Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Parenting is the start of second guessing

I guess I've lost a little of my enthusiasm for blogging. I have more enthusiasm for "real" life these days. That's not so bad really.

But tonight I was talking to a friend of mine who's sister just had a baby. Her sister was induced at 41ish weeks. The baby didn't tolerate the induction very well and she had to have a c-section. My friend was saying she's sure her sister has some "mommy-guilt" about being induced and that leading to the surgery. I told her parenting is the beginning of a lifelong journey of "what-ifs".

What if I wouldn't have been induced?
What if I would've tried harder to breast feed?
What if something's really wrong and I'm just letting him/her scream?
What if he has a food allergy reaction?
What if I picked the wrong daycare?
What if vaccines give him/her problems?
What if they aren't eating enough?
What if they're eating too much?
What if the food isn't enough variety?
What if I hold them too much?
What if I don't hold them enough?
What if they're a bully?
What if they're too shy?
What if they aren't developing quick enough?
What if they have an ear infection?
What if it's something really serious?
What if they do poorly in school?
What if I'm a bad example?
What if I lose my temper?
What if I'm too lenient?
What if they break my heart?
What if they're irresponsible?
What if I can't give them all I want to?
What if I could have done better?

For me at least, those first few months of parenting are filled with SO MANY QUESTIONS. And that's coming from a maternity nurse! There are soooo many decisions to be made, and lots of them don't have clear cut answers. And you'll hear so many different suggestions for the same problem. And they all have worked for someone. But you have to figure out what works for YOU! and YOUR baby!

That's the thing. In Christ He equips us to be the parents our kids need. But it is such a monumental task. We all do the best we can. Some days your best is just getting by, spending the day in jammies, no bath and eating takeout. Some days you'll have it together and get out for a walk, go to the park, do a craft, clean the house and make dinner (at least I hear some moms can do all that in one day!).
A lot of times you have to just take in the options then go with your gut.

For instance even just now. Sophia is starting to get a cold. She's congested. I made sure she had some Tylenol, a bath, a nice full belly and warm PJ's. She went to bed fine, but woke up an hour later. John put the humidifier in her room. I aspirated her nose, checked for fever, gave her a bottle, some Hyland's teething tablets (she's still not fully cut her top molars) and the other half of the bottle she didn't finish at bedtime. She finally quieted down as I was rocking her. Then after a few minutes she decided she wanted to get up and walk around the room and be awake and play. I tried to get her to cuddle and rock again. Nope.

So I decided to just put her in her crib. Poor thing, I felt she wasn't going to sleep at all unless she was just totally exhausted. And I'm going to have to be up with her tonight so I want some rest too. I know it was miserable for her, but I just let her cry. She cried about 30 minutes. In the moment of hearing it it feels like forever. But now she is quiet.

She hasn't been consistently sleeping through the night for about 3 months. Some nights she does, but that's becoming the exception and not the rule. To be honest, I can get up once maybe even twice a night and it doesn't even phase me. But getting up 3 and 4 times a night is tiring for sure. It's just seemed like every time I'd resign myself to doing cry-it-out bootcamp, it would be inconvenient. We'd be going out of town, she'd be kinda sick, breaking teeth, other reasons. Sleep bootcamp is not all that fun for parents either, initially. But it has rewards :)

So last night she was up 3 times. I wanted to let her CIO the second time, but John thought she sounded hungry and so he fed her. Plus he can't sleep through her screaming. Between 8:45pm and 7:20am she had 3.5 cups of milk. Crazy! So then I start second guessing the CIO. I'd sure hate for my baby to be awake because she's hungry. But maybe she's just using the bottle for a crutch? She should be able to make it through the night at this age. She has been able to since she was very young.

So today I made sure to offer her more food and milk during the day. I stuffed her as full as I could. Which isn't easy because she's either being very picky or very willful these days. Lunch involved a lot of tears and me yelling once, ashamedly.

But now I'm trying to remedy months of poor sleep while Sophia is fighting a cold. Another inconvenient time! But I'm determined to get us back on track, soon!

So educate yourself, go with your gut, and try not to agonize over every decision! There are too many of them to be made to major on the minors.

Here's to happy parenting and a full night's sleep!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Christmas Recap 2013

    So it's been a bit since I posted :) Although work has been slower than ever, life seems to be busier than ever (at least busy enough to keep me from blogging). I've been doing a lot of thinking about what things might need to go away once our family expands even more. These moms who blog daily while being responsible for multiple children and working full-time: Kudos to them. They are more disciplined than I and require less sleep.
    Anyway, we had a great Christmas season. I had a plan all devised to save ahead for Christmas this year, but with work the way it has been recently for me and the way it always is for John, it just wasn't possible. Thankfully through another's generosity and just moving funds, we were able to give everyone we love at least a small gift. It's funny that even though we purposed to have a small Christmas, we ended up having a big one. John says the biggest he can remember in his adult life. Our families are so gracious.
    Not that it's about gifts, because truly it isn't. I almost felt guilty at all the things we received. I confided that to my mother-in-law on Christmas morning and she advised me that "I don't know why, but He put me here and not there". Insinuating that she was not going to feel guilty at where God had placed her in life vs. where some others might be. I agree with her. Although I know He does place us where He does in part so we can bless others. But I digress.
    The Saturday before Christmas we exchanged gifts with my mom and grandma in our hometown and that's when the gifts started. I guess it's probably considered tacky to brag about your gifts, especially as a grown adult, but I got so many things I love and I love the people who gave them to me. A short list is that I received 4 maxi skirts, 2 infinity chevron-print scarves, a watch, glitter gel polish for my DIY gel mani kit, stainless steel mixing bowls, sheets, a sewing machine, a sound bar for our TV, a Coach purse, a high-grade ched knife and magnetic knife strip and an afternoon at Painting with a Twist. And taken out to lots of wonderful meals, and served lots of wonderful home-cooked meals. My I'm a spoiled girl!
    Sophia got gobs of things, even though we all tried to tell ourself that she's young and won't remember it. Actually we did good and only got her two small things. But the grandparents and great-grandparents couldn't be stopped! She got lots of toys, several books, a mini guitar, a motorized ATV (she isn't big enough for it yet but she sits on it), and several cute outfits. She got another Mud Pie outfit and I just love it! They're more expensive than I would by (although we get them on Amazon for much less than retail prices), but they're sure cute and a nice treat!
    John got lots of gift cards to Lowes (he wants to build a rabbit hutch)and a couple other places, Vibram shoes, 2 t-shirts, 2 new Tervis tumblers, some K-cups, beef kerky and footed pajamas. The latter he has talked about wanting for a long time. Weirdo! :) If there's any gifts I left out please forgive me. We received so many it's embarrassing I can't remember them all. But I was glad to receive them all!
    We had a wonderful time in the Tampa area, even staying an extra day! My in-laws and I get along great. They even take me out dancing. They all enjoy dancing and know John doesn't, so they fill my dance card. We went salsa dancing one night and swing dancing another. We enjoyed my sister-in-law's annual Christmas Eve party. This year it was Minute to Win It themed. So fun! My father-in-law took us out shooting (although I just watched this time around), popped us kettle corn and took us out for a very extravagant Christmas buffet in St. Petersburg Beach. My mother-in-law treated me to Greek, two rounds at the Ale House (I ate the Nutty Brother dessert twice in one week! But I shared!) and IHOP brunch. I'm sure I'm forgetting to mention something...
    New Year's Eve we had dinner at my mom's house with some friends of hers and some friends of ours. Then she kept Sophia overnight while we went downtown to watch our local "Pelican Drop" and fireworks. New Year's Day my grandma put out the last and final huge holiday spread.
    And that's good because I've gotten a holiday spread of my own. Right across my gut. Five pounds worth. I'm aiming to have that gone when I zip up my bridesmaid's dress February 1st. Back in the saddle again. This year I puposed to use our DSLR to take photos rather than relying on phones. I'm so glad I did. I got some lovely photos, and I'll share just a few.
At MawMaw's House

MiMi and Sophie

She still LOVES Uncle Jeff!

Feeding Grammy

With Grandpa and Great Grandma at the shooting field

Taking a walk with Great Grandma- and wearing my ear protection like a champ

Shoot em up

Eat em up

Eat her up! She's eatin it up!

Sunny windy day

Grandpa's baby peacock, Peep

Christmas morning with all the girls- note the matching jammies

Opening presents- the start. Couldn't see the floor when we were done :)

Oh! A Box!

Playing with mommy's purse

And her mini Minnie guitar

The footed jammies!

Our little family Christmas morning

Christmas dinner buffet

On a balcony at the Don Cesar

My love

Naptime with Grammy

Swing dancing!

Grammy bought Sophie a twirly skirt!

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