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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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6 month old, arching, arching back, baby napping, crib, farts, flatulence, gas pains, infant, nap, naps, newborn, roll over, rolling over, schedule, sleep, sleep deprivation, sleep training, swaddle | Categories:
Fearless Feisty Mama, Mom Situations, Newborn Care
Thursday, May 31st, 2012
Okay. It’s worse than it sounds. Emmett hasn’t actually lost weight. But he’s gone off his curve a bit.
When he was diagnosed with reflux about a month ago, we put him on Zantac. At that point his weight was in the 30th percentile. Two weeks later, at a follow up appointment, he had jumped into the 50th percentile. So it came with great surprise today at his 4-month check up that he has dropped into the 28th percentile and fallen off his curve.
I asked her to double check the numbers. He gained a pound in a month but he should have gained more I guess. He is 13 pounds, 12 ounces. He is super happy and incredibly active. So much so, she did say that he might be burning up more calories than the average 4-month old, thus not keeping his weight up with the curve. Nevertheless, because of his reflux issue, she was a bit concerned.
She also put him on his stomach and said he should be lifting his head up more. This is a boy who was ahead of his game at 2 months on his tummy. But then he developed the reflux and tummy time kind of went out the window. Apparently it shows. Thing is, he’s uncomfortable on his stomach and he barfs.
All this to say, I got quite discouraged. Between the visit and my angst over reading Bringing Up Bebe, I am doubting my mom instincts. We have no schedule–day or night. He isn’t staying on the curve. Yet he seems so damn lively. He rarely cries. He coos constantly. I mean, to what extent do I worry? She suggested I try a little rice cereal on a spoon to see if he is ready for solids. Perhaps that way he can put on some weight and keep the milk down. Okay, I can try that. But she also suggested an occupational therapist to see if he is sucking properly. Perhaps he is sucking down too much air, she said. Honestly, I am rolling my eyes. Does that seem a bit extreme? Seriously? I think he is doing just fine. As for the lack of schedule, she also said not to worry too much. Sleep training? Don’t think about it until 6 months or so. I should be relieved that the pressure is off. But I’m not.
This is why I hate going to the pediatrician. All the information is contradictory.
With Fia, my Brooklyn doctor said no rice cereal. It’s bland and boring. Introduce flavors. I did and she is an adventurous eater, though not a big one. Her weight gains are small, though they are on the curve. They said sleep train between 2-4 months. We did it at 4 1/2 months and she sleeps like a champ. They said get on a schedule (though I never really mastered that until 18 months). However, they refused to give her Zantac and I know she had reflux. I was so frustrated in becoming a human burp cloth that I gave up breastfeeding with her at 4 months. So who to believe?
In the end, I know Emmett will gain weight, stop barfing, sleep through the night and get on a schedule. Especially if I commit to making those latter two happen and experiment with his feedings a little more. But I’m still sitting here debating if I really need an occupational therapist. I mean, the kid sucks like a champ. It sounds like a giant waste of time.
This all seems more complicated than it needs to be. I am a veteran at this. It shouldn’t be this difficult.
Have I made your head spin? Mine too.
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barf, curve, Ferber, naps, occupational therapist, pediatricans, reflux, schedule, sleep, sleep training, sucking, tummy time, weight, weight gain, weight loss, zantac | Categories:
Fearless Feisty Mama, Mom Situations, Mom Tricks and Tips
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:
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baby napping, clean, cleaners, cleaning ladies, cooking, delay, food, late, mess, naps, on time, punctual | Categories:
Fearless Feisty Mama, Mom Situations
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:
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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baby napping, baby naps, clean, cleaners, cleaning, cleaning ladies, delay, early, food, late, naps, on time, punctual, schedule | Categories:
Fearless Feisty Mama, Mom Situations
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
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.
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baby napping, baby sleeping, baby with cat, baby with pet, cat, feeding baby, nap, naps, pet with baby, pets with baby, sleeping | Categories:
Fearless Feisty Mama, Must Read, Pet Tails