Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Sleep and the 5 Stages of Grief

Thankfully, as I said, Linus is slowly beginning to sleep more during the night. But, that whole not sleeping thing that comes as a package deal with parenthood is rough. It has probably been the biggest adjustment for me since welcoming Linus into the world. Ask almost anyone who knows me, and they will tell you that this mama loves her sleep, with a capital "loves".

I went through a mourning process when I had to say good-bye to it for a while. And, I continued to mourn it night after night, because that's the thing about sleep - you need it every night, and every night that you don't get it is hard. I really think I kept cycling through the five stages of grief (and still do some weeks... oy).

So, I've written a handy-dandy guide for other new moms (and dads, too!) to help you recognize if you're mourning the loss of sleep and how to complete the cycle so you can move on to acceptance:


You've just dozed off. Suddenly, you're abruptly awoken when your hyper-active parent sense starts tingling and you hear those first, soft utterances - a whine, a coo, a cough - through the monitor. But you ignore it. It's a fluke! The baby can't possibly be awake yet. Somehow thinking your movements and noises will have an affect on the baby from one room over, you lay as still a possible and breath softly in an attempt not to stir them further.

Then it happens again. This time, louder.

You groan. You shake your head "no". You tense up. You'd just gotten comfortable... the baby can't be waking up yet. He just can't be.


The whine turns into a cry. No more denying it. He's up.

You open your bloodshot eyes and feel a small sense of rage at being pulled so unapologetically from your slumber. The baby's cries start to sound like nails on a chalk board. You throw off the comforter and stomp toward the nursery, possibly slamming the door on your way out.

Your anger may escalate with each subsequent wake up call. There might be profanity involved.


After calming your baby, he is finally nursed, settled, dry, cozy and snoozing in your arms. You sigh, finally seeing sleep in your very near future.

You lay him down, ever-so-gently into the crib, so as not to disturb.

But... as soon as he hits the mattress, his eyes pop wide open. He  may start to cry again, or he may start to giggle at you, ready to play (jury is out on which reaction is actually worse in the middle of the night...).

You try again with shushing, bouncing, and rocking, but to no avail. You try bringing him into bed with you and settling in together. This lasts about for about 30 seconds (just long enough to feel sleep begin to set in) when he starts scratching your face and climbing you. You get up and use your very best baby settling techniques with minimal effect.

You are growing ever more sleepy by the second and want nothing more than to curl up like a big toasty cinnamon bun in your bed.

You glance at the clock and realize it's been nearly two hours since your started this process and you begin to feel desperate. Precious nighttime hours are dwindling.  In an act of desperation, you find yourself begging and pleading with your baby to "please, please, please, for the love of God, just GO TO SLEEP!".


The baby, completely ignoring your desperate pleas and possible attempts at exhausted logic, is still staring at you with nary a hint of sleepiness in their eyes. Your over tiredness and frustration begin to overtake you. You might feel like you're never going to sleep again. You may look outside and see the dark windows of your neighbors homes and think you are the only person in whole world who is awake. There may or may not be tears.


Sooner or later, the sun comes up and brings with it clarity. There's nothing else you can do tonight. You've exhausted your resources and are past the point of exhaustion yourself. You call it a night and move on to your first cup of coffee for the day while patting yourself on the back for making it through another sleepless night with (most of) your sanity in tact. Your baby smiles and snuggles with you and turns on the cute, just high enough so that you forget your anger and depression, and reminds you that the sleepless nights really are worth it. You begin to feel new hope, but still mentally begin the count down to nap time...

Congratulations! The cycle is complete.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Linus in the Snow - What a Saucy Fellow

On Friday, we got some snow. Nothing crazy, but about an inch stuck. Enough to take Linus out for his very first snow experience!

Saturday morning, after his nap, I got him bundled up in his snowsuit, a la Randy from a Christmas Story:

He was, surprisingly, not too bothered by this puffy monstrosity (a consignment find I've had since October).

We got outside, I sat him down in the fluffy, white, cold stuff and waited for a reaction. It was first time in the snow! I expected: glee! wonderment! joy! laughter! something!

What I got was this:

He looked at the snow. Looked up and down the street. And then just sat there, not moving, and looking about as impressed with the whole situation as McKayla Maroney.

So, we hung out outside for all of 10 minutes while I threw snowballs and rolled around on the ground, giggling - trying to show him all the fun he was missing - until he got bored/cold and started whining. I think it took me longer to wrestle him into the snowsuit.

Oh well. There's always next year!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Yes, I Use Cloth Diapers. No, It's not Gross.

Well, okay, I'll admit, sometimes it is gross. But, not any more gross than using disposables. The common denominator here is poop. And no matter what kind of diaper you use, your baby will still poop in it (plus, did you know that even when you use disposables you're still supposed to scrape the poop into the toilet? True fact).

So, why did I decide to let my baby poop in cloth?

I'm going to skip going into much detail about the two main reasons that inspire many families to go cloth. One being to lessen their environmental impact, and the other being cost savings. Of course, these played a major role in our decision making since I lean towards the crunchy side of life, and love saving money (shout to saving $1,500 from birth to potty training with cloth! And even more with subsequent kidlets since you can keep using the diapers. That makes me want to raise the roof).

But, there are other, perhaps lesser known and/or frivolous reasons to choose cloth diapers:

No Chemicals

There is a reason that disposables diapers are so absorbent. There are some crazy chemicals in those things! Think about this for a second: would you want to have chemicals sitting intimately against one of your most sensitive areas 24 hours a day? Yuck-o, man. That, at least to me, is even more gross than that whole poop thing.


Maybe we don't actually know the answer to this, but I would be quick assume that cloth diapers feel nicer on little bums. I did another "put yourself in their shoes" scenario for this. Personally, paper and plastic don't make the list of materials that I'd want my own underwear made out of, so why would I wrap Linus up in them?

They are flipping CUTE

Yup, this one is totally shallow. But, seriously, how can you resist a sweet, little cloth-covered bum? Just look at my favorite bum up there in the header. Too cute! They come in pretty colors and adorable patterns. You can coordinate them to your baby's outfit. In the summer time, all you need to do is slap on a diaper and - presto! - they're dressed for the day! I'd be lying if I said the cute-ness factor didn't play into my decision.

Although, I could also argue that maybe this reason will shrink that $1,500 savings a bit because buying cloth diapers can become a bit of an addiction  especially when one of your favorite brands releases a new print (I'm looking at you, Best Bottoms. It's the end of January, but I'm still drooling over the Mistletoe diaper. See also: Thirsties, Scottish Storm and Blackbird).

Less Diaper Rash

Diaper rash sucks. Linus has certainly not been immune to it (thanks, teething...), but he's never gotten a rash that hasn't cleared up in a day or two. In general, the reasons babies in cloth often get less rashes are because they tend to be changed more frequently than with disposables, and the fabrics are more breathable.  Three cheers for rash-free booties!

Fewer Poop-splosions

These things hold in the gross-ness in like WHOA. After nearly a year of cloth diapering, I can only remember one instance of poop-leaking-ness, and that was when L-dawg was about 4 weeks old. Everything else since then has been contained.

Crash Pad

Now that Linus is pulling up and cruising like it's his job (and walking isn't too far in the future - eep!), the fluff gives him a built-in soft place to land when he let's go and crashes down on his boot.

Harder to Escape

We're not quite there yet, but I know the day is coming when Linus will be trying to rip his diaper off. I have already foiled this exploit preemptively - with snaps! So much harder to break free from than with tape.

Side note and bonus tip: Yes, you can also buy diapers with aplix (Velcro) closures  but, in my humble opinion, snaps are far superior to aplix. Partly because they lessen this risk of Linus running around naked in an inappropriate situation, and partly because they can't wear out the way aplix does (even when you fasten it to the laundry tabs, everything still gets stuck to it).

It's Easy - Really!

There's this thing that happens when you are pregnant and starting to make decisions about how to feed/diaper/parent your child. You suddenly have a big, blinking sign above your head that says "Please Give Me Advice and Question All My Choices". So, when I started telling people that we wanted to use cloth diapers, I got the whole "yeah, okay, we'll see how long that lasts" and "isn't that time consuming/hard/nasty?" from a host of folks.

But, I'm here to tell those people that questioned me, especially now that I have more experience, that it really is pretty gosh darn simple. Modern diapers come in a variety of options to fit your lifestyle and preferences (wow, did I just sound like a commercial there, or what?), and can be as easy as snap-on and snap-off. Of course, there's the laundry thing, which, admittedly, threw me for a loop for maybe a week or so because of my chronic avoidance of housework and lack of organization, but once it becomes routine, it ain't no 'thang. And there's just something about a drying rack full of pretty diapers that makes the extra laundry almost, kind of fun.

So, there you have it! My reasons for cloth diapering. If you cloth diaper, let me know if there's any fluffy goodness that I missed. And if you don't, let me know if you have any questions about cloth! I'm far from an expert, but after 10.5 months, I've got at least some good cloth knowledge in this scattered brain of mine.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Why Hello! Let's Try Again.

Oh, hi there.

Somewhere between balancing work, and an increasingly active little one, as well as trying to keep up with house work (who am I kidding? I don't do housework...) and sleep, I've forgotten my humble blog... since... September. Oops! I need my outlet in my tiny corner of the interwebs back.

So let's kick things off (again... I know...) with an update about the little Goober (since I claim to be a mommy-blogger these days and all; seems appropriate, right?). Last I left you, he was just starting to roll over. And now that's, like, so 5 months ago. Rolling? Psh! That's for amateurs. Now he's crawling, pulling, up, and cruising! My little blob of a baby is beginning his transition into toddler-hood (which, p.s., um... yikes! I'm still getting that hang of this baby thing over here. Can we slow it down for a hot second?).

Since September he's been through four (!!!) major holidays, which of course are big firsts in the life of a baby. Linus celebrated Halloween as R2D2, he feasted on deep fried turkey with all the trimmings at Thanksgiving, and we celebrated our butts off the whole week between Christmas and New Year with both sides of the family, despite some sickness and teething (speaking of which, he's up to 6 teeth now, and I can officially declare that teething is dumb and awful).

Linus has also reached double digit months (he's 10 months as of January 14!), which means we're racing toward the one year mark a little too quickly. You know how time just keeps getting speedier the older you get? It jumps into warp speed once you start raising offspring.

Of course, being so precariously close to the one year mark also means that I've also been diving head first into first birthday planning! Oh yes. Really, it's going to be quite low-key, and low-budget but it's also going to be AWESOME. I'll be posting more on that later. so I'll keep the details at a minimum. Really, I'm still trying to wrap my brain around the fact that this time last year I was still (ginormously) pregnant and planning for my new arrival, and now I'm almost the mother of a one year old. One year olds seem like something for more experienced mothers. Surely, I can't be among those ranks yet? I can't think about it too much, so instead I'm diverting my attention to guest lists, finding the perfect e-vite, menu planning, and all the fun little details that will make it a special day for Linus. (Han Burgers and Boba Fet-a Pizza, anyone? Ok, that's a pretty obvious hint at the theme).

But, enough about party planning...

Probably the most enjoyable thing over the past few months has been watching his personality really begin to emerge. He is curious. He loves to explore. He loves to laugh. He does not like to sit still AT ALL (which has made diaper changes all the more interesting). The kid LOVES to eat. For the most part, he is a pretty chill dude, but if he is upset, he will certainly let you know! He is wary of crowds, but he loves one-on-one interactions. We're still working on the whole sleep thing, but it's getting better, little by little. He has toys that he prefers over others (when he actually plays with his actual toys and not electrical wires, trash cans, bottles of lotion, and any other number of random choking hazards). His smile and laugh are infectious and he is quite the charmer.

Not to allude you that it's all goodness all the time. Motherhood isn't all sunshine and rainbows. There are the days that make me want to tear my hair out, especially when he's busy with those electrical cords, but all in all, most days he is busy finding new ways to make me a proud mama and being an all around cutie pie.

And now you're all caught up in the life of Linus! Until at least tomorrow, when he'll shock me with another new trick.