Posts Tagged ‘ sleep deprivation ’

Moving With a Barfing Baby

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

We Broke All The Rules. TV. Pacifier.

When we got to JFK I saw 2 signs: one for the chapel and the other for the restroom. I wasn’t sure which one I needed more. Divine intervention or soap.

We had just left Brooklyn at 7 a.m. to begin our new life in LA. We looked like the Brooklyn-to-Beverly Hillbillies. We had Wayne Sanchez as one carry on, 4 other carry-ons, 4 pieces of luggage, her stroller, and of course we three humans.

The driver, like most of them in New York, kept hitting the gas and brake. Stop and go. Stop and go. I was getting worried, but just hoped we’d make it. No such luck. 10 minutes from the airport, Fia whispered, “uh oh” and out came the barf. It went everywhere. Luckily for us, I had asked to use the driver’s car seat, because I didn’t feel like dealing with installing ours at that hour.

I won’t go into the stench. All parents know how horrendous it is. Make that double horrid when you’re 7 months pregnant and your sense of smell is heightened.

Poor Fia was crying. The driver didn’t say a word. I’m sure he was furious. I told him we’d give him extra for the cleaning. Phil and I were dealing with the aftermath, trying to clean up Fia with wipes, but really there was no point. She just had to sit in her vomit. And we all had to sit in the smelly van with her vomit. The only person who wasn’t rattled was Wayne.

I rushed Fia to the bathroom and the kind TSA women who saw us rushed over some plastic bags for her clothes. Thank god for national security.

I gave her a bath in the sink and managed to get off the smell. Slightly redeemed, we rushed to our gate, the last to board, looking like the 3-ring circus we were.

The plane was packed. All our carry-ons had to go under the seat. Wayne took up so much space we were literally scrunched with our knees to our chest. Fia fell sleep on takeoff and landing. The remaining, oh, 5 hours or so, was sheer entertainment and avoiding the ambush.  Wayne didn’t make a peep.

This may have been the worse travel day of my life. Oh, but it gets better.

(more…)

Add a Comment

Solo Parenting Sucks–At Least When Hubby’s Away

Friday, October 7th, 2011

Refusing To Eat

It’s amazing the yin and yang of motherhood. This Sunday, while Phil was on day 9 of his epic LA journey (that I thought would never end), my two closest mom friends took me to brunch. Sans babies. It was heaven. We actually went to a nice place, complete with linen tablecloths. I didn’t find myself grabbing for the ketchup before Fia flung it across the room; the water and ice remained on the table; we didn’t pull out crayons as an act of desperation. And the conversation. Oh my god, the conversation. We actually spoke in complete sentences. I realized I still really do know the English language.

After that, I treated myself to a prenatal massage. I had no qualms about leaving Fia with the sitter for the majority of the day. I needed the break. Between Phil’s absence, the impending move to LA and subletting our Brooklyn apartment, the pregnancy and my freelance work, I could easily justify the R & R.

In short, Sunday was glorious.

“WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!”

That’s what awoke me at 5:15 Monday morning. WTF? Fia sleeps until 6:30. Except Monday she decided to throw me a fast one. The rest of the day consisted of dodging curve balls (I know nothing about baseball, so pardon if my puns are messed up).

By that evening, I was so spent I just camped out on the couch with Sesame Street. I couldn’t deal.

I put her in her high chair with food and waited for the clock to hit 6:30—that’s when we begin the bedtime routine. She sat there, not touching anything.

I asked her (from the couch) to please eat. Instead, she took a gob of peanut butter and wiped it in her hair. Then did this devilish “heh heh heh” laugh. I kid you not, it kinda freaked me out. Maybe she is possessed? Do I need a priest? Maybe I was so tired my imagination was running wild.  I took her out and gave her a bath.

She loves the bath. This night, she hated it. Screamed the whole time. And did that devil laugh. Good god. She threw water everywhere. I got done as quickly as I could, changed into comfy sweats myself, then gave her the bottle. She drank all of it, and I had a glimpse of optimism that I would soon be off the clock, in my comfy clothes, relaxing. I pulled her to my shoulders to hug her goodnight as I always do.

“BLEHHHHHHHAACCHHHKKK!!!!!!!!!”

Are you f–king kidding me? I look at her and myself. We were covered in barf. What amazes me is how calm I am outwardly. I think I just go into my own possessed trance mode. Inside though, I wanted to cry. And scream. And maybe break something. Instead, I put us both in the shower, with our clothes on, peeling them off and washing off the barf. Neither of us enjoyed the experience. I got us both into our pajamas, said good night and she went down.

I sat on the couch thinking about what a difference a day makes. Sometimes it’s too my benefit. Other times like this, when the massage/brunch/relaxation go out the window at the speed of lightning, it’s to my detriment. It just amazes me how fast moods and scenarios can change with a toddler.  I guess that’s life and it’s nothing I don’t already know. It’s just more magnified now, since it’s not all about me. In the end the ebbs and flows even out, right? They must. I hope so.

Suffice it to say, Phil came home on a red-eye later this week. I don’t know who was happier to see him: me or Fi. It makes me realize that gaps he fills in. We trade off mornings getting up with her. And he takes over at 6 pm and gets her fed and ready for bed. I’ll be relieved in a few short weeks when we’re all in LA together and this solo parenting thing becomes a rarity. I don’t know how the single moms out there do it, or the military moms, or anyone who parents alone. But I know one thing: I bow deeply to them.

Add a Comment

Irrational Mom Anger Part 2

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

Last week I wrote about my irrational anger at everyday noises. Anything that stands in the way of Fia’s nap sets me off. So I came up with a solution. She now naps  in our downstairs bathroom–in her stroller. It’s the only dark windowless room in our house. I turn on the ventilation fan, strap her in, and boom, she’s out within seconds. I can get anywhere from 1-3 hours.

I bank on this time. It’s how I get stuff done.

So it came with extreme irritation and fury when just 30 minutes into her nap Phil came downstairs and yanked open the bathroom door. I was on the phone and mouthed the biggest WTF???? my lips would do, throwing my arm in the air with exasperation. He of all people knows better. He mouthed something angrily back. I hung up my call to the sound of a cry.

?!$#?&%! YOU WOKE HER UP! I shouted, ready to spit I was so pissed.

“IT SMELLS LIKE NATURAL GAS IN THE UPSTAIRS BATHROOM!!!” (which is right above the one she naps in) he yelled back, as he gently picked her out of the stroller with a hug. “I WAS MAKING SURE IT WASN’T DOWN HERE!!”  We sounded like the Costanza’s.

Seething, I stormed past them both, went upstairs, and boom the smell hit me like a dozen rotten eggs. It was one of those moments where I knew he was right. And should be touched by his protective nature. For god’s sakes…you don’t mess with gas. It can kill.

Yet, somewhere inside, a voice was still saying, “But did you have to open the bathroom door so loudly??”

I sulked downstairs, knowing my to-do list would stay to-do. I couldn’t bring myself to apologize. I was still fuming. “I’ll call the management company,” I said tersely.

They told us to put a fan in the upstairs bathroom and call them back in 45 minutes if the smell persisted. (Great advice by the way. Seriously?)

(more…)

Add a Comment

Sesame Street Sleep Addiction

Monday, July 4th, 2011

I’m not particularly proud of this revelation, but feel the need to share. It worked beautifully for us this weekend.

We were in Wisconsin for a wedding and staying at a hotel. Even though Fia is really adaptable, she doesn’t always sleep great on the road. Plus there’s a time change.

The first morning she woke up at 5 a.m. My husband was on baby duty, so he stumbled in her room, dog-tired and had either a brilliant epiphany or a catastrophic idea that will further enable her Sesame Street addiction.

Since she is already a Sesame Street fanatic, Phil put her in the crib with an hour long show on his computer and propped it on the bed like this:

sesame street jail

We named it Sesame Street Jail. She likes being behind these bars.

Phil climbed in another bed in the room with a pillow over his head, trying to block out Elmo. It wasn’t a perfect hour of sleep, but it did the trick. And now we are obsessed with the little red guy. He’s a miracle.

For the next 4 mornings, we have gotten accustomed to this new way of life. We’re going back home tomorrow. Surely we will have withdrawal. I don’t know who it will be harder on. Us or her. Maybe both. Sesame Street Anonymous anyone?

Add a Comment

Navigating the Minefield of Milestones

Saturday, August 7th, 2010

When Fia started crawling,  I had to constantly be on top of her all hours of the day. It’s funny how you wait for these milestones and then when they happen, they sort of become minefields. You’re psyched, but also realize the layer it puts on you, your surroundings, and your life.  (Oops. Hold on. She just banged her head on her favorite play toy—a saucepan—under my husband’s alleged watchful eye. Uh-em).

Okay, so back to the milestones that change your life. For example: sleep. All I wanted in the beginning was for Fia to sleep for more than 3 hours. At 4 ½ months, when I was deranged from lack of sleep, we did Ferber. I’m relieved to say she goes in her crib at 8 p.m. and sleeps until 6 a.m. There is no disputing I’m getting better sleep, and therefore am slightly less deranged. Only now I find myself waking up every few hours to look at the monitor and make sure she’s breathing. Yes, it’s obsessive. But I have a feeling some of you can relate. It’s gotten so bad, my husband put the monitor on his side so it’s more of a hassle for me to see. I guess I’m realizing that in thisbaby world, everything comes with a tradeoff.

This tradeoff even happens with the cat. In the beginning I wanted her to notice him. But in those early months, both feline and Fia ignored each other. At 5 months, before she noticed Wayne Sanchez

Then when she hit 6 months, it all changed. She smiled and cooed at Wayne. At 7 months, she started to crawl towards him, grab his fur, his whiskers, his tail—whatever she could get a hold of.  Wayne was patient at first, but now, all bets are off. It’s a full on war from his point of view – and a never-ending game from hers. She grabs at him and laughs, he bats at her. He has all his claws and I’m terrified one of these times he’ll swipe her beautiful face. No matter what toys I put out for her, it’s always the same beeline for Wayne. It’s like Groundhog Day in our house (and yes, Wayne is as big as a Groundhog).

Fia Eats Wayne

Add a Comment