Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Planning Ahead

It may not even be September yet, but I feel like I've been planning for the Holiday Season since the moment those two pink lines showed up on the pregnancy test. Since my official due date is December 3rd, 6 days after Thanksgiving, I've planned for the Wednesday before thanksgiving to be my last day of work (unless I go into labor before then). I think it should be pretty fun for my maternity leave to coincide perfectly with the Holiday season, so that I don't have to worry about days off, or daycare being closed for so many days, etc. I mean, my Mom will be with us for that time, so if Mia does have to stay home from daycare, at least I won't be on my own with two children!

Anyway, other people thought this timing was pretty great, too. And by other people, I mean many members of my large Filipino family. Have I ever mentioned that my Mom is one of 10 siblings? Well. Many of them still live in the Philippines, and with me being a actual adult for the past 5 years now, I haven't gone back there since winter break of 3L. A combination of that, my due date, and the fact that many of my Filipino family members have yet to meet Mia (including my Filipino Grandmother!), they have declared it Las Vegas Christmas 2014!

I mean, don't get me wrong. I am so excited to see them. They are the funnest bunch, and my Mom's youngest brother is only 12 years older than I am, and his youngest child is only 18 months older than Mia. It's going to be so much fun to have a big family Christmas, especially considering the subdued and intimate Christmases our little family has been having for the past couple of years. I was a little shell-shocked when my Mom told me over FaceTime last night, considering she thought she had already told me but definitely hadn't, so it was kind of like... "Okay, add more people to the list of those coming for Christmas", and I'm like... "In addition to you and Dad, you mean?", and it was more like "No, In addition to uncle 1, 2, 3, 4, you can add cousins 5, 6, 7" and so on until you reach a grand total of about 22 people.

No, they are not staying in my 3 bedroom, 1,500 square foot house for 10 days. Anyone have a very large house with a very large dining table to rent in Las Vegas?

Monday, August 25, 2014

Toddler Sleep Habits, Follow Up.

Not a lot has been going on around here, other than really starting to feel achy and large, so I thought I'd do an update on how things are going with our Mia's previously awful sleep habits.

When I last left off, were were valiantly attempting the ignore-your-childs-delay-tactics method. The basics being: put your child to bed normally, then when they get out of bed, silently return them to bed as many times as it takes until you think you are going to kill yourself. We did this for about a week or two, but found Mia was probably responding to this in the opposite way you would expect. She'd go completely ballistic when we didn't respond to her, it seemed to be doing more harm than good.

Shift to the "completely ignore" method. We spent a couple of weeks allowing her to yell out her requests from the threshold of her room (she was blocked in by a babygate), only to have them fall on completely deaf ears. We made sure she had everything she could possibly need before leaving her: a full cup of water, a potty visit, all the stuffed animals her heart desired, and even the pajamas of her choice. It worked... kind of but completely inconsistently. Some nights, she'd settle herself down after repeatedly getting ignored, either falling asleep on the floor of her room, or back in her bed. Some nights, she'd get herself into such a STATE that she'd still be awake by 10pm, the time B and I usually head up to our room. If she knew we were in our own room, she'd settle down without a peep.

With that method being so inconsistent, we switched things up a bit. I didn't think it was going to benefit anyone to have her continue to either 1) fall asleep on the floor of her room, or 2) stay up so late that she was exhausted the next day. So, I gave it a time limit. If she was still making requests/screaming/whatever she was doing after 30 minutes of us leaving her, then I would go up and give her what she wanted, or declining her request if it was less reasonable, but asking her to get back in her bed and please calm down. This is what seems to have done the trick, at least in our case. It was somewhat inconsistent for a while; some nights, she'd settle down after just one 30 minute visit. Some nights, it could stretch out into 2 or 3 visits over a 60 or 90 minute span. But, as of the past couple of weeks, she's back to settling down without any more visits. She's gotten her story privileges back, she's learned to make her requests quickly,  before we leave the room, and reasonably. She'll ask to read a book in her bed, and I'll tell her that she can, as long as she is laying down. If she does get up, we can either talk to her from the bottom of the stairs ("Mama, there's a fly in my room." "That's OK, honey. Flies don't bite.") or, we will go up and calmly put her back in her bed.

While my description is not likely going to give anyone too many helpful tips in dealing with this kind of thing, I can at least say that adapting the methods with some hard and fast rules to your own kid's personality is probably the best way to go, especially if you really aren't seeing any results with the strict rules. I hated getting Mia so worked up by ignoring her, and found that if I put a time limit on that, it made it a lot easier to be patient and calm when I did go to her room. The ignoring-her for periods of time method has only been effective for us because Mia isn't night-time potty trained yet. I haven't even wanted to tackle that monster until her going-to-bed habits were somewhat under control.

I do my best to be completely positive throughout the whole bedtime routine. If she starts to show any negative feeling towards sleeping, I try to change her focus by asking her which story she'd like to read, or which pajamas she'd like to wear, etc. I was finding that I was getting really stressed and unpleasant when she was going through the worst of the bedtime resistance and I've really tried my best not to get stressed in anticipation of her resisting.

I really feel like we've finally pushed through to the other side of this nightmare. Ever since Mia turned 3, I've been lamenting this age as the absolute worst we've had to deal with, but I'm finding that now that we've got sleep under control, all of the other tantrums and difficulties have also fallen off and I really feel like my sweet girl is back from the land of the sleep deprived!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Friday Tidbits

  • Yesterday was a Doctor filled day. 24 week visit for me! While I have a couple of weird and unpleasant things going on, they are (as usual) "normal" for pregnancy and there's basically nothing that can be done to fix it except give birth. So, my numb fingers and heart palpitations will remain in place until Thanksgiving. 
  • I took Mia to the pediatrician later that afternoon after daycare told us that she had been going to the bathroom a lot more frequently than usual. My instinct was to chalk it up to drinking a lot of water/wanting attention, but after going through quite the adventure of getting her to pee in a cup, she's got a bladder infection! It doesn't actually seem to be bothering her much, with the exception of the increased bathroom use, so I'm not terribly worried about it and antibiotics should do the trick!
  • This in-utero child is so much more violent than my first fetus. I don't know if it has something to do with being more aware of movement this time around, having a "looser" uterus, or what, but this child frequently kicks or headbutts me in the cervix and it is not pleasant. Without fail, after every meal, I have to lean back in my chair and give her room to trash about.
  • I've been having some trouble with some anxiety. I'm about 99% sure that it's related to pregnancy hormones, but I take everything stressful so personally and have found myself getting physically worked up about it. It started a couple of weeks ago and has been going strong this week. Luckily, I was able to get some resolution to the stressful issue at work, but I'm getting the feeling that it won't be isolated to that single event. In my head, I can realize that I am overreacting, but I can't seem to tell my heart to relax.
  • We decided at the very last minute to do a quick night out of town. We'll be spending one day and night at Big Bear Lake, in California. I'm looking forward to breathing some fresh air and enjoying the sounds of the lake.

Friday, August 8, 2014

23 weeks!

I am feeling generally well, increasingly huge, and physically tired, with bursts of energy. At work, I'll be productive for an hour or two, and then need to sit down and fight the urge to close my eyes. Pregnancy brain is in full force, and my desk is scattered with tiny scraps of paper that I'm sure meant something at the time of writing but mean absolutely nothing to me as I try to sort through them.

No picture this week, my iPhone is acting up again. [For anyone keeping track, this weekend will make my 4th trip to the Apple store in the 2 months I've upgraded.]

One of my friends here in Las Vegas went unexpectedly into labor at 36 weeks, and delivered a healthy (but tiny) baby boy on Tuesday. The second thought that ran through my head (other than being really happy for them -- they'd been trying to get pregnant for about 3 years and are going to be the most enthusiastic and loving parents) was that while I am (hopefully) still far away from delivering, I am going to start sorting through the little baby clothes I have in storage. Not so much to actually be ready but to figure out how much stuff can be reused and how much stuff we'll need to add to the inventory. I have in my head that I'll deliver around Thanksgiving, but you really can never know these things in advance.

I inserted all of my week numbers into my work calendar to help me plan things out -- it's starting to freak me out that every time I insert a deadline or court date, I can picture how big I will be, or how much time I will have left to make sure everything is in order. My friend going into early labor also has me freaking out about contingency plans for Mia's overnight care if I went into labor before my Mom made it back to the country. Her plan is to get to Las Vegas around the 20th or 21st of November, which puts me at 38 weeks and 2 days. I went into labor with Mia at 39 weeks, 1 day and delivered at 39 weeks, 2 days. In my mind, that's cutting it awfully close. Am I wrong? [Tell me I'm wrong.]

Friday, August 1, 2014

Search Completed!

We finally did it. After months, and months and months of talking about it, we finally took the plunge and traded my Tiny Car in for a Family Sized One. We talked about getting a smaller, 2-row cross over for a while, but once we realized that we would already be out of space anytime my parents were in town, which they are, frequently, and for long periods of time, we scratched that idea and went straight to the three-row category.

We were are concerned about gas mileage (Hello! I drove a 45mpg hybrid for 5 years!), so we crossed any vehicle that was over 6 cylinders, which limits your choices quite a bit. In the end, after test drives, reviews, and endless discussions, we narrowed it down to the Nissan Pathfinder, the Maxda CX9 and the Honda Pilot. We wanted to buy one that was mildly used, 3 years old or newer. While I had a slight preference for the Pathfinder, the Pilot was so much roomier (it's a 3 seat third row, with latches in all three seats while the other two are only 2-seat third rows). Also, it turned out that there were about three times the number of Pilots in the 2012-2013 range than there were Pathfinders or CX9s.

One of our friends (remember Juliet Cap? her)'s Dad is a salesperson at an Acura dealership, so I gave him a call, and told him our requirements. He found a 2012 Honda Pilot, with cloth seats and marked at about $2,000 below our price range. We headed to the dealership a few days later, liked the car, and after 4 hours of painless paperwork, drove home in our new [to us] car. Right now, with only the three of us in town, the car feels enormous, but I know that the second my Mom gets here in three short months (and staying for at least 2 months!) it will not feel that way.

We filled our tank for the first time, and it was pretty painful. We calculated 21 mpgs, which is exactly what it's rated for, but when you're used to paying $25.00 for a full tank every other week, it smarts. I am driving it for a week or so to get used to it, but then I'll be switching to the Civic since my commute is pretty long. But the car payment is significantly lower than it was on the Insight (better credit, awesome deal on the car), so financially it will somewhat balance out. I hope.