On lady friends, on loneliness

I’m an introvert. I’m currently a stay-at-home mom. I recently moved to a new town in a new state. These factors add up, for me, to what feels like total isolation during the work day. 
My husband, Bob, told me a few weeks ago how settled he feels. His mom lives here, a sister lives here, he went to UW so even a few of his really good friends from college live here. We bought a house (yay), he found a job he loves, he adores his car-free commute. And here I am, with my beautiful 13 month-old son, at a standstill, the long tentacles of mild, but nagging post-partum depression reaching out and grabbing me on a perfect spring day. I’m an introvert but I need people.

I read this Slate article a couple of days ago about the dangers of loneliness-and the stigma-by a woman who moved to a new town/state and experienced similar loneliness. I think about the friends I’ve made in the past, and the dear friends that live far away, and all I met at school or work. All of them. 

Seattle is the hot new town to move to, especially for Bay Area-ites, so several of my friends there have friends who, like me, have moved up here. They send us both an email, like this: “you guys are both awesome so go out for lunch together and be friendssss”. We do, and because I haven’t been around adult humans besides my husband much, I spill my goddamn guts on the floor or say something uncouth or judgy-sounding in jest (I haven’t been able to rein in my obnoxious ‘jokes’ with new people yet), and then surprise, surprise, after I follow up I NEVER HEAR BACK FROM THEM. That’s right. I’m going on blind lady friend dates and then I’m getting the cold shoulder. Brutal. 

I keep thinking back to the creator of the best parenting podcast Longest Shortest Time, Hilary Frank’s much-publicized event last year in NY, Speed Dating for Mom Friends and I SO wish this was a real, ongoing thing all over, especially Seattle. Instead of wasting a very very precious afternoon meeting one potential friend, I’d be so excited to meet a bunch of people all at once and see if anyone clicks. They wouldn’t have to be moms! Just cool ladies in sensible shoes. Or sensible ladies in cool shoes. Or, now that j think about it, NPR should make a dating app and a friendship app. Get on it people! 

Enough shouting into the dark for now; my kid’s awake. 

Moving Limbo 

I haven’t been on here in ages. I’ve been busy with other writing projects (one for eventual pay and one for fun) but mostly I’ve been busy because we moved! Finally. We’re now in rainy Seattle. Well, not really. We’re in a small town ‘northshore’ about 10 miles from North Seattle. And those ten miles are making a huge difference. In our old neighborhood in the Bay Area, we got used walking to the grocery store, parks and restaurants. We were a short bike ride away from A’s daycare, several pubs and a bookstore (in 2015! A bookstore!). Here we are in walking distance to a Public Storage and a golf course, neither of which we use. It’s a big change. I also don’t know anyone here but a couple of (very lovely) in-laws. It’s isolating, and it’s rainy and dark out. Hopefully it all improves soon as we figure out our new surroundings and meet a few people, but we’re also currently house-hunting (not here, but in Seattle proper), with a fixed expiration date on this lease, as the retirees that own the townhouse were leasing return from Arizona (where they retreat from the Seattle area winter every year for six months! Should’ve been a hint, eh?) on May 1. So we have a deadline. 

A few weeks before we started packing up our Bay Area apartment, we tried to prep A by reading her moving-themed books. I picked these two because they seemed fairly age-appropriate and because there are sort of slim pickings in the moving genre, though I ended up liking both more than I thought I would:

Boomer’s Big Day  by Constance McGeorge

  
Berenstain Bears’ Moving Day
Stan and Jan Berenstain

 Neither book has a human protagonist. Boomer is a regular dog, not the kind that wears shirts and jeans, a la the Berenstain Bears. Boomer is completely in the dark about what is happening and it’s generally pretty cute. Berenstain Bears’ Moving Day I remember from my own childhood, though I didn’t read it before a move. I didn’t realize until adulthood what their schtick is-the Berenstain Bears are always addressing ‘issues’, behavior and life lessons, so either I was particularly thick-headed or they’re not too heavy-handed. Whatever it is, A prefers the Berenstain Bear one. In it, Papa Bear comes home from clear-cutting the forest and announces they have to move (because he’s clear-cut the whole forest). They pack up, moving bears come, and they drive to a new, unforeseen-by-Brother Bear house that they’ve already bought and closed on. It’s hilariously a fixer-upper that is fixed up beautifully by the end of the book, which is helpful to us since our home is unlikely to be ‘turnkey’ when we buy it. 

Caveats to these books, for our circumstances: neither book shows the parents on a DIY move (movers just show up and do pretty much all of it, despite the cover), or an airplane trip, or the lengthy house-hunting process. A (and Junior) have now been to about a dozen house showings with us, including one we really liked and considered putting in an offer. 

Within three days of viewing the house (in its first three days on the market), while we were discussing what strategy to use with our realtor, we found out the home owners were offered all cash and so it changed its status to ‘pending’ before we could even act:  

Goddammit! Nope, reality is is so much more confusing for a 2.5 year old. “Is this new house?”she asks as we pull up to every open house. “Probably not,” is all we know to say. 

Fingers crossed we can stop reading these books in a couple of months. 

Our Cloth Diaper Reality Check

You might’ve seen the Washington Post article that went viral a little while back, Are Cloth Diapers Really the Greener Choice?. I did, several times, as it popped up in various places on my facebook feed. The article annoyed me because not only did it get some things wrong (Honest Co. and Seventh Generation diapers are not compostable, even if you ‘do it at home’), it assumes that you’re buying prefolds made from conventionally grown, bleached cotton AND using the diapers for only one child. 

Honest Co. Is capitalizing on misunderstandings of its diapers with Google ads like this one: 

honest co diapers cloth

Cute, but rather leaky natural plastic disposables!

 ‘A great alternative to cloth diapers!’. They’re still plastic, thrown away after ONE USE, to be smothered in a landfill releasing methane into the air. 

In my (layman’s) opinion, a more balanced Slate Green Lantern post from 2008, Should My Baby Wear Huggies? should be required reading for parents trying to make the choice, especially after reading the aforementioned Washington Post article. 

But here’s the thing: you don’t have to do 100% one or the other. We don’t. 

Sure, when pregnant with our first, I read that Slate article and decided to do 100% cloth. But now we do both, about 60-70% cloth, the rest Naty or Seventh Generation disposables for a variety of reasons. We maintain that cloth (even with the water usage when mixed in with other whites, in our high efficiency washing machine) is better for the environment than disposables. Disposables are nicer at night, because they keep the kid slightly drier. Drier is good if you have a kid that likes to wake up whenever they wet themselves (there are babies like this). Cloth is much, much cheaper after you make your initial investment (we spent about $300). Cloth CAN be more convenient out and about. Just throw a prefold (or whatever insert you use and a one-size fits-all diaper cover (we love our Flip covers) and a wet bag and there’s pretty much zero chance of them outgrowing it. It’s now especially convenient to just have one extra one in the car for both kids; either of them had a blowout immediately after putting on the last diaper? Use the flip on different snap settings. When the elastic in the covers goes bad, making them leaky (as it did after about a year), I sent them to the lovely ladies at Convert my Diapers. For about $50 all of our diapers were suddenly good as new!

The downside to cloth-for us- is not the folding of diapers. It’s not the  It’s not the ‘extra laundry’ (I wash the inserts with our whites, and the covers with our colors, so it doesn’t seem like much more). It’s the CLOTH DIAPER CLUTTER.

Our house is small. When I say house, I really mean a 2 bedroom duplex. When I say small, I mean about 800 square feet. Not the smallest, but a bit cramped for two adults, two small children and a crotchety cat. We share our little laundry room (closet) with our neighbor, Julia. We do not have a utility sink in said closet, nor can we reasonably leave dirty or clean items sitting around in it. 

I say all this because, it’s mostly the reason we don’t do 100% cloth. It’s the reason we have two bins; one for laundry and one for trash, in the kids’ room. It’s the reason we use both and the reason the trash bin needs emptying once a week.  

cloth diapers wash toss

these said ‘wash’ and ‘toss’ until our daughter pulled off the letters.

On any given day, we have cloth diaper clutter. It looks like this:  
cloth diaper liners

i wont tell you what these are because theyre not favorites: not super absorbent and take forever to dry.

 

And this:   

one of several boxes of folded (doubled up) inserts

 
And, worst of all, this:  

We take steps to avoid the soaking bucket, namely, either using disposables for the first diaper of the morning (that’s when we notice consistent pooping. Sorry, I said pooping!) or layering a bio liner on top, but there’s bound to be a random #2 between two kids later in the day, and we often forget the bio liner anyway. So there’s generally a bucket going, and it’s gross. We spray the diaper in the bucket after removing any…solids into the toilet, then let it soak. This would be no problem in a laundry room of ones own(!) but here it easier sits in the bathroom or on the patio, as tucked away as possible. I feel especially bad for our guests. “Hello good friend, thank you for visiting us at unreasonably early toddler hours. Here is a bucket soaking poop stains off our child’s diaper!”

Keep in mind, we have lots of kinds of clutter with two slobbish adults, a toddler and a five month-old.  And the fact that I’m still not willing to go full disposable and let our kids inherit those towering landfills with our/their own contributions. (Diapers are fully 2% of landfills! Now think about how many people currently have babies in diapers. More than our share is ending up there. But I digress). We should be cloth diapering more. I just dislike the clutter of it. 

For those of you who want to/are cloth diapering at home (if you have a service, I am jealous!) here are our favorite products:

Leaning Way, Way Out: My Misgivings about Staying Home

School starts in our town next week. Right now, my former colleagues are in a frenzy, begging for class lists to label notebooks and seating charts and nametags. They’re spending hundreds of dollars at Target and Lakeshore Learning. They’re reorganizing their libraries or listening centers. They’re attending countless workshops and analyzing data at professional development events, some useful, some pointless. They’re meeting with each other to talk student needs and plan units. 

I’m not teaching this year, and it feels weird. Instead, I’ve been nursing a baby, giving myself carpal tunnel from nursing a baby (both leaning back and constantly holding a baby can do it! So can holding a smartphone! Who knew?), washing dishes, doing endless loads of laundry, and playing trains with a toddler. 

I hate to say it, because I love my kids, but I am…well, a little bored. 

I feel kind of bad admitting that, because I know it’s a privilege to watch my children grow up, even if it’s just a year. I love kissing my new baby, seeing him giggle back at me and flirt with his favorite object, the ceiling fan. But I’m finding myself restless. I’m helping my children grow but not feeling very productive or useful. I’m catching myself obsessing over the literal minutiae of domestic life (where the fuck are the ants coming from?) and then trying to not swear in front of our daughter (who pronounces milk ‘mousse’ but has just started saying ‘oh, fuck’ as clear as a bell, much to our chagrin). 

It was the plan to stay home this year. We’re moving out of state in a few months, and we have a newborn, so instead of the stress of finding a daycare/pumping in a closet multiple times a day, we thought id stay home with Junior full-time and A part-time, so she can have play time with her peer group. 

Because we’re moving (and had planned to move last month, until that got pushed back to December or January), I haven’t really made much of an effort to seek out other stay-at-home parents. No one I already know nearby stays home and I’m too awkward to be the sort to hang around in a park striking up witty conversations, so it’s been kind of isolating. Suffice it to say, I’m not playing with my peer group. 

I know plenty of people stay at home and love it. I know plenty of people would like to stay home with their kids. I know I’m being a whiner; I’m just getting restless. I’ll shut up and go back to nursing my sweet boy now. 

A Baby, a Toddler, and an Airplane: Mistakes were Made

Bob and I decided we needed to check out neighborhoods in Seattle in preparation for our move up there in a few months. We planned a trip to look at housing prices and do neighborhood research to figure out what we could afford. (Note to all of you MONACLED BARONS buying super modest three-bedroom houses IN ALL CASH in Seattle: A) you are ruining our chances to buy a home like normal people and B) you are stupid. All cash during historically low interest rates? Stupid.) Anyway, we planned to do this before A turned two. Yes, we wanted her to be free. Yes, this meant two babies on two laps. Yes, we are crazy.

A’s birthday is July 1. We bought two nonrefundable tickets returning June 30 a couple weeks out, then found out house we wanted to see (a potential lease to own) was occupied, and apparently unavailable for viewing, until July 1. This made our crazy trip only half crazy because A would get her own ticket on the way back.

We packed this great travel crib for A and one of those little in-bed co-sleeper things for Junior. We got so far as folding up his Arm’s Reach Co-sleeper before we realized it was just too big to fit in our luggage. We also packed a little travel highchair and books A had not seen for a few weeks (I hide about 15 books, mostly paperbacks, in preparation for travel with her, to give them some fresh novelty). We only pack enough diapers for ~2 days, then buy the rest on the other end, since we have to go to a grocery store for milk, etc, pretty much immediately anyway. 

In our carryons (for a two hour flight): two picture books, diapers for both kids, wipes, a nursing cover, a change of clothes for Junior, snacks for me & A, a coloring/sticker book with crayons and stamps, and a Kindle.  

We always bring our super cheap (and slightly crappy) umbrella stroller from Target as our default travel stroller. We use it in the airport and then check it at the gate, not worrying at all if it’s damaged  during the flight. To carry Junior, we brought our Boba Wrap, but once he’s big enough to hold up his head we will probably bring the ergobaby to avoid all of the fabric-dragging-on-the-floor origami required for the wrap. 

Of course now that we had two kids we had to bring two car seats–such a pain in the ass. On our trip to Mexico City last year, we lost the sunshade part of A’s car seat in transit and we’ve never been fans of the disposable plastic bags the airports use (albeit unreliably) to keep them clean and prevent this sort of thing from happening. So this time we put each car seat in its own car seat bag, filling the seat with more crap like blankets and jackets, then zipping up the bag. You can check a car seat per child for free, so the little extra you can stuff in the bag is free luggage! (This is totally not my idea- I stole it from this post on travel by Emily at Daily Garnish.) We fit A’s MASSIVE toddler seat in a Britax bag and Junior’s infant seat in a JL Childress bag I got used on Craigslist. Since there’s going to be a year or so with both kids in toddler seats, we should’ve gotten two Britax bags since the JL Childress bag will not fit a toddler seat, but oh well.  

the Britax bag: worth the steep $50

 We arrived at the airport for bag check in only to discover that despite our booking, two lap ‘infants’ cannot sit in the same row, at least on the Alaska Airline flight we took. Why? Because there are apparently only four oxygen masks in every row of three seats. It would’ve been helpful to know this earlier! (Mistake #1: taking the airline online booking at face value.) My husband was given a new seat, to be shared with A, several rows away from mine. Great. 

We politely asked the ticket agent if she could please sit me next to a woman because I would now be breastfeeding alone (and I’m SHY about my nipples, okay?) and she was downright hostile. She chuckled(!) and said it was impossible due to passenger confidentiality. WTH is confidential about gender? I don’t care what’s in their pants, I would just like someone that presents as female to be sitting near me in case I accidentally flash my neighbor while feeding my frigging baby. I guess I’m old-fashioned.  

With no help from her, I was lucky to be seated next to a kind lady that wanted to tell me all about the ghosts in her house. Junior didn’t care about the ghosts, but was hungry immediately. This leads me to Mistake #2: not bringing a small nursing pillow or blanket to roll up under my arm. I gave away my Boppy Travel Pillow after A and I really got the hang of nursing, she got more head control, and I generally got cocky about nursing her on a plane. This was dumb of me, because a two month old doesn’t do any of the work for you, no matter how accomplished you are at latching a baby. (Don’t bring a full-sized nursing pillow if you’re traveling coach though; I once brought my full size Boppy Nursing Pillow on a flight alone with three month old A and was absolutely trapped in my seat when she had a blowout.) A coach airplane seat does not provide the comfort of my own couch or recliner, so I ended up holding Junior in my arms the whole time, absolutely killing my biceps. The airplane seat also doesn’t recline enough for the fun combo of my overactive letdown and Junior’s tendency towards gas and acid reflux. About fifteen minutes into the flight, he spat up at least five ounces, absolutely soaking his onesie, his pants, my shirt, my bra, and part of my pants. Mistake #3: bringing only one burp cloth and no change of shirt for me in my carry-on. Junior was changed easily in the tiny bathroom, whereas I had to sit in vomit for the rest of the flight. I sat in it so long it dried on me, you guys. Even if your kid is not prone to spitting up, all babies poop, and blow-outs only seem to happen at very inconvenient times. It happened to me with A! Bring a change of shirt for yourself. 

We got off the plane in Seattle, Bob and A both refreshed from napping (our plan of flying at naptime having paid off!). Bob turned to me, covered in vomit, arms killing me, and said, “That wasn’t that bad at all! I thought it would be much harder.” Ugh. 

On our way back, now with a full-fledged toddler with her own seat, it was a bit harder for him, a bit easier for me. Seattle-Tacoma Airport has an amazing, free(!) Kids’ Play Area for toddlers, with a Mother’s Room right next to it. There are all kinds of cozy cushions all around the immediate playroom so I just nursed there, but loved having the choice. I added it to my  Mamava nursing/pumping locator app, I was so impressed. 

Seattle, winning us over

 At the gate, even though it caused zero problems on the way to Seattle, the Southwest Airlines guy gave me a really hard time for not checking in our infant, even though we had booked  the tickets with him. Apparently you have to book them, then check in with them more than we already did at the ticket counter? I don’t know, still. Apparently I already had forgotten Mistake #1.  I also got a lecture about bringing a copy of Junior’s birth certificate. We brought A’s passport but I didn’t bother making a copy of Junior’s birth certificate because there’s no way this kid looks under 12 days or over two years, but whatever. Avoid the hassle! Mistake #4: not bringing a copy of the baby’s birth certificate. 

We didn’t fly at naptime so A demanded entertainment on the flight. We read her books, gave her some snacks and colored with her. Bob took her for a ‘walk’ down the airplane’s aisle. Then we got out the Kindle to play her favorite game, Sago Mini Ocean Swimmer, which is basically an animated lift-the-flap thingie. It’s not that interesting to me, but she loves it and doesn’t get to play it more than ~twice a month or so when I’m really desperate since we’re not thrilled about screen time for little kids. I got her all excited about it and pressed the on button. Whoops. Mistake #5: not checking that the kindle was fully charged. D’oh.
So I got out my iPhone and let her listen to Animal Sounds for a few minutes before playing the other toddler game I have, Busy Shapes, with her. That one is worth getting; it’s fun and challenging and inspired by Piaget’s developmental theories. That totally makes the mindless airplane screen time educational!

So, we survived, but I’m tired just thinking about it again. I hope we learned from our own dumb mistakes, because we’re headed back to Seattle for Bob’s family reunion next week. We’re experts now, right?


 White parents, white teacher, white privilege

My children, like me, are white. My children will have, like I did, the wholly  unearned privilege of growing up white in one of the richest, most racist countries in the world: the U.S. 

As much as I’d like to be free of white guilt, I can’t escape the fact that my family has benefitted from the enslavement and centuries of subjugation of African Americans. I was surprised to learn last year, through 23andMe’s genetic testing, that my DNA is 2.8% Sub-Saharan African, substantially more than the average white American. What did this say to me? Well, it pretty much confirmed my suspicions about slave trade on my (as yet, unknown) biological father’s side. That side may have been in Louisiana, and therefore could be Creole or intermarried, but I know the most likely scenario is the most common: on one branch of my family tree, a white ancestor raped a Black ancestor at some point.

From this article on African DNA in white Americans, I extrapolated that probably have two or three Black ancestors in the last two hundred years:

 “Bryc found that about 4 percent of whites have at least 1 percent or more of African ancestry, known as “’hidden African ancestry.’”

“Although it is a relatively small percentage,” Hadly continues, “the percentage indicates that an individual with at least 1 percent African ancestry had an African ancestor within the last six generations, or in the last 200 years [meaning since the time of American slavery]. This data also suggests that individuals with mixed parentage at some point were absorbed into the white population,” which is a very polite way of saying that they “passed.” 

So, even my translucent freckled skin carries this history. So do my children’s. But that freckled white skin means we reap the benefits of the systems in place.

I hate to think of my kids living in a world that allows massacre like that in Charleston last week. I hate to think of my children growing up in a country that allows–no, sponsors–the kind of hatred that was bred into one Dylann Roof. I don’t want my kids to feel more worthy of anything, be it a scholarship, job, or the basic right to criminal justice, just because of their race. So what to do about it? Wallowing around with white guilt and Ben & Jerry’s doesn’t help anybody. Neither does pretending to be someone you’re not (ahem, Rachel Dolezal). 

After lots of thinking on it, I don’t really know what to do about it (big surprise there), but I do think our only real hope for changing this country is the people currently under the age of ten. A major reason I got into education was my affinity with the thoroughly bumper-stickered Frederick Douglass quote, “It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.” For five years as a classroom teacher, and two years student teaching before that, children came into my classrooms and we talked about race. I’ve never had the first conversation earlier than second grade (and truth be told, I’m not sure how effective it would be, considering all of the carpet wiggling, but others may have different experiences). Starting at the beginning of the year, I’d start talking about the difference between equality and justice.  equality vs  justice  graphic Then, yep, I’d ramp things up in February. Black History Month serves as a great starting point, especially because it’s after Winter Break (2nd grade teachers know about the Winter Break maturation that happens!) and is an excellent excuse, if you will, to bring up topics not covered in mandated curriculum. 

 I found second grade to be an exciting time to talk about race relations, the Civil War, and the Civil Rights Movement, because the kids are (for the most part) just starting to think of the world outside themselves. Some kids came into it knowing nothing about racism. Some kids came into it confusing Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Lincoln (“Martin Luther King freed the slaves!” etc. This happened several times.) One child of immigrants explained to the class, unabashedly, that their parents didn’t like black people. To our diverse class with the ~25% black students as the highest demographic percentage! Boy, was that a class discussion! Kids this age still don’t get, for the most part, that most racism is subtler than that. And then there were the handful of kids, spread over my years of teaching who knew a lot about the world around them for a second grader; kids who knew what Cesar Chavez and Ruby Bridges did, what Martin Luther King ‘dreamt about’, who Harriet Tubman was, even one that made her own, totally unprompted connections between segregation and a candidate’s views on gay marriage in the last presidential election. 

Obviously I want my kids to be like the latter, but right now, A and Junior are almost two years old and almost two months old, respectively. A still confuses blue and purple, so the nuances of ‘white’ and ‘black’ as they pertain to beige and brown skin colors will probably escape her for some time to come. 

Since my favorite children’s books on diversity and race relations are for seven- to ten year-olds, I consulted both Amazon and the wise old Pinterest for more toddler-friendly books, and came up practically empty-handed. My  search yielded just two age-appropriate books I’ve ordered so far: 

Sneetches and Other Stories by Dr. Seuss: this one is a great book I remember from my childhood. I bought it despite the massive caveat that I will have to explain when A and Junior are older (about seven!): oh irony of ironies, Dr. Seuss,  allegorical writer of kindness and fairness extraordinaire, supported Japanese internment and drew racist political cartoons. Though he later expressed regret for these views, I’m still hesitant about the whole thing. By buying his book, I’ve set myself up for a teachable moment or two down the road.  the sneetches 

I also just bought The Peace Book by the lovely, local (Berkeley), Todd Parr. We have a few of his books already (one signed!), and A loves the simple, silly, colorful illustrations. 

 

It’s not much, I admit. Reading books to begin conversations is where I’m starting. Clearly I need more ideas. I want more discussions. Where are you starting?

Sleep training

When A was six months old, I read Bringing up Bebé by Pamela Druckerman. It’s one of those hip francophilian books about an American that figures out everything is superior in Paris, and this one’s all about parenting. In it, silly American Druckerman discovers that French babies often start sleeping through the night by ~8 weeks. She learns this is due to ‘the pause’ that French parents practice. This just means you literally pause when hearing your 8 week- 4 month old baby fuss in their sleep, instead of rushing to soothe them every time. Baby will learn to go back to sleep in their own much like we do, if we only would let them! If they are truly hungry, they will cry for you and you should feed them. Simple. Imagine my dismay when reading the excellent, laid-back baby care book she cites, The New Basics: A-Z Baby and Child Care for the Modern Parent by Michel Cohen, M.D., and learning that, at six months, I was way too late to practice ‘the pause’ with A. Instead, Cohen says the only other option is Cry it Out, which I sadly could not do. If I couldn’t sleep through fussy baby noises, I can’t imagine listening to wailing for three nights, but I know it works well for lots of folks. 
Instead of those three nights of baby crying, we went down a winding trial-and-error road that amounted to about three months of me crying due to sleep deprivation. 

We finally had success when we took the routine suggestion fromThe No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley (which is a book of many suggestions, not really one solution, but I can see how lots of them would be helpful for different kids) and applied it to the schedule in The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems by Tracy Hogg. I know a lot of people do not agree with putting a baby on a schedule, but A had two parents that had work schedules to deal with and she’s so much happier with more sleep. When Vicki came to take care of her for a couple days while we were in the hospital having Junior, I handed her A’s daily routines, with general ideas for times. She told me after we came home that she had thought I was a little uptight but she during the weekend, she was grateful to have the information because it was so easy with A. So there!

Now that we know about ‘the pause’ this time around with Junior, we’ve been practicing it in earnest for a couple of weeks, with great results. Junior now wakes up once or twice, though normally once, after 6-8 hours of sleep! The catch for us: he can’t sleep near me. We’ve put the co-sleeper in the living room, and Bob on the couch, because he can sleep through all the noises until he starts really complaining about hunger. It’s not an ideal arrangement, but all of us are getting a little more sleep. We recently found out we may not move until November or December, making our apartment a tight fit. When Junior gets older (around four or five months), we’ll put him in a travel crib in A’s room until we move and he can graduate to a real crib. 

I wish things were as simple as Junior sleeping better= everyone sleeping great. If this were a competition, family sleep awards would be given out as follows: 

Junior: We still have work to do to not nurse to sleep all the time, but sleeps well for eighteen hours out of 24 total. 1st place!

Bob: Sleeps through baby noises, still maintains cat napping superpower in noisy surroundings. 2nd place.

A: Oh crap. Another regression! Now sobs if not held to sleep(!) and the last three nights has woken up once, sobbing, to be held to sleep again. Though she’s napping fine at daycare, last weekend she didn’t nap at all at home. 3rd place.

Me: I still wake up between 1-2am, 4am, then usually feed Junior at 5:30, hold him upright for 30 minutes (he spits up a LOT otherwise), try and fail to go back to sleep before A gets up at 7. Participant!

  

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iramramzan

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the many-headed monster

the history of 'the unruly sort of clowns' and other early modern peculiarities

Sketch Away: Travels with my sketchbook

Just another WordPress.com site

Diastasis Rectified

My journey to heal postpartum diastasis recti

An Honest Mom

From the hip on mindfulness, parenting, feminism and homesteading.

we hunted the mammoth

the new misogyny, tracked and mocked

The Belle Jar

"Let me live, love and say it well in good sentences." - Sylvia Plath

Squashed Raisins

Observations from a mum who's not always very good at it.

Thoughtfully Sought

Cleaner, Greener, Healthier, Happier

Mummaknows

Mummaknows

The View From LL2

Thoughts on law, economics, and all things slightly geeky.

mamacravings

everything a mama could want

Detour to Nature

Be YOUR Solution

Nerdy Book Club

A community of readers

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