Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Whiny, Whiny Lady

Grown up birthdays: they ain't what they used to be.  Remember when birthdays were awesome?  They were all about the anticipation of amazingness to come. It was all balloons and presents and cake and ice cream and OH MY GOD IT'S HERE!!!!  Alas, those days are gone.

Now birthdays begin with a tantrum or twelve from my toddler, a truly shocking diaper from the baby, and a spilled coffee.  It's good times around here.  All evidence to the contrary, I don't expect much from a Monday birthday.  My husband was at school all day and I have two little whirlwinds to take care of.  Nonetheless, I have to admit that it came as a bit of a shock when things went awry.  Perhaps I'm naive.  Perhaps I'm narcissistic.  Perhaps I'm just an idiot, but for some reason I still expect birthdays to be fun.  I also expect my parents to remember their only child's birthday, but clearly that's just overly optimistic.

It wasn't all bad.  That's what makes me such a whiny little bitch.  I have a glorious friend who brought me flowers- presented oh-so-adorably by her three year old- then took me out for coffee and spec-freakin-tacular croissants from Bakery Nouveau in West Seattle.  YUM.  Then she bought me lunch from the same amazing bakery and we sat on Alki Beach watching the kiddos gallivant in the sun and the sand (read: watching my son throw sand in his eyes over, and over, and over).  It was an awesome morning.  But then I got home and had to attempt to put both babies to bed (one screamed a lot and one did not sleep at all).  Shortly there after I had to get both kids up to hit the road and pick my husband up from school.  And there was traffic.  Lots and lots of traffic.

Again, this should not bother me.  I know this.  The world is not out to make my birthday miserable.  (The Universe IS out to get me, generally speaking, but that's another story.)  It just felt like a little much.  These past few weeks have been tough on our little family pod, so I suppose I was hoping for a bright spot.  A big one.  But then I picked up my husband and he was in a bad space after all the crap that's been going on.  We got home and had a rushed dinner of leftovers (wherein he quickly and unceremoniously presented me with a wonderful birthday gift) before he had to continue his homework. All night.  Again, this should not bother me.  I am a teacher and I understand homework.  I believe in it.  But I still seem to be under the impression that my birthday should involve balloons, not homework.

Alas, my kind and glorious friend of the croissants invited me over (during what was supposed to be their Family Time, you whiny girl!) to have a glass of wine with her and her husband.  And it was lovely.

So again, why am I whining?  I got flowers, a chocolate hazelnut croissant and a latte, a fabulous French sandwich, time with a beloved friend and time in on the beach with my babies.  And it was a sunny day.  AND I got to hear my toddler sing happy birthday to me.  That alone should make any self-respecting adult's day.  But not me.  Nope.  I'm still whining.  What is my problem?  Why can't I stop WHINING?!?  Because it was the eternally disappointing adult birthday in the midst of an infernally frustrating and difficult couple of weeks.  Because my parents forgot about me.  Because I am a pouty, whiny lady.  I'm not proud, but there you have it.  Whiny bitch?  Present.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sleep Training Sucks Balls

I hate sleep training.

The result, I love.  A baby who can soothe himself to sleep is gift from heaven.  But listening to your child cry and keeping yourself from stopping it is excruciating.  It's awful.  

My six month old son is still not sleeping through the night.  He never sleeps more than 5 hours at a time- no matter how much he's eaten- so it's time to buckle down and commit to the sleep training once and for all.  We've half-assed it so far, but we need to make sure he can soothe himself.  I know it's ultimately better for him, but I still feel like I'm torturing him.  

We sleep trained my older son at four months and, though it sucked, it went relatively smoothly.  After a few days, he learned to put himself to sleep.  If he woke up in the middle of the night, he would fuss a bit, then soothe himself.  Done and done.  My second son has been a bit different.  Not so easy as the first one, this guy.  Luckily, he's cute as the dickens.  He's never had trouble going to sleep in the first place, but has always woken up more than I'd like and isn't able to calm himself at that point.  Normally, he'll sleep from 7pm until 10:30pm or 11pm, then nurse and go to sleep until 3am or 4am, then nurse and wake up anywhere between 6am and 7am.  Not horrendous, but it's rare that I get 4 hours of sleep in a row, and this is totally kicking my ass.  Last night he woke up 45 minutes after I put him down and would NOT be calmed.  I'm not nursing him back to sleep every 5 minutes.  It's time.  

I'm doing the good ol' Ferber method and going up every 5, then 10, then 15 minutes (and so on...), but I tend to have stubborn babies and it's not going quickly.  Yesterday, after two full hours he was still crying.  He wasn't hysterical and there was no blood-curdling screaming, but the last time I went up to pat his back, he startled and then realized I was there.  He looked at me with such relief and reached for my hand before smiling the biggest, most beautiful smile.  And then I had to leave.  And he started crying... again.  Holy guilt, Batman.  Nonetheless, his actions tell me one thing: he really just wants me there.  Many would say that there's nothing wrong with that.  I can be there, so I should be there.  But the truth is, I can't be at his side every time he stirs in his sleep.  He will continue to wake throughout the night for... oh, FOREVER, so he needs to be able to calm down on his own.  His smile last night bolsters my confidence.  He was wasn't inconsolable, wasn't feeling so miserable that he was past smiling.  He was just pissed off.  Pissed off I can handle.

Sooo... I am officially on the Sleep Training Roller Coaster.  It's a bumpy ride, folks.

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Fear

(TMI Alert.)
Today the fear set in and I took a paranoia-fueled trip to the grocery store to buy a pregnancy test.  Ever since having my beautiful, but unplanned, second son I've been filled with the terror that I am pregnant.  There has been no real basis for these fears.  I am on birth control and we are using protection.  Then again, I was using protection after my first son and HELLO SECOND BABY!  Thankfully (or perhaps not so thankfully, depending on whether you are my husband), one generally needs to have sex to get pregnant and that particular occurrence is few and far between.  This fact alone has kept my constant fear at bay.  Kind of.  Nonetheless, it has happened here and there and I have been consumed with one thought: Maybe. It. Happened. Again.

Don't get me wrong, I love my children with wild abandon.  I think they are wonderful, darling, brilliant tiny people and I wouldn't trade them for the world.  But I think pregnancy should come when you're expecting it.  You know, so you don't drink a vat of gin or go bungee jumping while you're expecting.  It seems like forethought is a good idea.  And frankly, I'm afraid that one more child (let alone one more "surprise" child) could send me off the edge.  I've already experienced two under two, and it is NUTS.  I have no context for this crazy multiple children stuff.  My husband and I are both only children and two has us overwhelmed.  I realize that this is ridiculous and possibly pathetic, but that's the way it is.  Besides, these little people are expensive!!  Two is enough.

And so... the frightening trip to the store to buy pregnancy tests.  Thanks to much hope and finger crossing and praying to Sweet Baby Jesus, the test was negative.  No baby.  Pregnancy free.  FREE!!!  Well... not quite free since I'm still breastfeeding and taking care of a 6 month old and 2 year old, but still.  It's a good feeling not to be pregnant.  My kids are awesome and I love them immensely, but I'm all set with the two.  Thanks Universe (and Baby Jesus).