Sunday, January 31, 2010

This is what life has been like around here lately. Jake has hit what I've heard referred to as the "four month wakeful". It's basically where your tot tries to see if they can turn you into a zombie mess.

OK, but really what's going on is that babies at this age are hitting big cognitive developments & that is what's encouraging them to go on a sleep hiatus; they want to know what's going on around them AT ALL TIMES.

Here's a rundown of Jake's normal schedule so that you can all feel for me...
5-6am: Wake up, feeding, diaper change
7:30-8am: Back asleep for 3-4 hours
10:30-11ish am: Wakes & feeds
12:30pm: Feeding, followed by 30-45 min catnap
2:30pm: Feeding
3:30-4pm: Back asleep
5:30-6pm: Feeding
8pm: Head upstairs for bedtime-diaper change, feeding, rocked to sleep, then crib by 9pm

Obviously, I didn't include all the aspects of our day, this is just for comparison's sake

Here's Jake's schedule for about the past week..
3:30-4am: Wake up & feed
5ish am: Back to sleep... "sleep" meaning a solid hour of actual sleep followed by the other 1.5 hours being characterized by fussing in his sleep about every 20 minutes until he's ready to eat again. Hell on me because his morning nap is taken in his swing, so I sleep on the couch to be close to him.
7-7:30am: Wakes & feeds
10:30am: Feeds & naps for about an hour
12:30pm: Feeds
1:30pm: naps
3:30pm: Feeds
5:30pm: Feeds
8pm: Head upstairs for nighttime ritual
9:15: Fusses
9:45: Fusses
10:30: Fusses

Gary has been amazing about helping me. I try to handle things on my own since he has work & PT, but I've really needed his shoulder & he obliges... THANK GOD. I've just been feeling so irritated because Jake sleeps like a champ. You can set a clock by his routine. But this is going to be that trying month. As in, I'll try to not go crazy from no sleep. But, I guess, technically he is still sleeping through the night. But, I think the technicalities can kiss my hiney.

We had such a beautiful thing going, too. When he'd wake up at 5-6am, he'd feed, I'd change his diaper, put him in the swing AWAKE, & then I'd go upstairs & clean up a bit; make the beds, put stuff away from the previous night's bath time, balance the checkbook & about 20 minutes later when I went back downstairs for breakfast, he'd be out. Ahhh, that just reminded me...before this past week he was putting himself to sleep on his own during the day. :::cries::: seems like a distant memory.

Gary & I have talked about any possible changes we can make. Start bedtime ritual later? Wake him up from naps during the day? Let him cry it out at night? & we've come up with No, No, & No. Our bedtime ritual is solid, especially the 3 nights a week he gets a bath..LOVE IT. We're just going to suck it up & get through this month. He needs his sleep during the day, the only time I wake him up is to make sure he gets his 6 meals in a day. & we don't feel it necessary to let him cry it out. When my Mary Poppins mama guided me on how to get Jake to sleep in his crib when he was about a month old, I did let him cry it out, partially. I knew he was only crying because his crib was a new place, but he had to get used to it. So, I'd go in there & use my soothing voice, rub his belly, pick him up if I deemed it necessary. I felt awful, but I knew I was doing what was right for him. But it worked after like 2 days of that. Then, he was sleeping through the night at 2 1/2 months!!!!! VICTORY!! Crying it out right now just isn't something that needs to be done, in our opinion. This behavior is typical of the month he's in, not like a new habit, so we're going to help him through it & it'll pass.

The hard part is, when I'm feeding him around 3:30am, & wondering what I've done to deserve such torture, he stops, looks up at me from the Boppy, & gives me his megawatt smile. MELTS. MY. HEART. I tell Gary it's so hard because I know he's not doing it to punish me, or to be a turd, it's just what his body/brain are going through, that I love him to pieces & that smile just slays me, but I want sleep!!!!

Can't I just make a deal with the devil to feel contractions every now & again and have my handsome son's fabulous schedule back???

I will get through this month, I will get through this month, I will get through this month....

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The New Mama Curse

From the day we started talking about renting out my uterus to teeny mini-me's, I swore that once I was pregnant I would never be the mama-to-be that incessantly worried herself over caffeine intake, microwave death rays, intimate times with the hubs, ingestion of lunch get the picture. And, I'm proud to say, I succeeded. Of course, I had a few hundredths of a second where I worried about something I will never admit in public, and swore Gary to secrecy about, but that was at the beginning of my 9 month bake-off, so I plead insanity.

Now, I never swore myself to anything once the tot vacated my ute. I never gave a second thought to the daily schedule. I just knew it'd work itself out. But, every now and again, I have those times where I wonder if I have completely screwed up my child's life because his nap ran long, he didn't feel like napping, he didn't eat on one side long enough, his toes were chilly, he didn't feel as talkative one day, he wanted to go to bed 15 minutes ahead of schedule, he only napped on me one day, I had to yell at the dog...

:::head explodes:::
Thank God those times don't happen very often.

I told my mom once that I just didn't worry about motherhood. I am the oldest of 4, with my youngest brother being ELEVEN years younger than me. I've changed lightyears worth of diapers, I've heard the nighttime screaming, I've seen my mom used as a chew toy, I just felt fortunately exposed to the kinds of events that take place in a young'ins life. But, I also finished that sentence about not being worried about motherhood, with "but I wish someone else could make the decisions sometimes"

As natural & normal & organic as it feels to be a mama, I have to decide if things are OK. I have to decide if he's just feeling a touch cranky one day or it's gas. I have to decide if his body temp is part of 'Goldilocks & the Three Bears'--not too hot not too cold. I have to know that my inborn, maternal instincts are showing me the right way. The weird thing is, there are about a billion things I do naturally every single day that scare me once I stop and think about them.

Where this all comes from is because the past couple days, Jake had some trouble napping. Meaning, he felt like sleeping for a longer period of time on me than on his own. Code red, right?? Of course not. Gary came home on lunch, we talked about it, and leisurely came up with the manner in which we'd handle the situation. NO. BIG. DEAL.

For the people that really know me, they know, as well as we do, that napping is not the evil issue at hand; it's just hoping that we're doing right by the most precious boy to ever lay upon the planet (Sarah---you're the first co-mama of a boy to come to mind...please excuse my bias :) ) I look at Jake smile at me when I walk up to him and I just melt. I just want to do everything perfectly for him. I want to know there's no better way things could have been done than the way we did those things for him.

Normally, I have no issues. I am just head over heels for this little 15lb man and know that I'm handling things the best way I know how. But, I guess such is parenthood. I don't know that that will ever go away. I will always want to do my absolute best by him. And, I know by caring so much, & striving for nothing less than my parenting best, that I am doing what's right for him.

And, Gary as a father? Let me tell you...he's beyond a natural. If Jake decides to fuss because it's time for a nap, Gary doesn't pass him back. He changes diapers. He plays with him. He's dad-extraordinaire. The thing that is the clincher to make me in awe of my husband: he's the youngest. He never spent significant time around another baby.

I'd say as a parenting duo, we're the bee's knees. When Gary & I were trying to figure out a nighttime schedule so that we can get Jake to sleep through the night, we planned, we did it, it worked, & we were happy. The only part that really gets me in making a decision is that there are about a bazillion options on how to attack the issue. So, I don't go blind over links telling me the correct way to handle the situation; I pay little attention to the baby update emails; I ignore what other babies are doing. What is important is what we're doing, what our situation is. Nothing else matters. And, I think we've done purty good.

I'm just thankful I have the presence of mind to sit back and say "Freaking out is not a prerequisite to conquering mamahood" Yes, there will be times, which are few & far between, where I will think of all the ways in which to handle something, instead of concentrating on our particular situation & it will lead to a 5 minute internal meltdown, but I always recover.

Big girl undies come in size "simmer"

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


For my pregnancy-discussion-board-lingo-impaired friends...yesterday, I peed on a stick

Yesterday, I realized I was five days late. Something inside me, and Gary, who I woke up at 3:30 in the a.m. to have this muy importante convo with, told me not to worry. But, I wasn't going to feel completely out of the woods until I saw a test say "No irish twins".

I've only had one period since Jake's been born, and I know breastfeeding messes with your "schedule", so I wasn't quite sure what I was in store for, but I knew one thing...I was taking a test.

After work, Gary had stopped and picked up a test. So, he hands it to me and I head upstairs to see what our future had in store for us. I saw the test line show up and then I saw the "negative" result.

It was unclear what I felt when I saw that. I felt a sense of relief because I don't want to put my body through that again so soon, but there was also that teeny, tiny part of me that knows how much I love being pregnant and how in love the three of us would be with another wee tot.

After I took the test, Gary said he was holding Jake, asking him "Are you going to have a little brother or sister?" :::melts:::

For now, we're staying a threesome <3

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Babies on the Brain

More than a few friends of ours are getting pregnant again and it gets my mind a'racing.

I LOVED being pregnant. I can't wait to do it again...and again..?? My favorite part of pregnancy is the beginning. I was blessed with not having morning sickness; nauseous here and there, but no actual morning sickness. But, besides absentee morning sickness, I loved the beginning because there's this wee little baby growing inside me and no one is able to tell. It's like our little secret. The thing that really gets me is that my body is hard at work, creating this little life, that is living and thriving inside me and you can't even tell--that life is just so teeny. Of course, my body is still hard at work when it's uber-obvious that I'm baking a little babe, but the first trimester still reigns my fav.

As excited as I'll be when I get pregnant for the second time, the idea of being pregnant again...with a four month old... scares me to my core. And, I'm sure I'll come off as beyond vain right now, but I want to enjoy my body, and what I've lovingly dubbed my "Pam's", again for a long time. But, maybe that's not vain? Not one of my pregnant friends I was blessed to have simultaneous pregnancies with didn't miss her body at some point. Beyond that, I want Jake to have his time as the only little one in the house. I want him, and all our future babies, to be able to get that special kind of attention only a newborn receives.

With that said, I would feel AWFUL if I were to find out, sometime soon, that I was pregnant again. I'd feel awful because it would feel like I'm almost knocking the new babe, which couldn't be further from my intentions. Gary, Jake, & I would love that new little one with every fiber of our being, but it's not something I'd hope for. The possibility of pregnancy is just always there. After all, the only surefire way to not get pregnant again is abstinence and that's just not our thing.

I bring up the possibility of being pregnant again because sometimes my shoulder causes me so much pain that I get nauseous. And, we all know what question ultimately arises when a woman says she's nauseous. So, not that I really entertain pregnancy as a possibility right now since we're super careful ((I mean, my uterus is Fort Knox on lockdown kind of careful)), the possibility, however statistically small given the calendar date, still exists.

My least favorite Aunt is scheduled to arrive next week (she's only stopped by once since Jake's birth, but, with breastfeeding, I don't think she's really a guarantee). There's part of me that will feel relief when she's here, only because I want my bod, and part of me that would be OK should God decide our family will be blessed with another little angel sooner than we planned. He obviously knows what's best.

I remember telling my friend Christian, who I had a class with my last semester (miss ya, chikita!), I was pregnant. It was the best thing to look at her and say "I'M PREGNANT!!!" One of the first things she said to me was "You're going to be such a cute little pregnant girl!" I remember texting my mom that Christian said that and followed with "Naturally, we're besties now" ;) I remember the conversations I had with each person that I told I was pregnant. I remember pleading with my ute, and continually asking Gary, "when are you going to pop out?!?!", I remember walking the halls at school when people were finally starting to be able to tell I was a soon-to-be mama. I remember feeling Jake's first consistent kicks as I took the stage to receive my degree. I just loved it all. It was a special time that I know I'll never forget.

If I sit back and think logically, I know that my infrequent nausea is from the craptastic state of my left rotator cuff (stupid stairs....) plus my impending "visit". I know that my lower backache is also from said visit. I know that my need for a nap is because I'm more used to 6 hours of sleep--since I don't have the presence of mind to sleep the full 8-9 hours Jake does at night--than the 8 I sometimes get and my body wonders whaddafuxup?

When Gary and I put Jake to sleep each night, we'll sometimes talk about future kids. I tell him that I want to get pregnant where the bulk of my pregnancy will be during the summer/warm months because I loved being able to slip on flip flops, wear a cute little sundress or skirt and lounge around. I really wouldn't want to have to worry about layering, or putting on boots fit for snow (even though I was able to touch my toes my entire pregnancy--and yes, I think I should be able to brag that..AND have friends be proud of me!). We talk about how we'll tell my parents I'm pregnant again, how Jake will react to another baby, and the ways we'll handle the new dynamic having more kids will bring.

The idea of having more kids makes us so happy. I guess the only thing to do is sit back, make our plans and hope that we're doing what's right for us. I think there will always be that teeny bit of jealousy when another of my friends gets pregnant, just because I want to do it again, but our time will come again. I'll get to formulate that perfect way I told Gary that Jake was camped out inside me, again.

As for now, and as far as I know, our family will stay a threesome for some time. We could not be happier with our life. I wouldn't change our situation one bit.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Just call us The Flintsones

Gary came home today with more info about the looming Afghanistan deployment. Unfortunately, none of it is good news.
From what he hears (and we all know how reliable hearsay is!), his unit is being placed into a part of Afghanistan that hasn't been occupied before. SUPER. Apparently, they're plowing for his unit's arrival. This includes him staying in tents the entire deployment, as opposed to the trailers of the two previous tours. They won't have internet---this is the current status, but, hopefully, they'll have access to internet at some point during the 12 months---or phones.

The Army is tossing us back into the Stone Age.

So, I ask "Are we basically going to be communicating through letters?" Gary responds "Basically. Hopefully not. But, I'd count on it for a while"
In my attempt to only use my *special* words when I really really need to, I draw my inspiration from Scrubs and think: FRICK FRICK FRICK

There's much worse news, but I don't know if it's something to be made public.

I just can't even stand, correction: WE can't even stand to think about being apart. Now, with little Jake, it makes us sick to our stomachs to think about not spending all our time together. I've had friends who've had husbands in Special Forces and there are times when they go home and are completely unaware that their husbands will not be coming home that night, the next night, maybe for the next 4 months' worth of nights. I remember telling one of my friends, Rebecca, that I feel bad for ever complaining about Gary being deployed when she can't know when her husband is coming or going. Being the sweetheart she was, she says "No no no. Just because my husband has that schedule doesn't mean it makes your situation any easier" Man, I miss her understanding. People like that are something else.

I know God is watching over us. Just like the other day when I was THISCLOSE to bringing Jake with me to run a few errands and I was nearly rear-ended. ***on a side note about that story--my friend Cristal was at the same intersection, basically in the same situation, but she was actually rear-ended. Her and her friend made a run to pick up a few things and persuaded her friends husband to watch all their kids; they almost brought them. THANK GOD because, when they were hit, the entire back end of their car was smashed in. Praise God*** I know God will watch out for us, and we can handle anything together, but sometimes knowledge is a real b&#@h.

Ok, so many, many veterans haven't had access to any of the incredible technology of today. And, we are grateful to them, and in awe of them. But, to our credit, in this situation it's very difficult to go backward in communication. We had visions of Skyping, and trading emails when necessary. He was excited to check out our blog to be filled in on all the things I forget to relay to him on the phone, or on the webcam, due to my massive excitement at seeing him.

It is what it is. I'm not one to stew over something that can't be changed. I'm of the "suck it up" line of thinking, but I feel I don't have to suck just yet. I have the luxury of having the hubs here so that we can cry together and find a way to make this as easy as possible. Then, it'll be time for him to leave and that's when I'll do my major inhaling. That's when I'll bump up yoga to twice a day. That's when Gary and I will both be getting carpal tunnel.

Friday, January 8, 2010

A cause for celebration

As of today, it has been one month of Jake sleeping through the night!! I don't know what to do with myself! Of course, I could go to bed at 9, since that's when he's in his crib by, but I need a sec to hang with the hubs on the couch before I pass boobies could use the vacation time.

I am so happy he's sleeping through the night because we both feel better during the day, that means he's progressing, and it means our routine is the little engine that could. BUT, some nights, I almost miss him. Every now and again, whether it's been an hour that he's been asleep in his crib, or 4 hours, he'll let out this little whine where Gary and I both hold our breath to see what his next move is. Basically, we're playing real life chess. But I've come to realize that there's always a part of me that hopes he wakes up so I could spend that extra time with him. I already feel him growing up. He's talking like crazy, sat up with minimal support the other night, is holding rattles....the whole nine.

At the end of the day, I'm grateful that the only reason I'm up before the sun now is because of the time change. Of course, some mornings I wake up and know that if I were thrown off a boat...I'd drown.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Army induced thinking is a dangerous thing

Gary left at 4:30 this morning for a range, guess they wanted soldiers fresh from a 2 week leave to jump in with both feet. Anywho, Jake decided to get up at 5:30am, and, as he relieved my very full ta-tas, I realized this morning felt like Gary was deployed. We had spent every day together during leave. He'd either sleep in while I fed Jake breakfast, and then Jake & I would take our morning nap, or he'd get up with me and we'd watch some trashy morning judge show and get our day started. But, either way, he was here.

Today, he left before the sun came up, won't be home for lunch like he usually is, and will be back this evening. It's not a terrible setup. In fact, it's what the majority of families on the planet do every day. But, I still have that rain cloud hanging over me of the deployment we'll be seeing in just a few short months. So, as Jake fed, I couldn't help but to let out a few tears. Time just goes so fast. Even with Gary deploying around May-June (hopefully, not sooner!), it feels like it's tomorrow. I feel so excited thinking about days passing because Jake is growing so much each hour that passes. I can't wait to watch him roll over, become more independent, turn 1...but those things come at a price. It means that every day Jake grows is a day closer to Gary leaving. Now, I hope I don't sound cynical. That couldn't be further from who I am. I just wish we could all stay together, in the same country, under the same roof, and sleep in the same bed. It's a tough combination of feelings when you are so, so proud of your husband for taking wonderful care of his family and defending the country overseas, but so brokenhearted over knowing I won't be seeing him every single day. As Daniel Tosh jokes "Let's bring home the troops. Continue the war here...Soldiers should be able to sleep in their own beds, drive to war"

But, we know what we signed up for. We know that these are the hazards of military service. I sit here, while Jake takes his morning nap in his swing, and think that although things can get tough with the Army constantly pimping out my husband, I wouldn't change my life. I know that God doesn't give us any more than we can handle. I know God is taking us exactly where we're supposed to be. I know Gary and I wouldn't be so happy if God hadn't given us a wonderful life to enjoy. I know we wouldn't sit there and joke and giggle and cuddle after we put Jake to bed if our life wasn't exactly what it should be.

But, to every crap salad there is a silver lining. True to my personality, I let out something that upsets me and then move on in the same breath. Because of that, I'm very happy to say that the Army has granted us the ability to always be very, very aware of the every day. We say "I love you" about 312 times a day. We hug, and kiss, and laugh. We enjoy each other. And, this doesn't just apply to me and Gary. Jake is obviously part of all of that. And, we couldn't be happier.

I love stories with a happy ending.

Friday, January 1, 2010

2010, here we come

I feel that this year will hold more happiness than I know what to do with. Aside from our THIRD deployment looming over us, and taunting us, this year has so many wonderful things in store for us.

This year, I will have a mobile child. Jake will soon be rolling over, scooting/crawling, he'll take his first steps, he'll turn one...he'll take over mama's title of 2009, since I won't be graduating college and having a baby this year...I assume, and it'll be "The Year of Jake".

I will also be turning the big 2-5. This is pretty intense in itself. I know I've mentioned it before, but I feel like I should feel older. Maybe I feel like I'm too lighthearted for my age? I know I'm no old lady, it's just wild to think I'm in my mid-twenties, a wife, a mama...I think I assumed these incredible blessings would come with responsibility that would encourage me to feel older, but, instead, as I put Jake to sleep I ponder things like "if do not=don't, and it is=it's, why does will not=won't?"

And then there's my amazing hubby. Gary will not only be defending our great country for the third time overseas, he'll be studying for the board, to become promotable, he'll continue to get more responsibility at work/be in charge of more soldiers, and, most importantly, he'll still be the great husband and father he's always been.
Incidentally, I'd rather gouge my eye out with a dull spoon than to even think about him being away from us for so long, but it's something we have to do and it's something that we'll be stronger for having gone through it. I never think it's possible for me to love him more than I do now, but I know I'll be proved wrong, yet again, this year.

If for no other reason, I know this year will be great because I have a husband and son who have made me happier than I've ever known possible. 2009 was an awesome year, so let's top it, 2010!