judecorp: (crucified baby)
I suck at journaling. :)

So after I did all of the pre-consult paperwork with Allison the awesome sleep coach, we had a phone call that was about two hours long where we went over everything and also she threw out some suggestions of a plan. It probably would have been a shorter call but we got a little chatty. ;) Anyway, she then followed up with an e-mail outlining a plan. Here was the basic gist:

1. The main goal was to get Tuke to fall asleep on his own instead of falling asleep on the bottle (which usually happens) or via rocking (if he was still awake after the bottle). This was supposed to reduce night wakings because he would put himself back to sleep.

2. Secondary goal was to treat the early rising (5am) as a night waking to try to discourage this waking.

One thing I will say about Allison is that she is incredibly flexible and willing to work with any kind of parenting philosophies. We are a mildly-AP family and do some co-sleeping and some other stuff, don't like a lot of crying, and she was totally cool with all of that. She even told me that some sleep coaches don't even believe that parents can be consistent in the wee hours (that is pretty true for me, LOL) and concentrate solely on getting the kid to fall asleep on his own.

She was also awesome when I came to her with my big nursing concern. Right now I nurse Tukey when he wakes up between 11pm and midnight and as it's really the only time he nurses, I am reluctant to give it up. There is no milk left and he has to be tired and crabby and want to fall back asleep to do it, but I REALLY want to get to 9 months (longer if he'll let me) and am impressed that I have been able to keep this boy on my boob for this long. And she didn't even bat an eyelash, was super understanding, and said it was fine, do it, try to put him in the crib after and if you don't, you don't. I love her.

Anyway, she also explained to me that a lot of times the parent that works outside the house has the toughest time letting the baby fuss (and that is certainly true here) so I talked with Jen about what was going on and she started agreeing to let Tuke grouse a little bit before bed at night. She wasn't keen on waking him up after he fell asleep on the bottle but I put him to bed for over a week that way to convince her that it was totally possible and he would fall asleep, and now she is on board.

Every night now, Tukey will go into his crib away, yell at me for a couple of minutes for waking him up off the bottle, and then stick his feet out of the crib bars (weird kid) and goes to sleep. It hasn't worked for naps yet (he is really resistant to naps and will play in the crib for over an hour without sleeping unless I rock him) - he gets into too much trouble and once was eating the mini blinds - but I am glad he is better at falling asleep on his own.

I am still bringing him to bed with me to nurse (I just love that time) but now when he is done after a couple of minutes (getting shorter and shorter *cry*) he rolls over in the middle of the bed and goes to sleep. He still wakes up a couple of times from there, and still drinks a bottle of milk around 3am, but I think he is learning some good sleep skills while maintaining our AP relationship and really I can't ask for more than that. Allison from Everyone Sleeps - A++++++++
judecorp: (crucified baby)
So the first thing I had to do was fill out a very involved survey with all kinds of questions about Tuke's pregnancy and birth, medical history, schedule, where he sleeps, etc. Of course since I filled it out two days ago, his schedule has changed. Isn't that always the way? Heh.

For a while he was getting up reliably at 6am. Then that started to become 5am (ugh) and then 5-10 minutes before 5am. So I decided that there was no way that 5am was going to become wake-up time, so I put him in the crib (he is usually in my bed at this point) and let him fuss until he is willing to let me rock him back to sleep. It usually takes a couple of tries but then he sleeps until 7. So now his morning nap and afternoon nap are an hour later... and his afternoon nap is right when I usually leave the house to pick up the girl I babysit. Now I need a Plan B.

Today I let him crank in the crib for a while (he was overtired) and he eventually fell asleep. I couldn't even believe it. I don't really ever let him cry because I am a big softie but I will let him gristle when he's overtired because it gets him in the frame of mind to be comforted to sleep. But today he fell asleep himself. Weird baby. :)

Tomorrow I will have a phone consult with the sleep coach once she goes through all of my info. You know me, I wrote too much. Then we will come up with a plan.
judecorp: (crucified baby)
I have a friend who is a sleep coach. I also seem to make and grow children who don't like to sleep. What a winning combo! So I am going to go through the whole sleep coaching process with her and see what happens, and I'm going to blog the way through. I haven't blogged regularly in forever (and should), and also want to get the word out about my friend. She is awesome! :) Her website is Everyone Sleeps - go and have a look around and then you can go on this wild (and exhausting) ride with us.

(Also, my Jennifer designed her logo!)
judecorp: (jesus hates yankees)
Hello, friends.

These days I "journal" so infrequently that it doesn't feel at all like journaling - more like a letter to some friends. So hello there, friends. I hope you are all well.

The kids and I just came back from 11 days in South Carolina visiting my brother, sister in law, and my mom and her husband. We stayed with my brother and SIL and it's almost like culture shock to be back here. Although I do love it here. It is familiar and comforting and full of hippies.

I kind of had an unplugged vacation. I did not bring a computer, only my iPod Touch, so aside from Facebook I spent very little time on the Internet. It was just too tiny to manage. I didn't check LJ at all. Did I miss anything? I also did not bring a camera. I didn't want to bring my huge DSLR because I couldn't fathom carrying it AND a baby AND wrangling a 4 year old. So, no pictures. It is like the un-vacation!

There was a big heat wave in the South so we didn't do as much as usual (stayed inside a lot) and I also tried to be accommodating to Tukey's naps because he slept like C R A P the whole time. Jen joined us for the last 4 days of the trip and thank God for that because I actually got 5 hours of straight sleep a couple of nights. And it was good.

We had a blast, though. We went to the beach once with my mom and her husband and Punk got to make sand castles and look for sea shells and pick up seaweed and all of that good stuff, and got hit by waves and laughed and danced on the shore and it was ace. We also took her to an amusement park that was more like a seaside carnival where she went on a bazillion kiddie rides and got to stay up late (til after 9) and even had her first taste of bumper cars (with my brother) where she shouted, "We are going to hit you, Mama!" about a gazillion times. Thank you, ride operator, for letting her on even though she's half an inch shy of 42". She went to Chuck E Cheese and I have continued my lie about how we don't have Chuck E near our house, only at Uncle Rick's. She had a great time there, too. She saw the Winnie the Pooh movie and ate out a bunch of times and had a lot of ice cream, so I'd say it was a total vacation success for her. I love watching her have a good time, even when she gets sad because the fun has to end.

Tukey started trying to pull up while on vacation and also sped up his army crawl so quick that I don't think he'll ever go to hands and knees. He still says "da da da" most of the time but now says "na na na na" when he is sad/tired/hungry. He is curious about life and into EVERYTHING. He is in that crazy alert phase where sleeping is for wimps and he wants to wake at all hours of the night and crawl and climb just because. It is exhausting yet delicious and sometimes I stop and have to catch my breath because he is growing up so fast and I will never have another baby in my belly and watch that baby grow into a person. This afternoon on the plane I got him to fall asleep in my arms and I held him, two arms full of great big baby, and could almost cry at the sheer enormity of my love for him and how we were meant to be together.

Punk is the greatest big sister ever, so attentive to her brother and concerned about him. She gets jealous when he gets attention but instead of acting out toward him or others, she gets jealous about people messing with HER baby and she has to go over and give him attention too. "That's my bruvvuh" is a common sentence for strangers. She also talks to him, which is deleriously funny. Today she told him, "Let's play a game called 'Baby Gets Nothing.' Tukey, you get nothing." Where does she get this stuff? I freaking love it.

She is four years old and he is eight months old and time is just flying, flying, flying.

I hope you are all well and enjoying your summer.
judecorp: (my sunshine)
Is this thing still on? Does anyone hang out here anymore?

Life goes on and time is flying around here. My big girl will be four years old a week from today and I can't even believe it. How can it be FOUR YEARS since I delivered that tiny baby girl? I felt like such a rock star that day, powering through that labor and delivery. That was four years ago? Amazing. Punk is such a smart, sassy little thing and she has already developed a four year old's attitude. She completed her first year of preschool and learned a lot of things, including the life cycle of a frog, the water cycle, and about crazy things like archipelagos and isthmuses. Amazing.

My sweet baby boy is seven months old, has two teeth, and is learning to crawl. It's almost time to bring up the baby gates, and I've already had to start hiding some things. I don't think I'm ready for him to fully crawl; we haven't had a baby-proofed house in so long! He sits up like a champ and loves to play with his little toys, his hair is adorable baby chicken hair, he yells and squeals and blows raspberries and shouts DA DA DA DA DA at me (while I say back, "MA MA MA MA MA MA.")

We're in the swing of summer vacation and survived our first week. Life is exhausting with two children, one of whom doesn't really like to sleep, doesn't like pureed baby foods but chokes and gags on finger foods. I get very little, very broken sleep and have a preschooler who doesn't nap. We've instituted "rest time" and that has gone well this week, but the weather has sucked so no burning energy at the park or backyard. Booooooo.

What is going on with you guys?

Haircut

Jun. 5th, 2011 04:32 pm
judecorp: (punk princess)

I finally chopped Punk's hair! Now she will never win a "Reepunzel" contest but it's not getting stuck in everything, either. I love it!!!!

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

judecorp: (jesus hates yankees)
It has been over a month since I used this thing. Hi!

Tukey is 6 months old. SIX MONTHS! He is still kind of half-heartedly nursing, especially in the middle of the night. So that means we have been nursing for six months, which was kind of my pipe dream. Go me! He is also still getting over half of his daily nutrition from donated breastmilk - about 25oz of donor milk per day. (Any more than that and I would run out before getting more.) I have been very resourceful and scrappy in finding donors and picking up people's stashes and stuff, so I'm pretty proud of myself. I have one box of domperidone left and I'm not buying more, so I imagine I will lose my milk in about 12 days and we won't be nursing anymore. Sad about it but can't justify buying more.

There are a couple of weeks left of the school year and I am excited to be home with the kids for the summer, but nervous about being able to entertain them both all summer by myself. I'm sure I will get into a groove and am excited to be off work. (But the lack of pay will hurt.)

Why do I make babies who don't like to sleep? Why? I like to sleep!!

Brain Dump

Apr. 16th, 2011 07:31 pm
judecorp: (keep going)
I haven't written here in a million years. In my head I am this regular, witty blogger. I have all of these clever things to say and even cleverer ways to say them. It just never happens, because by the time I get to a computer I am wiped. out.

I only work 3 days a week but it feels like 7. And I don't even really work full days some of the time. But it feels like it. I hardly sleep and I subsist on coffee. Good thing I love coffee, and I have an amazing cousin in Seattle who sends me beans from her favorite shops. Yum.

This coming week is school vacation week and I am doing a little babysitting (to make a little money) and my sister-in-law is visiting. I love when my brother visits too but sometimes it's nice to just have Gretchen over (just like sometimes it's nice to have just Rick). She is staying through Easter and it will be nice to a) have a week home with my kids and b) have some company while I do that. We can go on adventures and just in general chill with two kids.

Two kids. Woah. Two kids is a lot of work, and at the same time it isn't. Extra stuff to remember before you head out the door. Extra chaos in the mornings. Really needing a second set of hands at nighttime (they go to bed at the same time pretty much). He sleeps pretty well but still is up twice to eat and I don't go to bed as early as I should so I am always in a fog of coffee-hyperactivity.

Ideally I would go to bed around 9pm but there is so much to do in the evenings like pack the day care back, make sure Punk has a lunch for the next day, run the dishwasher so there are clean bottles, thaw milk for the next day, run laundry, etc. Since the kids go to bed at 7, all of those jobs get done after that. Thankfully they both go to bed pretty easily and (usually) stay asleep for a while so the stuff can get done.

In sum: Life is busy but awesome.
judecorp: (work poison)
I am drowning. In a sea of First World Problems, but I am still drowning.

We applied for financial aid for Punk's fancypants Montessori preschool and they offered us a $2000 scholarship for next year. Unfortunately, that's not enough for us to feasibly send her to that school, the school she loves that has been very good for her this year in terms of keeping her stimulated and also encouraging her out of her comfort zone (Punk does not like to do anything that she thinks is "hard"). It was such a good fit for her and even though she is the youngest in her class this year, you would never know it and she is very comfortable there. But it is so expensive and with a second now in day care, there's just no way we can pay the price tag. We really needed $5000 off to make it work. I have her parent-teacher conference on Monday and I will probably bawl my way through it.

On top of that, going back to work totally sucks. I mean, the people at my job are happy to see me, and the kids I returned to are happy to see me, but my heart is not in it, my head is not in it, and I don't get nearly enough sleep to be able to effectively use my brain in that way. I am sort of floating through the job which isn't really working when I am taking countless referrals and doing tons of intakes, which generate tons of paperwork and involve tons of thinking/diagnosing/making treatment plans. I would really just rather be home with my kids, especially since I won't even be able to send Punk to the place I love next year.

Part of me would like to find another job, or go back to the Early Intervention stuff I loved and felt super competent at, but then I remember that this job gives me summers off to be with my kids and I feel like I have to stay there forever. It just all seems so heavy right now.

My most beloved cat, Daedalus, has recently started losing fur in little clumps on both sides of his body. It doesn't look like an allergy or a reaction or a fungus or anything, it is just falling out. And I am terrified that something is dreadfully wrong with him, so soon after Ralphie died. I don't think I can handle it.

I'm just in way over my head and I don't really know what to do. One foot in front of the other, I guess, but it's just so hard on so little sleep. I feel like I start the day already almost entirely out of coping skills just by having to haul myself up out of an exhausted stupor, and then to be totally swamped at work and not thrilled about where my kids are going to be, etc. It is too much.
judecorp: (killing time)
I had all of these intentions of going to bed early. I have this lingering cold that I would like to stop lingering, and my left tonsil is misbehaving again. I was hoping to be in bed by 9:30.

But now I'm doing all of the baby's prep for day care tomorrow, and I'm waiting around to do his late night diaper/dreamfeed. Which means I won't be in bed for a while yet. Which means after the 2am and 4am wake-ups, I'll be dead on my feet at 6am.

I don't need a lot of sleep to function adequately, but it's hard to handle work and kids when I have to do all of the overnights AND stay awake for the late-night feed. That extra hour or so of sleep makes a real difference when I can sleep uninterrupted from 9:30pm until about 2-2:30am.

Damn.
judecorp: (cooler than you)
(I feel dirty using a PC.)

So we all survived my first week of work. I can't really call it a "week of work" when I only worked three days, but whatever. I'm looking forward to hanging out with my little man tomorrow and smelling his cute widdle head. He really is the cutest thing ever, of course. Punk calls him "Tukey," and I'm not really sure what that means except that it is an adjective: "that tukey, tukey baby." She also calls him "tuke tuke." She is very protective of him and takes her job as a big sister very seriously. If I call him "my baby," she lets me know that he is HER baby.

He is a pretty laid back guy and it is such a different experience than with Punk, through and through. He hardly ever cries or screams. He has reflux but is mostly fine with it - he spits up a lot but it doesn't really bother him now that he's on meds. He puts himself to sleep and is only up a few times in the night. But with Punk I was able to be home for nearly 10 months before returning to work. Tuke has had his first week of day care at three months old. Poor guy.

Jen has to do the drop offs and she hates handing him over, and I can't say I blame her. They take care of him fine but it's not mama. And Jen goes to work super early so he's actually there a lot longer than I would like, but it wasn't feasible for me to drop him off and then take Punk to school in a different town. Too much hassle.

But I am just so totally in love with that little guy and can't wait to smoosh all over him tomorrow!
judecorp: (work poison)
I went back to work today.

I was not even remotely on task.
judecorp: (i am stupid)
There has been a lot of money changing hands around here these days. Thank you, tax return.

A few weeks ago, I killed our vacuum (it was on its way out anyway) by running over a baby sock or two. Whoops. That wasn't good. So we dropped a little bit of money on a new upright, bagless, with retractable cord. I am enjoying both of those features, and one pass of that vacuum has shown just how sucky (or, umm, UNsucky) our last vacuum was. I love having a bagless because I feel vindicated in some sick way SEEING what is getting picked up. Heh.

I also just bought three flight coupons for Di.rect A.ir so that we can go see my brother and SIL in South Carolina this summer again. Yay! Super duper fun!

We also bought a couple more baby bottles and another swaddle and I also dropped a small fortune at Gymbo last weekend buying some spring/summer stuff for Punk and a few tasty morsels for the Cupcake. Boy Gymbo is not nearly as delicious as Girl Gymbo. Heck, boy clothes in general. Sorry, Cupcake. I also dropped some cash at Savers on summer clothes for Punk as well. (She has outgrown most everything, especially shirts and dresses.)

But what I /really/ want to spend money on is a cookie delivery service. WHY DO WE NOT HAVE THIS??!!?
judecorp: (math)
I am getting a new computer for the first time in many many years. It will be shipping soon. So exciting! I got an iPod Touch for Christmas and haven't been able to put any music on it because my old iBook can't run a new enough version of iTunes to sync up. Whoops. So it was time.

Financially, it was more prudent to leave the world of Mac for a while, although I am super sad to do it. I feel like I am cheating, ha. But this way I can get a bunch of software from Jen and can have Photoshop again, hooray!

I got one of those Dell Inspiron thingies that you can get in different colors, because I got in my head that I needed a smurfy blue computer. Of course. Of course.

My tax return - which was pretty significant thanks to Senor Cupcakey - is completely and totally gone now. Man, that was quick. Paid off both credit cards, got our heating system in the house fixed (it didn't have cold air returns, stupid prior owners), and now a new computer. Ch-ching!

Jen's should be coming soon, and is earmarked for getting the crack in the living room ceiling fixed, putting some away for the summer when I'm not working, a couple of flight vouchers to go to SC in the summer, and potentially paying off the rest of my car loan to get a jump start on replacing Jen's car. I was rallying for a Mazda5 but Jen thinks if we're going to "go minivan," we should go big or go home. So we might be getting a regular minivan and be a minivan family. EEEEEEEK.

Tell me your minivan stories and advice, please.

Being a grown-up is way less glamorous than I thought it would be. Whodathunk that spending all of that money could be so PRACTICAL and BORING?

p.s. Name my new computer
judecorp: (you are beautiful)
Last night Jen found a couple of coloring books in the basement that were supposed to be Christmas gifts for Punk. They were kind of a last-minute impulse buy for her when she was buying a birthday gift for Punk's BFF's birthday party in December - two coloring books with glittery stickers, one from the movie "Tangled" and the other from "Tinkerbell and the Great Fairy Rescue," both which are very popular with my very girly daughter.

Anyway, Jen left them on the coffee table and this morning played it up like they were a Valentine's Day gift. Punk's eyes grew to dinner plates and she was just beside herself. "COLORING BOOKS! WITH STICKERS! MAMA, THEY HAVE STICKERS! THEY ARE GLITTERY STICKERS! THIS IS JUST LIKE TINKERBELL AND THE GREAT FAIRY RESCUE! AND THIS ONE IS REE-PUNZEL!" (Because in our house, there is no Rapunzel, she is Ree-punzel. Like, to punzel again.)

Later I was taking the sticker pages out for her and she hadn't realized there was a sheet in the front AND the back of the book. "TWO PACKS OF STICKERS! MAMA, THERE ARE TWO PACKS OF STICKERS? Does the other book have two packs of stickers? YES! TWO PACKS AND TWO PACKS MAKE /FOUR/ PACKS OF STICKERS!!!!"

--
I think the world would be a much better place if our days could all be made jubilant with a couple of sheets of shimmery stickers inside some cheap coloring books.
judecorp: (baby feet)
He entertained himself on the play mat for *cough* too long *cough* while I went through all of the NB and 0-3 month baby clothes, and now is casually staring at his hand about to drift off to sleep, still on the play mat.

God bless the second child.

SNS

Jan. 24th, 2011 07:26 pm
judecorp: (baby feet)
Pulled out the supplemental nurser today.

God I hate that thing but it was nice to nurse for more than 2 minutes. :)
judecorp: (i hate it)
Punk has been possessed by demons. Demons of the table manners variety.

She has never been a particularly clean eater (she is a small child), but I have always expected decent table manners and to be honest, table behavior is a hot button for me. I can't stand bad table behavior. It crawls up my spine like an electrical current and sits there vibrating at the base of my skull. I hate it.

She has been playing with her fork and plate, insisting on eating with her fingers, mashing food into the sides of her mouth with her fingers, wiping her mouth/face with her sleeve, putting crumbs and food into her drink, trying to hold her drink cup with two fingers (one on each hand) so that it dumps everywhere and then watches it wherever it has spilled, not moving the cup or anything. It is infuriating. I want to just stuff her back into a high chair with a sippy cup, because she's acting like a baby.

It is driving. me. insane. She acted better at the table at two years old. So annoying.

Foe toe

Jan. 19th, 2011 08:29 pm
judecorp: (i'm special)
Check out my emo hipster baby:

emo hipster baby

POO

Jan. 19th, 2011 08:26 pm
judecorp: (baby feet)
We had a major poop blowout today. The whole back of the onesie was yellow, dudes!

Punk always had formula poop so we never had this issue. It was funny.

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