Posts Tagged ‘ nap ’

My Preschool Jitters And Fall Feelings

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

The smell of fall invokes motivating emotions in me. On the east coast it is the smell of football season, leaves changing, school starting. It always makes me want to recharge my batteries, clean my house, get a new haircut, find new recipes, exercise more. In other words, that smell inspires me to reset all my buttons and start anew. Except, now I live in LA where leaves don’t change and fall doesn’t kick in until November. Emmett doesn’t go to school and Fia’s didn’t start until this week.

From afar, I’ve been watching all the fanfare of the first day of school. Friends posting on Facebook, their kids posing with lunchboxes and backpacks. I craved that fall feeling, but it just wasn’t happening. Instead, I’ve been battling 100-degree heat in a non air-conditioned house. I’ve been exhausting the options on entertaining my kids while trying to retain my sanity. I’ve been full of anticipation for days, weeks–even months–about Fia starting a new school and our family getting a new schedule down.

Hers is a 5-day a week Montessori program. The hours are 9-2:30 with no nap. You can pick your kid up at 1 if you want to nap them, but for me, that falls right when Emmett is napping. So I opted for the 2:30-3 pm pick up and plan to put her to bed early. I am crossing my fingers that she will still nap on the weekends. That’s our time when she, Phil and I all climb in bed together. It is heaven. (Em naps in his crib still. Soon, he’ll join us.)  Trying to figure out the schedule has created a running puzzle in my mind.  I just wanted to get it underway already. 

So finally, finally today was our turn.

Last night I set my alarm for the first time since having kids. Just in case for some strange reason we overslept. Last night Fia and I picked out her clothes. We made her lunch. Phil put some stickers in her lunchbox as a surprise. I booked a sitter to watch Emmett so we could take her together. We woke to fog and a slight chill. It will burn off and heat up, but it was an auspicious beginning.

I’ve written before about how she sometimes resists change and transitions.  But we’ve been talking about how great this school is for weeks. She kept saying how excited she was on the drive. Then we parked and she said, “Mama, hold me.” My heart dropped. Here it comes. The sobs, the wails, the heartache that penetrates to my core. Phil and I held our breath.

To my relief, as we walked into the courtyard, she jumped out of my arms and went running to her classroom. She shook hands with her new teachers. They showed her where to hang up her jacket, where to put her lunch box, where to keep her snacks. She followed them around with all the glee and giddiness of a preschooler.

I now know I’ve been more anxious than anyone. No surprise. Aren’t we always?

After about 30 minutes watching, Phil and I decided to leave. We hugged her goodbye, she hugged us back, and that was it. Except, I couldn’t just leave. I went back and peeked inside. She was happily playing at a table with her teacher.

Back in the car Phil said, “It’s crazy–growing up. And that it’s our job to make them independent of us.” I nodded. It is bittersweet, but more sweet.

Now I sit, alone, at one of my favorite cafes. I was ravenous and ordered a huge breakfast. My body exhaled. Fall has officially begun, and I feel it, even if the temperature and the air tell a different story. Even if summer shorts are worn in place of fall flannels. It feels good. Really good.

 

 

Add a Comment

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?

 

Add a Comment

Top 8 Reasons Why I’m Excited About Baby #2

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

Fia torturing Wayne

1. Wayne will have another baby to smother him.

2. I’ll have another baby to smother/obsess over besides Fia.

Smother Mother May 2010

3. Fia will have something besides Wayne to smother.

4. Fia won’t blame me someday for not giving her a sibling.

5. In four months I’ll appreciate sleep even more than I do now (because he’ll sleep through the night by then, right?).

6. We get more chaos in our life.  Keeps things interesting.

7. I get my vag back intact from my “condition”—and my spider veins will go away. Promise me that. (um, no picture for that one!)

8. I get to nap with a newborn. Warm and snuggly.  Nothing better. Maybe Fia will even lie down with us. Heaven.

Add a Comment

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

Add a Comment

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…)

Add a Comment