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Oh how I’ve missed thee.

My perfectly lovely little boy slept a lot last night (insert happy dance here). We put him down at around 7pm, and when he woke up it was 6:30am.

6:30am! Friends, let me tell you…

I’ve NEVER in my entire God-given life in the history of the world as it is pertaining to me been so UNBELIEVABLY HAPPY to see “6:30am” on my alarm clock as I was this morning. The realization that I had not moved since laying my little head down at 11:30pm the night before swept over me like a wave of bliss.

I’m telling you people – 6:30am on March 7, 2009 will go down in (my life) history as being a wonderful time indeed. I may even be *slightly* more human in the AM hours from now on, just to commemorate this glorious event. Maybe.

(Disclaimer: all crazy ideas and wacky somewhat-resolutions in this post are likely the result of crazy giddiness resulting from sleeping 7 hours straight for the first time in six months. I make no promises, dear husband…)

My cheeky husband sent me this funny quote from The Simpson’s the other day, and I thought it worth sharing (I hear it’s good to be able to laugh at one’s self)…

Kent Brockman: “Joblessness is not just for philosophy majors anymore. Useful people are starting to feel the pinch”.

Ha!

Wow. I had no idea that such minor things as a baby’s eating and sleeping schedule could be so darn controversial.

When I was in Edmonton last weekend, a friend recommended the book “Babywise” to me. Upon googling it and looking it up on Amazon, I discovered that people have ahem, shall we say… “strong” opinions on the matter.

I bought the book and have read through most of it. I am liking the concept so far. It’s strange, but I’m a little hesitant to say more of how we are choosing to go about the whole schedule/sleep thing. There are some serious critics out there who get rather fired up about the evils of such-and-such a book, and so forth.

Suffice it to say that I choose to employ my common sense and discernment in whatever I read, asking God to give me wisdom in all my parenting decisions. I think I’m doing an okay job so far…

Lent begins today, and I have (finally) decided to give up spending money for these 40 days. I will only be spending money on necessities like groceries, gas, and birthday gifts (since a certain gorgeous friend of mine has a birthday in March).

Yikes! I’m going to be pretty harsh on myself. I have a feeling this is going to be a VERY interesting 40 days. I’ll let you know how it goes!

Well, I live in Toronto, went to Florida for vacation, got home yesterday, and am leaving in 2 days for Calgary and Edmonton for 10 days. Am I crazy? That, my friends, is a question I ask myself on a somewhat regular basis.

Florida weather was quite lovely. And by that I mean, ohmigoodnessgraciouscanwepleeeeaaaasemovethereNOW? Although “cold” for the first few days (15 C), it warmed up to the mid-twenties, and was sunny every day. Sunshine is just so good for the soul. Seriously. Really, really good.

So, on another note, I am having a tough time making a decision about Lent this year. I have never really done the full-fledged “give something up” thing for Lent (I didn’t grow up with that tradition), however I really like the idea, and would like to incorporate that into my Easter celebration. This year, I have a few ideas of something to give up, but haven’t decided between them:

– TV
– Facebook
– Processed sugar
– Red meat
– Spending $ (other than groceries)

Each one has its pros and cons… now I just have to decide. I think the bugaboo is about to wake up to eat, so I should probably not write a novel here. Suffice it to say, I’m leaning towards the lower part of the list.

Well I’ve only been at it for 4 and a half months thus far (plus my pregnancy, which should count too IMHO), but I have dived in nose-first to the pressures that inevitably accompany parenthood. It’s a really freakin’ hard job! I was so naive before giving birth. I was nervous, but I should probably have been downright terrified! As we like to say around our house when we’re rocking him back to sleep for the umpteenth time, changing an explosive poo diaper, or playing another game of “mommy pick up the toys I just threw on the floor… again”… it’s a darn good thing he’s cute.

Cute is one thing he’s got nailed. I mean, he’s put-your-nose-to-his-sweet-head-and-breathe-in-the-baby-goodness kinda sweet. When I sit in the dark feeding him at bedtime, the love that I have for this little person is sometimes so overwhelming that tears come to my eyes, and I just praise God for his goodness to us.

Emotions are fickle things, however, and I’ve been amazed to see just how quickly I can go from tearing up at my precious babe to taking deep breaths and praying for patience when he’s screaming at naptime and refusing to sleep (thus taking away my much anticipated 30 or so minutes of “me time” for the day).

So, to help myself keep it all in perspective, I’m going to list 5 things I’m proud of in this crazy parenting roller-coaster of a journey. Hopefully these things will come to mind the next time he’s screaming/fussing/whatever…

1. I’m proud that we’ve established a bedtime routine, and that it works so well. We have bathtime, jammies, lotion, a story with Mommy and Daddy, and a feeding. I love that it’s a family time.

2. I’m proud that we use cloth diapers pretty much exclusively. I was pretty intimidated by them at first, but I was also determined, and now it’s saving us lots of money! Yay!

3. I’m proud that we haven’t become completely consumed by baby. That probably sounds weird, but I’m glad we’ve kept our friends, and that we’re not “those people” who drive their friends away because all they ever talk about is the baby.

4. I’m proud that I’m still breast-feeding. It was difficult at first, but it has become really special bonding time between mama and baby, and there are so many health benefits for both of us!

5. I’m proud that we’ve kept our marriage relationship steady, and haven’t allowed the pressures of a new baby to drive a wedge between us. Instead, it has brought us closer together. I’m proud of my husband for being such an amazing daddy!

When I was a little girl, I loved to ‘play house’. My friends and I would spend hours in the basement, in the forts/’houses’ we’d build, and pretend to be ‘mommy’ to our little baby dolls. We’d dress them in cute outfits, feed them, and take them ‘shopping’.

One thing I don’t recall ever doing with my dolls, however, is jiggling and walking up and down the hall pretending they were screaming and fussing and refusing to sleep. Or spitting up and drooling all over me. Or needing my attention most when I really just wanted a break. For some reason those things never happened in my fantasy mom world.

Motherhood is certainly not how I pictured it, that’s for sure. Sure, the good outweighs the bad overall, but some days are just really difficult.

And that’s where I’m at today.

Yesterday my parents came to visit. I like it when they visit, because they keep the bugaboo occupied for a bit, AND they do my dishes. It’s a pretty sweet deal. It usually allows me to throw in a load of laundry, or other such fun and exciting things.

So, they helped me put him to bed, since Daddy was out at his night class. Grandpa read the story, which just happened to be Bugaboo’s Toddler Bible. Fitting for Grandpa, the Professor of Theology, wasn’t it? Anyway… so Grandpa would read a page (“This is Noah…”), and when he finished, Bugaboo would look up at Grandpa and let out the most adorable little giggle (through his soother of course, which is even cuter).

So frikin cute. (Like father, like son!).

We are beginning to get into a sleep routine with Isaac, and I LOVE it.

As of a week ago he was not sleeping well at all. It took forever to get him to sleep, often with crying and fussing. He would only go to sleep in our arms, bouncing, rocking, or in the sling. Then we’d have to wait until he was in a deep sleep, and ever-so-carefully put him down in his crib, hoping he wouldn’t wake up, starting the whole process all over again. Then he’d wake up in the night every 2-3 hours, sometimes even every hour. Then Chris or I would spend up to an hour getting him back to sleep before putting him down again.

It was draining, to say the least. We were getting so frustrated, and knew something had to change. Isaac wasn’t getting the rest he needed, and was grouchy during the days, as were we.

A week ago we decided to try to let him “cry it out”. By the fourth night I would feed him and put him in his crib, and he’d fall asleep on his own without crying. It was amazing! Then a few days later we started a nap routine (sleep sack and read a story), and each day is getting better. Today he had three good naps, and cried only 10 minutes before two of them, and fell right asleep for the other one. He’s doing so great!

We also started a bedtime routine about a month ago, which has helped tremendously. We start with a bath, then pj’s and a little lotion leg massage, then the sleep sack, then a story with both Mommy and Daddy, and then I nurse him, and put him down. He usually falls asleep right away.

I never thought I’d do the “cry it out” thing… but I realized that Isaac needed to learn the skill of falling asleep on his own, so that he could fall back asleep easily when waking in the natural sleep cycle at night. I’ve been reading a book on sleep, and have gotten some good advice from friends of ours that followed the same book with their kids.

Now, there’s hope for more sleep (even though he’s only doing 3-4 hour stretches at night, he goes down right after each feeding, and we’re only up like 10 minutes each time).

Hurray for sleep!

So, I’m going to try to menu plan my dinners. I’m not exactly sure how it’ll turn out, but I’m going to give it a whirl. Here’s this upcoming week:

Monday – homemade pizza
Tuesday – roast beef with mashed potatoes & veggies
Wednesday (New Year’s Eve Party) – slow-cooker chili
Thursday – turkey stew
Friday – rice/meatballs/veggies/caesar

I'm Red, he's Honey. I'm the writer of this blog and the source of your entertainment and/or boredom. We're parents of an exceptionally adorable child, and we have no idea what we're doing! This blog is the outlet for my thoughts along the way - welcome! Pull up a couch, grab a cup of tea, and stay a while! Or back away slowly. Whatever works.




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