June 28, 2012

Sleeping with the enemy. - Part Three of The Crib Chronicles

So the saga continues.  I added subtitles to my original "crib" posts.  I wanted to title them Part One and Part Two and Part Three of the "Crib Chronicles Trilogy" because that seems to be the hip thing to do these days--write a trilogy (a la 50 Shades of The Girl Who Played With Hunger Games)--but I am not entirely sure that this is the last I have to say about all this.  Anyway, let's go back a bit....(great, now I need a prequel title....)

I have co-slept with all my babies.  Moo and Slim made the transition to their own beds in different ways, but without much fanfare.  As with a lot of things so far, The Geel is different.  This time, although I love snuggling up with her, I have found the need to sleep "train" (I really despise that word) her and get her into the crib.  While the cosleeping goes on, The Sarge (being a pretty light sleeper) usually sleeps elsewhere.  This time he has taken up residence on the couch.  (This was an especially PITA situation during the Lice Incidents of 2012.)

So for thirteen months now, he has slept on our couch and it has gotten pretty freakin' old.  Suffice it to say, we are all over it--not least of all The Sarge.  So when he left for his AT for the National Guard, I thought it was the perefect time to make the transition--he's not here to be disturbed by any blood-curdling screaming during the night (of which there was NONE, thankyouverymuch!) and he gets to come home to his bed!  Win-win!  So imagine my surprise when while lying in bed the other night (our first time in over a year, I might emphasize) he says, "I don't like her in there all night by herself."
Dumbass might be harsh, but I certainly was doing the mental facepalm when I heard that line.
HUH?!?  What I wanted to say at that point was this:  Honey, if you'd care to take your ass back out to the couch, I'd be happy to bring The Geel back into bed with me and risk her precious little life every morning as she repels off the side our bed.  And although I appreciate your opinion on the matter, since you don't really do anything in the way of helping me put the baby to bed, and since you don't have any alternatives to my "method," I'll not be considering your feelings in the matter and I'd thank you not to shit all over my way of doing it.  Or something along those lines.  But what I did was lie there in the dark and think about what I was gonna write in this post.

In reality, I kinda get what he's saying.  For those of you who never co-slept with your babies, it does feel kinda weird to just lay them down in a crib by themselves and leave them there.  I mean, I keep joking with him that this is what "normal" people do with their kids, but I do get what he's feeling.  And I'm certainly not saying that there is anything wrong with co-sleeping or crib sleeping, but right now, I honestly feel that she is safer in there.  We had gotten to a point where she was nursing so much at night that I wasn't sleeping enough at all, and therefore could barely open my eyes in the morning while she (being an early bird, like Slim) gets up at the crack of dawn trying to crawl off our pillowtop mattress by herself.  (Which, btw, she is pretty darn good at.  The mattress is as tall as she is and she quite skillfully backs herself down off the edge and grabs the comforter to slow her slide off the side.)  So until she figures out how to climb out, I believe her to be much safer in her crib.

Now as far as the matter of MY return to restful fulfilling sleep?  We're not there yet--which I'm sure is fodder for Part Four.  She still wakes up multiple (some nights many multiple) times a night to nurse, and although it's only been a few weeks, and the nursing does go rather quickly, and she goes back to sleep quite easily, I'd thought she (and I) would get much longer stretches of sleep by now.  I mean, a few nights she has gotten a three-hour stretch in at the beginning, but then has woken up every hour afterwards.  Every. Hour.

So we still have some kinks to work out, but I'd like to think it's working well enough so far.  Even the dog is happy--now that The Geel is out of the bed, The Sarge let LuLu back in.  Win-Win-Win?

~not so fast....~
The Thrill Is Gone--Part Four of The Crib Chronicl...
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June 18, 2012

Confessions of a (Not-so-) Super Wife

I met him at a club where we used to dance.  We'd both gone for several years but had never really run into each other before that night in June.  I had been watching him dance for a while when I decided to approach him at the bar (with what could be one of the corniest things that ever left my mouth:  "I was watching the dance floor and you were absolutely the most interesting thing on it.") <gag> that was painful to write

Soooo, anyway, we talked the rest of that night and I realized by the end of the night that I didn't really like him very much.  It wasn't anything specific, just didn't get any kind of spark or anything.  Of course, after a night full of cheap gin and tonics and 2 am small talk, I'm not sure what I had expected.

About six or seven months later we started "officially" dating.  That was 14 years ago.  Marriage, three (unexpected) kids, a dog, a few states later (and not necessarily in that order) and here we are--wedded, parenting bliss.  Or something like that.

For being a man who never thought he would even have kids, The Sarge is a pretty great dad, and I think we're a good team.  He's the strong arms, straight backbone and discipline, and I'm mostly the squishy parts (in more ways than one).  His military background and my laziness sometimes make for interesting, um, discussions, but I prefer to think of it as one of the many ways we compliment each other.

He is a history buff and can (for example) tour the battlegrounds at Gettysburg and give Moo and Slim a full run down of every battle, which commanders fought which and what direction they were marching across the fields.  I am of more use helping them with their math homework.  (I am actually excited that Moo will have some Algebra next year. Bring it on!)  He is the one to make them sit and do their homework everyday as soon as they walk in the door.  I take them to auditions for plays.  He likes to plan for any and every possible eventuality.  I sometimes forget daily repeated tasks (and have been known to run out of work screaming expletives, realizing that I forgot to leave on time to pick up the kids at school.)  Like I said, we compliment each other.

One thing I never really tell him is that I appreciate our differences.  I think it is virtually impossible to realize such a thing in the middle of any "discussion" over those differences; and like most people, I have a hard time saying I am wrong about a good many things, but sometimes I am. Discipline is necessary, history is educational, planning is smart.  

Happy Father's Day to The Sarge.  Today, you can be right.  Tomorrow.....well, that's a new day.....
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June 14, 2012

More crib notes - Part Two of The Crib Chronicles

The love affair continues...

Night #3:  Why the hell did I wait so long to do this?  Wtf?  Is this my baby?  She is "down for the count" in minutes with hardly a peep.  I think the earth shifted on it's axis.  What else can I conquer?  (besides the laundry--which btw, I DID CONQUER today beyotches!!)  Is there a powerball drawing I missed tonight?  I'm on fire!  Bring on Night #4.....

So the rest of Night #3 wasn't too bad. In fact, this whole process has been WAY easier than I thought it would be.  I feel like I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. What's the catch? Am I being punked?  The hardest part is the sleep interruptions and even they wouldn't bother me so much if it weren't for the freakin' Zyrtec I have to take that makes me feel like a zombie the whole next day (minus the face eating).

Night #4 went smoothly. This is almost not worth writing about. <yawn>

Night #5:  So far, not-so-good. Cried for about 15 minutes going down tonight. Seemed to forget what the drill was here. Or maybe she was getting bored and wanted to give me something to write about. Ugh! Not anticipating a good night.....

......aaaand not so bad.  She seems to be on a kind of schedule.  She wakes up around midnight, 2 am, 4 am and then after 6.  I can live with this for now.  At least I know what to expect.

Night #6:  Zonked before I even laid her down!  Shweeet!  All went well until the frackin' dog started barking her knob off!!  She heard the neighbor's dog fart and went into attack mode! Needless to say, The Geel woke up, but went back down without a hitch.  
Sleeping Beauty (and Alice, the baby)
I think it's safe to say this is under control, and I won't continue to put you to sleep with tales of putting The Geel to bed.  Unless anything noteworthy happens, this is the end of these crib notes.  

~that's what I thought....~
Sleeping with the enemy. - Part Three of The Crib ...
The Thrill Is Gone--Part Four of The Crib Chronicl...
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June 13, 2012

Crib notes - Part One of The Crib Chronicles

Last night (this would have been June 9th) was the first night that The Geel slept in her crib.  All night. (okay so I brought her into my bed at 5 in the morning--it still counts!) In a totally separate room.  By. Her. Self.

Now it started as most nap times have been going:  some crying, a little back-patting--but it didn't last too long.  She was out fairly quickly and I danced down the hallway.  I may or may not have done one of those little jumps and clicked my heels together.  (Okay, I didn't , but that's what I felt like.)

Now at nap times I had been bent over the crib patting her on the back or just keeping my hand on her back until she falls asleep and I can walk out hunched over like Quasimodo because I can't walk upright for another 20 minutes.  (My rationale was that I wouldn't start patting until she would be tired enough to close her eyes when I lay her down--I was still using the Supernanny-lay-the-kid-down-no-eye-contact-no-talking-no-back-patting technique.  Sometimes she went down right away, sometimes it took 26 tries.)

I knew that methodology was not going to cut it for bedtime.  I remember sleep-training Owen with some Sleep Crazy Lady Method.  Sit by the crib for three nights, sit halfway to the door for three nights, sit at the door, stand on your head by the door, sit just outside the door with your thumb in your ear....you get the idea.  There just happened to be a plastic tote (that has been filled with cold-weather clothes and not yet been put away) sitting by The Geel's crib.  This first night I just plopped my ass down on that tote and stared straight ahead--or I may have turned my back on her and caught up a few games of Words with Friends on my smartphone, either way, I was NOT engaging The Geel.

I just had this feeling that it would work,  Sounds weird, I know, but I just felt like she was gonna get it, she was gonna figure it out.  She kind half-heartedly tried to stand up, she definitely cried a little but even that was half-assed.  When I finally left the room I ran down to the garage to get a folding chair--that tote was not gonna survive a whole course of the Method.  During the night she woke up 4 times so I scooped her up, sat in my trusty folding chair, nursed her briefly and put her back down--without a peep.  That's the part I thought I would have all the trouble with--the "putting-her-BACK-in-the-crib" part.  Not a peep!  I walked out of the room and blissfully went back to sleep in my own bed.  By. My. Self.

Night #2:  She went down WAY easier which kinda scared me.  I was a little anxious about what the rest of the night would hold, but she only woke up three times last night and made it until 6:30 am!!  Then I brought her into my room to try and snuggle up and get a few more minutes of shut-eye myself, but she was up for the day.  This whole thing is going a lot smoother than I anticipated.  Maybe The Sarge will be "off the couch" by the end of the week.....

~to be continued~
More crib notes - Part Two of The Crib Chronicles
Sleeping with the enemy. - Part Three of The Crib ...
The Thrill Is Gone--Part Four of The Crib Chronicl...
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June 12, 2012

What's in a name?

I caught this post a few days ago from Daddy Knows Less and it occurs to me that I have no suitable moniker for my baby daddy.  I'm not sure how I may have referred to him in posts (certainly not my "baby daddy") but I feel like he should have some significant name.

There are some things you should know about him so that you get the whole picture.  My husband is a former Marine and currently in the National Guard.  Between being in the military and having a touch of the OCD, he's kinda a neat freak.  Me, on the other hand, well, let's just say that opposites attract.  I like to organize things, but I'm not always necessarily very neat day in and day out.  No "Domestic Goddess" here.

The joke around our house is that he will clean the toilet, and I'll fix it.  The joke-within-a-joke is that due to that OCD thing I mentioned, he won't really clean the toilet--that's my job, but truly it's the only job I have to do.  He vacuums, dusts (I DO NOT dust) and does all the yard work (which he truly does love).  The laundry is shared and the kids empty the dishwasher.  Whichever one of us cleans the kitchen after dinner (probably more me, but it usually depends on who cooked and what kind of mood The Geel is in after dinner) loads the dishwasher and washes anything that can't be loaded.

What else you should know....hhmmmm....man works his ASS off every day!  When he's not at his "day job" as a firefighter, he works some days for the Guard.  During mowing season he has his own lawncare business busting his ass in the sweltering summah heat, kicking grass and taking names!  (That was one of my ideas for the business name but he wanted something a little more, well, business-minded).  Anyway, my man is no slouch!

I think the most appropriate name I can come up with is The Sarge.  He made it to the rank of Sergeant while in the Marine Corps and he is now a Sergeant in the Army National Guard, and he frequently tries to run our house like a military post.  Good thing I'm around to flub that shit up!  
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