Wednesday, September 29, 2010

He's Officially a Belly Sleeper!

Babies grow and change so quickly. It's amazing (and weird) how they'll reach a new milestone over night. Two nights ago, I put the munchkin to bed on his back, like always. Hours later when I went in to check on him, this is what I find:

I couldn't believe it! I was so excited for him but at the same time I was like "aww nuts, he's growing up!" One of my twitter friends @RosesDaughter said that once her Pookah started doing that, he began sleeping through the night. Music to my ears! ...or to my eyes since it's twitter.. oh who cares, the important thing is SLEEP! That has been something I have been lacking for what now will be 7 months come October 1st! Yes he'll have a good week here and there, but for the most part it hasn't been easy. I don't mind the actual wake ups, since I tend to wake up for my own potty breaks throughout the night. It's just that once he's awake, he's AWAKE. He will not go back to sleep for 2 hours. No matter what I try. I'm hoping that the belly sleeping will help that. I did notice that last night, he fell asleep after 1 hour, instead of 2. That was because after changing him, giving him a bottle, and singing to him for a little while, I put him on his belly and pat his back. He fell asleep quicker. Yes! I'm hoping that in the next couple of weeks this will transition to him sleeping all night period. We'll see! But for now, I'm proud of the little guy and can't wait to find out what new milestones are to come!

Monday, September 27, 2010

New Health Challenge - Cut The Fluff Week 1

I'm amped! I'm ready! I have joined a new health challenge! It's called Cut the Fluff and was started with a few lovely twitter friends of mine @RosesDaughter, @mrs_cjones, and @3Carrigans.

My goal is to lose 20 lbs by the new year. I do want to lose more weight than that but losing 20 lbs will get me to a weight where I feel more comfortable and confident in myself, which sadly has been something that I've been lacking since becoming a new mommy. It's weird because though I'm currently at the weight I was before having my little munchkin, it's all proportioned differently. Of course I have a little too much cushion in the belly area.. boo!

In any event, today is the first day of major change! I have to admit, the major challenge will be exercise for me. I tend to do well with my eating, for the most part, but do NO exercise so getting into a healthy exercise regimen will really be tough.

So here are the challenges for the week:

Create a calorie goal and track everything you eat.
- DONE! I'm currently on weight watchers so I have 26 points a day plus 35 flex points a week.
Incorporate fresh fruits and vegetable into as many meals as you can.
- Hmm... I must go to the market today to stock up.
Get in at least 2 hours of exercise this week.
- Uh oh! This is what I was nervous about! Okay, so I'd like to start off with 30 minute cardio, 4x this week.
My Personal Goal - Lose 2 lbs for the week

: Get my hair done (My hair looks like a rats nest)

I'm super excited! If you wanna join in the healthy fun, click on the link 'Cut the Fluff' in the first paragraph to join!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I'm cranky today...why o' why?

Questions For the Little Munchkin:

- Why o' why must you wake up each night at 2:00am and not fall back asleep until 4:30am?

- Why must nap time in our home sound like you're getting open heart surgery WITHOUT anesthesia?

- Why do you like to poopy IMMEDIATELY AFTER mommy just changed you into a fresh, clean, dry diaper?

- Why do you cry three times a night when the binky has fallen out of your mouth, so mommy can trip over slippers, bump into the night stand, and stub her toe on the side of the crib to put one of the four binkies that are laying right by your head, back into your mouth?

- Why must you throw your toys on the floor, watch mommy pick them up & hand them back to you, only for you to throw them back on the floor again and squeal with laughter?

- Why will you ONLY fall asleep to mommy singing "You Are My Sunshine" 24x in a row, and then begin to cry if she stops for a breath of air?

- Why must you "play" with our two cats and bunny rabbit by pulling their tails and grabbing their paws until they run away and hide in terror?

- Why is it such a joy to yank at my earrings, poke at my eyes, sock me in the nose, and stick your whole fist in my mouth?!!

- And lastly, why must you be sooo darn cute while you do each and every one of these things every single day!?!?!?!?!?!

Okay after re-reading this, I feel so much better, hehe. I love the little guy... even if I do look like a war victim after taking care of him all day. :)

Saturday, September 18, 2010

My munchkin has croup!

Yesterday morning, the baby was playing like usual in his exersaucer, having a grand ol' time. When all of a sudden he started doing this wheezing/gasping for air noise every so often. At first I though he was just being silly because in the past he sometimes did this when super excited. The sound I'm talking about is if you jump out at someone and yell "Boo", and the other person gasps out loud. It's a scary sound when it's coming from your cute & cuddly 6 month old.

So after about an hour of being frantic I knew I had to bring him to see his pedi. Thankfully our pedi is really good with squeezing us in whenever we feel nervous about something. Of course when we got there, the baby made a liar out of me and didn't make the noise once. His lungs sounded clear and he sat there all smug, playing with his plastic keys. BUT me being Ms. Prepared, and knowing how sneaky my little one can be (tee hee), I videotaped the sounds he was making with my iPhone. ::shakes fists in air with triumph:: So I played it for the pedi and he immediately said that it was something called Croup, which is a viral infection caused by the common cold. It's a swelling around the vocal cords, and is common in infants and children. If it's mild, it'll go away on its own. The munchkin didn't have a fever, just very slight congestion and a cough every once in awhile.

So what were the doctor's orders?

- Keep his Cool Mist Humidifier on at all times
- Lots of fluids
- Steam him up by turning on all the hot water in the bathroom, then sitting with him (outside of the shower) just to inhale the vapors with the door closed
- Keep a close eye on his breathing and temperature

It's Day 2, and so far he still has that wheezing sound (which is actually called Stridor.) I hope this goes away soon. Babies who have a severe case have to go to the ER and get oxygen treatment! :( I tell ya, I'm watching my lovebug like a hawk. Right now he's sleeping comfortably in his bouncer with a blanket and his wooby. What's a wooby you ask? Only his BEST FRIEND.

I guess it's going to be a nice quiet day of us cuddling and loving and babying our little one... and me going nuts disinfecting everything in the house. No relaxed weekend for this mama ::sigh::

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Gratitude Journal

I am thankful for God, my husband, and my baby son.

I am thankful for family members that help us out when our finances get out of wack.

I am thankful that even though I'm desperately searching for a job (and have no bites as of yet) God has been providing for us left and right.

I am thankful that my husband is doing well at his sales job, and actually enjoys what he does.

I am thankful that, for the most part, my baby sleeps through the night.

I am thankful for the funky smell that grows underneath my baby's double chin because I get to make little sniffy noises and say "ewww!", which cracks him up every time.

I am thankful for a handful of close friends that are so loving and caring towards me and my family.

I am thankful for THIS chicken gyro recipe because I made it for dinner tonight and it was a big hit.

I am thankful that the Lord somehow helped me to graduate grad school in the midst of financial woes, pregnancy, birth, a newborn, and many sleepless nights.

I am thankful that my mother always makes herself available to babysit her grandson when mommy and daddy need a much needed rest.

I am thankful that MY grandmother is still alive and well, and also makes herself available to babysit her great-grandson when mommy and daddy need a much needed rest.

I am thankful for our favorite TV Show "Big Brother", which happens to be the only show that I know of that airs new episodes 3 times per week.

I am thankful for the new church that we're interested in attending regularly, which has been making going to church exciting again.

I am thankful that God is so forgiving, and that His mercy and love endures forever. (Read Psalm 136)

Are parents to blame?

Earlier this morning I was on the Baby Center site and was reading a thread on one of the message boards. A woman created a thread about feeling horrible because she felt her step-daughter was evil. She said that the step-daughter had tried to smother her biological daughter with a pillow. She also jerked her 6 month old's arm very hard while in their van. She terrorizes the other children by biting them, hitting them, etc. Because of the chaos that the little girl has brought to the home, this woman told her husband that she didn't feel comfortable with the child in the house and doesn't allow the child to come over anymore. She is willing to bring her husband over to the step-daughter's house, but not have the little girl in her home for fear that she will do something harmful to her other kids. She also mentioned a boat load of other stuff about her husband being a drunk, and not being bonded with his son (the 6 month old).

Immediately pretty much everyone chimed in that this woman was a bad mother and was showing favoritism. That the little girl wasn't the problem, it was her. They said that a 6 year old is incapable of murder. They said that as long as she was being a good mother and watching her children, that nothing would happen. Another member attempted to side with the original poster and say that though the situation is difficult, the safety of the new baby and other children are most important at this time.

I have to say, being in the mental health field, I agree with the one lone poster who was brave enough to speak up. I'm appalled that this woman would be lambasted and told she is a horrible mother because she feels that the step-daughter may do something terrible to harm the other children. Yes, the original poster was out of line by calling the step-daughter "EVIL", however, I can tell you, through studying mental health, all too many times there has been a sibling who killed another sibling, and it was all due to parents ignoring the warning signs and not taking it seriously.

You can be the best parent possible, but you still can't watch your children 24/7. Everyone needs to sleep. Short of locking each child in a separate room, there is no way to completely keep all of your children away from each other. It's like blaming a parent for a child who dies of SIDS. No parent can CONSTANTLY keep watch to make sure that their child is still breathing (though many of us try). Similarly, no parent can CONSTANTLY keep watch to make sure that one 6 year old isn't suffocating another at 2 am when others are asleep. This is why removing the child with the emotional difficulties is the best thing to do. Sorry if this angers people.

Many of the posters said "Well the step-daughter is probably going through a lot because her parents aren't together and she may be jealous of the other children..." Yes this is true, BUT parents are responsible for the well-being of their kids. If one of your children is showing signs of aggression towards others, which is bordering on life-threatening, it is the job of the parents to remove that child from the home immediately - step-child or biological child. Once ALL children are safe, then the parents can now focus on getting the child in question the appropriate therapy, medication, mentoring, etc.

YES a 6 year old CAN kill another child, sadly, they can even kill themselves. Just this past April, a 6 year old in Oregon killed herself after being told she had to go to her room for time-out. This is a sad case but clearly the poor child was mentally unstable. She wrapped a belt around her neck and hung herself from the side of the crib. It is debatable whether she meant to do it, but her parents did report that she had already been caught playing with a belt around her neck before. Either way, these things happen and any form of mental instability should be taken seriously, not brushed off as just "kids being kids". 6 year olds can be mentally disturbed just like adults can.

I just had to sound off about this because in the social service field, I've seen so many children taken away because parents refused to see that one of their children was dangerous and needed to be separated from the others. Separation doesn't have to be final, but death IS. I was hoping to share my opinion in the thread itself, but by the time I got there, they shut it down because it was getting to be a heated argument.

Incidentally, many other members believed that the original poster was a fake or a "Troll" as they call them, and was just writing this to cause chaos on the board. Either way, I think it's an important discussion to have and am disappointed about how many people felt that it was okay to ignore the violent and aggressive behaviors because the child was "going through a lot".

Thursday, September 2, 2010

What's The Deal With Sleep Regression?

I noticed that every month around the time of his monthly birth date, the munchkin has a day or two of horrible sleep. HORRIBLE SLEEP. Two nights ago was one of those times. He woke up at 1am crying and refused to go back to bed until 4:30am. And going back to bed wasn't an easy task either. He didn't go down without a fight! So as I was sitting there trying to figure out what to do, tired, cranky, and frustrated, I decided to do some research on the subject. (The baby was in his bouncer playing with a toy, completely oblivious to the fact that this was NOT play time.)

I found out that many times when babies go through sleep regression, it's because they are about to hit a new developmental milestone. Reading about this definitely made me less cranky and more excited about what new things he'll soon be able to do! Here's a snippet from: Ask Moxie Q&A

"Your baby is going through enormous developmental spurts that you can't see, because they're dealing with cognitive processes. They work through these spurts the same way they work through the physical spurts, but when your baby is practicing recognizing patterns, you can't see that. Leading up to the actual new skill the baby is going to go through several weeks of intense brain work and prep that you can't necessarily see (unless you know specifically what to look for). One of the side effects of this brain work is that they don't sleep as well as they do during times in which they're not about to master a new skill. They may seem restless in the night (like they do sometimes when mastering a physical skill) but it's just nothing you can see and label. So we call it a sleep regression."

Aha! Now that makes sense! The article goes on to say that it usually happens at specifics weeks of age - weeks 5, 8, 12, 19, 26, 37, 46, and 55. Since the munchkin just turned 6 months (24 wks) I guess that explains it since a developmental spurt is coming on at 26 wks. I tell you, Thank God for the internet! This has definitely made me understand what's happening and feel less like my baby will forever have sleep problems. (Ya that's what I really thought for a second.) The article then talks about a great book called The Wonder Weeks by Dutch researchers Hetty Vanderijt and Frans Plooij. This book goes into greater detail about what's going on in our babies little brains the first year and a half of life. If your baby was born earlier than 40 weeks then he'll go through the milestones later. If your baby was born later than the 40 weeks, he'll go through them earlier. We're in the latter group. Baby was born 4 days late.

In any event, I plan on getting that book to keep around the house for those times that I'm frustrated with the little tyke because it'll ease my mind and help me to be more patient knowing that the fussiness is for a reason - a great reason! My munchkin is growing up! ::sniff::