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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Newsflash: Thing 2 is not the same as Thing 1

It's true. Almost every single thing that parents note about their babies is different with Baby G.

At 18 weeks (adjusted, so when she was actually 18 weeks + 7 weeks) Katie had been sleeping through the night for well over a month. And I'm not talking any of this "five hours is considered sleeping through the night" garbage. I'm talking, sleeping from 7:00 pm to 8:00 am. It was amazing.

Here at 18 weeks Baby G has yet to sleep through the night. He'll give us a good 7 hour stretch once or twice a week, but that's it. For the most part he still wakes twice a night for bottles.

From about 3 weeks (again, adjusted) until she was nearly 9 months old, feeding KB was a nightmare. It hurt for her to drink anything because of her reflux so we had to literally hold her arms and force bottles down her. I'm telling you, it was heartbreaking every time. She wasn't a big fan of food, either, so I would try new things every few days but mostly just let her do her own thing. "Her own thing" was fewer than 20 oz of formula most days, and it drove me insane.

Baby G, on the other hand, is like a bottomless pit. He drinks at least 30 oz of formula most days, some days more or less. We started solids at 4 months, and you should see this kid suck down sweet potatoes! Oh wait, you can:

Geeby is almost out of 3 month clothes at 4 months old, whereas KB didn't get out of 3 month clothes until she was almost 1. He loves his binky at nap time and she never, ever would take one. Katie never played with toys, she preferred to watch us. G could spin the little noise-maker on his car seat for hours! Or at least for 30 minutes or so.. Katie didn't watch tv until she was over a year old, but Garrett will crane his neck as hard as he can to see the tv.

 The differences just don't end! I suppose this is why new parents always hear "Don't worry, every baby is different!"
Sunday, July 15, 2012

When Mommy-ing Is Hard: Big Girl Beds Part Two

So there I was, sailing happily along because the Big Girl Bed Transition went so smoothly. It even went smoothly when she had to sleep in a bed that was nearly three feet off the ground at Mammaw's house. At the suggestion of a friend (who heard it from another friend), we put swim noodles under the fitted sheet to create a barrier. It worked just as well as a baby gate, and cost about 1/10 the price! Woohoo for a $3 solution! She slept that way for 5 days, both bedtimes and naps, and she only fell out once! 

Then, suddenly, Katie realized that Mommy and Daddy were only 10 feet away, and she could get to us if she just crawled out of bed! For 3 nights, Honey and I played that game. She would peek around the door with her cute little face and smile so big - like we had been playing hide-and-seek and she found us. For  3 nights, we would make her walk back across the room and then we would place her in her sofa bed and tuck her in.. Again. We must have done that 5 times each of those 3 nights. 

Then yesterday at nap time I knew we had to quit. If we kept going in there and tucking her back in, we'd be  doing it until she went to college. 

So, after the 3rd time yesterday, I told her it was for real. "Katie, this is the last time Mommy is tucking you back in bed. If you get out of bed again, you will have to sleep on the floor." (She can't climb back into the bed alone yet.) 

When she started crying at our door, I was stuck! I told her I wasn't coming back in, and I knew I couldn't go back on it. So, for 6 minutes I sat in my bed and heard the following:

:More crying:
"Mommy wake? Daddy wake? Geeby wake?" - Yeah, she was even trying to recruit her little brother into helping her.
:More crying:
"Mommy room?"
:Screaming crying:

After 6 minutes of awful, I told Honey he had to go in there. I told Katie I wasn't coming back, but I didn't say anything about Daddy not coming back! So he went and tucked her back in and a few minutes later, I found this:

As it turns out, Honey asked if she wanted to be tucked back in bed, or if she wanted to sleep on the floor. Obviously she sobbed "The beeeeeeeeeeeddddd!", so he tucked her in and that was that.

Bed time last night went a little more smoothly. We only had to tuck her back in twice before she fell asleep. And just now at nap time, she went right to sleep without getting out of bed at all!

The moral is, I know that sometimes Mommy-ing is hard, but the hard things are worth it. Listening to your baby cry for you specifically is terrible! Knowing that all you have to do to fix your baby's (immediate) problem is to open that door and hug her, but also knowing that you can't, is AWFUL. My baby's real problem wasn't that she needed me - she didn't. What she needed was to stay in bed and get a good, restful sleep. It only took 2 days of a little tough Mommy-ing, and she's back to being my good sleeper.
Saturday, July 14, 2012

When Mommy-ing Is Hard: Big Girl Beds Part One

I usually don't write about the "bad" things that my sweet baby girl does. I use the term "bad" very loosely. Really, she's an almost-two-year-old.. you can't expect text book perfection. More importantly, she's a very strong-willed, independent almost-two-year-old and she just has more personality than "perfection" could handle. Anyway, life with that sweet, hard-headed little thing has been a little less than fun and games the past few days.

Katie is now almost a big girl, so a few weeks ago she got her big girl bed. She was perfectly happy in her crib, but Baby G needed it since he had outgrown his bassinet. To make the transition a little easier, I got the brightest, prettiest, KBiest bed set I could find.

I sat KB down and told her that it was time to sleep in a big girl bed and she was so excited! We started with the mattress on the floor so she could get used to it. I opened the door and this happened:

Needless to say, she loved it. This is how the first week went:

Yes, every night. We could hear her playing and talking to her babies for about 30 minutes and then she was out. There were a few nights where I went to check on her and found her asleep on the floor, but otherwise, the transition went as smoothly as it possibly could have. 

And then this week happened, but my sleeping beauty is now up from her nap so that is a story for tomorrow. So consider this Part One.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Shore Duty, Month One

Want to hear something amazing? Honey and I just celebrated a milestone in our marriage. We just beat our record for consecutive nights in the same bed! Last night we hit 22 nights in a row together. Want to hear something even more amazing? We won't be involuntarily separated at any point over the next two months, at least! We'll get to some crazy number.. something like 60 or 70!

I know most MilSpouses can understand the separation. Often times we spend months at a time away from our significant others. Sub wives (and husbands now too, maybe?) spend weeks on end without a single form of communication.. no Skype, no letters, no email, and definitely no phone calls. I surely fall into the category of women who want to punch other women in the face when we hear "I haven't heard from him in five whole days!" Really? Five days is a cake walk.

But you know what? For at least two and a half years, I don't have to deal with that. That's about thirty months worth of dirty man laundry, travel coffee mugs with three-day old coffee in them, waking up six times a night to tell him to roll over and stop snoring, and water all over the bathroom floor because he somehow never learned to dry off on the floor mat. That's also roughly 912 days of hearing my Pumpkin squeal "Hi, Daddy!" 37 times after he walks in the door, getting big Honey hugs after a long day, and having coffee made for me (not in that travel mug, thank you) on Saturday mornings.

Yes, my friends, we've come to that magical place known as Shore Duty. Where there are 40-hour work-weeks, actual weekends and holidays, and unicorns at the ends of rainbows made out of sour gummy worms. Where my husband will come home almost every night (there is some travel involved in his new job, but not much) and wake up beside me every morning. Where holidays and special events aren't put on hold for underways and duty days. Ahh, Shore Duty.

The first month has been more or less vacation. We've been extremely busy, but he hasn't gone into an office yet. We are in Pensacola for Recruiter School for a few weeks and then he starts work August 1. It's almost like we got a real summer vacation! How exciting is that??

I'll update about this part again once I'm actually accustomed to seeing his face every day.
Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Not So Sleepy Geeby

Now it's time for Silly Songs With Mommy, the part of the show where Mommy comes out and sings a silly song.

The name of the song is, Time To Start A Schedule, Garrett!

Man, oh man. So, as it turns out, I totally took for granted how easy of a sleeper KB was/is. At least I say I did.. I do sort of remember blogging about how I was grateful she was a good sleeper because she was a terrible eater. I also remember thinking, and perhaps writing, that my next one would probably be a terrible sleeper but a good eater.  Actually, Garrett is good at both, he just has his own little thing going for a schedule, and it's time to stop. Time to stop, I say!
A four month old doesn't need to wake twice at night to eat, Geebs. See, unfortunately for you, Mommy already knows these things. He does, though.. wake twice at night to eat, that is. I'm sure part of it is our fault for moving and him having to sleep in 9 different places in 2 months. Yes, 9 - between hotel rooms, grandparents' houses, and our new house - 9. He's even been in 5 different beds in that time! Poor little fella.. The one constant has been Mommy. In fact, other than the 10 days we were in our  new house before coming to Pensacola, he has always even slept in the same room as me. 
Alas, it's time for a schedule. Starting about 3 hours ago, we're doing the Baby Wise 4-hour schedule. Don't jump on your judgy train just yet, please. All that means is that I'm trying to get him into an Eat-Sleep-Play routine so that he doesn't associate eating directly with sleeping. 
So far, he's done pretty well. He woke up at 7:30 (after waking at 1:00 and 4:00 through the night), ate at 8:00, but then fell right back to sleep until 9:00. That tells me that 9:00 is most likely his real wake-up time, which I already knew. He ate at 10:30, played until 11:00, then went almost immediately to sleep when I put him down.
This is all I'm really going to try and implement for a while, possibly until we're back home. I don't think he's quite ready for cry it out (CIO) at 4 months for one thing, but he's also sharing a room with his big sister right now, and that certainly wouldn't work. 
So when you're reading this tomorrow (because I'm scheduling it to post Wednesday morning), say a little prayer for us, please. Send sleepy thoughts Geeby's way!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Mommy Confession

Here's a confession post, and it's something I feel like I'm not supposed to say.

I really miss working.

Don't worry, I can already feel the mental slaps from hundreds of women, many of my friends, coming my way.

I never, ever expected that I'd be a stay at home mom. To be really honest, I never expected that I would have that luxury. I am incredibly blessed to be able to stay at home with my babies, and I know that. But I really, really miss working.

I suppose the grass is always greener. I know full well that if I had a 40 hour a week job, I would want nothing more than to spend all day, every day with my beautiful babies. And to be honest again, I don't really want to *not* be with them, either. There's no way I would give up watching all the firsts I've been able to watch happen! I can't stand the thought of someone else spending all day with my babies while we are financially able to let me do that.

But on the other hand... I miss leaving the house every day. I miss the majority of my conversation taking place with an adult. As much as I love repeating every single word KB says, which I do, (I did it just because it felt natural, but as it turns out, it really helps their verbal abilities. Who knew?!) I sometimes would just enjoy quiet. I sort of envy people who get to spend a little time in traffic, alone with their thoughts.

I know what's caused this. Besides the fact that it's been a little over three years since I held a full-time job, my new problem is that I haven't made SAHM/W friends in Memphis yet. Memphis isn't a typical military city, so there aren't a million wives and kids hanging out while their husbands/daddies are working. Jason hasn't checked in to the command yet, so I haven't met any of the wives of his coworkers.

The coolest thing ever would be to find a job where I could take my babies with me. I can hold off until they start school if I need to, but if anybody has any ideas, just let me know!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Recruiting and Hotel Living

Here I sit in a lovely Homewood Suites in Pensacola, Florida while one baby naps, the other relaxes with Big Bird and Elmo, and Honey is off to his first day of class at Recruiter School. This is part of the life, isn't it? Lots of time in hotels. I always miss home when we're in a hotel, but these truly aren't bad. And to be honest, we've sort of gotten that hotel-living thing down to a science.

First of all, we've tried to stay in Homewood Suites wherever we go. We can get a bedroom and a living room, which we really need for Katie. My independent sleeper can't have any distractions when it comes to bedtime. That means no Mommy or Daddy hanging out, no tv on.. nothing. And since she became such a big girl last week and started sleeping in a full sized bed, she can sleep on the pull out sofa! That means one less pack n play when we travel, woot! We can also get a full sized refrigerator, which is important for keeping all sorts of KB-friendly snacks and GB bottle-makings on hand.

I've learned that I really can do laundry when we're in a hotel, so I can pack less. I am the world's worst over-packer. I'm so scared I'm not going to have something I need. I did so much better this time, though! There wasn't a single cocktail dress in my suitcase! Ok, that's a bit of an exaggeration.. I don't usually bring a cocktail dress. Usually. 

It's hard to narrow the packing down for little ones, though. I may not need a cocktail dress or 14 pairs of shoes, but they still need a ton of stuff. Like booster seats, travel cribs, Bumbos, a gajillion bottles and sippy cups and bowls and plates and plastic forks and spoons. Oh, and at least 2 sets of clothes (not to include pajamas) per day. Sigh. 

Anyway, we're here in Pensacola for 3 weeks while Honey learns to sell the Nuclear Program to unsuspecting college students. Poor kids... I told Honey he should let me come along on recruiting trips to speak to the girlfriends/boyfriends/whoever of the recruits. 

Here's what I would say:

"Run! Run away! Don't look back!  ...That is, unless he's the love of your life, because then, even if you do tell him to shove his ideas of marriage, you'll be back.. you might as well just drink the Nuclear Kool-Aid now. And then, you too can learn the joys of hotel-living."

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The Sub Wife Life