Posts Tagged ‘ baby napping ’

To Swaddle or Not To Swaddle at 6 Months? (Milestone Monday)

Monday, July 30th, 2012

Okay, Emmett is now 6 months old. Besides being the world’s most hyperactive, happy baby, he is still not sleeping enough. I get 20 minute cat naps a couple times a day. Last week we had 8 straight nights of 10-hour sleep. I was getting hopeful. I mean, a habit is 3 days right? Well, not with this guy. On night 9 all hell broke lose.

I think it’s a combination of getting older, and thus more active and stimulated and also the gas pains. Ahhh, yes the flatulence. Lots of it. The other night he woke up hitting himself in the face, pulling his legs up and down like a speed freak, and arching his back. He was screaming too. I knew he wasn’t hungry. The boy had taken 12 ounces between 5-8 pm. That’s an insane amount (hmmm…too much maybe? Could that be it? Now I’m starting to feel like an idiot writing this blog).

At any rate, I pushed and pulled his legs and rubbed his belly for 30 minutes. Then the alien farts began. I say alien because I’ve never heard anything like it. 31 farts. In a row. (I had nothing else to do at 3 a.m. but count.) Then he began to laugh maniacally. I guess I would too if I had just released 30 fart bubbles.

I needed to calm him down. He was so wound it was hard to even change him (and this is the case even during the day). Phil was sick so I couldn’t wake him up to help. I pulled out the old Velcro swaddle from his newborn days and wrapped him up like a straight jacket. Suddenly he went limp. My little guy was completely tuckered. He slept for 7 hours. I slept at the edge of the bed so I could see him in his crib, lest he try and roll over. He didn’t move. A couple times I checked to make sure he was breathing.

I decided to try the swaddle with naps, since Cleo or I can keep an eye on him. He is so wild it’s the only way to restrain him from himself. I know sleep begets sleep, and I’m not kidding: he needs to chill out.

With the swaddle, we are on day two with consistent naps. An hour in the morning, 45 minutes around lunch, 90 minutes in the afternoon. This is far beyond what I’ve had since his birth. And it’s setting a schedule. But what to do about the swaddle? He can roll over easily and pick his head way up. Part of me thinks what is the danger? If he rolls over, won’t he just rest his head to the side? I ordered the miracle blanket to see what I think. But I also don’t want to do something stupid.

I hate to compare my boy to a dog, but he does fart like one, so here goes: dogs can be trained to sit, be still, lay down. I almost think with such a hyper infant, I need to train him to calm himself. If I don’t, I’m going to have hell on my hands when he starts to crawl, or worse, walk. Thank god he does all this with laughter or I’d be committed. But still, I gotta figure this out. Any ideas?

 

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Hellish Household Help–Part 2

Monday, August 1st, 2011

I’ll call her Dorothy. She was the new cleaning lady I was trying out who came highly recommended from my friend. This, after I let my other cleaners go (read why). I greeted her at the door. She immediately seemed a bit cold to me. I took it as shy. I welcomed her in, offered her coffee and showed her our place. As we moved from room to room, I could feel her getting tense. We have several levels of steps, including a spiral staircase, so I thought maybe she was nervous with heights. We walked down to the kitchen, and she exploded. Phil (and Wayne) were at the table feeding Fia breakfast and all of our mouths—even the cat’s—dropped open.

“I DO NOT do stainless steel,” she began, wildly gesturing to our appliances.  “M (my friend) didn’t tell me you had this or I would have never agreed to do this job.”

“Um, oo—kaaay,” I said, looking at Phil whose mouth remained on the floor.

She continued. “It is impossible to clean. I hate that stuff. It always smears,” she said stomping her foot.

For some reason, the codependent side of my personality made a surprise visit that day.

“Okay, then don’t do it. I’m alright with that,” I said, trying to calm her down.

Truth be told, my mom has just passed away, our house was a disaster, I had a packed day with Fia and I just wanted my house cleaned. I didn’t want her to leave.

She looked right at me, her eyes getting narrow. “I am not sure I even want to do this job. This is a big place. And it’s hot outside.”

A few things: our house is not an outdoor hut. It is inside and we have a HUGE air-conditioning unit. I offered to crank it up even more.

Also, our apartment, large by NYC standards, is about 1200 square feet. I don’t think that is insurmountable. And I’m a clean freak—so when I say it was a disaster—it was–by my standards. Any stranger walking in would not have thought so. Was I missing something here?

She stood there with her hand on her hip and continued.

“For me to do this job, it will take 6 hours and cost x.” I think Phil actually spit out his coffee. It was three times what we’ve ever paid. Before I could respond, she said, “But I’m here, I may as well stay. I’m going to change into my cleaning clothes,” and huffed off.

Phil looked at me and with a clenched jaw whispered, “Remind me what was wrong with our other ladies?” I started to cry.

I knew he was frustrated, but this wasn’t my fault.

“Okay, calm down. Just have her stay today. Then we’ll find someone else. Alright?” I nodded, wiping my face.

“I have to get to work,” he said. He sometimes works from his office at home, but he wasn’t about to hang out in crazy land.

“Do you want her to clean your office?” I asked.

“F-ck yeah. For that money, she sure as sh-t better clean it.”

I pulled myself together and approached Dorothy. She was at our closet going through my cleaning supplies. “This won’t work,” she said, tossing disinfectant wipes out of the bucket.

“Um, okay, use whatever you think is best. I’m taking the baby and going to the park. My husband won’t be home so go ahead and clean his office.”

She glared again. “I’m not sure I’ll get to it,” was all she said. Tersely.

By now, I was a wreck. What happened to my pit-bull personality? I knew I needed to go scour the neighborhood for it.  This woman was a b-tch and a bully and had no right to be so self-righteous.

Fia and I left. Came home 2 hours later. Dorothy was still there and the parts she had cleaned (including surviving the stainless steel, gasp) were sparkling.

I put Fia down for her nap, and sat at my dining room table to eat.

“Um, I’m about to dust that,” she said with bitterly.

I clearly hadn’t found my independent side yet. So I stood up, willing to accommodate, and said, “I’ll just go upstairs. I will put your payment by the front door.”

You ready for this? Here’s what she said:

(more…)

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Hellish Household Help–Part 1

Monday, August 1st, 2011

Disclaimer: yes, I have cleaning ladies. Yes it’s an indulgence of mine. I started it after Fia was born when I felt overwhelmed. I know this is a good problem to have, and I’m not overlooking the fact that I’m lucky. But tell me if this is whacked:

bucket of cleaning supplies

The two of them would show up 90 minutes on either side of the scheduled time. Consistently. Then they’d fry up food in my kitchen and have a leisurely meal before beginning the job. Now I don’t mind people eating in my house, but when you show up late to start with, then take another 30 minutes for your meal, we’re talking a 2-hour delay. If I showed up 90 minutes late to work and went in the kitchen and made pancakes and bacon, I think my boss would be a little annoyed–with good reason.

I’d plead with them to please come on time. They would just shrug and say they’d try. I’d explain that I plan my day around their schedule. We live in an apartment so Fia and I have to leave when they’re here.  They also know Fia sleeps in the bathroom.  And it’s hard to clean a bathroom with a sleeping baby.

So after a year of their services, I told them I couldn’t handle their lack of punctuality. I told them if they could be on time, I’d keep them on (didn’t even mention the food thing). They said they couldn’t. Shocking, but okay. At least they’re honest.

My sensible and meticulous friend recommended her cleaning lady to me. Said she was always on time and did a great job. And didn’t fry up a buffet before cleaning.

I had her come over.  And that’s where my story gets even more absurd.

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Wayne Sanchez Woes–My Transexual Cat

Thursday, July 21st, 2011

Sometimes I really want to kill you Wayne Sanchez. Yes I’m your mama. Yes I rescued you from the streets. And yes, we took off your boy parts and gave you a vagina. But that was to save your life. It put us in debt. We could have bought a car for what we spent turning you into a transsexual. Where’s the gratitude?

Fia and her favorite feline

Fia and her favorite feline

At the end of the day, as much as I think your Fia’s older brother, you need to remember you’re still a cat. I was worried about you two not getting along. Little did I know you’d lure her in as your co-conspirator–especially at mealtime. You get fatter and she gets skinnier. And mama gets closer to a nervous breakdown.  She dangles turkey, I beg her to eat it, you swat at it, and I swat at you. But for that brief second when her mouth is open in glee, I can usually shove it in. That is, if you don’t go in for the kill first and gobble it up yourself.

So I keep you around because as much of a pain in the ass you are, you distract her.  I am at both of your mercies.

At night, when you’re sleeping with Daddy and me, don’t think I don’t notice what happens when I get up to pee. I come back and you’ve moved right into my spot. Every single g-dd-mn night. Even resting your fat furry head gently on my pillow. As if you’re me. Where do you think I’m going to go? On the floor? I am a mom though, so I softly move you over and we spoon.

Yet you still don’t show me the love–because at 6 a.m., when we are getting those precious last minutes of sleep, you get hungry. You know that if you wake up Fia, we have to get up—and you get fed. So you sit outside her door, meowing–loudly. If I go get you, she’ll hear the floor creak and wake up. Either way, I’m screwed. Secretly I would like to acknowledge that this proves how smart you are. Or at least pretty damn cunning. But this behavior has to stop. Or else.

Or else what you ask? (And I can see that question in your eyes as you smirk at me). Well, that’s the problem. You know there is no real threat. And that as your mama, I have unconditional love for you. I didn’t max out credit cards and visit you daily at the vet for 18 days straight to walk away. And that’s the hard part about motherhood. When the going gets tough, I have nowhere to go. And apparently neither do you. And that’s exactly the way you want it.

IMG_0767

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Sleep Training–It’s a Gift

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

sleep training, pacifiers

yeah, I know. I gotta tackle the pacifier thing soon....

If there is one thing I am evangelical about in motherhood it’s sleep training. I want to spread the gospel far and wide. I want to convert those who don’t believe. I simply don’t get why moms (or dads) would rather suffer and put themselves through Guantanamo Bay-sleep torture by choice.

In fact, I don’t think you should complain about being tired/up with your baby at 3 a.m. if you choose not to sleep train (this excludes the first few months when you hunker down and deal with it). And there are exceptions: illness, special needs babies, adjusting to travel, etc. But at a certain point if you choose not to sleep train it’s like complaining about you’re unhealthy diet and eating donuts all day. Makes no sense. Especially because you’re not doing your child any favors–I mean, babies need sleep. Humans need sleep. We need uninterrupted sleep.  It is essential to life, to our well being.

I didn’t always feel this way. When I first had Fia and my pediatrician suggested letting her cry it out all night, I gasped in horror. And changed pediatricians. By three months I was the walking dead. By four, my husband threatened a padded room and straightjacket. Our strong marriage foundation was getting weaker with each anguished night. Many of my friends had sleep trained. They were gentle with me and would simply say, “If you do it right, it works.” I thought they were monsters.

(more…)

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