put my finger on it, but...yeah, age was definitely not the issue. Nor did I believe it ever really had been. You guessed it, as I got pregnant, I got even larger...

Zoom ahead about a year, for the sake of length of this blog post. I have had Tybalt. Been hospitalized 3 months with heart trouble, and actually LOST  100 pounds from being tube fed. What does he say to me? He is "concerned" about my weight and believes I will die shortly. And he wants me to know that he will consider attending my funeral, because I am the mother of his grandson.


Needless to say, that was the last straw. I was the one who now resorted to avoidance tactics. I was shocked and I had had it. I discussed it with my husband (he had not witnessed the situation), and we decided that we would try to retain minimal contact with him for the sake of the grandfather/grandson relationship, but that I got a "pass" and if I never wanted to see him again I didn't have to.

*I should mention that avoiding him is not exactly easy, but not terribly difficult either. He only lives in the same town as us half of the year. He travels between Las Vegas, and his other son's home in the Pacific Northwest. He lives 3 months here, 3 months there, 3 months, 3 months, etc. So while I do have to "survive" 3 months near him at a time, I also get 3 months "off" immediately following it.*

Well the FUNERAL COMMENT to me occurred at the beginning of his last 3 month stay. So I avoided family dinners and functions for 3 months after that hurtful day. And when he left was able to have a happy 3 more months of family time with Romeo, Tybalt, and my sincerely loving mother-in-law.

But the time has come and my father-in-law returned about 2 weeks ago. What hurts even beyond his vengeful comments and lack of tact, is as I just mentioned I adore my mother-in-law, and when he comes to town if I avoid him I don't get to see her. I also don't appreciate spending evenings alone at home while my husband takes Tybalt to his parents' home. Remember, I may be pissed, but we agreed to foster Tybalt's relationship with his Grandfather. After all, the baby has done nothing wrong.

Okay, so after that long background story, we come to today: I gave in. We were invited by my mother-in-law to bbq for Labor Day. At first, Romeo and I decided he would just take Tybalt. So he headed over. But my stomach gnawed and gnawed. I just couldn't rationalize hiding in fear and pain. I wanted to spend time with family on the holiday, not home alone. And damn it, I missed my mother-in-law as well. So, I loaded myself into my car. I must say my stomach flip-flopped the entire drive over. My husband turned white as a sheet when I arrived. Nervous about how this would go, the two cats in one bag.

How did it go? I wish I could say well. I wish I could say the clouds parted, sun shone, and a double rainbow appeared. Instead, I report from the front that apparently my father-in-law still has a problem with me and my weight (or whatever issue he wants to claim he has...bottom line, he still has a problem with me). He left the house and stayed out in the garage for approximately 2 hours once I arrived. After that he came in the house, asked for Romeo, and they proceeded to work on a complicated toy Tybalt had received for his birthday that had yet to be constructed. This meant another 1.5-2 hours in the garage. After they were done, Romeo and he grilled up dinner and he proceeded to stand in the kitchen cleaning rather than sit at the same dining room table as me.

What does all this mean? Where does this put us? Honestly, I have no stinkin' idea. I do know that all that angst and guilt I felt about ignoring him, not speaking to him, and not being able to find the strength to be the bigger person? Apparently that was all unnecessary. Because even when I bowed my head and went over to the house today, he was the one that apparently still has a problem, and apparently finds the silent treatment and ignoring another human being as a perfectly acceptable option, as he displayed to me today.


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Sleep Schedules and Daycares

B and I decided that it was time to start trying to put Mia on a regular sleep schedule. We're in the middle of transitioning her from a babysitter to a more structured daycare. A daycare requires that we actually commit to the same 3 or 4 days a week, every week. Since we can't do that, we also decided that Mia would only go to daycare two days a week, and the other days she'd either be at home with B on his day off, and that I'd up my take your daughter to work days (hereinafter TYDTWD) from one to two a week. Aside from giving her some consistency, it would also be really nice to predict when she'll go down during my workday, so that I can schedule my workload around it. I briefly thought about asking my boss whether I could work from home half the week from now on, but from my few weeks doing that during the last few weeks of my maternity leave, I know that it's a lot easier for me to do Parent from Work rather than Working from Home. I'm sure as time progresses, I'll have more thoughts on this to share.

We thought that since Mia wouldn't consistently be in one place every day, we'd at least try to implement a certain level of consistency in the timing of her feedings and naps. Before, we used to put her down when she was sleepy, feed her when she was fussy, etc. I'm a big fan of Amalah's, so I went through her advice columns at Alphamom and found The 2-3-4 Sleep Routine. This is a pretty straightforward sleep schedule, the short version being that she should take her first nap 2 hours after she wakes up, the second 3 hours after that, and then go to bed 4 hours after she wakes up from her second nap. At her age, I don't think doing anything more regimented would be beneficial, nor would it actually work.

So far we're on our 3rd day, and Mia's adopting more of a 3-2-4 schedule, and she's been pretty wonderful at sticking to that during the day. She has been pretty consistent with her bedtime since she was about 9 weeks old, and we've been doing a bedtime routine starting at 8:30 so that she can sleep at 9 ever since then, and doesn't wake up for her middle of the night feeding until around 3:30am. But, since we've started the 2-3-4 (yeah it's only been 3 days, so this could be totally meaningless and unrelated), she's woken up at 10, when B and I come into the room to go to bed, crying inconsolably and staying that way until around 11:30 when she settles back down. She'll still wake up around 3:30 for her nighttime feeding. We'll see how this nighttime schedule works out, but so far, we're pretty happy with the 2-3-4 (or 3-2-4 in our case), so I definitely recommend giving it a shot with your own babies.

Mia naps at work!

So, now that Mia is definitely going to be coming to work at least twice a week, I decided it was time to make some more premanent accomodations for her in my office. I already kept her bouncer chair at the office, but yesterday, I also brought in her pack'n'play, which has a mobile, and a changing station in the corner. It's been so conveninent having it so far, and I've found that her naps are much longer now that she's more comfortable. I probably should have realized that the bouncer was keeping her too upright for her to get a good amount of sleep in, but hey, I'm still new at this whole parent thing.

Mia's "new room", complete with laptop on the Pandora Lullaby station.
We haven't made a decision on which daycare she'll actually start going to for those few days a week, but we know we would like an In Home one, at least for now. We visited the first one last night, and she definitely seemed like a woman who watched kids out of her house. She did a few "baby voices" when she was talking, which is strange when talking to adults, but I suppose we won't hold this against her since she's around babies all day. A definite downside to her though, she's got 3 cats in the house. Now, I don't personally have a problem with cats, but B is slightly allergic, so we have no idea whether Mia will develop allergies as well. B also claims that her house totally smelled like cats, but that doesn't really bother me. Tonight, we're visiting a second In Home that is closer to my office, and slightly cheaper, but the woman didn't speak confidently on the phone when I called, so I'm a bit skeptical for now. I am hoping she's warm and friendly when we meet her in person, and just doesn't like talking on the phone. More on this later, too.

Lastly, guess who's totally got the whole head lifting thing down?

This girl!