Thursday, September 30, 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010
She slept her full 2hrs, not the hour I've been consistently getting since we moved her back to the crib, and when she woke up she didn't cry. She went "Aah?" and a cheerful mommy leapt through the door to cover her good girl in kisses. Riley was so overwhelmed by my overly affectionate greeting she cried briefly, which made me laugh.
She was in a fantastic mood and played happily until about 1:00pm when I started noticing eye rubbing, ear tugging and fussiness. She slept an hour and a half and again woke up without whimpering and spent the rest of the day playing happily.
It only occurred to me later that she had started her new earlier bedtime last night, 8pm. That was another suggestion from the book. Maybe moving up bedtime re-set her naps. She woke twice in the night briefly, but slept in the crib from 8pm-6am. Whatever it was I am so grateful for such a wonderful day!
I fully expect the unexpected now as days as glorious as this can't happen every day.
PS: The following day Riley refused to nap at anytime all day more than 15min, I blame karmic balance for the shift. I still think we're on the right track.
Sunday, September 26, 2010
With my surgery looming tonight was our last chance for a date before Thursday. We lined up a sitter (thanks Mom) and started looking for something to do. I've rarely left the house since the surgery and only without the baby 2 or 3 times for doctors appointments as far as out alone with Mike that would be a big old once. Needless to say I'm a little out of touch so all the movies I wanted to see had already left theaters. I was hellbent on a comedy for obvious reasons, but most of the movies that are out are geared toward 14yr old girls.
I was bemoaning the loss of the dollar movies who surely would have still, been running some "older" films, honestly it's ridiculous how quickly movies pass through theaters now, when Mike found a place a half an hour away still running our first choice Dinner for Schmucks. As long as we were driving the half an hour Mike knew a BBQ place he wanted to re-patronize.
We left while Riley was still napping. I was ok with that because of all the sleep problems lately, but the longer I sat in the driveway while Mike made trips back and forth for things he'd forgotten the more anxious I got. I found out later the last time he shut the door it woke the baby. The drive went quickly and the place looked ordinary enough. It had an old fashion one man box office out front and a marque from before the digital age. A hand written sign told us to purchase tickets inside.
We were greeted warmly by an older black man in jeans and a t-shirt behind the concession stand who confirmed what at least 20 hand written signs had foretold "cash only". Gee, remember when cash was the only choice at all the movie theaters? They had an ATM so we proceeded to purchase tickets and snacks in one transaction which he rang up on a non-digital cash register. We got a large drink which he informed us was free refills and then proceeded to tell us chuckling "well, I guess they're not really free since you already paid for them." When I asked for gummi bears he said "well, (still chuckling) they're not really gummi bears. That's a brand you know. These are Care Bears...well it does say gummi bears on there too. They should sue. I would." The whole transaction 2 tickets ($3 a piece), a large soda, and two kinds of candy was $20. That takes me back.
We proceeded to the ticket taker who wasn't quite the inviting presence the other man had been. Mike later compared him to Riff Raff from Rocky Horror Picture Show. He was slight of build and off-putting for sure. But when he spoke out came this high pitched, feminine almost southern sounding voice sincerely hoping we would enjoy the show. Still laughing inwardly we walked into the theater all avocado green and metal seats. The way I remember theaters before stadium seating. It was a Sunday so we were 2 out of maybe 7 people there. I was 3x more excited than I had been before we got there.
The movie was really funny and weird. A total plus in our book. Steve Carell plays an accountant's whose hobby is making really elaborate scenes with taxidermied mice. It was good stuff. I called home and to my surprise Riley was playing blissfully. When I say to my surprise I mean I was surprised at how that made me feel. It's completely expected for her to be happy, but the idea that it would make me sad that was strange. Dinner was at a restaurant that used to be a big old house and now you eat ribs on the porch. The waiter was very nice. We ordered and then I heard the door slam behind me assuming it was rolls I didn't even look. It was our dinner. It could not have more than 5min no exaggeration. He set it down laughing and said "I tell ya I just don't know what takes them so long back there."
After dinner we headed home and the baby was sleeping soundly much to our disappointment as by now cuddle withdrawal was in full swing. Again, I was thrilled that she was sleeping well, but sad not to be needed to make that happen. That is the ambivalence that keeps cropping up for me in my quest to gain some separation.
We only had to wait about an hour and a half for some cuddle time (:
Saturday, September 25, 2010
The last time I saw my Ortho, which feels like years ago after the relentless marathon of tests and appointments before my last surgery, he informed me that we may have to do this in stages. (Deep sigh) Considering we were ready-set-go on replacing my hip back in May I feel like there shouldn't have been any surprises. Wrong-O. I remember being told the hardware that's already in my hip "complicates" things. Now he was saying that it was possible perhaps even likely that he would have to remove the hardware in one procedure and replace my hip in another two months later.(No air left in the room feeling)
I was instructed to get the report from the surgery were the hardware was "installed" so that he could better assess the necessity of staging the procedure. A dozen phone calls, a release form, a typo on my part causing mail to misroute and some persistence later the Ortho got all 44 pages of my surgical history from 3-18yrs. The next day I met with the physicians assistant who said...(3 guesses) they didn't know. Shocker. What it boils down to is he can't know for sure until he's in there. The plate and pins were put in in 1994 so there's probably a good bit of bone growth. What the Ortho can do (and of course didn't before I came in) is consult some equipment reps about the best way to get that stuff out. It's hard for me to find a positive note to end on.
Monday, September 20, 2010
It's coming, it's actually going to happen. It's not some distant date in the future it's next Thursday. Which means I have adapted my usual defense against the relentless marching forward of time, super duper get prepared mode.
Last time waaaaaaaay back in May after at least two false alarms and a last minute change in the type of precedure I was able to "get ready" in stages. This time denial and terror have caused me to fight the urge. I've done some cleaning and organizing, etc but the big deal is getting Riley sleeping on her own and weaning. I am filled with dread of abdoning my baby unprepared.
I go tomorrow for labwork and then the next day to the Ortho to sign consent forms it's so much reality. I keep hearing how much easier a hip replacement is than a spinal fusion. I don't think easy enters into this. Also I can't think of a damn thing that wouldn't be easier than spinal fusion surgery and I've survived being hit by a bus, 13 other orthopedic surgeries and labor. Let's change the pep talk stategy, folks.
On my relentless quest to be prepared I picked up a book that someone recommended after reading my blog The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways to Help Your Baby Sleep Through the Night Let me digress and say I have never had the need to read a sleep book before I had back surgery and took my 9mo old (who was sleeping through the night in her crib) to bed with me for 3mos. I haven't read any before this one and only know other theroys on getting babies to sleep from word of mouth or internet mommy boards. This book is fantastic.
You can always tell when you're hearing the voice of experience. This book didn't judge me or throw always or never at me because it's wrtten by a mom. She gave me lots of chioces and backed her ideas up with provable facts. As a result I feel validated that I was doing alot of the right things already and that I'm not all alone transitioning a one year old to the crib. I feel like I have a better understanding of how Riley see's bedtime and I can therefore be more sensitive to making her feel secure.
I don't have the time or physical ability to for it 100%, but this book was written with a take what works and leave the rest approach. So, I press on towards next Thursday.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
All day she screamed and fussed off and on. It was Tylenol, bath, nap, repeat. If she's like this tomorrow we're going to the doctor. She had a runny nose last week and then it cleared up on it's own and now fever and runny nose. My mom keeps telling me to watch out for the symptoms of ear infections, but I'm hoping this all has to do with teething. She's chewing her fingers a lot.
She was perkier in the afternoon so we headed to my cousin's son's (my 2nd cousin?)twelfth birthday party. It made me feel old to nap during the party yesterday, but it REALLY made me feel old that this child I've know since he was born is now turning 12!! It was quite an affair complete with a bounce house with a slide inside it. My other cousin who lives an hour away was there with her kids and Isaac was thrilled since he doesn't see them alot.
They had the bouncy in the front yard and the garage open with the food in there and then canopies to sit under in the back. They even had fans out back, but it was really hot. You never know in September in Florida, but it was a hot one. Of course Riley enjoyed the fan more than the boucy. After an hour or two Riley had had enough and even Isaac seemed to be coming unglued. I think the heat+2parties in 2 days was too much.
We were relieved to be home in the nice cool quiet after all the running around this weekend. I find it particularly challenging to balance the kids activities and sleep time on weekends so both kids seem to wind up over or underwhelmed pretty consistantly. At least Sept has afforded tons of opportunities for practicing I think we attended about 100 birthday parties this month ok maybe 6, but still.
By bedtime I was pretty confident this was a teeth issue, but nothing derails transitioning back to the crib like a sick baby. She spent the night with me.PS: The teeth came through on the top on either side of her front teeth on 9/21
Saturday, September 18, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
So we went shopping and got our VIB's (very important babies) birthday presents. I love picking out toys! I just love to find the right toy for each kid. Santa is missing an elf what can I say. There was this buy 2 get 1 free sale on Fisher Price and I decided we'd get presents for the VIBs and get Riley a free toy. This line of thought (Riley just had a birthday and her room is already bursting with toys.) is part of the reason we need to move into a bigger house. We have a very small house and alot of toys. Mike and I are equally guilty. I love the toys and rotating the ones in the bedroom and living room and getting new ones and passing old ones on to other babies and watching her grow and develop and use the same toy in different ways. I could go on forever, but since having a post that's one long run-on sentence (which I know would make some of my readers wag reproachful fingers at the monitor) I'll end it there. I digress, so I'm at Toy-R-Us or TRU as we've started calling it and sometimes just "that place" if we think Isaac's eavesdropping. I picked out birthday presents for three one year olds birthday presents (2 girls and 1 boy), one six year old boy and one twelve year old boy. What exactly is 9mo before Sept because there are TONS of birthdays?!? I also decided Riley needed this kitchen:
It's really awesome! Like all of her other Fisher Price toys it has four different modes (including imagination which makes everything work like it would in real live) so I'm always discovering new songs. I'm partical to "Shapes in My Refridgerator." She had it for about a week before she figured out the food fit through the holes in the fridge door, so smart. Anyway it's endless fun and a real space saver. I highly recommend it. Moving on, is anyone else a rewards member at TRU? I've yet to figure out what these "points" are earning me. I've spent a good deal of money and ended up with copious amounts of coupons, but is that the whole deal? I feel like I'm missing something. Back home with my bounty my fingers are itchier than the kids and having to put things away unopened is a bummer. Just knowing how much the recipients will enjoy these toys has my brain buzzing. I do want to clarify I'm not a label whore or a snob at all. Hand-me-down toys are often cooler than what you can buy new. Like our much beloved Incredacube:
We got ours at Sugar Babies on 16th and 30th my favorite place to buy second hand toys. It has alot of cool features, is a good solid place to pull up on and two or three babies can enjoy it together. My cousin uses hers as a foot stool after the kids go to sleep. Awesome toy especially if you score some of the talking blocks. Mike also has a co-worker who has passed down some neat toys. One of Riley's favorites is this book:
I LOVE this book. It is the go to car toy and keeps her busy for long periods of time in doctor's office waiting rooms. It sings and lights up and parts of it move. She's loved it since 3mo and is still always happy to entertain herself with it. This is a great gift for a one year old (I got one for one of her friends first birthday). So many toys, so little time (and space).
Thursday, September 16, 2010
We had dinner and a bath and I nursed her in the nursery rocker. She fell asleep on me, but pulled the same wide-eyed routine when I put her in the crib. She cried briefly and then settled in to sleep. At midnight I woke up to screaming and in my usual confused sleepy stupor tried to get to the baby. Mike stopped me and reminded me of the plan. They talked, rocked, went for a stroll around the block and watched Pink Floyd music videos together until she fell back asleep. She slept until 6am and then I had to go in and nurse her for my sake. I held her and rocked her and she gulped like she was starving. She cried for for much longer when I put her back in the crib that time, but was asleep shortly. It was so nice to reclaim my bed. To climb in alone and roll around into any position I wanted. She woke up at 7am and was ready to start her day.
I got her dressed and put her down to play. Then I got Isaac up and ready for school. I let Mike sleep until the last minute. I felt tired, but accomplished. We made it through the first night of not bringing her to our bed. We were a great team and even though I didn't get lots of sleep the sleep I did get was deeper and more relaxed than any sleep I've had in a long time. It also felt good to get up and get the kids ready for the day like I used to. It's been an insanely long road and I can't believe I'm gonna start the whole thing over again.
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
I decided weaning was the right choice and then I read this: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/weaning/how_weaning_happens.html
I had intended to "see how it was done" to calm my apprehension about the two week window I have to work with. This information scared me to death. "Sudden Weaning" um, whoa! I don't want anyone to get hurt. Obviously I can't do child led weaning because surgery or not I'm not prepared to potentially breast feed for 4yrs. Which means I do a gradual wean and cross my fingers two weeks is enough time. I was feeling uneasy and alone in all this when I read this information.
It wasn't until I later discussed it with some other mommies that I felt less alienation and more resolve. I, like so many times since becoming a mother, stand at a seemingly insurmountable obstacle and think lots of other people have been here there has to be a way to get through it.
I read this Dr.Sears quote in the Le Leche League book The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding: "A wise baby who enjoys a happy nursing relationship is not likely to give it up willingly unless some other form of emotional nourishment is provided which is equally attractive or at least interestingly different."
Which at first seemed discouraging, but the book makes it clear that the key to weaning a baby Riley's age is substitution and distraction. So, I get a variety of appealing snacks for her to choice from and find alot of ways to keep her busy. That's seems doable even if their example of gradual weaning took six months (Yikes).
Mike and I discussed our team strategy, specifically which feeding to drop first at length. Since first and foremost we have to get this girl sleeping we decided the midnight feed was on the chopping block. I would nurse before bed and then only Mike would go into her room after that and only offer water. I also put my foot down and said she can not come to our bed anymore. She has to sleep and nurse elsewhere from now on.
You should bear in mind my post about what happens to plans in this house, but I'm determined. Good Night, fingers crossed.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Yesterday was Monday. I let Riley sleep naked to get air on her rash and she thanked me by peeing on me and the carpet first thing. She followed up that performance by blowing out not 1 but 2 diapers in a row! That's when I decided I needed to clue in the pediatrician to all the pooping and subsequent diaper rash. His theory (and I agreed) was that it had something to do with the cow's milk. He suggested I try 2% instead of whole. I decided it was better to avoid it all together until her digestion returns to normal. She was not herself all morning, but seemed a little better by the evening. I took her to bed with me anyway. Don't judge me, sick babies get special consideration.
This morning I decided after two unreturned messages to my lactation consultant to go to mommy group and ask her about Riley's waking up in the middle of the night and weaning before surgery. I got Riley and I ready and then realized I haven't been to group without another older baby mommy since the surgery. The thought of Riley and all those new babies and no one to play with seemed overwhelming so I changed my mind.
The way I see it I never intended to breast feed longer than a year, but than again that was an arbitrary deadline I made when it seemed like forever. I also did plan on that year including multiple major surgeries. That being said there is only 2 weeks until my hip replacement (YIKES!!). I don't like the idea of trying to hurry up and wean. I'm afraid the combination of hormones from that dreaded first postpartum period plus all the emotions involved in weaning and post surgical depression on the horizon will completely overwhelm me. I'd rather not follow my hospitalization with commitment to a mental institution. I also know for sure that those lovely breastfeeding endorphins kept the depression at bay and beyond that cuddling and feeding Riley made me feel like I wasn't completely useless as a mom before I could do anything else.
Mike suggested at one point I go away for the weekend and when I came back the baby would be weaned. It horrified me to consider such a thing. I'm so scared to make her sleep in the crib and than stop nursing her and then disappear to the hospital for 3ish days. Abandonment issues? Selfishly and irrationally I also know people have to bring the baby to me in the hospital if I'm breast feeding. On the flip side having a baby climbing on me post surgery last time caused me a fair amount of pain. I survived once so maybe it'll be less harrowing this time. In addition to all that I keep thinking if not now, then when?
So after all the back and forth I thought I had settled on weaning once I'm home from the hospital, but being who I am I needed to finish all my research to feel good about my decision. It's funny because everyone talks about how hard and scary starting to breast feed is, but no one told me I'd feel real fear at the idea of stopping. My lactation consultant called me back this evening and if you can believe it told me it's ok to stop breastfeeding. She told me I need to take care of myself and having surgery while still healing from another one is not a good time to have a toddler scaling you. She told me I won't be able to lie one my side after the hip surgery and that they'll have me up and active a lot more in the hospital this time. Safety concerns, deminished opportunity, and huge question marks still about the procedure coupled with timing all excellent points. Sigh.
Putting healing first this time? Nice and terrifing to be honest with you. I can't think about it too much because there's so much emotion in it. She had a few helpful suggestions about how to get Riley to sleep through the night, snack right before bed and no milk of any kind at night. Let Daddy give her water if she wakes up until she decides it's not worth getting up for water. She also said she's seen babies have the issue Riley's having when they drink non-organic milk because of the antibiotics in it and that organic 2% is thick enough to use for babies. Makes a lot of sense.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Even though it's Sunday and that is supposed to mean I sleep in and Mike gets up with kids, he did not. Even though the plan was for Riley to stay in her own bed come hell or high water last night, she did not. Even though my computer was supposed to be fixed and ready for me to complete my current photo project for my online mommy group (that I have to finish before my surgery), it is not. Even though I thought (probably assumed without asking) that maybe my mom would stay the night again tonight and be here for my dreaded Monday morning, she isn't. Even though every reason I have for not weaning sounds perfectly logical to me and Mike should understand, he does not.
Today dragged from the first moment I opened my eyes. I tried to enjoy the quiet Sunday morning with the kids and my mom, but I was just so darn tired. Around 11:30 my sleepy, but peaceful attitude was shattered by a malfunctioning VCR (you heard me! I have 20+ years of kids movies built up from my childhood so we have a VCR). It was suddenly infuriating that Mike was still in bed. So, even though the plan was to cook at home until Mike's next paycheck, I decided not to. After the VCR was fixed, the movie over and Riley had napped I had to get out. Mom, Riley and I ran out to grab lunch at McDonalds for everybody so I could regroup.
After lunch Mom left and Riley took another nap. I was antsy and tired of being home so even though it was a school night I jumped at a chance to take Riley to her friend's house to play at 5pm. I knew they would feed us so I instructed Mike to make the pizza in the freezer for Isaac and himself. Again, that plan did not happen.
Riley and I had a great time visiting our friends, but at dinner my usually amazing eater, wasn't. She screamed and screeched and threw food back at me. She has never done that before. When we investigated we found she had one of countless poopy diapers that day, but more disturbing that was her bright red, swollen skin. Even though I had just told the pediatrician with unimaginable relief that she'd been all clear down there for a while, now she wasn't. I could have cried.
When Mike came to pick us up I found myself in the Taco Bell drive through at 9pm with a screaming, tired, rashy baby in the back seat because the boys lost track of time and never ate the pizza. So not the plan.
In the end everyone was fed and in bed by 9:30. There's pizza for another night. The world did not end as a result of not a single thing going according to plan. I was tired, but what's new?
Deep Breath, no time to dwell not today. We can't it's Rex Manning Day...er tomorrow's Monday.PS-added 9/14: As I sat editing this Miss Roo was happily having naked time to air out the rash and won herself an early bath by pooping all over herself. It was defiantly not in the plan for the evening, nor did it fit in our bedtime routine. Babies!!
Saturday, September 11, 2010
I have been insisting Riley nap in her crib. Even though we always nurse first and I always give her lots of affection when telling her it's nap time she still objects to sleeping in her own bed. Which meant it was finally "cry it out" time. I remember the first day napping in the crib she cried for 45min before she went down. Aside from that she took a half nap (30-45min) both times that day. It was gut wrenching for me. I had to go outside and call a friend for support. I stuck to it though.
Today it paid off. The first nap she took Riley cried for a mere 10minutes and then slept her customary hour and a half. Hallelujah! I was so excited to have built up some momentum and also completely terrified it would never - happen - again. When I put her down for her next nap that day it was only 12minutes of crying and an acceptable 1hr nap.
We've conquered naps, but the battle over sleeping in her crib at night rages on. It's partially because it's linked to the wean or don't wean debate. We have a night time routine of dinner, bath with relaxing Johnson's Bedtime Bath, pajamas, story time (The Going to Bed Book), nursing and then into the crib. She usually sleeps from 9 or 10 until midnight or 1am before she's up crying. At this point she's old enough that she shouldn't need to eat at night and for a few months before the surgery she wasn't. It's habit now from sleeping with me and a good way to get back to mommy's bed.
I have to admit I'm not holding up as well at night. I sleep soundly for the first 3hours and wake up in a panic because she's crying. I lay there anxious trying to focus on tv, but it's alot harder than ignoring her crying when I'm busy during the day. I try not to go in at all after bedtime. Mike will sometimes rock her and sing to her or bring her a sippy of cow's milk.
That is a current point of contention because I don't think replacing breast feeding with a cup of milk is going to break the habit, but I digress. Sometimes daddy prevails and she settles in until 4am, but at that point after 15-30minutes of crying I always cave. Sometimes midnight goes badly and we give up at that point.
So, will tonight be the night we really stick to our guns and let her cry it out all night? I know I have to be tough, but talk about easier said than done. Also, I'm just not sure about weening before my surgery or not. Everything is so complicated and intricate...
Friday, September 10, 2010
Monday, September 6, 2010
Friday, September 3, 2010
Amazingly, or predictably depending on your perceptive, I finished sewing 10 hedgehog finger puppets in the time it took me to make one last weekend. It helped that my cleaning lady came over. She helped me reorganize Riley's clothes and toys. Between us had we had all the clothes sorted by size and put away accordingly, the book shelf reorganized (so Riley could reach her books), and the toys neatly put away in 2 hours. I felt really good about having her room ready for the onslaught of birthday toys.
While we waited for the laundry she even help me cut out lots of little felt hedgehog bodies. After she left I really got to sewing. I got much better at it with each one I did. I think I'll take a sewing class. I'd really like to be able to make things for Riley. I took a break after a few to reorganize Isaac's dresser. This time I gave folding lessons as well and it must be a maturity thing, but he was surprisingly attentive.
At the end of the business day the house was clean including two newly organized kids rooms, 4 loads of laundry had been washed, folded and put away (even with a pulled neck muscle from a little fall) and all the finger puppets were done.
Pat, pat, pat myself on my newly inflexible back.
When I gave my almost birthday girl her bath tonight she tried to climb head first into the tub fully clothed all the while repeating "Bath? Bath?" I managed to get her undressed and in the tub as excited as she was and her first order of business was to pick up her rubber duckey and exclaim "Duck!" before spraying herself in the face with it. I think as long you have a good sense of humor toddlerhood is great.