Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Sowing the Seeds of Love

Originally uploaded by xosunnydaysxo.
Kevin bought some property out in the country last year. He goes out there almost every weekend, and has found that he likes farming...

I don't see anything interesting at all about farming. Heck, I won't even mow the lawn. He says that he's found he enjoys it because he gets to plant seeds and watch them grow, and it's neat to see something you grew yourself. I say, "Oh, I understand. I like growing babies!"

He came home the other day with some sunflower and daisy seeds. He's growing me flowers in the backyard instead.

Oh well.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Getting Better!

Well, we're having some progress with Gabriel. His scheduled naptimes are running a little more smoothly now. Here's a sample of a portion of his schedule:

*baby wakes at scheduled time and eats
*play with baby for "wake time" and change diaper
*after approximately 1 hr, lay baby down in crib, give a kiss for sweet dreams
*leave room promptly and hold breath

this whole process should take 45 minutes-1 hour

I find that when I lay Gabriel down, he may cry for a short period of time (5-10 minutes?). Sometimes though, he lays quietly in his crib for awhile and then goes to sleep on his own. Pretty impressive, considering I usually lay him down completely wide-eyed and awake. Now, we still have some nap times where he cries on and off between sleeping and crying, but for the most part, I am definitely seeing progress. Also, bedtime is a piece of cake, compared to the daytime, anyway. His bedtime routine has been:

*turn off bedroom light, and turn on lamp (this is his cue that bedtime is near, and to start winding down).
*turn off lamp and lay baby down

For the most part, he just goes straight to sleep. Again, if he cries, it is pretty short lived. On top of that, he's been only waking twice to eat, and this morning, woke at 7 a.m.! Perfect!!

So, let me say that this weekend has certainly been less stressful that the week prior to. And let me add, that Anna and her daughter Ava visited from Georgia this weekend. That gave me an opportunity to be preoccupied, instead of banging my head against the wall listening to my baby cry. I actually had adult conversation with someone other than my husband, with somebody who understood my woes of motherhood.

Nice to say, I am beginning to feel semi-normal and for the first time have enjoyed my weekend. I think I'm getting the hang of this!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Tough Love

It's day 3 of sleep training for Gabriel. I've been advised by a couple of medical professionals to get him on a regular schedule. That means meals, playtime, naptime all are to be scheduled. And then for bedtime, a bedtime ritual must be set. The way it was explained to me is that babies take environmental cues, to let them know where they are in their day and what to be doing. The catch is, it has to be consistent. That means, 7 a.m. is wake up time for baby and me every day. Even Sundays.

So, I've had 3 days so far of leaving little Gabriel in his crib alone during naptime to let him cry on his own. No picking up, no cuddling, no nothing. Just teach him that it's naptime--go to sleep.

It's hard to listen to your baby scream and cry all day, looking for you or some sort of comfort. But, if I ever want him to quit with his resisting naps and screaming from fatigue, this is what I've got to do. I've decided I can either:

a) bite the bullet for a week and break my heart listening to him cry for me. Get it over and done with.


b) continue to spoil him and let him wake me all hours of the night, watch him resist more naps and scream all day, and kill myself from exhaustion.

There is obviously a clear decision for this. Really, if I continue with the non-routine that he was on, I wouldn't make it much longer. And if mommy is tired and stressed and exhausted, mommy can't be a good mommy.

As much as it hurts me, I'll continue to push on with this sleep training. I hope it works soon...very soon.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Who Says You Can't Teach An Old Dog New Tricks?

I guess you know your hands are full and you're preoccupied when your dog "Silence" has suddenly learned to bark, because you keep forgetting to let her back into the house after you've let her out to use the bathroom.


Monday, March 13, 2006

The Rollercoaster Ride of Mommyhood

I see it's been awhile since I've posted. I wonder if I should retitle this blog entry as "Gripe and Moan?"

Gabriel is going to be 6 weeks old this Thursday. I can't believe how quickly the days fly by and how he's growing. I thought that by now I might have a grip on what I was doing, but to be honest, every day I am confused about which direction to turn.

Right now, my thing with him is his sleeping. It seems that he's having trouble with his naps. I can tell that he's tired, and if I don't get him to nap quickly enough, he becomes extremely fussy and cranky! At least I've learned and figured out what has been making him into the "Cranky Pants" that I know. Really to be honest (if I'm understanding him correctly), as often that he wants to sleep, there really isn't much time for socialization. It's just the same mundane routine of eat, change diaper, sleep...eat, change diaper, sleep...repeat...If I'm lucky enough (or not), this routine will be substituted for eat, change diaper, scream and cry, nap not so well and wake every 15-30 minutes to scream some more until next feeding. I suppose he will outgrow this routine fairly soon, but sometimes I find myself wishing that I could get some sort of gratitude for my lack of sleep and forgetting about my own needs.

Night times have been okay, I suppose. He wakes about twice a night, and usually sleeps easily. I find myself almost afraid at night, for fear that he may act as he does in the daytime, and lose my precious few hours of sleep at here as well. I find myself praying silently, "Please go right back to sleep, and let me not see you for at least 2 or more hours. Please..." Usually, I am lucky enough in that department. However, come 5:30 a.m. or so, he wakes crying and ready to start his daytime routine of fussiness.

Is that his wake up time to start the day? Do I let him cry and see if he goes back to sleep (by the way, the doesn't work--I already tried). Is he hungry (tried that one too...he's not, because he'd just eaten an hour and a half ago). So, I've chalked it up to that's his wake up time. Of course, I've cheated the last couple of mornings and laid him on my chest, only to lull him back to sleep so I can get just an hour more myself. Hey, interrupted sleep from 11:30-5:30 a.m. is pretty hard! Not to mention, Silence has now developed an incontinent tummy that makes me jump up about 4 a.m. to let her out quickly or pick up whatever surprise she's left for me.

So, I started to wonder today. Why do people have children? What is the big hoorah over it? Some days, I really really wonder. After all, they scream at you all day for whatever reason is beyond me sometimes. It's almost impossible to make it anywhere on time, and they take lots of planning to go anywhere. They make you sleep deprived to the point of where you beg them to allow you just one more hour of sleep then find yourself tearfully collapsing back into bed finally. Long and luxurious showers now must be planned and rushed. Let's not mention how they completely destroy your body (that's another topic I can go on and on about...but another day). So, why do we do it? What's the big deal?

I wonder that, especially on the days where I am at the point of almost throwing myself off a cliff. And when I do, I search my son's face for an answer. I study his eyes, and his nose that looks like his mama's. I notice how he has his daddy's lips, and how he smiles in his sleep and sometimes lets out a little laugh. It's then that I realize he is dependent on me and perhaps can not offer me a whole lot right now. The one thing that he has given me, though, is something I've never dreamt of feeling before. He's left me more exhausted and confused and frustrated than I've ever felt before. But on top of that, while I study his little face, I find that he leaves me with a heart so completely full of love, and it's at this moment that I know I can take a deep breath and find the strength to do it all over again and survive yet another day...