To any readers still out there

I never meant for this blog to become mini book reviews only.  I’m at least a little bit grateful that I’m able to keep up with those (or at least catch up every month or two), and a lot of that has to do with how SLOW my reading pace is lately.  I used to be able to read while nursing Jack, but he got faster, and then we started weaning, and now we’re done.  Now I only get to read before bed, or on the rare evening I don’t have to work (like tonight! Except I’m doing this instead!).

Speaking of work, I’m still working part-time (20 hours a week).  My company is still letting me do it, and I have no intention of changing it.  I get a couple of hours in early in the morning (like 5:30 to 7:30), the occasional meeting during the day, and IF Jack naps in the crib, I work then.  If I don’t hit four hours, I do the rest after Jack goes to bed.  During the day, Jack is still pretty…needy? Clingy? Insistent that I be physically attached to him while he plays?  Point: I can’t get any work or reading done while he’s awake.

Jack is still perfect and wonderful, of course.  He’ll be 18 months old in 2 days, which is CRAZY, like completely bonkers.  Not that he survived, or that we kept him alive, but DUDE.  I have an 18-month-old.  Wut.

Someday I’ll post pictures again

How We Know For Certain That Jack Is Our Son:

  • If he’s not done with it, he brings his bath book out of the bath.
  • He’s been known to prop up his book on the back of his play grill while he play-grills.
  • He likes to read in the car.
  • Sometimes the car book goes to the grocery store with us.
  • He brought me the cookie tin, so I gave him the last cookie in it.  When he heard me talking about making more cookies, he brought me a bag of chocolate chips.

Werewolves and vampires and mummies are scary, okay?

Jack had his first encounter with Halloween spookiness today, and he did not enjoy it.  The werewolf was happy and funny, Dracula was perfectly friendly, and, sure, the mummy had a frighteningly bad 1920s-ish, New York-ish accent, but she was only trying to be nice.

Jack was having none of it.  Every time one of them came near, he clutched at whichever of us was holding him and hid his face.  I swear he was shaking one time.

He was fine with the other people around us.  He was making faces and smiling and making friend with strangers he could see over our shoulders, like usual, but these costumed people really freaked him out.

Seems strange that they would – he has no frame of reference for costumes, but he also doesn’t really have any reason to think they’d be scary.  Would he be as scared of someone dressed as Superman?  Maybe it was the heavy face makeup.

We’ll have an opportunity to find out next weekend when we take him to Rhode Island Comic Con.  And on Halloween, I guess.

Looking for sleep opportunities

Jack’s morning nap today was in my arms.  Usually, once he falls asleep, I take a couple of minutes (at least) to gaze adoringly at the sweet cuddly baby before I open my book or close my eyes.  This morning, I’m pretty sure I was asleep before he was.  I certainly don’t have any memory of his sleeping face.  I am SO TIRED.  Wednesday night wasn’t quite as bad as last Monday, but it was bad enough (he was awake from 2am to 5).

I can’t even write about it without yawning.

I don’t need sleep anymore

For the first time in a long time, like months, we had a really bad night with Jack.  He’s fine, and he was fine during the night.  He was just, you know, awake.  He went to bed like normal, pretty easily.  He was asleep in the crib before 7:30.  He woke up about 3 and a half hours later, just before 11pm.  We had JUST climbed into bed.  I hadn’t even put my book down yet.  John changed his diaper, and then I tried to nurse him back to sleep.  For most of an hour.  He didn’t go to sleep, so I stood up and held him, trying to sway him to sleep.  He’d put his head down, then shift it, then shift it again.  I thought it was going to work, but then he started to squirm and protest, so I sat back down with him and tried to nurse him to sleep again.  No luck, repeat of the almost-settling on my shoulder, and then around 12:30 I texted John to come in and try, since he usually has really good luck getting him to sleep on his shoulder.  Not that night – Jack was having none of it.  Less than 15 minutes later, I was nursing him again, thinking super-sleepy thoughts at him, but it still didn’t work.  Around 1:30, maybe a little before, I tagged John back in, but Jack just didn’t want to sleep.  John put him in his crib and stayed nearby – Jack happily crawled in circles on the mattress for half an hour.  So a little before 2am, it was back to nursing (and another diaper change) for us.  Then I tried the crib thing.  He giggled and wanted to play.  I tried reading to him from outside the crib, but the light from the kindle fascinated him.  I tried lying down on the floor next to the crib, but he kept babbling at me and reaching through the slats to poke me.  Then around 2:30 John texted me to suggest we take him for a drive.

YES.  BRILLIANT.  LET’S DO THAT TWO HOURS AGO.

Jack was asleep within 20 minutes, and we were in bed by 3:15.

Was Jack kind enough to sleep in since he was awake for four hours in the middle of the night and we hadn’t yet gotten ANY sleep?  Um, no.  No, he was not.  We all got up at 7am that morning.  That’s less than four hours for me and John, for anyone too tired to do the math.  Jack at least got that first 3 and a half hours.

Next question: why am I up NOW, at 10pm, with that in my recent history?

Hm.

I should have done this weeks ago

Our grocery cart/high chair cover came weeks ago, and I FINALLY tried it out at the store with Jack the other day.  He did great.  I still have to work on getting it in place quickly and with one hand.  For this outing, I put the car seat in the cart, got the cover on, moved Jack into the seat, and then piled groceries on top of the car seat.

Plenty adorable, right?  It got so much better.  I turned back to the cart after picking up milk, and found this:

Poor sad baby chicken.  Not quite 9 months old and already completely done with grocery shopping.

I thought I’d have more time!

Nursing Jack, wonderful in itself, has been especially great because it’s time I’ve been able to read.  Even if only for 5-10 minutes, I get to read multiple times a day.  Lately…not so much.  I’m still nursing him as much as ever, but he rarely settles down and just eats anymore.  Instead, he does gymnastics.  Or parkour.  Sometimes he ends up practically upside down.  I need both hands, making it pretty difficult to read.  He does it almost every time, even before bed and in the middle of the night, and especially before naps, and once he settles into sleep, I’m getting him into the crib pretty quickly.  I am NOT complaining about him napping in the crib instead of on me – that is WONDERFUL and HELPFUL and I use that time to get work done so I don’t have to work as late at night.  Occasionally (okay, all the time), I wish I were holding him for a nap instead because he’s so cuddly and warm and sweet, but really, he sleeps longer in the crib, and we all need that.  A napping baby is a charming, adorable, and funny baby who sleeps better at night.

What was my point?

Right.

So I lost my nursing/reading time to acrobatics, and I have to use napping time for work (like, ahem, right now).  I try to read in bed at night, but that’s not working, either.  For the last five nights in a row I’ve done that thing where you’re reading and then you wonder why you can’t see your book anymore and you realize your eyes are closed and when you open them the words on the page don’t look at all familiar so you go back a page or two and try again but then, whoops, you can’t see the book anymore and who flipped ahead to that page and oh, crap, I’m just going to go to sleep.

The babiest baby to ever baby

Jack hit peak baby today in the grocery store.  He was wearing a romper (one piece, short sleeves, short pants), no shoes or socks, so his baby thighs and baby feet were visible in the car seat (which was in the grocery cart).  He was looking around the aisles, kicking his feet, fingers in his mouth, babbling “ba ba ba ba ba” at everyone and no one.  It was the cutest thing I’ve ever seen (or heard).

I regret to inform you that I did not get video, so you’ll have to take my word for it.  Peak baby.

Eleven minutes is not a nap!

After a long break, we have officially restarted nap training.  Sleep training.  Crib training?  I mean I’m working on getting Jack to nap in the crib.  We were working on it months ago, but I gave it up when the teething started in earnest and nighttime sleep was being disrupted.  For however many months that’s been (maybe two?), Jack has been napping semi-well, but exclusively while being held (mostly by me) or in the car seat (stroller and car).  The advantage of the car seat is that I can usually bring the car seat in from outside without waking Jack up, and he can sleep in it, in the house, and let me do other things.  But wouldn’t it be nice if he would just sleep in the crib?  I’m starting (restarting) now for a couple of reasons:

  1. He’s going to grow out of the car seat.  I’ve been talking about it for months, and he hasn’t done it yet, but it’s inevitable, and I feel like it’ll be soon. We’ll have to replace the infant car seat, which can be carried around, with a convertible car seat, which is one of those that will last for years but which doesn’t leave the car.  What if (WHEN) he falls asleep in the car in the new car seat?  I will have to unbuckle him, carry him inside, and put him down without waking him up.  So far, he hasn’t proven to be that sound of a sleeper.  Same for sitting in the stroller without the car seat.  So he needs to learn to nap in the crib.
  2. Teething’s not over, of course, but his second top tooth has broken through and we have a pretty good routine at bedtime.  He sleeps pretty well in the crib, mostly through the night, so I’m not too worried that these attempts to nap in the crib during the day will screw that up.

I just want the flexibility.  We’re at home at naptime?  Sleep in the crib!  We’re on a walk and he gets sleepy?  Sleep in the stroller!  We’re in the car?  Sleep in the car!  And if he’ll really nap in the crib, I can get work done during the day.  Probably not the full four hours, but it means I won’t have to stay up as late EVERY SINGLE NIGHT.

The worst thing about this is the crying, of course.  I’ve tried all kinds of things, read all kinds of books, and I really don’t know how to make this work without any crying.  Thankfully, today, new attempt #1, he only cried for a couple of minutes.  Then he tossed and turned but quietly, and he was sleeping 6 minutes later.  Of course, as I type this, I can see (and hear) him kicking the back of the crib, but I’m pretty sure he’s still sleeping.  Weird kid.  He wiggled around a ton during those first few minutes, so I can’t see his face in the monitor anymore.

Shoot, I think I jinxed it.  He’s definitely awake.  Eleven minutes isn’t enough!

Update: Attempt #2 is going well so far.  He stayed asleep when I put him in the crib, and he’s been asleep for 14 minutes.

Busy lazy life

I feel like I had a crazy busy day today, like I rushed from thing to thing, but that is a completely ridiculous feeling to have, especially about today.  I’m not knocking the stay at home mom life in any way.  But really – today’s the day that felt crazy?  See for yourself.

7am-ish to about 9: Jack woke up.  John changed him, I fed him, we played a bit, and John took Jack so I could shower and eat breakfast.

9:10ish: I fed Jack off and on until he fell asleep.

9:45 to 11:15am: Jack napped in my lap.  I napped a bit, too.

11:15 to noon: I played with Jack, changed him, got some cute videos while I gathered up a blanket and some toys.

Noon to 1pm-ish: Jack and I sat outside on a blanket in the shade.  I fed him, he played, two of the neighbors came over to chat.

1pm-ish to 2pm-ish: I made lunch for me and John (scrambled eggs and toast), tried to feed Jack a tiny bite of scrambled eggs (he gagged), ate them myself, and fed him some baby food he actually likes.

2:30pm-ish to 4:30: We went for a long walk with Helen and Nora.  Jack napped from about 3 to 3:45.

4:30 to 4:50: Fastest grocery trip ever.

5pm-ish to 6:30pm:  I fed and changed Jack, we made and ate dinner, fed Jack some baby food, and played a little.

6:30pm to 7pm: Bathtime!

7pm to 7:35pm: Bedtime!

Highlights: I napped, played, went for a walk, and ate.  No appointments, no major errands, no timelines or deadlines, no meetings, and yet it didn’t feel as relaxing as it looks on paper.  I need a do-over.  That’s a relaxing day, damn it.

Origin story

Jack sleeps on his back, of course, and when he starts to get a little restless, he lifts both legs in the air and then drops them hard back on the mattress.  It doesn’t wake him up, but god damn if it doesn’t shake the whole house.  The first few times it happened, we went looking for what heavy thing had fallen over.  But then it happened again, and then again.  (He rarely does it just once when he’s stirring.)  So we checked the monitor and sure enough, our mini-earthquakes were being caused by the baby.

Every night, people.

His superpowers are developing.