Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Reflections by the pool.

 We had a really quiet Labor day weekend, and I have to say it was very needed.  I have had a serious case of mental blah. I can't think of a better way to describe it other than a case of the blahs.  Something that I just can't put my finger on exactly, so I sat out with the girls in the front lawn and reflected on this  (and all the other craziness that runs through my head... did I move the laundry to the dryer, what do we need at costco, whose birthday is next, preschool orientation is when) by our sparkling spacious pool.
 Baby T did her best to try and get to the bottom of things.  We both pondered that it might just be hormonal, and it might be lack of sleep.  She promised to work on the sleep thing, though I have heard those promises before.  I promised to work on the hormones, though really I don't have much control over that.  We agreed that we were both doing the best that we could with what we had for right now.

We have come to that tricky part of a baby mom relationship where, we are having to grow a little bit.  The newborn days are long behind us and with that she won't sleep anywhere and everywhere.  As well, so too are the nursing anytime and everywhere days.  She has things that are more interesting to do now, such as staring at her hand or the dog.  She can move all over the place too.  Before long she will be crawling, and it is going to get even harder to get her to settle down, or nurse.

We have been doing this up and downstairs dance at night with nursing, and it was really starting to show on me.  There is such a fine line between depression and sleep deprivation, and it was starting to get a bit blurred.  Furthermore, because she was getting all her calories at night she wasn't nursing much during the day.  This is not only frustrating for me, but also for other who take care of her.

I decided that I needed to do some sleep training.  "Sleep-Training" if you don't know can be a pretty dirty word among parents.  As with much of parenting, there are heated debates about what is the 'right' thing to do.  To me, I always think that the 'right' thing typically is what works best for the individual child and the parent.  My method might not work for each of my children, and further more then might not work for you.  Also I have learned that parenting sometimes, like life, is about trying something or doing the best you can and then changing it from there.

I thought worst case, she is going to cry hard for an hour and best case she will start sleeping better.  Result, after exactly 1 hour of crying (with checks and pats every 5 minutes then 10 minutes) she fell sound asleep.  Our day routine was off for a bit, and we had another little bit of crying at 4 am the other morning.  But, for the first time in 2 weeks she has been nursing good all day and went down for naps without crying.  I wouldn't say we are done, but it feels good.

I think that it feels good as a parent sometimes to take control of a situation, and help lead or teach your child how to do things.  So much of parenting is just a crazy ride, that it is nice to know that you can drive the boat sometime and succeed for the betterment of your family.  For me, I wanted to keep nursing but I was just getting too worn down.  I needed to do something different, and she has been showing me signs too that she might be out growing our old system.

All the same, I think its pretty hard for any mom to listen to their little one cry for very long.  Ten minutes can seem like the longest amount of time ever, and the next day when they look tired and you feel just as tired the whole thing seems cruel.  Luckily we've stuck with it awhile and it is all still a work in progress.

 Big Sis, didn't really want to ponder or reflect much.  That is not the style of a 3 year old, and this might also add to the blahs.  Three is a tough age, and the ice cube tray is much more interesting than what mom has to say.  I guess that I was in parenting overdrive (hmm... maybe why I have the blahs) last week because I started a reward chart for her which she gets a star for completing different parts of her routine.  And the big one is showing respect to others.  I have to say that this has worked really well too.  I have actually has a few days, where I wondered who this absolutely wonderful child was because we didn't have one little aspect of the 3 year old attitude.  Preschool starts next week though so we will see how that change throws her for a loop.

The picture on the right comes with a funny/scary story.  Baby T was sitting in the pool, and she had been sitting there for a good 30 minutes playing with no help.  I raised the camera to take Big Sis picture, when I am snapping away Kate looks at me and says, "Baby sister is doing a back float."  Calmly just as if she is pointing to a pretty picture.  Oh, my gosh.  I dropped the camera and grabbed Taylor who was not under water, though very startled to be laying in a kiddie pool with water all around.  Thank goodness, big sis was looking out for us that day.

There in a nut shell are my reflections from the kiddie pool.  I hope you all had a nice peaceful weekend too!

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